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Portrait of Mark Heighton

Mark Heighton

Partner
Co-Head of the CMS 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

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...
02/07/2021
End­ing an as­sured short­hold ten­ancy where no en­ergy per­form­ance cer­ti­fic­ate...
Sum­mary The Court of Ap­peal has up­held the valid­ity of a sec­tion 21 no­tice served by a land­lord on a ten­ant re­quir­ing pos­ses­sion of the ten­ant’s flat, even though no en­ergy per­form­ance cer­ti­fic­ate (“EPC”)...
22/01/2021
Con­sulta­tion on right to re­gen­er­ate
Sum­mary The Gov­ern­ment has launched a con­sulta­tion on wheth­er to re­form ex­ist­ing pub­lic rights re­lat­ing to un­used pub­lic land in Eng­land, to cre­ate a new, more ef­fect­ive and widely used right to re­gen­er­ate...
10/08/2020
Gov­ern­ment con­sults on pro­pos­als to re­quire the pro­vi­sion and pub­lic­a­tion...
Sum­mary The Gov­ern­ment con­siders that bet­ter data on land own­er­ship and con­trol is re­quired to achieve its vis­ion for the plan­ning sys­tem, to im­prove the de­vel­op­ment pro­cess and to in­crease the pub­lic’s...
24/07/2019
Gov­ern­ment con­sulta­tion on im­ple­ment­a­tion of the end­ing of as­sured short­hold...
April 2019 Gov­ern­ment an­nounce­ment In April 2019, the Gov­ern­ment an­nounced that it will end ‘no-fault’ evic­tions of res­id­en­tial ten­ants un­der as­sured short­hold ten­an­cies. This would be done by re­peal­ing...