Real Estate Team of the Year 2011
01 July 2011
Leading UK law firm Burges Salmon continues its reign as one of the UK's premier real estate advisers after winning the title of Real Estate Team of the Year at the prestigious Lawyer Awards 2011 held last month (21st June) at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane. The team has achieved a very rare double, having picked up the title of Property Team of the Year title at the end of 2010, the British Legal Awards 2010.
Despite strong competition from other highly regarded firms including Macfarlanes, Travers Smith, Mayer Brown and Nabarro, the Burges Salmon team was singled out by a senior advisory judging panel for its work, including advising the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on a £0.5bn innovative land disposal programme as the precursor to UK nuclear new build. Head of Real Estate, Richard Clark, welcomed this latest recognition, saying: “It is a great achievement to receive industry acknowledgment of our work. This award confirms our position as one of the leading real estate teams in the UK and is a clear endorsement of our strength in depth and our market leading expertise and innovative service delivery".
The firm’s winning submission focused on four major UK land sales for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in a site disposal programme which enabled the UK government to kick start its new nuclear build programme. Sites at Oldbury in Gloucestershire, Bradwell in Essex and Wylfa on Anglesey, were sold by an innovative online "ebay" style auction; with a further site at Sellafield sold later.
“This was the first time a law firm had fully addressed the complexities of nuclear new build since 1983, therefore the programme of work attracted intense government, public and international interest" said Clark. Led by Partners Ian Salter (Head of Nuclear) and Paul Browne (Head of Nuclear Property) the core team on the project consisted of over 40 Burges Salmon lawyers plus the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's in-house legal team negotiating with seven legal teams of several consortia bidders over 19 months. "This was an incredibly demanding task, involving lawyers working in shifts on a 24/7 basis. It is testament to the department as a whole that levels of client service across the board were maintained throughout."