Burges Salmon advise Crown Estates on £31m sale of Honda depot

Burges Salmon associate Matthew Sims has led the £31m sale of Honda’s biggest storage depot in Avonmouth to BlackRock UK Property Fund and Canmoor.

The real estate team had acted on the Crown Estate’s purchase of the Honda site in Cabot Park in 2005 and sale of part of the original site in 2011 for £10.5m.

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) partner Simon Kenley advised longstanding client BlackRock UK on the deal.

Sims has advised on several deals for the Crown Estate, including its acquisition of the BAFTA HQ, Princes House, in St James’s London for £87m in 2012 and the disposal of a portfolio of three industrial estates for 32m since qualifying at the firm in 2002.

The firm was first appointed to the Crown Estate’s urban legal panel in 2011, led by Burges Salmon real estate head Richard Clark. Lawrence Graham also made the cut after a competitive tender.

It is one of several increasingly competitive panels run by the Crown Estate. One of which has handed key chunks of work to legacy SJ Berwin. The firm was reappointed to the Crown Estate’s Regent Street Regeneration Panel in 2012 along with Hogan Lovells – led by chair and real estate disputes head Nicholas Cheffings.

The enviable spot gives both a role on the £2.8bn Regent Street partnership currently redeveloping the street through a £1bn investment programme. The legacy SJ Berwin team working on the panel is led by international real estate head Bryan Pickup.

The firm also advised it on its high profile purchase of Paddington Central for £470m in July 2013, led by corporate partner Michael Goldberg.

Most recently the Estate appointed Norton Rose Fulbright and Bond Dickinson to sit on its slimmed down energy panel in July 2013. It marked a win for Bond Dickinson chairman and client relationship partner Nick Page and Norton Rose Fulbright chairman Stephen Parish. Its first energy panel was launched in 2008 (14 January 2008)

In August Arthur Cox won a competitive tender to take over Northern Irish legal work –  a loss for Pinsent Masons (19 August 2013).

The Crown Estate controls half of Scotland’s coast and almost all of its seabed. It is one of the largest property owners in the UK with a coveted property portfolio worth billions.