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Real Estate Energy

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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. 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.

For developers, key issues include ensuring that the relevant sites and all access/easement routes are properly secured before substantial investment is made in the consenting and development process. This includes not only the necessary cable easements, but also the appropriate access rights needed for commissioning, operation and decommissioning of the relevant facility.

From an investor’s point of view, areas of particular concern are ensuring proper compliance with planning conditions and making sure that operational sites have all the relevant rights they need.

In relation to utility companies, a particular focus on the consenting and consultation strategies is needed to ensure that rights are not just secured in isolation and adopt the spirit of the DECC directives, where reasonable efforts to secure rights voluntarily have to be demonstrated to justify the need for compulsory purchase powers.

We are pleased to provide real estate advice to some of the most dynamic players in the energy market including National Grid, Hargreaves, SSE, SGN, Aviva Investors, EON – renewables, Brookfield Global Renewable Energy Advisor, Repsol, EDF, EDF Energy Renewables, Element Power, Wirsol Energy Limited, Renewable Energy Partnerships Limited, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Fund, Luxcara, Statkraft, Alpha Real Capital LLP, BG Group, ConocoPhillips, Talisman, Statoil, Premier Oil, Enquest and Octopus Investments Limited. Our client base also covers oil and gas majors, landowners, developer-operators and funders.

We are helping clients deliver on flagship projects across the whole spectrum of the energy sector - renewables (including solar, onshore- and offshore-wind), oil and gas, networks, conventional power generation, energy centres (such as Fulham Wharf and Nine Elms), biomass asset protection, third party objection, surplus land re-development and Waste to Energy.

We also regularly act for funders of renewable projects so we are very familiar with what they are looking for in order to be able to finance the project and therefore can pre-empt issues when acting on the acquisition aspects for our clients.

Law-Now: Real Es­tate
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15/07/2021
Real Es­tate Re­bound
After the seis­mic shifts and re-eval­u­ations faced by us all in real es­tate over the last 18 months, our latest an­nu­al re­search makes it clear that, for both the sec­tor and its cli­ents, vac­cine-led con­fid­ence and op­tim­ism are sup­por­ted by two ad­di­tion­al forces shap­ing our fu­ture: tech­no­logy and ESG.
15/07/2021
A new di­vide for of­fices
Tech­no­logy and an in­nov­at­ive ap­proach to sus­tain­ab­il­ity and well­being are set to se­cure the fu­ture of the of­fice. In a world where the of­fice now has to com­pete with the com­fort of work­ing from home, it needs to find a new pur­pose to per­suade people to re­turn to the com­mute, at least some of the time.
15/07/2021
Yearn­ing for a re­turn to the of­fice grows
People miss the of­fice, the hu­man in­ter­ac­tion it pro­motes and the clear bound­ar­ies that of­fice life cre­ates between per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al life.In many or­gan­isa­tions, it has been young­er people who have lob­bied hard­est for a re­turn to the of­fice, un­able to work sat­is­fact­or­ily at home and miss­ing the op­por­tun­it­ies and so­cial in­ter­ac­tion that of­fice life presents.As city centres be­gin to work out a new fu­ture, tech­no­logy will be at the heart of the de­bate, with the more fa­vour­able build­ings al­low­ing people to work seam­lessly and con­nect with col­leagues around the world at the same time as giv­ing a feel­ing of safety and se­cur­ity.With ‘the di­git­al work­place’ now con­sidered the new work­ing en­vir­on­ment, em­ploy­ers need to both em­bed the phys­ic­al im­ple­ment­a­tion of smart tech­no­logy in their build­ings and to en­sure the vir­tu­al work­ing ex­per­i­ence trans­forms the em­ploy­ee ex­per­i­ence by fos­ter­ing ef­fi­ciency, in­nov­a­tion and the so­cial ele­ments that many people crave in their work­place.
15/07/2021
Tech drives push to­wards net zero
Real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als have had a dra­mat­ic con­ver­sion in the last 12 months to­wards the prin­ciple of achiev­ing net zero, ac­cord­ing to our polling.While the concept was barely un­der­stood two years ago – and in­dustry ex­perts were taken aback by ini­tial glob­al am­bi­tions to achieve net zero by 2040 or 2050, the real es­tate sec­tor has been gal­van­ised in­to ac­tion by its in­vestors and oc­cu­pi­ers and is now look­ing to hit its tar­gets by 2030-2035. Tech­no­logy has to be at the heart of this: stake­hold­ers from across the real es­tate world now have the mo­tiv­a­tion, fin­an­cially and eth­ic­ally, to cre­ate and util­ise tech­no­logy that can help cre­ate green­er build­ings.In the last year the biggest play­ers in UK real es­tate, in­clud­ing Aviva In­vestors, Brit­ish Land, Land­sec and SE­GRO, have set bold tar­gets to reach net zero, with most re­spond­ents ex­pect­ing the real es­tate world to beat gov­ern­ment tar­gets by achiev­ing net zero emis­sions by 2035 at the latest.
15/07/2021
Real es­tate cata­pults ahead
The dawn of pr­op­tech was 1980-2000 and saw the rise of soft­ware tools that made as­set man­age­ment easi­er. Pr­op­tech 2.0 was 2000-2015 with the rise of the likes of Zo­opla and Airb­nb help­ing the con­sumer, in par­tic­u­lar, to re-think their re­la­tion­ship with real es­tate. We are now at the dawn of Pr­op­tech 3.0, driv­en by con­cepts such as AI, ro­bot­ics, 5G, 3D print­ing and the In­ter­net of Things, (IoT) which will cre­ate the biggest changes of all and will in­crease the speed of change after the seis­mic up­heav­al of COV­ID-19. Many people see this as a fourth in­dus­tri­al re­volu­tion, rep­res­ent­ing a fun­da­ment­al change in the way we live – a new chapter in hu­man de­vel­op­ment en­abled by ex­traordin­ary tech­no­lo­gic­al ad­vances com­men­sur­ate with the first, second and third in­dus­tri­al re­volu­tions. The im­pact on the built en­vir­on­ment dur­ing the 2020s will be pro­found.
15/07/2021
’Smart’ leap for build to rent
For land­lords smart build­ings will de­liv­er high­er rents, for ten­ants tech­no­logy will be an in­creas­ingly im­port­ant en­a­bler for the work from home re­volu­tion, and for both in­nov­a­tion will help sup­port a more sus­tain­able fu­ture.
15/07/2021
A tech-driv­en trans­form­a­tion
The in­creas­ing im­port­ance of tech­no­logy and di­git­al­isa­tion has come to the fore through­out the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic, par­tic­u­larly in the of­fice mar­ket but also in life sci­ences, build to rent and lo­gist­ics.
15/07/2021
Real es­tate bounces back
Re­cov­ery of the real es­tate mar­ket is well un­der way, with op­tim­ism rising and a vac­cine-promp­ted bounce pro­pelled fur­ther by two power­ful forces driv­ing the sec­tor’s fu­ture: tech­no­logy and ESG.
15/07/2021
A re­volu­tion on all fronts
There is a grow­ing con­sensus that the next gen­er­a­tion of real es­tate tech­no­logy will bring un­pre­ced­en­ted change to the in­dustry, with the key trends pre­dicted by in­dustry com­ment­at­ors as fol­lows:As the new hy­brid world dawns it is seen as in­creas­ingly im­port­ant that ac­cess to the of­fice (in par­tic­u­lar) be as con­veni­ent and stress-free as pos­sible.Liv­ing and life­style are also now con­sidered a fer­tile world for tech­no­logy – but only in new de­vel­op­ments.COV­ID-19 has ac­cel­er­ated e-com­merce across Europe, with e-com­merce in the United King­dom rock­et­ing.Big data is set to un­der­pin the whole re­volu­tion.Tech­no­logy is also seen as key to fa­cil­it­at­ing great­er sus­tain­ab­il­ity, with sensors, data and the best meas­ure­ment cru­cial to en­han­cing ESG cre­den­tials, par­tic­u­larly in the chal­len­ging arena of ret­ro­fit­ting.However, it is also re­cog­nised that bar­ri­ers re­main to the wide­spread ad­op­tion of tech­no­logy, with big data in par­tic­u­lar eyed with sus­pi­cion by ten­ants and cus­tom­ers. Three in four of those we polled said they were wary of the Re­turn on In­vest­ment on smart tech­no­logy. Com­pan­ies har­vest­ing this data are viewed with dis­trust – with the Daily Tele­graph among the first or­gan­isa­tions to re­con­sider and then with­draw devices to mon­it­or wheth­er people are at their desk.Our re­search across a range of fields, from the real es­tate in­dustry, among of­fice oc­cu­pi­ers, renters and po­ten­tial renters, re­tail ex­perts and life sci­ences pro­fes­sion­als, drew a strik­ing re­sponse.
15/07/2021
Where tech ad­op­tion and COV­ID col­lide
We asked the real es­tate sec­tor of­fice oc­cu­pi­ers, renters, re­tail­ers and life sci­ences busi­nesses what im­pact COV­ID-19 is hav­ing on de­mand for real es­tate in their area, and also on ad­op­tion of in­nov­at­ive tech­no­logy.The sweet spot for in­nov­a­tion and de­mand driv­en by COV­ID-19 is life sci­ences, where both the oc­cu­pi­ers and the real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als see equally pos­it­ive op­por­tun­it­ies. Driv­en by spec­tac­u­lar tech­no­lo­gic­al break­throughs like COV­ID vac­cine de­vel­op­ment, and with pub­lic and private sec­tor fund­ing pour­ing in­to the sec­tor, life sci­ences is an as­set class in the up­per right quad­rant, very much em­bra­cing the op­por­tun­ity.By con­trast, in-store re­tail is `stuck in the head­lights’ ac­cord­ing to our polling – be­set by fall­ing de­mand caused by lock­downs and less likely to have ad­op­ted in­nov­at­ive tech­no­logy as a res­ult of COV­ID. In­ter­est­ingly, real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als are sig­ni­fic­antly more pess­im­ist­ic about real es­tate de­mand from the sec­tor, than re­tail­ers them­selves. This may be a re­flec­tion of in­creased de­mand for lo­gist­ics space as a res­ult of the ac­cel­er­ated shift to on­line shop­ping.While real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als see of­fices as the most act­ively in­nov­at­ing in re­sponse to the pan­dem­ic, oc­cu­pi­ers are less con­vinced, al­though they also seem less pess­im­ist­ic about de­mand for of­fice space. This per­haps re­flects the real­ity of a blen­ded work­ing ap­proach which looks here to stay in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture.The build to rent sec­tor, by con­trast, is seen as `lucky’ by renters who see that de­mand is strong but do not be­lieve they are see­ing enough in­nov­a­tion in the light of COV­ID-19 rather than re­devel­op­ing tired prop­er­ties.
15/07/2021
Pan­dem­ic spurs ac­cel­er­ated trans­form­a­tion
Many people have spec­u­lated over how quickly COV­ID-19 has ac­cel­er­ated tech­no­lo­gic­al ad­op­tion with­in real es­tate – but now we have a view from more than 4,000 in­dustry pro­fes­sion­als, of­fice oc­cu­pi­ers, renters, re­tail ex­perts and life sci­ences pro­fes­sion­als: five years.Across all groups this is the most com­mon pre­dic­tion al­though the mean re­sponse is four years. The im­pact of lock­downs and the need to rap­idly em­brace tech­no­logy is ex­traordin­ary: how many people used Teams or Zoom for busi­ness 18 months ago?
15/07/2021
Ro­bot world and the roar­ing 20s
Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) and ma­chine learn­ing, 5G IoT, vir­tu­al/aug­men­ted real­ity and ro­bot­ics are con­sidered the com­ing forces among real es­tate cus­tom­ers, which be­gins to ex­plain how tech­no­logy is ex­pec­ted to ac­cel­er­ate change in the sec­tor dur­ing the 2020s.These are pro­found changes which will not only im­pact how key in­dus­tries are man­aged but also how they oc­cupy real es­tate – and who oc­cu­pies real es­tate on their be­half. In­ter­est­ingly no one tech­no­logy scores over 50%, sug­gest­ing views are di­vided on which in­nov­a­tions will have the most im­pact on the real es­tate over­all.Tools such as Amazon’s Al­exa have re­moved the mys­tique from AI as people have real­ised that it can make their lives easi­er, and it is per­haps not sur­pris­ing to note that the highest ac­cept­ance of this tech­no­logy is in ar­gu­ably the most tech-ad­vanced sec­tor – life sci­ences.