Overview

Mayer Brown's Real Estate Finance practice offers leading financial institutions practical experience, technical skills, commercial knowledge and an understanding of the challenges and rewards in the current market. Our real estate finance practice has a well-established presence in the market. We have a long track record of having acted for both lenders and borrowers whether on bilateral or syndicated facilities on domestic and complex, multijurisdictional transactions. We maintain close relationships with, and act for, many of the lenders who are active in our domestic and cross-border markets. Our experience means we are familiar with the most innovative and structured of transactions, which often involve the use of offshore entities and tax structuring in jurisdictions including Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands and the BVI.

We regularly represent individual lenders, syndicates and other market participants in all types of real estate finance transactions. As part of these deals we are often involved in structuring the relevant financing arrangements. Our practice covers origination of real estate finance transactions as well as the subsequent distribution (whether by way of syndication, securitization or otherwise).

We advise borrowers, lenders, lead managers, issuers and other market participants on domestic and cross-border real estate financings, refinancings and restructurings.

This includes advising on:

  • International mortgage loan origination aimed at financing or refinancing the acquisition of individual real estate assets, portfolios of real estate assets and investment vehicles holding such assets
  • Structured development finance across all asset classes (including hospitality and leisure, office and retail)
  • A/B intercreditor structures, mezzanine and profit participation tranches and other multilayered financings secured over real estate assets
  • Mortgage-backed securitizations (residential and commercial) and associated warehousing facilities
  • Sale and leaseback arrangements, opco/propco structures and land tax saving scheme structures
  • Distribution (by way of syndication, participation, securitization and otherwise) of secured debt transactions and acquisition (and associated vendor financing) of debt secured over real estate assets
  • Consensual and contentious restructuring of debt vehicles and secured debt transactions
  • Enforcement advice (strategic input and implementation) in relation to domestic and cross-border real estate portfolios

Praxis

  • Allied Irish Banks and Banco Santander. We advised Allied Irish Banks and Banco Santander on the £800 million senior debt financing of the acquisition of the Citigroup Tower (25 Canada Square).
  • Alpha Marco-Trend Fund. We acted in the secured financing of HK$725 million for the acquisition by the Alpha Marco Trend Fund of the Shama Serviced Apartments in Hong Kong.
  • Arminius Funds Management S.à r.l. We regularly advise Arminius Funds Management S.à r.l. in the financing and refinancing of its German real estate portfolio with major national and international banks. Arminius manages closed-end real estate funds focused on investments exclusively in Germany. Recent work includes advising two investment vehicles run by Arminius, as existing junior lenders, on their acquisition from Eurocastle Investment Limited, as part of a loan restructuring, of the controlling-majority stake in various SPVs. These hold 28 primarily commercial properties with a market value of approximately EUR 1 billion.
  • Bank of China. We advised a syndicate of banks including Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, BNP Paribas Hong Kong Branch, Hang Seng Bank Limited and HSBC on HK$9 billion term loan facilities to Fast New Limited, a 50/50 joint venture vehicle held by New World Development Company Limited and Wheelock Properties Limited to finance the payment of land premium and construction costs of the residential development on top of Austin Road Station in Hong Kong. Fast New Limited is in joint venture with MTR Corporation Limited to put up the development. This real estate financing transaction is probably the largest in terms of loan size of recent MTR Corporation related development projects. From a development point of view, the complexity of the project involves two separate pieces of land; meaning there are two separate land grants and different handover and development dates.
  • Cabot Square. We advised Cabot Square on the establishment and structuring of a UK self- storage business. This included asset and business acquisitions in the UK, and restructuring of acquired businesses into an opco/propco structure. We also advised Cabot Square on obtaining financing for this business.
  • Champion REIT. We acted in the secured syndicated acquisition financing for HK$2.9 billion by the Champion REIT of Langham Place in Hong Kong, advising on the structure of the financing and the sharing of collateral with the bond holders of bonds issued by the Champion REIT to finance part of the acquisition cost. This transaction has recently won the Debt Market Deal of the Year award from Asian Legal Business (2009).
  • DeWAG Deutsche WohnAnlage GmbH. We are advising the borrower in a EUR213 million (partial) refinancing of a large loan (structured for securitization) by a consortium of German covered bond banks (Pfandbriefbank) and a German insurance company, secured by a property portfolio consisting of approximately 4,800 residential units.
  • Invesco Real Estate GmbH. We advised an institutional real estate investor on the financing of several transactions regarding commercial properties (office, logistics, retail) in various countries, including the US, the UK, France, Sweden, Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland. We also structured the internal and external financing of various of their cross-border investment funds and advised on investment regulation law.
  • Karstadt/Quelle. We advised several Mezzanine A Lenders in the multibillion Euro real estate loan restructuring of the so-called Highstreet-portfolio (CMBS tranche known as “Fleet Street Two”), occupied by the insolvent Karstadt/Quelle group with more than 80 department stores in Germany.
  • Macquarie. We advised Macquarie on the establishment and structuring of a UK self-storage business. This included asset and business acquisitions in the UK, and restructuring of acquired businesses into an opco/propco structure. We also advised Macquarie on obtaining financing for this business.
  • Market Prospect Limited. We acted in the secured development club financing of HK$7.2 billion by Market Prospect Limited (a joint venture vehicle of Wharf Group and Nan Fung Group) of Inland Lot No. 9007, Mt. Nicholson Road, The Peak, Hong Kong (a site acquired at the HKSAR Government land auction).
  • Merrill Lynch. We advised Merrill Lynch as mandated lead arranger (and subsequently Royal Bank of Scotland plc as facility agent/security trustee) in connection with the provision of £239 million senior debt facilities to Safestore Group secured on the Safestore portfolio of real estate assets.
  • Nationwide Building Society. We advised Nationwide on the financial restructuring of a self-storage business.
  • Nationwide Building Society. We advised Nationwide Building Society In its capacities as agent, arranger, lender and security trustee in connection with a £212 million (increased from £196 million) facility provided to finance predevelopment funding of the Shard of Glass project.
  • Persimmon plc. We advised Persimmon plc on the syndicated debt facilities and US private placement debt package (in excess of £1 billion) covenant resetting and forward start facility for Persimmon plc.
  • PRC Developer. We acted in an HK$700 million term loan facility to a PRC developer to partly finance the construction of the Guangzhou IFC West Tower, a landmark building in Guangzhou.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland plc. We advised Royal Bank of Scotland on the financing of various leisure-related debt transactions secured over real estate assets (including facilities of Soho House Group, Aspinalls Casinos/Clubs, Extreme Cool Ski Slopes).
  • Vietnamese real estate consultant investment company. We advised a Vietnamese real estate consultant investment company on loan and security arrangements in respect of financing for their development of a villa residential project in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
  • Xintiandi. We acted in the financing of the development of various phases of the Xintiandi urban redevelopment project in Shanghai with total investments of approximately US$150 million. Other property financing projects in Shanghai in which we acted include Plaza 66 Phases I and IIII, Shanghai Yangpu centre (Live-Work Zone), and the North Bund Project.

Auszeichnungen

Chambers USA 2019
"The partners are really thoughtful and intelligent. They know what to push on and what not to push on."

Chambers Asia Pacific 2016
"Highly respected team working on development, financing and conveyancing mandates across Hong Kong and mainland China. Frequently handles retail, residential and hospitality transactions."

Chambers UK 2016
"Client base includes both traditional and alternative lenders. Has substantial experience of cross-border transactions."
"They get on with it and run the work stream efficiently. They get on with things very expeditiously."

Chambers USA 2016
"They have done a good job for us on some very innovative and complex structures."

Chambers USA 2015 
"The team is responsive and very helpful, and has a nice balance of legal knowledge and business perspective."

Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2015
"Mayer Brown is widely recognized for its strength in real estate financing, including REIT financings. The firm has an impressive record in representing PRC banks, especially in relation to onshore/offshore structures."

Legal 500 UK 2015
"'decisive and accurate', and 'provide simple explanations of very complex matters.'" 
 

Chambers USA 2014
"They are highly professional and client-focused."

Legal 500 2014
"Mayer Brown's 'fantastic transactional practice' has 25 partners across seven offices. This 'professional' group has 'excellent cross-border expertise' and is 'dedicated to client care.'"

Chambers and Partners 2012
Clients admire the team's pragmatism and business savvy, and that the solicitors "get to the nub of the issues quickly." 

"Has a substantial cross-border real estate finance practice doing high-quality work for such significant clients as Wells Fargo, and BNP Paribas Fortis."

Asia Pacific Legal 500 2012
"Mayer Brown has a sizeable real estate team, well equipped to handle all manner of property-related transactions."

Chambers Asia Pacific 2011
"This is undoubtedly one of the market-leading firms in Hong Kong, with an aggressively expanding China practice."

Asia Pacific Legal 500 2011 
"[The firm's] 'prompt response times, excellent business acumen and industry knowledge' make it a popular choice among lenders, particularly for real estate financing."