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Portrait of Clare Thomas

Clare Thomas

Partner

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
London
EC4N 6AF
United Kingdom
Languages English

Clare Thomas is a partner at law firm CMS which has the largest real estate team in Europe.  She has experience acting for property companies, funds, institutions and international investors on acquisitions, disposals, lettings and developments. Her transactional expertise spans a range of sectors including office, hotel, retail and mixed use/residential. Her clients include the likes of Angelo Gordon, Credit Suisse, Blackstone, Urban & Civic and Brockton as well as various private investors. 

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"one of Bisnow’s 51 most influential women in real estate."

Bisnow

named as a Dealmaker.

The Lawyers Hot 100 List 2019

Relevant experience

  • Singapore listed REIT Suntec’s acquisition of 50% of Phase 1 of Land Sec’s Nova Victoria scheme from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
  • Thai investor DTGO corporation on the circa £450m acquisition of the Marathon portfolio of 17 IHG and Hilton branded hotels.
  • The Arora Group on it’s Crawley Station Gateway scheme which includes the regeneration of the station along with the provision of new office, retail and residential premises.
  • Private Hong Kong investor on acquisition and letting of several trophy assets in the City including 20 Canada Square for circa £410m.
  • Urban&Civic on two strategic land development schemes including Alconbury Weald, a 1,420 acre site which will include 290,000 sqm of employment floor space, 5,000 homes together with green spaces, transport, energy and community facilities.
  • Aviva, Hermes and Capital & Regional plc on the disposal of The Junction Fund, a £259.5m retail investment vehicle.
  • Blackstone Property Management on the pre-letting and sale of a major refurbished City office scheme.
  • Credit Suisse on the acquisition of a number of City assets including Pilgrim Street for circa £80m. 
  • Queensgate Investments on a joint venture and development at Greenwich Peninsula including a mix of residential, hotel, business and leisure and on the real estate aspects of its £475m sale of London Executive Offices.
  • Land Securities plc on the letting of 40,000 square foot to John Lewis Partnership in Poole marking the launch of the retailer's new dedicated "at home" concept.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Served on the committee for the Urban Land Institute.
  • Operational Board of the Investment Property Forum and chairs their education committee.
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Publications

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Lectures list

  • Industry event speaker, including the Investment Property Forum, Urban Land Institute, Young Entrepreneurs in Property and Women in Property and Property EU.
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Education

  • 1997 - LLB, Exeter University, Exeter
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Expertise

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06/07/2022
Re­pur­pos­ing Real Es­tate: The fu­ture of the world's towns and cit­ies
A rad­ic­al re­think for glob­al prop­erty – and where we live, work and play As the real es­tate world emerges from the pan­dem­ic it is clear that all around us the urb­an land­scape is chan­ging. Many prop­er­ties are ob­sol­ete but also have ex­cit­ing fu­tures with new uses. Our town centres and cit­ies are un­der­go­ing fun­da­ment­al change – which all adds up to a world fo­cused on Re­pur­pos­ing Real Es­tate.Now in its tenth year, our Real Es­tate Thought Lead­er­ship series has covered top­ics such as the rise of in­ter­na­tion­al in­vest­ment in the UK, the growth of tech, the fu­ture of the of­fice, the rap­id rise of in­dus­tri­al & lo­gist­ics and the ar­rival of build-to-rent as a ma­jor as­set class.This year, with the Gov­ern­ment hav­ing pub­lished its Lev­el­ling Up & Re­gen­er­a­tion Bill, we fo­cus on the fu­ture of towns and cit­ies not only in the UK but in a series of key glob­al in­vest­ment hubs: Ger­many, France, the Neth­er­lands, Spain, Singa­pore and the United Ar­ab Emir­ates.After two years of lock­downs, work­ing, shop­ping and so­cial­ising at home, a de­bate is ra­ging about the fu­ture of town and city centres. Will they re­cov­er? How will they look in ten years? Will urb­an­isa­tion go in­to re­verse? And what does this mean for the real es­tate world?In `Re­pur­pos­ing Real Es­tate’ we provide the first an­swers hav­ing polled more than 300 lead­ing in­dustry pro­fes­sion­als and al­most 15,000 glob­al con­sumers.The res­ults are fas­cin­at­ing: al­most a third of real es­tate is ear­marked for con­ver­sion – with re­tail and of­fices to hous­ing the most pop­u­lar choices. Con­sumers want more green and open space, hav­ing spent too long con­fined to their own homes.But the good news is that in­vestors, hav­ing come through the pan­dem­ic, are still con­fid­ent in real es­tate as an as­set class. The big changes will be in what prop­erty they in­vest in, mean­ing the places we live, work and play in may be very dif­fer­ent in the years to come.
27/07/2021
More video high­lights from the CMS Smart Cit­ies and ESG Roundtable event...
22/07/2021
Video high­lights from the CMS Smart Cit­ies and ESG Roundtable event fea­tur­ing...
19/07/2021
Ma­jor in­dustry sur­vey re­veals ex­tent to which tech­no­logy is re­volu­tion­ising...
Over 4,000 glob­al in­dustry lead­ers, of­fice oc­cu­pi­ers, renters, re­tail de­cision makers and life sci­ences pro­fes­sion­als con­sul­ted in biggest in­dustry sur­vey of its kind to un­pack how, where and why tech­no­logy...
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.
15/07/2021
Real es­tate em­braces data – at last
Real es­tate as­set man­age­ment is now data-rich, hav­ing for many years re­lied on a dis­par­ate set of met­rics and a haphaz­ard ap­proach to meas­ure­ment.Giv­en the value of most prop­er­ties, this is sur­pris­ing, be­cause mar­gin­al gains can make a huge dif­fer­ence, par­tic­u­larly across a large port­fo­lio if this level of dis­cip­line is re­peated.It is no sur­prise, there­fore, that data col­lec­tion is seen as a key tool as own­ers battle to meet tough sus­tain­ab­il­ity tar­gets.At the same time, oc­cu­pi­ers are also see­ing the be­ne­fits of data col­lec­tion, par­tic­u­larly around the op­tim­al use of space. Yet again, the life sci­ences world is at the cut­ting edge of this think­ing.
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
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
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
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
’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.