Burges Salmon working with LDA on £22bn ‘arc of opportunity’ at Royal London Docks

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01 September 2011

The London Development Agency (LDA) has chosen a legal team from leading UK law firm Burges Salmon to advise them on a key element of the transformation of London’s Royal Docks.

The 85-acre site at Silvertown Quays and the Royal Albert Dock is estimated to hold £22 billion of development potential and has been described by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, as ‘London’s most exciting new development opportunity.’

Burges Salmon is advising on the Royal Albert Dock site, which lies east of the ExCel international exhibition centre, between the University of East London and Newham Dockside, the headquarters of Newham Council.

A pre-qualification process has just begun after the LDA, who worked in partnership with Newham Council to produce a strategy for the Royal Docks in March 2011, received a positive response to its market testing exercise from more than 30 development partners from both the UK and worldwide. Shortlisting will take place later this summer, ahead of the chosen development partner being announced in 2012.

Burges Salmon’s legal team - which also advises The Crown Estate on its prestigious St James’s portfolio - is advising LDA on the 14-acre Royal Albert Dock element of the scheme. The work is being led by real estate procurement partner Marcus Harling, supported by real estate partner Ross Polkinghorne, working closely with the LDA’s legal team.

London Development Agency chief executive, Lurene Joseph, said: “Our vision for the Royal Docks is a place with vibrant communities with high quality homes and lasting employment. We want to find developers and investors who can turn our Silvertown Quays and Royal Albert Dock sites into thriving contemporary urban centres, attracting world-class businesses and creating first-class communities."

Marcus Harling says: “Burges Salmon is delighted to be working with the LDA on this exciting project. There is huge potential for investment and growth in this area, so having a smooth and effective procurement process is essential in maximising the opportunities available. We will draw on relevant expertise from right across our 80-strong real estate team to ensure we can provide the very best support to the LDA."

The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said: “Achieving convergence with the rest of London is key. What will happen here will have a local, regional, national and international impact. Investors need look no further than Newham, which has been designated as London’s regeneration priority for the next 25 years."

Burges Salmon was recently named Real Estate Team of the Year at the Lawyer Awards 2011 (21 June 2011) at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane. This marked 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.

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