10 December 2013

Burges Salmon has been appointed by iconic retailer Waterstones as sole real estate adviser to its UK retail stores portfolio through to 2016.

The firm's Real Estate team will provide Waterstones with property management legal work generated by its retail store portfolio to include contentious and non-contentious real estate asset management and sales, purchases and lettings. The appointment follows an extensive competitive tender process that was led by head of real estate Richard Clark and senior associate Matthew Sims, with assistance from Northern Irish qualified associate Drew Nesbitt, Scottish qualified solicitor Ashley Flanagan and solicitor David Benjamin from the firm's specialist Real Estate Disputes team.

Richard Manning, General Counsel at Waterstones, commented: “We are delighted to have appointed Burges Salmon as our legal adviser to the retail store portfolio. We were impressed by the team's understanding of our business, its experience in the retail sector, its ability to provide real estate services in Scotland and Northern Ireland and by its obvious enthusiasm for this appointment.”

Chris Scourfield, Head of Property at Waterstones, added: “As a business we are currently undergoing a transformation with significant change and investment, and we are looking forward to working with Richard and his team to achieve our strategic objectives during this exciting time for Waterstones.'

Waterstones is the UK’s leading high street bookseller, operating through approximately 280 shops across the UK and Ireland and employing over 4,000 people. It is the only national specialist high street book retailer of scale in the UK, with the average sized store merchandising a range of around 30,000 individual books, with 200,000 titles in the largest store. With over one million books in print, and around 120,000 new consumer titles published every year (compared with around 10,000 in the 1950s), the expert recommendations and advice of each store’s booksellers are key ingredients in its success. Waterstones' flagship store on Piccadilly in London is one of the biggest bookshops in Europe. It also owns Hatchards and Irish store Hodges Figgis, and the Waterstones website. Waterstones is currently carrying out an extensive refurbishment programme of its stores including rolling out its Café W concept which provide customers with ethically sourced coffee and food from local suppliers.

Burges Salmon's Head of Real Estate, Richard Clark, said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured this appointment and are very much looking forward to developing a long-lasting relationship with the Waterstones' property team. Waterstones is a strong brand with a dynamic business plan and to be associated with such a company further boosts our growing presence in the retail sector.”

Key contact

Richard Clark partner

Richard Clark Partner

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