"A high-quality operator" who "impresses in terms of his connections and understanding of the market."
Chambers UK 2020

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 purchase 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 Kingswood Edge Limited on the acquisition of 30 Gresham Street, London for approximately £411 million.
  • Advising Scape, the international student accommodation provider, on the sale and forward funding of a student housing site in Brighton. 
  • Advising a private German investor on its acquisition and financing of 32 Brook Street and 68 South Molton Street in Mayfair, London.
  • Advising Rich World Holdings Ltd, the Hong Kong family office, on the acquisition of all the units in the Old Court House Jersey Unit Trust which owns 42-60 Kensington High Street, London.
  • Advising a Hong Kong-based private investor on the purchase of Aldwych House, London for £250 million.
  • Advising Emperor International Holdings, an investment holding company based in Hong Kong, on the purchase and financing of the Ampersand building in London for approximately £260 million.
  • Advising Chinese Estates (from Hong Kong) on the acquisition of 11/12 St James’s Square, London for £174.9 million.
  • Advising a private HNWI (from Hong Kong) on the acquisition of 368 Oxford Street, 47 Conduit Street, 31 Old Bond Street and 386 Oxford Street for circa £115 million.
  • Advising Chuang’s China Group, the Hong Kong-based property investor and developer, on the purchase of 10 Fenchurch Street, London for £80 million. The property is Chuang’s first acquisition in London.
  • Advising Asian Growth Properties, the Hong Kong-based property investor and developer, on the purchase of the entire issued units in the Trust that owns 20 Moorgate, London for £155 million.
  • Advising Chinese Estates (from Hong Kong) on the acquisition and financing of 61-67 Oxford Street, London for £180 million.
  • Advising Emperor Group (from Hong Kong) on the acquisition of 25-27 Oxford Street, London for £35 million.
  • Advising Chanco Group (from Hong Kong) on the acquisition and financing of 7-8 St Martin’s Place, London for £65 million.
  • Advising AEW Europe and Teacher Retirement System of Texas on the acquisition of Festival Place shopping centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
  • Advising China Overseas Holdings on the acquisition of The Helicon building, London for £140 million.
  • Advising a private client on the acquisition of Thames Court in the City of London for an undisclosed sum.
  • Advising H.I.G. Capital, a global private equity investment firm, on the acquisition of two regional shopping centres in the UK: The Kennet Centre in Newbury, Berkshire and the Kirkgate Centre in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
  • Advising CIT Group on the acquisition of the Finsbury Tower building in London for £106 million.
  • Advising Värde Partners on the purchase of Bizspace Group, the UK provider of flexible business accommodation for approximately £138 million.
  • Advising H.I.G. Capital on the purchase of the Grosvenor Shopping Centre in Chester for £65 million.
  • Advising AEW Europe on the purchase of 24-28 Martin Lane, London and 65-68 Leadenhall Street, London on behalf of its Europe Value Investors Fund (EVI).
  • Advising Erste IFE Geschlossener Immobilienfonds Fur England GMBH and Co KG on the sale of 3 Minster Court, London for £80 million.
  • Advising China Overseas Holdings Limited on the forward purchase of Carmelite Riverside, London for £143 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 Tribeca Holdings on the purchase of 431 – 451 Oxford Street, London for £127 million.
  • Advising China Overseas Holdings Limited on the purchase of the Centrium, 61 Aldwych, London for £170 million.
  • Advising Brookfield on the purchase of Gazeley, a developer of logistics warehouses and distribution parks in locations across the UK, Western Europe and China.
  • Advising Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation on the purchase of Old Spitalfields Market, London for £105 million.
  • Advising  China Overseas Holdings Limited on the purchase of 1 Finsbury Circus, London for £152 million.
  • Advising Lloyds Banking Group on the provision of a £52 million development facility to fund the construction of an office building at Chiswick Park.
  • Advising an overseas fund on the purchase of 30 St Mary Axe, London (the Gherkin) for £600 million.
  • Advising a UK bank on the refinance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's London theatres for £135 million.
  • Advising a Jersey based fund in connection with a £100 million refinance of the fund.
  • Advising an overseas fund on the purchase of 85 Fleet Street, London for £76.5 million.
  • Advising a UK bank on the refinance of English and Cayman Islands properties for £75 million.
  • Advising an overseas fund on the sale of Caxton Hall, London for £70 million.
  • Advising an overseas fund on the purchase of 11 Pilgrim Street, London for £52 million (and subsequent sale for £65 million).
  • Advising a private overseas investor on the purchase of 20 Grafton Street, London for £48 million.
  • Advising a UK REIT on the sale of Victory House, London for £40 million.
  • Advising an overseas fund on the purchase of 65 Grosvenor Street, London for £35 million.
  • Advising a UK REIT on the purchase of 95-100 Tottenham Court Road, London for £30 million.
  • Advising a private overseas investor on the purchase of 172 New Bond Street, London for £24 million.

Admissions

  • England and Wales
  • 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).