RBS picks Theodores for property financing

Theodore Goddard has scooped one of the largest property financing deals this year, advising Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on Rotch Group's £340m refinancing of Shell Mex House.

Banking partner Michael Black led the deal, assisted by property partner Andrew Hill and senior banking associate Geraldine Lord.

Theodore Goddard, which is one of the bank's panel firms, advised RBS in May when it backed London & Regional's ultimately unsuccessful bid for the site two weeks prior to the purchase by Rotch Group. “That's one of the reasons we were brought in on this transaction,” said Black.

Herbert Smith has further strengthened its relationship with new client Rotch, advising on the deal. The firm advised Rotch on its original £330m purchase of the building from a joint venture between Lehman Brothers and Witkoff Group. The acquisition was the firm's first ever instruction from the company after gaining a place on Rotch's newly created panel the same month.

Herbert Smith property partner Donald Rowlands and banking partner Gary Hommell advised on the refinancing.

At the time of the purchase, Rotch, which had only raised around £37m of equity for the deal, kept the Lehman Brothers loan that was in place. However, the group was always looking to refinance with a longer term facility and better terms. The RBS loan is a facility for 15 years, compared with the four-year loan from Lehman.

Real estate partner Andrew Carnegie led a Clifford Chance team acting on behalf of Lehman Brothers.