Real Estate

United Kingdom

With a recently strong UK real estate market struggling to keep up with demand, competition for prime assets is higher than ever. In addition to availability, landlords, developers, asset managers, investors and occupiers face a range of challenges and opportunities in the current climate. These include the increasing globalisation of the real estate investment market, the growing demand for а high quality built environment with continued focus on achieving sustainability, and the increased use of technology and rising cyber security risks.

With one of the largest real estate teams in the UK, we have the resource and expertise our clients need to respond to this fast-paced market. Our lawyers provide decisive, pragmatic solutions allowing clients to react quickly to seize opportunities. With dedicated planning, finance, tax, construction and dispute specialists as part of the group, we are able to ensure that our clients are realising the most value possible from their assets.

We are one of the few City-based firms able to offer clients a truly full UK-wide service with offices in London, Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Sheffield and Reading.

In addition to our UK offering, we have real estate lawyers in 70 offices worldwide, making our Real Estate and Construction Practice one of the largest specialist teams worldwide.

We are very proud to be working with some of the most dynamic real estate businesses around at the moment. Our clients range from large international and private investors to developers, universities, utility providers and occupiers.

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They're very responsive and when things are urgent they're dedicated and dynamic. They have a hands on and pragmatic approach.

Chambers UK, 2015

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    Whether you are an employer/owner, contractor, funder/investor or you are buying an interest in a project that is under construction or has recently been completed, you need documents that reflect your risk profile, protect your interests and promote collaborative working and optimum project delivery.

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    We are one of the largest planning teams in the UK with over 30 specialist lawyers. We are motivated by a passion to help to create exceptional places and environments and deliver essential infrastructure to meet the UK's demographic and development needs.

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    Real Estate

    The UK real estate market has been strong for the past couple of years, and with development struggling to keep up with demand, competition for prime assets is higher than ever. In addition to availability, landlords, developers, asset managers, investors and occupiers face a range of challenges and opportunities in the current climate, including the increasing globalisation of the real estate investment market, the growing demand for а high quality built environment with continued focus on achieving sustainability, and the increased use of technology and cyber security risks.

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    Real Estate & Planning Disputes

    As a developer, landlord, contractor or occupier, when a real estate project or transaction becomes contentious, it is essential that matters be dealt with as quickly and calmly as possible to ensure there is minimal disruption to your business and that you maintain the value of your asset.

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    Real Estate Development

    Competition for sites, access to funding, changing legislation, achieving planning consent, rights to light issues and community infrastructure levy are just a few of the challenges facing developers in today’s real estate market. Whether your development is mixed use, commercial, residential or an urban regeneration project, our team of real estate specialists can help you navigate the entire development cycle from site acquisition right through to lettings and disposal.

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    Real Estate Energy

    We are one of the few London-headquartered real estate groups to have a dedicated real estate energy team. With a market-leading energy practice, we provide advice from an informed industry perspective. Our client base is diverse and ranges from major energy companies such as National Grid and SSE and landowners such as Scottish Water to a wide range of developers and investors in the renewable sector such as Aviva and Luxcara.

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    Real Estate Finance

    Our real estate finance specialists work with lenders and borrowers on a wide range of investment and development transactions. The underlying assets may include commercial and/or residential real estate, ground rent investments, hotels, healthcare assets, theatres, logistics portfolios, shopping centres, house building or supermarket developments.

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    Real Estate Investment

    With demand for prime assets higher than ever, real estate investment is becoming an increasingly global market. Being able to respond quickly to investment opportunities, in whatever jurisdiction they present themselves, is essential. Whether you are looking to make your first investment in the UK or adding to a growing portfolio across Europe, at CMS we have a team of lawyers with exceptional experience across the full range of investment sectors, including the more specialist alternative asset classes.

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    Real Estate Occupiers

    As an occupier in today’s market, there are a number of key issues to consider. These include establishing strategies for disposal of surplus properties, whether by way of outright sale of freehold interests or termination/assignment of lease arrangements, ensuring that a tenant is adequately protected on a new headquarters letting, and making sure that the appropriate wayleaves are in place at the time the tenant needs them for communications equipment – essential for business continuity.

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    Real Estate PRS

    Residential property in the UK has never seemed a more attractive investment. With a shortage of quality rental properties available and development struggling to keep up with demand, there is tremendous competition for the right assets. Nevertheless, there are opportunities available, and the returns on a good, well-managed scheme can be attractive - particularly to long-term income generating investment requirements, such as pension funds.

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    Residential Real Estate

    CMS’ Residential Real Estate practice has extensive experience and offers pro-active and tailored advice, handling a broad range of work for both commercial and private clients.

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    Student Accommodation

    Student housing has moved from the “alternative” asset class firmly into the mainstream in recent years. Whilst student housing is a high performing and extremely attractive asset, fierce competition for land, coupled with increasing Government regulation in the sector, means that commercial, pragmatic legal advice is more important than ever.

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    Law-Now: Real Es­tate & Con­struc­tion
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    9 September 2017
    High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence in Plan­ning in the UK
    Real Es­tate & Con­struc­tion
    12 Dec 17
    Spot­light Series: Talk­ing shop: re­tail lo­gist­ics (Glas­gow)
    Law So­ci­ety and HM Land Re­gistry New Joint Note on Prop­erty and title...
    HM Land Re­gistry and the Law So­ci­ety have is­sued a new joint note on prop­erty and title fraud, high­light­ing par­tic­u­lar scen­ari­os and cir­cum­stances, or key warn­ing signs, where there is a great­er risk of fraud.
    6 September 2017
    High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence in En­ergy Plan­ning in...
    07 Dec 17
    Spot­light Series: Talk­ing shop: re­tail lo­gist­ics (Ab­er­deen)
    Welsh Land Trans­ac­tion Tax Sum­mary
    The Wales Act 2014 gave the Welsh Gov­ern­ment great­er de­volved powers to man­age their own tax­a­tion af­fairs, in par­tic­u­lar in re­la­tion to busi­ness rates, land­fill tax and stamp duty. Like the Scots, the Welsh have taken the op­por­tun­ity to re­place UK stamp duty.
    6 September 2017
    Plan­ning 2017
    05 Dec 17
    Spot­light Series: Talk­ing shop: re­tail lo­gist­ics (Ed­in­burgh)
    The Rise of the RE­IT in the Middle East
    Real Es­tate In­vest­ment Trusts (“RE­ITs”) have been widely used in the UK, the United States and Europe for over a dec­ade, mainly as tax ef­fi­cient real es­tate in­vest­ment vehicles.   Their ap­peal in the Middle East has, not un­sur­pris­ingly, had less of an im­pact.
    High­lights of our Ex­per­i­ence in Res­id­en­tial Real Es­tate...
    Real Es­tate & Con­struc­tion
    For­eign In­va­sion a Ton­ic for Scot­tish High Streets
    An in­va­sion of for­eign re­tail­ers is help­ing keep an aura of ex­cite­ment on Scot­land’s high streets and shop­ping centres at a time when they face ma­jor chal­lenges from on­line shop­ping, ac­cord­ing to one real es­tate spe­cial­ist.
    4 August 2017
    CMS ad­vises on Can­cer Re­search UK and Brit­ish Coun­cil...
    Flex­ib­il­ity for Frack­ing
    The Plan­ning Court has con­firmed that a pet­ro­leum ex­plor­a­tion and de­vel­op­ment li­cence ("PEDL") is cap­able of be­ing var­ied by agree­ment between the li­censee and the Sec­ret­ary of State, not­with­stand­ing the lack of an ex­press power to do so with­in the Pet­ro­leum.
    28 July 2017
    CMS ad­vises Land­sec on sale of stake in Lon­don’s land­mark...
    Barclay Re­view on Scot­tish Busi­ness Rates: The Win­ners and Losers
    The re­port from the re­view of the cur­rent Scot­tish Non-Do­mest­ic Rates re­gime, led by former RBS chair­man Ken­neth Barclay, was is­sued on 22 Au­gust 2017 and in­ev­it­ably some rate pay­ers will see fin­an­cial up­side where­as oth­ers will be left with lar­ger bills when.
    2 May 2017
    CMS ad­vises on Manchester’s ground­break­ing £1bn North­ern...
    Con­sulta­tion Pa­per “Tack­ling un­fair prac­tices in the lease­hold mar­ket”
    Have your say: the Gov­ern­ment is con­sult­ing to tackle un­fair prac­tices in the res­id­en­tial lease­hold mar­ket Con­tro­ver­sies sur­round­ing es­cal­at­ing ground rents in long lease­hold res­id­en­tial prop­er­ties have re­ceived sig­ni­fic­ant press in re­cent months.
    1 May 2017
    CMS, Nabarro and Olswang com­plete largest ever mer­ger...
    Cre­at­ing a new fu­ture-fa­cing firm