WBD has advised its longstanding client Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, on its agreement to acquire a 259-home build to rent development in Derby on a forward funding basis for c.£36m, alongside Leeds-based property developer St James Securities.

This is Grainger’s first investment in Derby, a target city for Grainger’s national build-to-rent and PRS investment strategy.

A multi-disciplinary WBD team advised Grainger on the deal, led by partner Tom Willows, with the firm providing specialist real estate, construction, planning and tax expertise.

Tom commented:

"We're thrilled to have advised Grainger on its first ever investment in Derby, highlighting the attractiveness of the Midlands region which benefits from strong rental demand and robust economic growth prospects. WBD's UK real estate practice is one of the largest in the country and our understanding of the client and the build to rent sector meant we were able to secure a smooth and satisfactory conclusion for all parties."

Andrew Saunderson, Director of Investmentsat Grainger, added:

"This acquisition in Derby is an exciting addition to our growing portfolio of high-quality rental homes in the Midlands. Demand for high-quality rental homes in the city continues to grow, and this scheme will add greater scale to our Midlands cluster.

"Once again we extend our thanks to Tom and the whole WBD team for the first rate legal expertise we have come to expect from the firm."

Ranking in the UK's top 20 law firms, WBD provides legal expertise in eleven key sectors from across seven offices in the UK and 19 offices in the US. The firm's real estate client portfolio in the UK includes Grainger, Patrizia Property Investment Managers, BMO Global Asset Management, Moorfield Group, Commercial Estates Group, Morgan Sindall, Taylor Wimpey, RentPlus and Places for People.

Last week, WBD announced it was strengthening its real estate team in the UK with a trio of lateral hires from Clyde & Co including Adam Taylor-Smith, Georgina Hook and Brittany Beaumont all joining the firm. These new appointments are the latest in a series of senior hires across WBD's real estate practice with new partners Kathryn Wood and Paul Mason, and managing associate Clare Lamond, joining the firm in the past few months.