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Simon Johnston


CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English

Simon Johnston is a partner in the CMS Finance Group.

As well as regularly acting for borrowers and financial institutions on a variety of development, project and investment property and hotels finance transactions in the UK and overseas, Simon also works on the restructuring of such transactions.  Simon has been with the firm for over 20 years.

Simon is a member of the Loan Market Association Real Estate Finance Committee and has been involved in the drafting and settling of the investment and development facilities agreements.  

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One client comments: "He stands out for his intellect, his sharpness, and his ability to make complex structures quite understandable."

Chambers Directory 2015

Practice head Simon Johnston is some clients' "first choice for tricky deals"

Legal 500, 2015

Rated as a “Ranked Lawyer” by Chambers and Partners, a “Leading Individual” by Legal 500 and selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Thomson Reuters.

Relevant experience


  • Ardstone Capital on three new funds, acquisitions and portfolio financings.
  • Delin Capital Asset Management on a £70m five-year loan facility with Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, secured against a portfolio of eight prime, modern distribution warehouses throughout the UK and covering 1.77m sq ft of distribution space.


  • Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG on total facilities of €288m  to Segro European Logistics Partnership in relation to logistics portfolios in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Czech Republic.
  • —Lloyds Bank plc on the development of RAF Upper Heyford, a former airbase, into a residential village of more than 1,000 homes and commercial properties.
  • Lloyds Bank plc, as agent, and the lender syndicate on several facilities to British Land plc.
  • Lloyds Bank plc on a £210m refinancing of a mixed use (commercial and residential) portfolio owned by Structadene.
  • Nykredit Realkredit A/S on the financing of 1 Kingdom Street, Paddington, London for Cityhold.
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Memberships & Roles

  • LMA Real Estate Finance Committee member
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  • 1992 - Law Society Finals, Manchester Polytechnic, Manchester
  • 1991 - Jurisprudence BA Hons, Exeter College, Oxford
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Real estate finance law in the United Kingdom
A. Mortgages 1. Can security be granted to a foreign lender? Yes. Security can be granted to a foreign lender. 2. Can lenders take a mortgage over land and buildings on the land? Yes. Lenders can take...
Sustainable Finance and the Goal of Net Zero: what can Islamic finance...
The past year has brought a renewed focus on sustainability, both nationally and globally with countries pushing to reduce their reliance on carbon fuel sources and hit their net zero targets. The US...
Be aware of the updating requirements for overseas entities at Companies...
SummaryThe 1st of August 2023 marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Register of Overseas Entities (the OE Register) at Companies House and the start of the first annual update process for...
Basel 3.1: How calculating risk is changing for banks
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) recently consulted on how it plans to implement the Basel 3.1 standards in the UK. The Basel 3.1 standards are the remaining parts of the Basel III standards...
Basel 3.1: How calculating risk is changing for banks
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) recently consulted on how it plans to implement the Basel 3.1 standards in the UK. The Basel 3.1 standards are the remaining parts of the Basel III standards...
Interest Cover Ratio Default?
Higher global interest rates are continuing to add pressure on borrowers’ ability to comply with interest cover financial covenants and service the interest on their outstanding debt.In this finance...
LMA publishes draft model provisions for Sus­tain­ab­il­ity-Linked Loans
The LMA has published draft model provisions for sus­tain­ab­il­ity-linked loans (the “SLL Rider”), in response to the rapid growth of sus­tain­ab­il­ity-linked loan issuance in recent years.One of the objectives...
Re Avanti Communications Ltd (In Administration) (2023): fixed or floating...
This briefing considers the recent case of Re Avanti Communications Ltd [2023] EWHC 940 (Ch) in which the English Court considered what was required to characterise a fixed charge, rather than a floating...
Loan to Value default?
Geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges continue to press the commercial real estate market. In this finance briefing we consider the key initial steps and issues for lenders and borrowers facing a...
To assign or not to assign – that’s a real question
When taking security over assets, often the default position for lenders has been to take an assignment over assets where they can, in preference to alternative forms of security such as a charge. However...
Leon v Kensington Mortgage Company Ltd & Anor (2023) and the concept...
This briefing considers the concepts of "subrogation" and "bona vacantia" which were discussed in the recent case of Leon v Kensington Mortgage Company Ltd & Anor [2023] EWHC 121 (Ch). Where a surety...
Important deadline imminent for Economic Crime Act
Summary The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 has set up a new Companies House register for overseas entities that own certain property registered at the Land Registry in England...