Real Estate team of the year advises on major Scottish acquisition

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19 July 2011

The award-winning Real Estate team at leading UK law firm Burges Salmon has acted on behalf of fund manager, Aerium Finance Ltd, in its acquisition of the 125,000 sq ft iQ Building in Aberdeen, Aerium’s debut Scottish purchase. The £50m off market deal is believed to be the largest real estate investment transaction in Scotland in the last 12 months, highlighting in particular the current strength of the Aberdeen market.

The six storey ‘iQ’ Building completed in February is currently commanding some of Scotland’s highest rents for premium office space at £31 psf following lettings to Centrica and energy services giant, Wood Group.

“Our involvement in transactions of this size and market importance underlines our position as a leading UK law firm" said head of investment and asset management, Richard Clark, who also heads the 80+ lawyer real estate group.  "Led by my Real Estate partner Euan Bremner, our Scottish Real Estate team continues to expand and go from strength to strength. This is the latest in a series of high profile deals which traditionally would have been considered the preserve of law firms based in Scotland".

A multi-disciplinary team of Scottish-qualified real estate and planning lawyers, led by dual qualified real estate Senior Associate Paul Clark, combined with colleagues from the banking and construction teams to provide the full range of services required for the acquisition. "Our ability to provide UK wide cross-border advice – and therefore a one stop service - within one team has proved a real hit with investor clients with real estate portfolios which include Scottish assets" added Clark.

The Scottish-qualified legal team at Burges Salmon is now the largest in the UK, outside Scotland. Other recent notable work includes:

  • the £15 million forward funding and subsequent purchase of the Scottish flagship Waitrose store in Newton Mearns, Glasgow;
  • advisors to Helius Energy for their joint venture with the Combination of Rothes Distillers and the contracts, lease and debt funding for the construction of their £40 million biomass plant in Rothes, Moray; and
  • the marketing and sale of Dale, House, West George Street, Glasgow by the Co-Operative Bank for subsequent redevelopment.

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