Retail & Leisure

As the retail industry continues to rapidly evolve and respond to the various challenges and opportunities that it currently faces, it takes a law firm with a commitment to and specialist understanding of the industry to keep up

The Grafton Centre, Cambridge, CB1 1PS

From the way customers shop, to the changes seen on the high street, tenants misusing CVAs and the need to repurpose and rethink use of retail premises, confidence and an openness to innovation is required to meet the needs of the consumer as well as the investor.

As a specialist commercial property law firm, with a dedicated retail team, we partner with you as you make investment decisions and help you maximise the value of your retail assets.

We believe our absolute focus on real estate brings specific benefits for our clients.

At Maples Teesdale the property sector is our sector, it’s all we do and our team is very committed to it. Whilst we work on significant capital transactions such as acquisitions, sales and refinancing exercises, we also  have a broad depth of experience and genuine interest in asset management work; it is very much core to our business. We understand  the critical importance of effective asset management to our clients, we do a lot of this type of work, we enjoy it and we actively seek opportunities to do it.

We pride ourselves on being commercial. We understand that, once our clients have agreed the commercial terms of a transaction, the legal documentation just needs to “get done”, so that the opportunity can be translated into income and value for our clients as soon as possible.

We work with our clients in a collaborative manner – we see ourselves very much as part of their team and work with them, not just for them.

We attend and invite our clients to join us at industry events, dinners and conferences, such as Bisnow events, and industry bodies we support such as REVO and the BPF. We proactively seek to make introductions between our clients and contacts in the retail sector through tailored events and networking opportunities.

We have a sizeable landlord/institutional client base which means we are conscious of and at the forefront of advising on  institutional concerns and trends. We work collaboratively with our clients, regularly discussing such issues with them and exploring how to implement best practice for their business. For example recently we have been advising retail clients on sustainability, CVAs, repurposing retail space and the RICS service charge professional statement 2019

Relevant experience

  • We advised Alteris Capital Partners on one of the few purchases of a shopping centre to take place in 2018 – the £21m purchase of Vicar Lane Shopping Centre, which included a £12m refinancing.
  • We advised US private equity firm LoneStar and Ellandi on the sale of Grays Shopping Centre in Thurrock to NewRiver, for £20.2m, representing a net initial yield of 8.2%. The 209,000 sq. ft. (NIA) asset sits on a 4.7-acre site, and includes a part-vacant office building of 32,000 sq. ft., which has been attributed additional development value. Ellandi has sought to maximise the asset’s strategic location by drawing up a master plan for redevelopment on part of the site, as well as engaging with Thurrock Council who have shown significant commitment to enhancing the town centre. The potential development opportunities include a hotel, budget gym, food and beverage units, a discount food retailer and over 200 built-to-rent residential units.
  • The firm was instructed by Europa Capital on its joint venture with partner Scoop AM on the purchase of the long leasehold interest in Washington Square for over £30m. Washington Square is a 263,000 sq ft open air shopping centre in West Cumbria, constructed in four blocks totalling 60 retail units. We had previously acted for Europa Capital and its joint venture partner Scoop AM on the acquisition and subsequent management of Fremlin Walk shopping centre in Maidstone, Kent.
  • We were instructed on the purchase of the Grafton Shopping Centre for Legal & General’s UK Property Income Fund 2, in conjunction with Macfarlanes, and we continue to act on the ongoing management work in relation to the 120+ units and several refurbishment projects at the centre.
  • We advised Patrizia on the acquisition (by way of a purchase of the issued shares in a Jersey property holding company) of Maskew Retail Park from Chambers Street Properties for £37m, reflecting an initial yield of 6.25%. The park comprises 145,000 sq ft of space over three units and is currently fully leased to leading retailers Matalan, B&Q and Argos.
  • We were instructed by BVK (a German pension fund) on the acquisition and asset management of The Ashley Centre, Epsom a fully enclosed 321,070 sq ft high street shopping centre, anchored by Waitrose and House of Fraser. Other multiple retailers include H&M, Marks & Spencer, Boots, Next, Lakeland, WH Smith, Starbucks and McDonalds.
  • We acted for Aberdeen Standard Investments on the purchase of Regent Circus in Swindon for circa £41m, a purpose built leisure development for Morrisons and Cineworld.
  • We advised Cineworld Cinemas in relation to pre-let agreements for the development of various Cineworld cinemas, including its new Screening Rooms format, comprising in total over 130,000 sq ft at an aggregate annual rent of over £1.7m.
  • We advised “M” restaurant in relation to their flagship first restaurant in Threadneedle Walk, City comprising circa 12,000 sq ft and their second restaurant and vintners in Land Security’s Zig Zag development in Victoria comprising circa 8,000 sq ft.

Key Contacts

Anastasia Klein

Partner, Commercial Real Estate 020 3465 4347 View profile

Liam MacDonnell

Partner, Commercial Real Estate 020 3465 4305 View profile

Declan Power

Partner, Commercial Real Estate 020 3465 4335 View profile

"Maples Teesdale stands out for its commercial and economical asset management service and for its exceptional land acquisition work.”

Legal 500