Real estate finance is the cornerstone of loan books for many banks and financial institutions involved in lending. For the majority of borrowers with real estate assets, this type of finance is a significant factor within their overall finance package.
The recent turmoil in the world’s financial markets, coupled with the dramatic slowdown in real estate markets and rapid recent devaluation of real estate assets presented significant challenges to all providers and users of real estate finance, however markets are now recovering strongly.
Depsite the strong recovery, new and existing transactions are all subject to increasing scrutiny, with covenants and conditions precedent in particular under regular review.
As bank lenders return to the market and non-bank lenders enter the market, combined with the improvement in market conditions, financing solutions available are increasingly leading to innovative and complex solutions – including the incorporation of mezzanine, junior and subordinated debt structures - and this trend is expected to continue.
Our team comprises lawyers with experience in finance, real estate and tax and is able to provide a seamless service, addressing the complications of both small and large lending transactions seen in real estate.
Our lawyers with experience in insolvency and dispute resolution are increasingly involved in real estate finance matters which are in or nearing a distressed state.
In addition to the more conventional real estate finance work, we work closely with our Funds Group in the structuring and setting up of property funds, and their funding of real estate investments. We also work closely with our Structured Finance and Securitisation Group who have worked on over sixty RMBS and CMBS securitisation transactions over the past few years and have a great understanding of the unique issues arising from these methods of financing.
Real estate assets are not necessarily pure investment assets and there are often significant trading businesses underlying their value. We have experience in the finance of all types of real estate assets ranging from major office, retail and residential developments through institutionally owned properties to trophy residential properties.
We have particular experience in the hotel and leisure sector where for the past 20 years we have been advising owners, operators, investors, funders, developers, franchisers and others operating within those sectors both within the UK and internationally.
We also have significant experience in the healthcare sector where in addition to trading aspects, the business and underlying assets are subject to heavy regulation.
We act for more than 50 banks and other financial institutions from around the world, including global and domestic banks and specialist banks.
In all these sectors we are very familiar with the various ownership and management structures that are used and their impact on financing, asset values, realisation and enforcement.
Legal 500 UK 2014 says our team 'has a deep understanding of clients’ business and can resource specialist areas'.
Notable deals / highlights
Advised a major US investment bank on a series of facilities totalling £140m to fund the purchase of a commercial property in the City of London.
Advised a Nordic bank on its €100m participation in a €2.4bn syndicated financing facility secured on a portfolio of 37 properties in Germany, and a £100m participation in a £130m syndicated facility on property in central London.
Advised the lenders on a £338m loan to a real estate investment management company, for the refinancing a landmark building on The Strand.
Advising the lender on a £79m senior bridge facility for the acquisition and refinancing of a portfolio of 100 nursery properties located across the UK.
Advising a syndicate of lenders on a $90m syndicated credit facility for the acquisition, construction and refurbishment of a hotel development in Dubai.