This team handles some of the largest transactions in the market and has strong expertise in the hotel and leisure sector. Sources are impressed by the team's complete package of client service and commercial awareness: "Its property team is one of the best in the country. They provide great client service. They know how to deal with tense negotiations - they are people who you want on your side." Recent highlights include advising Rontec Investments on its acquisition of more than 500 petrol filling stations and oil depot sites from the Total Group, as well as the onward sale of 251 petrol filling stations and all of the oil depot sites to Shell and DCC. The team also advised the Olympic Delivery Authority on the delivery and disposal of the Athletes' Village for the London 2012 Games. Other key clients include The Carlyle Group, National Grid, Tesco and Transport for London.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Chris de Pury is a leading figure in the real estate market, and clients appreciate that he "offers innovative solutions to complex deals." He was recently part of a team advising Hines on the acquisition of the 2 Snowhill development site in Birmingham.
"First-class" real estate practitioner James Knox is noted for his capabilities in handling cross-border deals, and he also has particular expertise in German real estate matters.
Andrew Little heads the firm's hotel group. He has considerable gravitas in this market, and draws upon previous experience as general counsel of Holiday Inns. Sources say: "He is very professional, very reassuring - and has an excellent way of dealing with clients."
Robert MacGregor leads the real estate practice at BLP. He handles a broad range of work, including investment, development and joint ventures, for investors and occupants.
Peter Rudolf is widely recognised for his specialist expertise in property development matters, an area in which he is regarded as an "absolutely first-class" practitioner.
Claire Milton is noted for her "tough but commercial approach," and clients appreciate her "real strength in being able to project manage teams and draw on their expertise." A major highlight of the past year has been her representation of Oxford Properties in its £400 million acquisition of Green Park, a business park in Reading.
David Battiscombe has a particular focus upon tower buildings and mixed-use urban regeneration schemes. He primarily advises developers and hoteliers, and is noted for his ability to "make it very easy for the layman to understand the legal system."
Andrew Sanders has a broad practice, encompassing development, investment and joint ventures, and he has been involved in some of the largest deals in the market in recent years.
David Levy's practice encompasses a broad spectrum of clients in the hotels and leisure sectors. He is noted for his niche expertise in care homes and motorway service areas.
Richard Hopkinson-Woolley recently worked with Claire Milton in the firm's representation of Oxford Properties. He has also acted for Tishman Speyer on its £172 million acquisition of Sanctuary Buildings in London from Vico Capital.
Veronica Metter remains a lawyer of choice for owners and developers involved in real estate transactions in the retail sector.
Alan Wight is a leading specialist in handling investments and developments in the City of London and Docklands area, advising key clients such as Canary Wharf Group and JPMorgan. He is also known for his representation of German funds and investors in the UK real estate market.