Herbies and SJ Berwin act on sale of Addleshaws’ building

Herbert Smith and SJ Berwin have advised on the £127m acquisition of Addleshaw Goddard’s new City offices.

The deal, which had a shariah-compliant aspect, saw Al Salam Bank and investment house Evans Randall invest in a joint venture to buy the 200,000 square foot building on London’s Milton Gate from UBS Asset Management.

The transaction is indicative of the long-anticipated involvement of Middle Eastern cash in the UK’s troubled commercial property market.

Herbert Smith Dubai-based Islamic finance partner Nadim Khan picked up Bahrain’s Al Salam as a client after working with its Europe chief executive Mohammed Paracha when they were both at Norton Rose. Real estate advice was provided by London-based partner Simon Price, while fellow London partner Bradley Philips provided tax advice.

Real estate funds partner David Ryland of SJ Berwin acted for Evans Randall and negotiated the acquisition and investment documents. He worked together with real estate partner Patrick Ryan and finance partner Raji Bartlett.

Addleshaws signed a lease on the single-site office last year and is believed to be paying £53.50 per square foot. Work on the fit-out of the building started in January and is expected to be finished in the summer with the firm thought to be moving into the property this autumn.

Taylor Wessing real estate partner Mark Bennett and finance associate Jonathan Marks advised unspecified non-Middle East bank lenders on the deal.

Jersey law advice to Al Salam was provided by Ogiers partner Philip Le Cornu, while Evans Randall received Jersey advice from banking partner Mark Dunlop and associate Tim Pearce at Bedell Cristin.