BLP, Taylor Wessing ink £80m Oxford Street property refinancing

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) and Taylor Wessing advised as The Great Victoria Partnership (GVP) secured an £80m refinancing loan on an Oxford Street property from Canada Life Investments.

Rodney Dukes
Rodney Dukes

Canada Life advanced GVP an £80m, ten-year term loan facility. GVP will use the money to repay its outstanding loan to bondholders in Barclays Capital’s Aquila CMBS. The Canada Life loan is secured on the long leasehold of Mount Royal, 508/540 Oxford Street.

BLP, led by real estate partner Laurence Rogers, advised GVP, a joint venture between Great Portland Estates (GPE) and Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society. BLP won the mandate through its relationship with GPE, which also occasionally instructs Nabarro.

BLP partner Chris de Pury oversees the firm’s relationship with GPE on the real estate side, while Rogers deals with the finance side. Real estate senior associate Tina Christopher handles the day-to-day management of the firm’s relationship with the client.

Vinay Veneik, who left BLP in 2008 (21 January 2008) and was later struck off for dishonesty (9 April 2010), used to be one of the main relationship partners for GPE at the firm.

The other half of the GVP joint venture, Liverpool Victoria, has a history of instructing Hogan Lovells legacy firm Lovells.

Taylor Wessing, led by finance head Rodney Dukes, advised Canada Life.

Dukes said Canada Life was one of the most active insurance companies lending in real estate at the moment, along with Aviva and MetLife, with Taylor Wessing also advising MetLife.

Taylor Wessing’s relationship with Canada Life goes back to the 1980s and legacy firm Parker Garrett, which merged with Taylor & Humbert in 1982. That firm then merged with Joynson Hicks in 1989 and then Wessing in 2002.

Dukes is the firm’s contact with Canada Life on banking matters, while real estate partners Christopher Turley and John Whitfield advise the client on property financing and on investments respectively.