Real estate funds

Stephenson Harwood's real estate funds practice has extensive experience of acting for real estate investment funds and their managers. Our teams are renowned for developing long-lasting partnerships with clients. 

Fund formation

A pre-eminent position in the funds market gives us a comprehensive understanding of the issues involved in launching, reconstructing and raising funds for real estate funds. We can help you with the structuring and launch of all types of collective investment vehicles investing in real estate including REITs, offshore funds, authorised and unauthorised unit trusts and open-ended investment companies (including PAIFs) and limited partnerships. We also regularly advise in relation to joint venture arrangements with regard to real estate investment. In addition to our specialist funds, corporate and real estate lawyers, we are able to draw on the skills and experience of our tax and regulatory colleagues to provide the tailored service a specialist fund requires from structuring the fund and choosing the right vehicle to advising on regulatory issues regarding the management and promotion of the fund.


Pragmatic, commercially focused legal advice makes a powerful difference when you’re making major property decisions. Stephenson Harwood's real estate and corporate teams have extensive experience of working with clients on real estate acquisitions and disposals and the management of investments not only in the UK but also across a wide range of jurisdictions. Our team handles aspects of taxation on property from all angles. We regularly advise our clients on tax issues relating to the property related securitisations and structured financing, SDLT and VAT planning for transactions, safeguarding and maximising capital allowances on construction and transfer of all types of buildings and tax issues arising from land assembly projects, property sales and leasebacks. 


Real estate development and investment covers a range of real estate specialisms. Our team can provide you with commercial and legal advice on all aspects of residential and commercial sites, including acquisition and site assembly; development and sale; modification and release of restrictive covenants; joint venture structuring; brownfield/greenfield development and regeneration; and planning and construction.


Our planning lawyers provide quick and commercial advice to our clients to enable them to maximise their chances of planning success. With the continued trend towards complex regeneration schemes, we are widely recognised for our ability to analyse, suggest and use particular strategies and tactics that define the approach and achieve the right result for our clients. We act for developers, public authorities, funders and occupiers across all planning disciplines which ensures that we can see all sides of the argument when proposing strategies and negotiating solutions.


We offer clear, commercial advice and guidance on a wide range of environmental issues including emissions, contaminated land, permitting, waste and producer responsibility legislation. More than ever, environmental and climate change issues are at the heart of law and policy, impacting every business sector. Failure to comply with environmental legislation can result in very significant fines civil claims and damaging coverage in the media, meaning that compliance and risk management are critical. 


Our team is best known for our firm litigation style; we have an excellent record of settling disputes, on good terms, at mediation. Many of our clients have come to us where existing solicitors have failed them, or showed inadequate imagination or drive.

Key experience

Immobel Capital Partners 

Advised Immobel Capital Partners on the establishment of its first target £1bn Office Impact Fund, its joint venture with Munroe K and on the acquisition of the fund's first UK 'office park' real estate asset, valued at £110 million. 

Home REIT plc

Acted for Home REIT plc on its £350 million secondary fundraise on the London Stock Exchange, the largest single real estate investment company secondary fundraise of 2021. 

Schroder UK Real Estate Fund 

Acted for Schroder UK Real Estate Fund on its joint venture with Zurich Investment Foundation Immobilien Europa Direkt to acquire The Brewery, a retail warehouse and leisure scheme in Romford, London, for £162 million. 

LXi REIT plc 

Acted for LXi REIT plc on its IPO and subsequent fundraises and its c.£4bn 2022 merger with Secure Income REIT plc. 

Tristan Capital

We advised Tristian Capital on the £60 million acquisition of the Luxembourg incorporated company which holds ‘The Cube’, a 215,000 sq ft mixed-use development in Birmingham and on joint ventures relating to The Warsaw Financial Centre (€200 million) and The Pfizer Building, Sweden.

Allianz Real Estate

Advised Allianz Real Estate on its €315 million acquisition of the Nice Etoile shopping centre in Nice.

Custodian REIT plc 

Acted for Custodian REIT plc on its all-share acquisition of Drum Income Plus REIT plc, implemented by way of a Court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement.


Advised on its joint venture arrangements with a Dutch pension fund in order to establish a program to facilitate co-investment opportunities in interests in purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) and 'City Living' developments in the UK and Ireland

Schroder European Real Estate Investment Trust plc

Advised Schroder European Real Estate Investment Trust plc regarding its successful initial public offering on the main market of the London Stock Exchange and the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Peterson Group 

Advised on acquisition of Ampersand, an 80,000 sq. ft site on the corner of London’s Oxford Street and Wardour Street, for £120 million which was purchased for developing a mixed-use scheme, forward funded by the buyer. 

LaSalle Investment Management 

Acted on the £275 million purchase of the Intu Bromley shopping Centre and on the acquisition and follow-on management matters relating to the 712,500 square foot, 133 unit Golden Square shopping centre in Warrington.

Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited 

Acting for Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited on its US$156.7 million secondary fundraise on the London Stock Exchange and its acquisition of controlling interests in Gateway Real Estate Africa Limited and Africa Property Development Managers Limited.

Schroders Real Estate Investment Trust 

Acted for SREIT on the financing and management of its mixed use property portfolio of over 50 multi-let properties.

LondonMetric Plc

Advised LondonMetric Plc on the £15 million sale of the company which owns Milford Haven Retail Park in Wales to the Milford Haven Port Authority.

Schroder UK Real Estate Fund

Advised Schroder UK Real Estate Fund on the acquisition of mixed-use assets in Hammersmith, London, from the Matterhorn Palos Partnership for in excess of £150 million. 

Nexus Group

Advised on the launch of the first sub-fund, Pine II, of the newly established Goldcrest Fund II S.A. SICAV-RAIF, a reserve alternative investment fund established in Luxembourg, focussed on the acquisition of real estate properties leased to early year operators, special needs schools and other education establishments in the UK.

Real estate credit fund

Advising UK real estate credit fund on its credit bid acquisition of a 190,000ft2 mixed use development site in central London.  The acquisition involved an application on an urgent basis to the Jersey courts seeking a “blessing” order approving the transaction and confirming that the Security Trustee had satisfied its statutory duties upon enforcement of the Jersey share security and the subsequent sale to the fund.

Directory quotes

"Strength-in-depth. Genuine funds-focused practice. Good client base."
The Legal 500 UK 2023

"Great team – partner access and engagement, team led from the top. Market leader in their practice area. Commercial and pragmatic advice – find solutions to problems quickly."
The Legal 500 UK 2023

"They have talented professionals who can handle the most complex legal work and provide the best legal service… The team is extremely knowledgeable, with a strength in depth of resources and a very strong team culture… The firm offers excellent technical knowledge but with a good commercial overlay." 
Chambers UK 2023

Duncan Stiles
Duncan Stiles Partner, corporate real estate T: +44 20 7809 2163 M: +44 7768 122 740
Email Duncan Stiles | Vcard Office London
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Sophie Schultz
Sophie Schultz Partner, real estate litigation T: +44 20 7809 2257 M: +44 7584 390 465
Email Sophie Schultz | Vcard Office London
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Kate Longman
Kate Longman Managing associate, funds T: +44 20 7809 2123
Email Kate Longman | Vcard Office London
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Victoria Silver
Victoria Silver Managing associate, funds T: +44 20 7809 2190
Email Victoria Silver | Vcard Office London
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Alexa Whitehead
Alexa Whitehead Managing associate, funds T: +44 20 7809 2154
Email Alexa Whitehead | Vcard Office London
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Ian Benjamin
Ian Benjamin Partner, restructuring and insolvency T: +44 20 7809 2286 M: +44 7921 472 238
Email Ian Benjamin | Vcard Office London
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All team members