Mayer Brown, Olswang broker British Land’s £130m Mayfair buy

British Land (BL) has turned to Mayer Brown for the £130m acquisition of a Mayfair estate, with Olswang advising the sellers.

Jeremy Clay
Jeremy Clay

BL has entered into a corporate agreement, expected to complete in November 2012, to buy Clarges House at 6-12 Clarges Street and 82-84 Piccadilly from the Sebba family’s Warnford investment vehicle for £129.6m.

The site overlooks Green Park and is close to the Ritz and Bond Street. The two buildings comprise more than 119,000 sq ft of office and retail space, but BL intends to redevelop the plot and turn it into luxury homes and offices.

Mayer Brown, led by global real estate head Jeremy Clay, advised BL, with planning partner Michael Hutchinson, real estate partner Anita Jones, corporate partner Richard Page and head of tax Peter Steiner also pitching in.

Olswang, led by tax partner Graham Chase, advised the Sebba family as sellers of the estate.

Mayer Brown has advised BL on deals from time to time, including the developer’s £40m acquisition of a SW1 property from Aviva Investors in November 2009, but never on a deal of this size, according to Clay.

SJ Berwin used to get the bulk of BL’s work and advised the developer on its joint venture with Canadian pension fund subsidiary Oxford Properties to develop the ‘Cheesegrater’ building on Leadenhall Street last year (10 January 2011). But Ashurst has also been winning work from the client of late, most notably on the purchase and redevelopment of Marble Arch House in 2011.

Last year Herbert Smith also advised BL as it sought to strike out an attempt to grant listed status to the Broadgate Estate, which threatened to scupper the developer’s plans for a move to site (27 June 2011).

For more on British Land’s law firm relationships, see Notebook