02 Oct 2018

The real estate team at Bristol law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) is celebrating a successful year so far, having advised on a series of transactions for its major clients including the South Gloucestershire Council, University of Bath Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC), St Monica Trust and Mewburn Ellis.

Some of the major deals the firm advised on this year in the region include acting for: 

  • South Gloucestershire Council and the University of Bath on the purchase of the Bristol & Bath Science Park
  • BBRC on its plans to create an inclusive housing scheme  with the acquisition of 61 homes on the Dunmail site in Southmead which recently won the Best Large Scheme in Planning at the National Housing Awards 2018.
  • St Monica Trust on the creation of the Chocolate Quarter at Keynsham, the selling of the flats, lettings of floors in the commercial space to IVC and Pukka Tea and also the creation of a new doctors' surgery on the ground floor.
  • Mewburn Ellis LLP on its new letting of space on a 15 year term in the new Aurora office building developed by Cubex Land and funded by Palmer Capital with occupation taken on 1 October. 
  • West Devon Council on its investment acquisition and refurbishment of Bristol House on Victoria Street, Bristol.
  • the joint owners of land at Brockworth, Gloucestershire  who, having obtained consent for 1,500 houses, are now selling the land to a selection of national house builders.
  • a variety of funders on the financing of investment and development projects in the region; together with refinances and renewals of the main funding lines for a number of developers and investors

Earlier this year, WBD was also appointed to the legal panel for Homes England, the Government’s national housing agency. The WBD team, led by Bristol real estate Partner Jonathan Bower, has been working with Homes England's in-house legal team and officers to help with their delivery of 300,000 new homes a year by the mid 20-20s. 

Fiona O'Kane, Bristol Partner and Head of WBD's real estate group commented:

"It has been a fantastic year for our real estate team in Bristol so far, advising our clients on many of the exciting developments and initiatives shaping the city. Property is at the heart of many of the changes we're seeing being driven across the South West, and with broad ranging expertise and cross-sector capabilities, our team is in a great position to advise on the key legal issues involved.  We're proud of our contribution to the real estate sector in the city and West of England."

WBD are hosting the Real Estate Quarterly Talks, a series of events taking place across the firm's UK offices.The first event in Bristol, which is taking place on 18 October, will focus on the issues affecting residential leasehold properties and proposals for reform. Paul Britton, Senior Development Manager at Homes England, will also be providing an update on the housing agency's strategy and address the question of how we can build homes at pace long term. Jez Sweetland from Bristol Housing Festival will also be speaking about their programme which launches the following day. Find out more and book your place.

The firm, which also has a large office in Plymouth, announced last month that it was re-appointed to the legal panel for Plymouth Community Homes (PCH), Plymouth’s largest social housing landlord. WBD has been working with PCH for the past eight years and was appointed to provide legal expertise across a wide range of areas including governance, development, finance, procurement, housing and employment. 

Ranking in the UK's top 20 law firms and by Chambers as a Band 1 firm for National Leaders (Outside London) in real estate, WBD provides legal expertise in eleven key sectors from across eight offices in the UK and 18 offices in the US. The firm's housing and real estate client portfolio in the UK includes Homes England, Akelius, Taylor Wimpey, RentPlus, Grainger and Places for People.