Commercial real estate

Whether you're an investor looking to make a profit in the US, a luxury retailer searching for a prime location in London, or a non-profit interested in raising your profile through a new building project, Withers' commercial real estate team can serve your needs.

Our international lawyers offer insight and guidance on day-to-day real estate investments, as well as complex development projects.

A major development project that we have been involved in from start to finish is The Ned, a joint venture between the US hotel group Sydell Group and Soho House on the Ned. This Central London development has seen a prominent Grade I listed building that was originally designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens restored and converted into a five-star hotel. The development comprises 252 bedrooms; nine restaurants; bars from the underground vaults to the rooftop; a health spa and gym; and a private members’ club. ‘From a legal perspective we consulted on everything from valuable development and transaction leasing, efficient tax structuring and protecting new brands,’ says Head of commercial real estate Jeremy Wakeham, who worked on the project. ‘It has helped change the landscape in the City.’

Another example of our can-do approach was when we helped Thor Equities to acquire the building that houses Dolce & Gabbana’s flagship store in Milan. The property, in the city’s high-footfall ‘golden triangle’, was owned by a family that could not agree what to do with it. ‘I found common ground between Joseph Sitt, who owns Thor Equities, and the owners in order to bring about a meeting,’ says partner Anthony Indaimo, who handled the deal. ‘After a 20-year stalemate we were able to agree the full purchase of the property, giving the family a clean break and securing this beautiful building for our client.’

Global reach

With more than 450 lawyers in 17 offices around the world, we act as trusted advisers to global companies as they expand internationally. We have recently been assisting an international leisure group to establish high-end hotels in capital cities around the globe. Our knowledge of worldwide real estate markets and our intimate understanding of international tax laws has allowed us to manage this entire project.

We are often chosen by non-profit organizations to handle real estate projects, such as when we acted for a charity in the Bay Area of San Francisco. A religious institution, its goals were threefold: to update the living quarters of around 60 elderly nuns; to protect a five-acre legacy garden that had existed for 125 years; and to turn the rest of the property over to a developer of single-family homes. Partner Steve Wilson, based in our San Francisco office, negotiated an agreement with the developer, secured the operation of the garden as a privately owned park accessible to the public, and found the exact tax-exempt classification that allowed the whole project to receive the blessing of the IRS.

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09 March 2016 - Firm News

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Real estate

Our real estate team advises on commercial, residential and non-profit deals on landmark properties and represents some of the most prominent individuals and institutions in the world. 

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Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay recommends Withers Bergman’s real estate group to other companies needing strategic, high quality real estate support.

Virginia Robbins, COO - Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay

I have worked with the team on many real estate transactions in the UK, most of them highly distressed, all extremely complicated, and all had moving targets due to the complexity and timing of the deal. I am, however, glad to say all of them were highly successful.

Macintyre Asset Management

Withers did a fantastic job for us on the sale of a prime West End commercial property. The commercial property team is absolutely brilliant, agreeing and exchanging contracts on the same day. We are really very grateful.

Sarah Wickens, Store Property Investments Limited

Withers has been advising us on a major new project to develop a large clinical research facility on our site. This is just the latest project they have assisted on, and we have benefitted from the firm’s broad base of knowledge in charity law, corporate law and its noted expertise in development and construction projects. We appreciate the firm’s support for our essential work.


Meet the team

How the team can help

Track record

Advised banks and borrowers in Singapore on project financing

We have advised banks and borrowers in Singapore on project financing for the development of hotel/office/shopping complexes, residential estates, highways, pipelines, petrochemical plants and other industrial developments, and financing for the acquisition of hotels, hospitals, plantations, commercial and industrial buildings and complexes and the takeover of companies, secured against all kinds of assets and guarantees, in jurisdictions such as Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and others.

SG$98 million construction project

For the construction of a 17 story complex, we acted for a bank in Singapore in the grant of banking facilities of up to SG$98 million.

Longstanding client Pro-invest Group announces new hotels in Auckland as part of its partnership with IHG

The APAC hotels team has assisted Pro-invest Group to sign franchise agreements with Intercontinental Hotels Group for two 200 plus room hotels in Auckland, New Zealand – a Holiday Inn Express and a flagship EVEN hotel land, the first EVEN outside the five currently in North America. EVEN is IHG's new on-trend wellness lifestyle brand. Pro-Invest continues to roll out hotels as it deploys capital from its multi-million dollar hotel funds, on which we also advise.

Retail lease

Our team in California negotiated the settlement and termination of a retail lease.

Option transaction for a private airport

Our lawyers represented the seller in closing an option transaction for a private airport to a solar energy company.

Lease to a prime developer for Marriott Hotels

On behalf of owner, negotiated a 99 year unsubordinated ground lease to a prime developer for Marriott Hotels. In the process, increased the net present value of the parcel by 33% by aggressive use of comparable market data.

Leasing matters for global fashion retailers and leading luxury brands

Acting for various global fashion retailers and leading luxury brands on their leasing matters in Hong Kong, Macau, the PRC and a luxury sports eyewear retailers on all of their leasing matters in Hong Kong.

British perfume house's expansion in Asia-Pacific

We acted for a famous British perfume house in relation to its expansion in Asia-Pacific, including retail lease agreements in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan; commercial matters; and restructuring of the group companies.

Real estate acquisition and leasing matters in the PRC

We acted for the largest hypermarket retailer in the United Kingdom in relation to its real estate acquisition and leasing matters in the PRC.

Sale of the Four Seasons Hotel and Four Seasons Place in Shanghai

Represented SOCAM Development Limited in the sale of the Four Seasons Hotel and Four Seasons Place in Shanghai to B.M. Holding Group for ¥1.323 billion

Management agreements with Accor Hotels

We advised Guocoland on its negotiation of management agreements with Accor Hotels for a 222 room Sofitel in the Tanjong Pagar Centre in Singapore and a 312 room Sofitel hotel in Kuala Lumpur

Acquisition of leasehold interest and improvements on Vagaru Island

We advised Royal Group on its proposed acquisition of the leasehold interest and improvements on Vagaru Island, Shaviyani Atoll, Republic of the Maldives.

Establishment of Indonesian local companies, management agreement and timeshare arrangements

We advised Wyndham on certain matters concerning the establishment of Indonesian local companies, a management agreement (and related agreements) and timeshare arrangements for the possible acquisition of Sakala, Bali Indonesia.

Management, license, and villas management and maintenance agreements for The Nam Hai, Hoi An Hotel in Vietnam

We advised American Indochina Resorts Ltd on the management agreement, license agreement, and villas management and maintenance agreement for The Nam Hai, Hoi An Hotel in Vietnam.

Marriott International management and related agreement negotiations for the Ritz Carlton in Perth

We advised Marriott International on its negotiations with Far East Consortium in relation to its management and related agreements for the new-build 204 room Ritz Carlton in Perth. This was the first Ritz Carlton hotel announced in Australia after a 15 year absence for the brand.

Shun Ho Property Investments Limited acquisition of Newton Inn for HK$1 billion

We represented Shun Ho Property Investments Limited, a public limited company incorporated in Hong Kong (Stock Code: 219), in the acquisition of Newton Inn for HK$1 billion.

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