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Portrait ofChris Rae

Chris Rae

Co-head of the Real Estate Sector

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
1 West Regent Street
G2 1AP
United Kingdom
Languages English

Chris Rae is a partner and Co-head of the Real Estate Sector, based in CMS Glasgow.

Chris was named as a Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer 2024.

He advises a broad variety of key clients, including Phoenix Group plc, Virgin Money plc, Tarmac, Wolseley UK, Hargreaves Services plc, Veolia, Kadans, and Sky. 

Chris also leads the CMS Data Centres sector team, acting for various key players in that growing sector, and also takes an active role in the firm’s Lifesciences, Energy and Offices sector groups.

Clients consistently comment on Chris’s strong work ethic and client-focussed advice, and consider him an extension of their teams rather than an external advisor.

He takes a lead role in CMS’s ESG initiatives, and coordinates pro bono legal services provided to various UK charities, including Marie Curie, Social Bite, and Inspiring Scotland.

Chris is also a CMS Diversity & Inclusion Champion, and spends much of his spare time volunteering as a Board member for various UK charities, including The Nepal Trust.

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Relevant experience

  • Hargreaves Services plc across its portfolios in Scotland, including sales for residential development, and energy uses such as wind farms, energy from waste, battery storage, and solar.
  • Virgin Money plc on the leasehold acquisition of their new Headquarters in Glasgow in 2023.
  • BP on the leasehold acquisition of their North Sea Headquarters in 2023, and the structured sale and leaseback of 24 petrol stations throughout Scotland.
  • A major hyperscaler on the project management of data centre roll-out throughout Europe.
  • The acquisition (and ongoing asset management) of the West of Scotland Science Park for Kadans Science Partner.
  • Wolseley UK for all operational property requirements throughout Scotland.
  • Dreams for all operational property requirements throughout Scotland.
  • BASF plc in relation to the managed closure and disposal (for residential development) of a large former chemical factory complex.
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  • 2003 - Dip LP, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
  • 2002 - LLB(H)Hons (Law & History with Honours), The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
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Key real estate issues to consider with data centres
The aim of this session is to provide an overview of datacentres and how they operate in a real estate context, but also to go more in depth into a couple of sticky points, such as the meaning of reliability in the datacentre context and to then provide individuals with ample opportunity to ask any questions they may have.
CMS Expert Guide on Real Estate Data Centre Consenting
Welcome to CMS’ online guide tool for data centre legal consenting considerations. Please use the tool to compare legal consenting considerations for data centre development and investment across key...
Key issues to consider when outsourcing to a data centre provider
Businesses are increasingly becoming reliant on data centres to support their data storage and processing needs as business use and reliance on data has grown exponentially, often at a pace that exceeds...
Solar leases in Scotland: Sun? Scotland? Solar-ious!
Solar leases are set to become common instructions for Scottish transactional lawyers as the move towards net-zero continues. This is a positive trend and this article outlines considerations for landlords...
Impact of the National Security and Investment Act 2021 on real estate...
The National Security and Investment Act 2021 Act (“Act”) has established a new regime for the United Kingdom that allows the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (“SoS”)...
Location Location Location – Bidding continues for Scotland’s Green Freeport...
Background The UK Government has been designing a new and bespoke Freeport model for the UK over the last few years. It has described its Freeport programme in the following terms: “Freeports are a...
National Security and Investment Act 2021 – impact on Real Estate and Data...
SummaryThe new regulatory landscape born from the UK’s National Security and Investment Act 2021 (the Act) shows a substantial increase in national security investment screening powers. Enforced ret­ro­spect­ively...
LGBT+ Inclusion & Pride as we ease out of lockdowns
Join our UK wide virtual client panel event!The session will explore the key themes over the last 18 months, with a focus on the lessons to be learned from that period, and how LGBT+ communities and networks...
Webinar: CMS Real Estate Thought Leadership Report – Reset
There is no doubt that ‘En­vir­on­ment­al, Social, Governance’ (ESG) has been at the forefront of everyone’s agendas in recent years. With real estate being the biggest consumer of energy, the industry...
Case Comment - Greenbelt vs Walsh: Ownership Model of Open Space Land Maintenance
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...
CMS advises on new Ctrip call centre
CMS has advised China’s largest online travel agency on the lease acquisition of its new Edinburgh call centre which will create up to 200 jobs in the capital. Scottish-based colleagues from CMS acted...
Is possession 9/10 of the law? - Making a prescriptive claimant application
In Scotland, if you have been occupying land to which you have no legal title, there is a way to seek to legitimise your occupation and take legal title to that land: it is called a ‘prescriptive claimant’...