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Portrait ofMark Heighton

Mark Heighton

Partner
Co-Head of the CMS International Real Estate Group

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

Mark Heighton is the Co-Head of the CMS International Real Estate Team and is jointly responsible  for managing over 350 fee earners across the UK and internationally. He has been a member of the CMS Board for over 12 years.

He focuses on all aspects of the real estate transactional market advising a range of investors, developers and occupiers in relation to, not only the traditional real estate sectors (with particular emphasis on mixed use and residential development) but also the newer real estate asset classes, such as the private rented and retirement sectors and renewable energy.

Mark also has extensive experience of property related joint ventures, trust arrangements and collaboration agreements for both investment and development projects.

He has been ranked as a leading and key individual by the Legal 500 and Chambers directories for many years.  Mark has been listed in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame for the last few years.  

Mark is also the Partner Chair of our employee led Social Mobility Network.  He was listed in the second edition of FT HERoes and Champions of Women in Business list in September 2018.

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Relevant experience

  • Imperial College in relation to the acquisition and development of its White City Campus comprising over a million square feet of academic, residential, office, research and innovation space.
  • Long Harbour/Long Harbour Multi Family Fund on a number of private rented sector forward fundings across the UK, including sites in Birmingham, Leicester and Chatham and most recently the forward funding of the development of over 400 private residential units at Tottenham Hale.
  • Taylor Wimpey Central London on the acquisition and development of a number of sites in Central London including a mixed use development at the Music Box,  Southwark, Onyx, Camley and Battersea Park Village, Battersea.
  • Crest Nicholson in relation to the Brightwells Farnham Regeneration Scheme at East Street, Farnham – 239 private and affordable residential units, a new cinema and a range of new retail and leisure units.
  • Assured Guarantee on the financing of the development of over 1,400 student rooms being constructed at the York University Campus by Equitix.
  • University College London on the acquisition and development of the world leading PEARL research laboratory in Dagenham.
     
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Memberships & Roles

  • Mark is a member of a number of real estate sector associations including The Investment Property Forum, British Council of Shopping Centres and British Council of Offices.
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Education

  • LLB, Sheffield University, Sheffield
  • Law Society Finals (First Class Honours), The College of Law
  • MA (Business Law), London Metropolitan University, London
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Real Estate Energy

Mark Heighton is the Co-Head of the CMS International Real Estate Team.

He has been a member of the CMS Board for over 10 years.  He focuses on all aspects of the real estate transactional market advising a range of investors, developers and occupiers in relation to, not only the traditional real estate sectors but also the newer real estate asset classes, such as renewable energy and private rented sectors. 

Mark also has extensive experience of property related joint ventures, trust arrangements and collaboration agreements for both investment and development projects.

He has been ranked as a leading and key individual by the Legal 500 and Chambers directories for many years.  

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Relevant experience

  • RWE on its disposal of stakes in the Rhyl Flats Offshore Wind Farm and Little Cheyne Court onshore Wind Farm to Greencoat Capital and the Green Investment Bank for £165m.
  • Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Fund on the acquisition and financing of a number of portfolios of solar farms.
  • Aviva Investors on £36m funding of a new Energy Innovation Centre for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at Addenbrookes Hospital to be operated by Mitie.
  • Octopus Capital on the real estate aspects of the sale of a stake in Lightsource Renewable Energy.
  • Wirsol/Conergy West Sussex on the acquisition and disposal of a number of solar farm development sites and facilities.
  • The Channel Tunnel Group Limited in relation to the proposed electricity interconnector being constructed by Eleclink through The Channel Tunnel.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Mark is a member of a number of real estate sector associations including The Investment Property Forum, British Council of Shopping Centres and British Council of Offices.
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Publications

  • Mark is a regular author in the real estate press – particularly the Estate Gazette
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Education

  • LLB, Sheffield University, Sheffield
  • Law Society Finals (First Class Honours), The College of Law
  • MA (Business Law), London Metropolitan University, London
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Feed

16/05/2024
High Street Rental Auctions: the Government’s response
Summary The Government has published its response following its consultation on the design of its High Street Rental Auction policy. This policy is designed to help local authorities combat the detrimental...
05/02/2024
Government consultation on requirement for information about contractual...
Summary The Government has launched a consultation on new regulations which will require the provision of certain information about agreements used to control registered land in England and Wales, intended...
04/04/2023
High street rental auctions: the Government launches a consultation
SummaryThe Government has launched a consultation on its proposals for High Street Rental Auctions in England. The proposals will give local authorities the power to auction the rental rights of commercial...
07/12/2022
CMS UK signs up to the BPF Net Zero Pledge
CMS UK is pleased to announce that it is joining the BPF Net Zero Pledge, an initiative led by the British Property Federation (BPF), aiming to help its members to be net neutral by 2050 and accelerate...
21/06/2022
CMS appoints six new practice and sector group heads
CMS is pleased to announce new heads for four of its international expertise groups. All CMS lawyers work in cross-border groups across more than 40 countries worldwide that are structured according to...
14/06/2022
CMS European Real Estate Deal Point Study 2022
Real estate investment markets remain stable whilst buyers continue to catch up in contractual risk allocation Logistics assets more popular than everDemand from international investors reaches record high accounting for 55% of deals, with most international investors still being from within EuropeIncreased desire for security on the part of sellers continued to be a feature in 2021: share of transactions in which the buyer's payment obligations are secured reaches another record high­Buy­er-friendly trend in contractual risk allocation continues as seller-friendly provisions on limitation of liability continue to declineThe European real estate investment market appears to have largely recovered from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. Compared to the pan­dem­ic-stricken previous year, total investment increased by around 15% to approximately EUR 270 billion, marking a return to the pre-crisis level. Logistics assets performed particularly well last year, having become the focus of investors’ attention due to their stable income flows and the ongoing growth of online shopping. Demand from international investors was also up again in 2021, with intra-European transactions being the rule. 2021 also brought a new record high in the number of transactions in which the buyer's payment obligations were secured. With regard to contract design, the buyer-friendly trend continued, as reflected especially by a decrease in de minimis and basket clauses as well as caps. Logistics assets more popular than ever Office properties were a popular asset class in 2021 despite all the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, although some market share was lost to logistics and residential. The slight downward trend in office transactions handled by CMS seen in previous years nonetheless continued, with their share declining from 30% in 2020 to 19%. The reason for the declining proportion of transactions in the office segment is likely to be two-fold, combining the lack of available core properties and the current uncertainty around the impact of hybrid ways of working on demand for office space. The residential and logistics asset classes on the other hand were especially popular in 2021, each with a market share of 23%, compared to 22% and 19% respectively in 2020. One of the key factors for this trend was the stable income generated by residential and logistics properties, which is particularly attractive to investors. Logistics assets additionally benefited from the ongoing growth of online shopping, which was boosted recently by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related closure of retail shops, leading to an increased need for delivery and distribution centres. High demand from international, mostly intra-European, investors International investors were more active again last year: they accounted for 55% of deals in 2021, compared to 43% in 2020. In 2020, international investors had a difficult time, not least due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The associated travel restrictions meant that many international investors from other continents were forced to postpone their planned transactions. The property market seems to have recovered from these effects last year, with a new record 55% of transactions involving foreign investors. However, these foreign investors were mostly from within Europe; the number of intercontinental transactions remained below pre-pandemic levels in 2021. Sellers seek security An increased desire for security on the part of sellers continued to be a feature in 2021. The share of transactions in which steps were taken to ensure that the buyer met its financial obligations rose further in 2021. Sellers were granted security in more than two thirds of cases (70%). This trend is consistent with 2020, when an increased desire for security on the part of sellers was already apparent. In contrast, security was agreed in less than 50% of all transactions in the period from 2015 to 2018. The current high level is due in part to an increased desire for security on the part of sellers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; they were often uncertain about the buyer’s solvency going forward. Buyers continue to catch up in contractual risk allocation Buyers were able to catch up further in terms of contractual risk allocation. The proportion of transactions with seller-friendly de minimis clauses and basket clauses (i.e. clauses that provide for a threshold or minimum limit for guarantee claims by the buyer) stagnated or declined somewhat compared with the preceding years. In the previous year, after a noticeable decline, agreements aimed at limiting liability were made in 44% (de minimis clauses) and 41% (basket clauses) of cases. The share of deals with a basket clause fell further to 32% in 2021. As in 2020, a de minimis clause was included in 44% of the transactions analysed. A similar trend was seen in con­trac­tu­ally-agreed liability caps. Whilst the proportion of transactions with a cap was well over 60% in some cases in the years up to 2018, the percentage of agreements with a con­trac­tu­ally-agreed maximum liability fell slightly from 56% in 2020 to 50%.
18/03/2022
Real estate changes in Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act...
Summary The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act (the Act) received Royal Assent on 15 March 2022. The Act provides for the setting up of the Companies House register for beneficial owners...
03/03/2022
Real estate implications for overseas entities of Economic Crime (Transparency...
Summary The draft Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill has been published to set up the Companies House register for beneficial owners of overseas entities that own UK property. The Bill...
11/02/2022
Ground rent legislation receives Royal Assent
Summary The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill received Royal Assent on 8 February 2022. This is a highly significant piece of leasehold reform effectively eliminating ground rents on newly created long...
12/01/2022
Important announcement on the cladding crisis
Summary The Government has given residential property developers a deadline of early March 2022 to agree a fully funded plan of action to fix the cladding crisis in England. Failure to do so may lead...
11/10/2021
Residential Property Developer Tax - build-to-rent and non-profit housing...
The government has decided that the RPDT will not be chargeable on build-to-rent (“BTR”) investors, or non-profit housing companies. Build-to-rent On Friday, HM Treasury announced to certain key stakeholders...
06/10/2021
Residential Property Developer Tax – a clearer picture emerges
Further to its consultation earlier this year, the government has now released draft legislation for the residential property developer tax (“RPDT”). The draft legislation does answer some key questions...