"He is responsive and highly skilled on all real estate matters, and he provides crucial support." "He is a deal-doer who can work constructively and understands that structuring and complexity on a matter are there to be worked through together."
Chambers UK 2021

Overview

Chris Harvey is a partner in Mayer Brown's London office and head of UK Real Estate.

Chris has extensive experience of acting for investors, funds, property companies, banks and developers in all kinds of investment, development and finance transactions. In particular, Chris has extensive experience of acting for Asian, US and European investors investing into the UK real estate market. He continues to be one of the most active lawyers in the London market in connection with large London investment and development transactions. He led on the UK's largest ever office transaction; the acquisition of the "Walkie Talkie" for £1.3 billion by LKK Health Products. 

Recommended and ranked as a key individual, peers and clients alike are full of praise for Chris's real estate practice; sources say “He is super, a really good lawyer who is really commercial," and "He is knowledgeable, practical and very experienced in handling large transactions." (Chambers UK 2019). Chris is a "very strong" lawyer who possesses "excellent commercial awareness," (Chambers UK 2018). He is commended for his abilities to "move a transaction forward" (Chambers UK 2017).

Chris joined Mayer Brown in 2012 and was recently nominated by Times Online as one of the top ten future stars of the City. He was also named in Property Week’s ’40 under 40’ 2015 and 2016 list of rising stars in the real estate sector.

Spoken Languages

  • English

Experience

  • Advising the LKK Health Products Group, a member of the Hong Kong-based food company Lee Kum Kee Group, on its acquisition and financing of the London skyscraper known as the “Walkie Talkie” for £1.2825 billion. This makes it the largest-ever office complex property transaction in the United Kingdom.
  • Advising Wing Tai on the acquisition and financing of 30 Gresham Street, London for approximately £411 million.
  • Advising Link REIT, Asia’s largest real estate investment trust, on its acquisition of 25 Cabot Square, London for £380 million.
  • Advising Emperor International Holdings on the acquisition and financing of the Ampersand building in London for approximately £260 million.
  • Advising a consortium led by Wing Tai on the acquisition and financing of 66 Shoe Lane, London for £255 million.
  • Advising a Hong Kong-based private investor on the acquisition of Aldwych House, London for £250 million.
  • Advising Lifestyle International Holdings on the acquisition of 1-2 St James Square, London for £250 million.
  • Advising Wing Tai on the acquisition and financing of 8 Salisbury Square, London for £200 million.
  • Advising Chinese Estates on the acquisition and financing of 61-67 Oxford Street, London for £180 million.
  • Advising Chinese Estates on the acquisition and financing of 11/12 St James’s Square, London for £174.9 million.
  • Advising China Overseas Holdings Limited on the acquisition of the Centrium, 61 Aldwych, London for £170 million.
  • Advising Asian Growth Properties on the acquisition and financing of 20 Moorgate, London for £155 million.
  • Advising Tristan Capital Partners, a London-based real estate investment management company, on the purchase of the Project Tree portfolio for circa £153 million through its European Property Investors Special Opportunities 3 fund (EPISO 3).
  • Advising China Overseas Holdings Limited on the acquisition of 1 Finsbury Circus, London for £152 million.
  • Advising China Overseas Holdings Limited on the forward purchase of Carmelite Riverside, London for £143 million.
  • Advising China Overseas Holdings on the acquisition of The Helicon building, London for £140 million.
  • Advising Värde Partners on the acquisition of Bizspace Group, the UK provider of flexible business accommodation for approximately £138 million.
  • Advising K&K Property Holdings on the acquisition and financing of Orion House, 5 Upper St Martin’s Lane for £130 million.
  • Advising Tribeca Holdings on the acquisition and financing of 431 – 451 Oxford Street, London for £127 million.
  • Advising K&K Property Holdings on its acquisition of Endeavour House on 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, London for £115 million.
  • Advising Tide Construction on its development, forward funding and sale of a student housing development in Lewisham, London for £118 million.
  • Advising CIT Group on the acquisition and financing of the Finsbury Tower building in London for £106 million.
  • Advising Chuang’s China Investments on the sale of 10 Fenchurch Street in London for approximately £94 million.
  • Advising Brookfield on the acquisition of Gazeley, a developer of logistics warehouses and distribution parks in locations across the UK, Western Europe and China.
  • Advising AEW Europe and Teacher Retirement System of Texas on the acquisition of Festival Place shopping centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
  • Advising Scape, the international student accommodation provider, on the sale and forward funding of a student housing site in Brighton. 
  • Advising Scape on the acquisition, development and development financing of a development site which was formerly Mulberry Business Park.

Admissions

  • England and Wales
  • UK head of real estate Chris Harvey  specialises in handling cross-border transactions for overseas clients looking to invest in the UK real estate market, particularly from Asia. He regularly advises on big-ticket deals concerning prime retail and office properties in London. "He is responsive and highly skilled on all real estate matters, and he provides crucial support." "He is a deal-doer who can work constructively and understands that structuring and complexity on a matter are there to be worked through together." (Chambers UK 2021).
  • Clients describe his service as 'top notch'. ‘Chris Harvey and his team were top-notch from beginning to end. Chris and his team were able to offer us advice literally around-the-clock given that we are based in Hong Kong while him and his team (and the deal) are based in London. Chris and team held everything together – this was our first major commercial deal, and Chris and his team provided valuable advice and guidance in the process. Chris already came highly recommended from previous investment partners and associates we have worked with and this deal just proved exactly why.’ (Legal 500 2021: Commercial Property). 
  • Listed as a 'Leading Individual', Chris Harvey specialises in handling cross-border transactions for overseas clients looking to invest in the UK real estate market, particularly from Asia. He regularly advises on big-ticket deals concerning prime retail properties in London. Sources describe him as "a high-quality operator" who "impresses in terms of his connections and understanding of the market." (Chambers & Partners 2020).
  • 'Chris Harvey has excellent skills and always provides great partner time.' (Legal 500 2020).
  • Chris Harvey advises blue-chip UK and overseas investors on large transactions, with a particular focus on representing Asian clients. He also heads the UK real estate team. Sources say: "He is super, a really good lawyer who is really commercial," and add: "He is knowledgeable, practical and very experienced in handling large transactions." (Chambers UK 2019).
  • Head of UK real estate Chris Harvey is a "very strong" lawyer who possesses "excellent commercial awareness," say sources. He is regularly called upon to assist international clients, especially Chinese investors, with investment acquisitions and large London office transactions. (Chambers UK 2018).
  • Chris Harvey leads the UK real estate investment team and has experience of investment property acquisitions for international clients. Interviewees commend his abilities to "move a transaction forward" and say that he is "very efficient in turning around drafting and paperwork." (Chambers 2017).
  • Chris Harvey is "professional and proactive with experience to match his commercial nous" (Legal 500 2016).
  • As head of the firm's UK real estate investment team, Chris Harvey deals with a wide variety of property matters for investors and funds. He has recently undertaken work for US, Asian and European investors and is commended for his good client manner. (Chambers UK 2016).
  • Head of real estate investment Chris Harvey is "diligent" (Legal 500 2015).
  • Chris Harvey is named in Property Week’s "40 under 40" list of rising stars in the real estate sector.
  • Chris Harvey acts on high-value investment deals including inward investment, and also advises on the property aspects of M&A deals. Sources say: "I find him a pleasure to work with. He's very sensible and commercial but protects his client's interest." (Chambers UK 2015).
  • He has "a good commercial mind" and is "a good communicator who knows how to deliver deals." (Chambers UK 2014).
  • "Technically excellent and knows how to deliver" (Legal 500 2013).
  • He has "niche expertise in representing overseas investors" (Chambers UK 2012).
  • He is "hardworking and reliable" (Legal 500 2011).