I lead our Commercial Contracts team drafting and negotiating a wide range of contracts. Key areas are procurement, supply chain, facilities management, property management, outsourcing, logistics, manufacturing, supply of goods and services, international trade, consumer and travel law.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7664 0322
Best brains in ...
National and international supply chain and procurement is a fundamental part of all I do. My expertise in sale of goods is shown by my involvement in developing the Incoterms 2010 rules - the international freight delivery terms. I have advised on numerous logistic agreements with most of the main suppliers. And I have worked with numerous major corporates on their procurement strategies. This supply chain expertise is best illustrated by my role in the food (e.g. Premier Foods, Birds Eye Iglo and United Biscuits) and retail (e.g. Marks and Spencer) sectors.I have a particular strength in property management, facilities management (FM), hotel management, auctions and other commercial contracts in the real estate sector. I have written the RICS Guide to Property Management.
In the holiday and travel sector I learnt about the realities of the travel and holiday sector when on secondment at British Airways. I am an expert on the Package Travel and ATOL regulations.
I'm at my best when dealing with the unusual, particularly when there are no precedents. For example, the Olympics or the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme.
Highlight of your career so far?
I have several!
Advising the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority in its bid on behalf of London for the 2012 Olympics. I reviewed the Host City Contract, which is the contract between London and the International Olympic Committee. It had to be reviewed as part of the final bid submission - next time I saw it, it was being held up in the air triumphantly by Sebastian Coe in Singapore. The first time I have seen one of my contracts on TV!
In a very different way working with eight other leading international supply chain experts to develop the Incoterms 2010 (which codify terms such as Ex-works, FCA, FOB and CIF) rules has been terrific - a big contribution to critical international delivery terms.
A personal favourite is advising Transport for London on the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme - whizzing around London on a Cycle Hire bike having helped with its creation is very satisfying.
Winning the 'UK Projects and Procurement Category' at the International Law Office Client Choice Awards 2013 is my highlight for 2013 so far, especially as it's based on client feedback. Here is one of my favourite quotes from a client reference:
"He is able to "speak our language" and communicate both verbally and in writing in a manner which delivers the legal message in a commercial way which my business not only understands, but is willing to listen to."
What about outside the UK?
International work is important to me. I am one of the eight experts who have completed the ten-year review of the Incoterms rules - the international delivery terms (e.g. Ex-Works, FCA, FOB etc.).
International work is a routine part of advising on commercial contracts. Sometimes it's because English law is convenient - we recently advised on the sale of bulk cement from a Russian party to a US customer via a Spanish agent.
Sometimes it's in the context of helping businesses exploit international opportunities - for example we helped Birds Eye structure its presence in Turkey and identify the optimum supply chain structure.
Sometimes it's related to the export or import of goods. We advised on a $30 million export of an automotive plant to China on a turn-key basis, with in excess of 300 containers, multi-modal transport arrangements, export licence clearance on a fast track basis and four difficult letters of credit. It brought together all the challenges of exporting.
And cross border outsourcing is of ever-increasing importance - I recently advised an international bank on an EMEA-wide FM outsourcing in 20-plus countries, and a multi-national pharmaceutical company on a contract for specialist tax and accounting advice in more than 75 countries.
What's your definition of going the extra mile?
Great client service is not one great moment, it's a constant and consistent effort. It is not an add-on but a fundamental part of the service we provide. I am especially proud of the work I have done over several years with CBRE advising it on many of its property management contracts. These range from large city properties such as Spitalfields to portfolios such as the outsourcing by Prupim (part of Prudential) of the property management of its UK properties (more than 1000).
CBRE needs to demonstrate to its clients excellent, commercial and responsive service, and I need to consistently ensure that we contribute to that. That means dealing quickly with the unexpected, helping CBRE find solutions which support its client service but at the same time manage its risk, and looking to contribute at a commercial business level as well as dealing with the legals.
Best example of a creative legal solution?
I worked with Birds Eye Iglo to establish new arrangements for a frozen food warehouse with Partner Logistics and national and international logistics outsourcing to DHL. This was of critical importance - it underpins the nation's supply of fish fingers and frozen peas! Key negotiations took place in the immediate aftermath of 2008 financial crisis. We came up with an innovative structure which secured Birds Eyes' confidence in its arrangements without undermining the warehouse providers financial arrangements. So innovative, it was ranked 'stand-out' in the Financial Times' 2010 Innovative Lawyers report, in which I was also shortlisted for the Legal Innovator of the Year award.
What's been written or said about you that you're most proud of?
"David Lowe provides robust legal solutions which work in practice - this is because he listens to the issues, takes time to understand the matter and seeks to provide a proper commercial solution, through strongly negotiated contracts."
(Client statement to International Law Office Client Choice Awards 2013)
- CBRE on Prupim's property management outsourcing - Europe's biggest ever property management outsourcing relating to more than 1000 properties.
- Capital Shopping Centres on its £30m FM alliance with Europa Support Services and Inviron.
- Premier Foods on its long term maintenance and repair outsourcing deal with IESA.
- Royal Shakespeare Company on its joint venture and hotel management agreement to transform the Arden Hotel.
- BP on its fuel supply agreement for more than 30 Moto motorway service stations.
- Birds Eye Iglo on its multimillion pound logistics and warehousing outsourcing.
- Transport for London on all aspects of the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme including its procurement, the contract with Serco, user terms, insurance procurement and sponsorship.
- Multi-national pharmaceutical company on international outsourcings including a contract for specialist tax and accounting advice in more than 75 countries.
- International bank on a FM outsourcing EMEA-wide in more than 20 countries.
- Marks and Spencer on vast range of procurement contracts with contract value exceeding £100 million.
- GLA and the Mayor of London on the host city contract for the London 2012 Olympics.
- All commercial contracts arising from H2 Equity Partner's acquisition of a majority share in Unipart Automotive.
- All commercial contracts arising from Premier Foods £182 million disposal of its canned grocery operation to Princes Limited.
Joined Wragge & Co LLP in 1994.
Partner since 2003.
Secondments to British Airways and PA Consulting.
Agency, distribution and franchising. Auction Law. Commercial Contracts. Commodities. Consumer Law. Ecommerce. Facility Management. Procurement. International Trade. Outsourcing. Professional Consultants, Travel Aviation and Hospitality Law. Sale of Goods. Property Management. Provision of Services. Transport, logistics and warehousing.
Aerospace. Auctions. Automotive. Aviation. Business Services. Ecommerce. Energy. Engineering. Estate Agency. Facility Management. Food and Drink. Financial Services. Travel. Leisure. Manufacturing. Olympics. Pharmaceutical/Life Services. Professional Consultants. Property Management. Real Estate Consultants. Retail.
Liverpool University - Law 2:1. 1989 - 1992
College of Law - Law Society Finals 1992 - 1993
- International Chamber of Commerce UK - Chair of Commercial Law and Practice commission.
- Member of RICS real estate auctions experts committee.
- Member of Travel and Tourism Lawyers Association.
Publications and presentations:
- Incoterms 2010 - one of 8 expert authors. Extensively lectured on Incoterms - recent engagements have been in China, Hong Kong, Syria, Lebanon, France and UK. Numerous articles on Incoterms including PLC article "Incoterms 2010 - Making trading easier".
- RICS Guide to Property Management - author.
- RICS Information Paper on Duty of Care Deeds - author.
- RICS Information Paper on liability in Property Management Contacts - author.
- RICS paper Auction Conditions of Appointment - the impact of Consumer Law - author.
- Estates Gazette - regular contributor on contractual and commercial issues.
- Regular contributor to Supply Chain Management.
- LexisNexis - regular contributor of contract alerts and material for LexisNexis PSL in-house.
- Shortlisted for FT Innovative Lawyer of the Year 2010.
- Birds Eye warehousing project shortlisted in FT Innovative Lawyer Awards 2010.
- Frequent presenter at ThinkHouse.
- ICC UK Winter Trade Finance conference December 2012 - presentation on Incoterms.
- RICS FM conference January 2012 - panel member.
- Winner of the UK Projects and Procurement Category at the International Law Office Client Choice Awards 2013.