Real Estate

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 delighted to have maintained a Tier 1 ranking for Real Estate categories in the recently published Chambers and Legal 500 UK 2018-19 directories.

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

In addition to our UK offering, we have real estate lawyers in 68 offices worldwide, making our Real Estate Practice 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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"With a real depth of experience and an impressive breadth of resources - CMS is hands down one of the strongest firms in the global real estate industry."

Legal 500, 2018

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    The real estate industry is currently going through an unprecedented phase of digital transformation against the backdrop of ‘the fourth industrial revolution’. 

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    Real Estate

    With the largest real estate teams in the UK by headcount, and the largest team in Europe by headcount, we have the resource and expertise our clients need to respond to this fast-paced market.  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.

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    Real Estate Finance

    The real estate finance market has undergone significant change in recent years, with increased regulation, the entrance of more categories of lenders and changes to documentation. At CMS, we understand the challenges that these changes pose for you, having acted for commercial clients, including lenders, developers, borrowers, sponsors and hedge counterparties and others on a wide range of investment and development transactions.

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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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    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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    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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    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 commercial clients looking for long-term income generating investments.

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    We are one of the largest planning teams in the UK with over 30 specialist lawyers. We are motivated by a passion to help to create exceptional places and environments and deliver essential infrastructure to meet the UK's demographic and development needs.

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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 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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    Residential Real Estate

    CMS’ Residential Real Estate practice has extensive experience and offers pro-active and tailored advice, handling a broad range of work for commercial clients.

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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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    Law-Now: Real Es­tate & Con­struc­tion
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    Munir Hassan
    March 2019
    En­ergy Stor­age
    In­fra­struc­ture for our 'Con­nec­ted Fu­ture'
    A grow­ing fo­cus on Sus­tain­ab­il­ity – Re­cent De­vel­op­ments and the Sus­tain­ab­il­ity...
    Whilst the value of bank­ing trans­ac­tions fall­ing un­der the ‘sus­tain­ab­il­ity’ um­brella is dif­fi­cult to de­term­ine, it is clear that fin­an­cing with some form of sus­tain­ab­il­ity fo­cus is in the as­cend­ancy.
    Feb 2019
    Elec­tric vehicles and char­ging in­fra­struc­ture
    In­fra­struc­ture for our ‘Con­nec­ted Fu­ture’
    The im­pact of bur­den of proof find­ings on fu­ture ad­ju­dic­a­tions
    The Court of Ap­peal has last week gran­ted per­mis­sion for the ap­peal of a TCC de­cision in re­la­tion to bur­den of proof find­ings made by an ad­ju­dic­at­or. The TCC de­cision al­lowed claims which had pre­vi­ously been val­ued at zero by an ad­ju­dic­at­or due to lack of evid­ence.
    Gábor Czike
    October 2018
    CMS European Real Es­tate Deal Point Study 2018
    Gov­ern­ment Fund to re­place un­safe ACM clad­ding
    The Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced it will provide fund­ing of £200m to meet the costs to re­place Gren­fell Tower type clad­ding on an es­tim­ated 170 high-rise private blocks in Eng­land. High-rise in this con­text means a build­ing above 18 metres high.
    CMS Guide to Real Es­tate Trans­ac­tion Costs and Taxes...
    Third party rights in con­struc­tion con­tacts: Court of Ap­peal con­firms...
    The Court of Ap­peal has re­cently up­held a Com­mer­cial Court de­cision lend­ing sup­port to a ro­bust ap­plic­a­tion of the Con­tracts (Rights of Third Parties Act) 1999. The Court of Ap­peal’s de­cision is likely to give fur­ther en­cour­age­ment to the use of third party.
    6 April 2017
    CMS launches the CEE Real Es­tate In­vest­ment Com­pass...
    Sig­ni­fic­ant re­stric­tions for land­lords un­der new Ten­ant Fees Act
    Sum­mary The Ten­ant Fees Act 2019 will lim­it the pay­ments that a land­lord can charge in con­nec­tion with most short term res­id­en­tial ten­an­cies entered in­to on or after 1 June 2019. The Act’s pur­pose is to re­duce the costs that ten­ants face at the start of and.
    20 March 2017
    CMS ad­vises Pat­ron Cap­it­al on sale of Gen­er­at­or Hos­tels
    Case Com­ment - Green­belt vs Walsh: Own­er­ship Mod­el of Open Space Land...
    In 2016, in Mar­ri­ott v Green­belt, the Scot­tish Lands Tribunal ruled on a case con­cern­ing charges im­posed by com­pan­ies car­ry­ing out the main­ten­ance of land­scaped areas in res­id­en­tial de­vel­op­ments with­in a spe­cif­ic own­er­ship mod­el.