Mayer Brown, SJB seal £152m Chinese purchase of City site

Mayer Brown and SJ Berwin have advised on a Chinese property developer’s £152m acquisition of Stephenson Harwood’s offices from Invesco Real Estate.


The deal by China Overseas Holdings to buy One Finsbury Circus comes less than two years after Invesco purchased the site from Hermes Real Estate for £141.5m in June 2011 (27 June 2011).

Mayer Brown advised China Overseas Holdings, a holding company of Hong Kong-listed China Overseas Land & Investment.

The US firm’s London team was led by real estate partner Chris Harvey, who joined from CMS Cameron McKenna last year (19 March 2012). He was assisted by corporate partners Jeremy Kenley in London and Jeckle Chiu in Hong Kong.

SJ Berwin advised longstanding client Invesco, fielding lead partner Darren Rogers, a real estate specialist. He worked alongside corporate real estate partner Michael Goldberg, tax partner Giles Bavister, real estate associate Patrick Williams and corporate associate Barri Mendelsohn.

Addleshaw Goddard finance partner James Salford is understood to have taken a role advising the exiting bank.

The grade II* listed City site, formerly known as Britannic House, was designed by Edwin Lutyens and completed in 1927.

It spans 210,000 sq ft and has been home to law firm Stephenson Harwood since April 2011.

Background this deal:

China Overseas Holdings is a longstanding client of Mayer Brown’s Asian arm Mayer Brown JSM, which has been working with the company in the region for several years.

SJ Berwin is the dominant adviser to Invesco on its office deals, with the same team advising the company on the original acquisition in 2011, in which Nabarro advised Hermes.