Real Estate & Construction

United Kingdom

With a recently strong UK real estate market struggling to keep up with demand, competition for prime assets is higher than ever. In addition to availability, landlords, developers, asset managers, investors and occupiers face a range of challenges and opportunities in the current climate.  These include the increasing globalisation of the real estate investment market, the growing demand for а high quality built environment with continued focus on achieving sustainability, and the increased use of technology and rising cyber security risks.

With one of the largest real estate teams in the UK, we have the resource and expertise our clients need to respond to this fast-paced market. Our lawyers provide decisive, pragmatic solutions allowing clients to react quickly to seize opportunities. With dedicated planning, finance, tax, construction and dispute specialists as part of the group, we are able to ensure that our clients are realising the most value possible from their assets.

We are one of the few City-based firms able to offer clients a truly full UK-wide service with offices in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, and Aberdeen.

In addition to our UK offering, with over 460 lawyers, across over 65 offices worldwide our Real Estate and Construction Practice is one of the largest specialist teams worldwide.

We are very proud to be working with some of the most dynamic real estate businesses around at the moment. Our clients range from large international and private investors to developers, universities, utility providers and occupiers.

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They're very responsive and when things are urgent they're dedicated and dynamic. They have a hands on and pragmatic approach.

Chambers UK, 2015

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    Whether you are an employer/owner, contractor, funder/investor or you are buying an interest in a project that is under construction or has recently been completed, you need documents that reflect your risk profile, protect your interests and promote collaborative working and optimum project delivery.

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    Whether you are a developer, utility, investor, owner, occupier or authority, obtaining planning permissions and consents that are implementable, flexible, bankable and fit-for-purpose is essential to ensure a successful project.

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    Real Estate

    The UK real estate market has been strong for the past couple of years, and with development struggling to keep up with demand, competition for prime assets is higher than ever. In addition to availability, landlords, developers, asset managers, investors and occupiers face a range of challenges and opportunities in the current climate, including the increasing globalisation of the real estate investment market, the growing demand for а high quality built environment with continued focus on achieving sustainability, and the increased use of technology and cyber security risks.

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    Real Estate & Planning Disputes

    As a developer, landlord, contractor or occupier, when a real estate project or transaction becomes contentious, it is essential that matters be dealt with as quickly and calmly as possible to ensure there is minimal disruption to your business and that you maintain the value of your asset.

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    Real Estate Development

    Competition for sites, access to funding, changing legislation, achieving planning consent, rights to light issues and community infrastructure levy are just a few of the challenges facing developers in today’s real estate market. Whether your development is mixed use, commercial, residential or an urban regeneration project, our team of real estate specialists can help you navigate the entire development cycle from site acquisition right through to lettings and disposal.

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    Real Estate Energy

    We are one of the few London-headquartered real estate groups to have a dedicated real estate energy team. With a market-leading energy practice, we provide advice from an informed industry perspective. Our client base is diverse and ranges from major energy companies such as National Grid and SSE and landowners such as Scottish Water to a wide range of developers and investors in the renewable sector such as Aviva and Luxcara.

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    Real Estate Finance

    Our real estate finance specialists work with lenders and borrowers on a wide range of investment and development transactions. The underlying assets may include commercial and/or residential real estate, ground rent investments, hotels, healthcare assets, theatres, logistics portfolios, shopping centres, house building or supermarket developments.

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    Real Estate Investment

    With demand for prime assets higher than ever, real estate investment is becoming an increasingly global market. Being able to respond quickly to investment opportunities, in whatever jurisdiction they present themselves, is essential. Whether you are looking to make your first investment in the UK or adding to a growing portfolio across Europe, at CMS we have a team of lawyers with exceptional experience across the full range of investment sectors, including the more specialist alternative asset classes.

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    Real Estate Occupiers

    As an occupier in today’s market, there are a number of key issues to consider. These include establishing strategies for disposal of surplus properties, whether by way of outright sale of freehold interests or termination/assignment of lease arrangements, ensuring that a tenant is adequately protected on a new headquarters letting, and making sure that the appropriate wayleaves are in place at the time the tenant needs them for communications equipment – essential for business continuity.

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    Real Estate PRS

    Residential property in the UK has never seemed a more attractive investment. With a shortage of quality rental properties available and development struggling to keep up with demand, there is tremendous competition for the right assets. Nevertheless, there are opportunities available, and the returns on a good, well-managed scheme can be attractive - particularly to long-term income generating investment requirements, such as pension funds.

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    Student Accommodation

    Student housing has moved from the “alternative” asset class firmly into the mainstream in recent years. Whilst student housing is a high performing and extremely attractive asset, fierce competition for land, coupled with increasing Government regulation in the sector, means that commercial, pragmatic legal advice is more important than ever.

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    Law-Now: Real Estate & Construction
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    20 March 2017
    CMS advises Patron Capital on sale of Generator Ho...
    12 Apr 17
    Breakfast Briefing: The ABC of Notices
    Landlord and Tenant - Limits on damages for failure to repair 
    Landlords’ dilapidations recovery may be limited to the cost of work they actually carry out -Car Giant Ltd and another v Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Hammersmith [2017] EWHC 197 (TCC) Background Hammersmith Borough Council’s lease included.
    Real estate in the digital age: what does the futu...
    Guardian of the Property? The risk and reward of using property g...
    A recent decision in the Bristol County Court highlights the risks of property guardianship schemes for property owners. Guardians live in commercial property which would otherwise sit unoccupied and, through their occupation, deter vandalism and squatting.
    13 December 2016
    CMS, Nabarro and Olswang confirm Practice and Sect...
    Business rates: Government response on Check, Challenge, Appeal c...
    On 8 March, the government made two announcements which will affect the business rates regime going forward: DCLG published its response to the consultation on implementation of the Check, Challenge, Appeal procedure; and the Chancellor announced additional.
    CMS Real Estate Finance Guide
    Recovery of legal costs arising out of threatened proceedings thr...
    In Bretby Hall Management Company Limited v Christopher Pratt [2017] UKUT 70 (LC) the Appellant, Bretby Hall Management Company Limited, was responsible for the management of a country house consisting of 30 apartments, one of which was occupied by the Respondent,.
    CMS UK launches Brexit checklists
    Trivial defects in right to manage
    The Court of Appeal came to the rescue of an RTM Company in respect of “trivial defects” made when exercising the right to manage in the recent case of Elim Court RTM Co Ltd v Avon Freeholds Limited [2017] EWCA Civ 89.
    CMS Guide to Real Estate Transaction Costs in Euro...
    Rent Concession Letters: A Warning for Landlords
    A recent decision of the High Court in Vivienne Westwood Limited v Conduit Street Developments Limited [2017] highlights the importance of careful consideration of the terms to be included in any side letter between landlord and tenant.
    Anna Brzoza-Ostrowska
    CEE Property Today (Issue 3)
    Hotel market responds to traveller demands
    Iconic hotel names are disappearing from Edinburgh’s city centre, making way for more globally recognised brands. Possibly the most notable change occurred in 2011 when the Caledonian Hotel was renamed officially as the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh.
    What are the key European real estate investment s...
    A comparison of issues related to tax, status of i...
    Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards – new guidance issued
    As many readers will already be aware we are approaching the implementation of the prohibition on letting “F” and “G” rated properties in the private sector (subject to a few exemptions and exceptions).
    Allan Wernham
    CMS advises Land Securities on sale of Scotland’s...