Real Estate Team of the Year

Taylor Wessing

In this deal, Taylor Wessing’s work is bringing the first new football stadium to London in a decade. The disused brownfield site will be transformed into Brentford Football Club’s new grounds, but the deal also brings benefits to the community as well as sports fans.

Along with the stadium, the £350m development will include community facilities, 910 new homes and a hotel. Residents will also benefit from an upgraded public transport system, which will be used to support the new landscape.

But before the project could be realised objections for the scheme had to be overruled.

The judges were impressed by head of planning Al Watson’s innovative use of the Social Value Act, which was integral to securing planning permission. The use of the Act gave the team the opportunity to express the social values the development would bring with it.

To prove the value of the development, Taylor Wessing used social research company Substance to gave the benefits a monetary value. The results showed that Brentford Football Club currently brings £8m of benefits to the community but this will soar to £11m when the stadium is built.

Throughout it all the Taylor Wessing immersed themselves into the football club, helping to introduce them to sponsors and providing pro-bono advice when needed.

Runner up
  • DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s crowning achievement last year was advising Mace Real Estate on the funding and construction of a 45-storey tower in the heart of Elephant and Castle.

The project was the seventh private rented sector deal the team carried out over an 18-month period and led to the creation 457 homes, the release of public land and a new theatre for the Southwark Playhouse.

The innovative financing of the £200m project was carried out by adopting a hybrid joint venture with Canadian fund Realster. This allowed Realster to acquire the development vehicle itself to receive its security and interest in the deal.

Third place
  • Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co battled to extend the iconic Pinewood Studios by an additional 100,000 square metres. The extension is particularly impressive as the studio is situated in the middle of a statutory green belt.

While other firms have failed to gain permission to extend the studios, Clyde & Co succeeded by negotiating and settling planning obligations with two local planning authorities.

The firm also devised a ‘monitor and manage’ system with traffic experts to sway the local highway authority from its objections. As a result of the extension 3,100 jobs will be created and the UK will benefit from an additional £37m in annual exports.

  • Baker & McKenzie
  • Macfarlanes
  • Mills & Reeve