Heading up the Specialist Transactions team in the Real Estate group. We deal with the real estate aspects of the acquisitions and disposals of companies, of PFI projects and of insolvency matters. I am also primarily responsible for education matters and our relations with Scottish solicitors.
Tel: +44 (0)121 685 2709
Services: Real Estate
Highlight of your career so far?
One of my favourite jobs is the work we did on the sale of Leicester City FC to the Gary Lineker Consortium. Saving a football club is immensely satisfying for any football fan. The timetable was extremely tight and we were up against the bondholder and the Football League in an intense media spotlight
Most challenging job you've ever done?
This would be the disposal of Kwik-Fit, a job which involved the disposal of 2,115 properties in nine jurisdictions and in a challenging timescale. It was a great result for our client too.
What about outside the UK?
The trio of cross-border deals worth $1.03 billion for European real estate developer Parkridge would top my list. The first deal saw Parkridge sell its industrial development business to ProLogis. Under this deal, ProLogis acquired assets including a UK industrial land bank comprising more than 800 acres, UK logistics development business Astral, and Parkridge's 50 per cent interest in a Central European industrial warehouse fund in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In the second deal, ProLogis acquired a 25 per cent stake in Parkridge's mixed-use and retail warehousing development business. A simultaneous third transaction saw Parkridge's joint venture partner sell its 50% share in the industrial warehouse fund to ProLogis for $449 million.
Give an example of your great client service?
A client once called me on a Saturday evening to say his daughter was to be interviewed by the police on Sunday evening in Worcestershire after being picked up for drink-driving. He wanted me to come and sit with his daughter while the police interviewed her. Naturally I went. Of course I couldn't do anything to advise on criminal law or the Road Traffic Act but he still just wanted me there.
I have such a reputation for being available 24/7 that one of my partners once won a bet he had with a client that he could call me at 3 in the morning and I would answer the phone and give legal advice. I did!
How do you give your clients a really competitive edge?
Because we're a specialist team – one of only a handful in the UK – we can always offer our clients a much more efficient and dedicated service than they might have from a generalist real estate practice. All we do is deal with all the issues relating to properties on corporate transactions and in relation to projects, we're completely immersed in it day in, day out, so we can be quick, responsive and deliver. Given the time pressures many of our clients are working with I think what we do gives them a competitive edge.
What's your single greatest contribution to Wragge & Co's corporate responsibility?
I am one of the three trustees on the Wragge & Co Charitable Trust which makes decisions about where the money set aside for charitable purposes should go. I'm really pleased that we support a very diverse range of charities and causes that deals with and meets the requests of a wide group of people from around the firm.
What's been written or said about you that you're most proud of?
A partner of another firm once said that if he was in trouble, the partner he would choose to represent him would be me.