International law firm CMS has been appointed as The Crown Estate’s sole legal provider, on all aspects of work for its Regional Retail Portfolio, including asset management, development, sales and purchases. The £2.5bn Regional Retail portfolio is comprised of 14 shopping and retail parks, three major shopping centres, and one leisure destination. The prime retail and leisure destinations, which are located across the whole of England, attract 100 million visitors a year.
The Crown Estate is a £13bn real estate business specialising in commercial property in central London, prime regional retail and offshore wind. It also has a substantial rural and coastal portfolio and manages the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established by an Act of Parliament, as an independent commercial business, it returns 100% of its annual profits to the Treasury for the benefit of the public finances. This has totalled £2.6bn over the last ten years.
A CMS team based across London and Sheffield led the pitch, with the core group comprising partners Ciaran Carvalho, John Cumpson, Sarah Meldrum and Marie Scott, and associates Chris D’Emanuele, Juliana Martin, Emma Brooks and Ros Hill in Real Estate, as well as partners Karen Clarke in Construction and Marcus Barclay in Real Estate Disputes.
Rob Booth, General Counsel and Company Secretary at The Crown Estate comments: “I am delighted to see CMS join our dedicated legal panel. We were impressed with the offering CMS put together for our Regional Retail portfolio. There is a strong sense of innovation and collaboration in the future of our partnership with them.”
CMS’ Head of Real Estate Ciaran Carvalho comments: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won this significant mandate after a highly competitive pitch. The Crown Estate takes a long-term view of real estate, and we see this as the start of a strong and lasting relationship, extending over the course of this mandate and, we hope, well beyond. The Crown Estate have exciting ambitions for the Regional Retail Portfolio and we look forward to helping them push boundaries in the retail and leisure sphere, creating some brilliant places within the UK."