• Jasmine-Monét Fearnley
  • Future Trainee Solicitor
  • Leeds

Working In BLS: The Real Estate Deal

BLS deals

Working In BLS: The Real Estate Deal

One of the national Real Estate team’s clients instructed them to work on a £250 million deal for the acquisition of a portfolio of seven large shopping centres, with only a four week deadline, completing just before Christmas. The client is one of the largest US private equity funds and plays a highly active role in the UK market. They were acquiring the shopping centres in conjunction with Ellandi LLP, who are also longstanding clients of the Irwin Mitchell Real Estate practice and specialists in community shopping centres.

The acquisition wasn’t a conventional asset purchase, requiring careful management of the purchasing of shares in the holding companies that owned the centres. The project required some lateral thinking in approaching the due diligence from a different perspective: we needed to carry out due diligence on the title of each shopping centre, in addition to the review of 30 to 40 leases for each centre within a highly pressured timeframe. Despite these challenges, the national Real Estate team managed the review of thousands of documents, and the production of reports on hundreds of them.

In order to meet the demanding timescale, the national Real Estate teams across the London, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham offices joined forces. Our lawyers performed due diligence on planning, construction, corporate and intellectual property matters, utilising the expertise of the teams across our Business Legal Services division throughout the different offices. We also liaised closely with lawyers in Jersey, Luxembourg and Scotland, as well as the client and its other advisers.

The deal was completed in December 2014, just in time for the teams to enjoy a well-earned break.

Partner Perspective:

John Flathers (Partner, Real Estate)John Flathers

"The cross-office collaboration required for this project meant there was a key role for the BLS trainees to play.                                                 

"They really were the glue that held the team together, liaising on project management issues, providing valuable input on the best way to manage the deal and keeping in regular contact with each other to ensure a consistent approach was taken across all the offices to the issues we faced. We most certainly could not have done it without them."

Trainee Perspective:

Nicola Bell (Trainee Solicitor)

Nicola Bell

"As a first seat trainee, this project gave me the opportunity to hit the ground running and the experience I gained was invaluable. The size of the team meant I was able to work with a wide variety of fee earners in London and our other offices.

"I was given lots of responsibility for different aspects of the deal, such as co-ordinating the production of lease reports, managing the Conditions Precedent schedule, circulating updated agendas and arranging and participating in regular progress calls with the client. I also liaised directly with trainees and lawyers at the other city firms involved.

"I really enjoyed watching the deal come together and particularly valued the project management aspect of my role, as it allowed me to gain a better understanding of how the different parts of a transaction fit together."



Your Development

As part of our ongoing and fundamental commitment to the development of our people, we have entered into a unique partnership with the University of Law to create the Irwin Mitchell Academy.

If you join us, the University of Law will guide you through a bespoke PSC course tailored to the area of our firm that you'll be joining.

Your Social Life

We want all our people to have a healthy work-life balance and really enjoy their careers with us.

So as well as working hard for our clients, there's an active social network including sports leagues, monthly drinks, Christmas parties and fund-raising activities for our designated charities.

Whether you’re into football, netball, badminton, rowing, karaoke or just a quiet drink on Friday night, you’ll find someone here willing to join in.

Closing Dates:

2017 Legal Work Placements - Now closed

2019 Training contracts only - 30 June 2017

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