With offices in the City and West End of London, and in Manchester, Ronald Fletcher Baker has a thriving Legal 500 listed Commercial Property department acting for landlords and tenants on the grant of leases, the purchase and sale of commercial investments and the purchase and sale of development sites.
The firm attracts a diverse client base including financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals and substantial freehold corporate investors, many of whom are based overseas. As a result, the firm has considerable expertise in acting for corporate investors based in the BVI, Bahamas, Mauritius, Seychelles, Turkey and the Isle of Man. Our expertise and experience in such transactions ensures that we are able to live up to our promise of being professional, responsive and competitive.
The department has special experience in complex flat schemes, right to light issues and leasehold enfranchisement in Central London. The firm is regularly instructed in big ticket transactions such as acquisitions of hotels valued at £50 million, premises valued at £40 million, multi property finance for £75 million, as well as a number of purchases of around £20 million.
The Legal 500 2020 recognised the Ronald Fletcher Baker team as having 'real expertise and 'looking at matters from a commercial perspective.’ Its corporate occupier practice is tailored towards portfolio management such as high-value lease work, refinancing, sale and leaseback transactions and the spectrum of landlord and tenant advice. Instructions in the hotels and leisure sectors encompass leasing issues, hotel developments, work for restaurateurs and disputes, among others matters. Commercial redevelopment is another keystone of the practice, as is property finance and high-value developments in prime London locations. Domestic and international financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals, freehold corporate investors form the investment client base. Senior associate Simon Lawrence is highly regarded for commercial lettings and acquisitions.
Where matters become contentious our property litigation department is on hand to protect your interests. The department has been described by the Legal 500 as ‘fantastic, ‘very able’ and ‘effective’ with an 'impressive niche practice, with the 'ability to handle complex litigation'.
Our commercial property team has a broad range of experience in all aspects of residential and commercial development and management. Our specialist lawyers are regularly instructed in matters relating to:
- Leases of Retail, office and industrial units
- The restaurant, hotel and entertainment sectors
- Business premises acquisition and disposal
- Site assembly, development and disposal
- Planning issues and agreement
- Secured lending and refinancing
- Specialist offshore transactions
- Attended exchanges
- Auction sales and purchases
- Lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954
- Licences and renewals under the Communications Act 2003
In the area of property finance the Legal 500 2020 edition says that the firm is 'noted for its expertise in advising offshore corporate structures, as well as financial institutions and High net worth individuals. Areas of strength include portfolio refinancing's, bridging finance and Islamic finance. The practice is jointly led by Sarah Hung, who specialises in investment and development finance,a nd Jon O'Callaghan whose expertise covers the retail, hotel and leisure sectors.
Previous Legal Directory Recommendations
The Legal 500 2017
Commercial Property: Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has a ‘large team with some very senior and experienced solicitors’ who ‘focus on getting the deal done and providing good and strategic advice’. The practice is particularly known for its expertise in hotel-and-leisure related matters, with practice co-head Sarah Hung who ‘really knows the restaurant industry’, displaying ‘great attention to detail’; and senior associate Simon Lawrence ‘highly sought after for his expertise in development and hotels’. The team was also active in the residential sector, where it advised key client Dominvs Property Developments on a number of investment and development mandates. Other key figures include practice co-head John O'Callaghan, whose ‘25 years’ experience ensure that the most complex cases proceed with speed’; and newly promoted partner Paul Cain, whose ‘knowledge in each sector is unrivalled’.
Property Finance: Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP’s ‘sizeable, responsive and very knowledgeable’ team counts portfolio refinancing and bridging finance as key strengths. Clients include C. Hoare & Co, Svenska Handelsbanken and Keystone Holdings. John O’Callaghan is ‘intelligent, experienced and reassuring’, and ‘exceptionally talented’ Far East expert Sarah Hung pays ‘great attention to detail’; they head the team jointly with Afsheen Nasr, who made partner in October 2016. Senior associate Simon Lawrence, who frequently leads on deals, is ‘calm, knowledgeable and impressively speedy’ ... Paul Cain, who is particularly active on the borrower side, made partner in July 2016.
The Legal 500 2016
The department's work was again recognised in the Legal 500 2016, with an increase in the firm's tier ranking in this area, as well as an additional listing for our work in the Hotels and Leisure sector. The guide notes that:
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP’s ‘excellent, problem-solving’ team is led by John O’Callaghan and Sarah Hung, who have ‘in-depth knowledge’. The ‘super-reliable’ Simon Lawrence was particularly active and advised on a number of high-value deals in the hotels and leisure sector.
The Legal 500 2015
The firm's growing reputation was highlighted, noting The ‘very able’ and ‘effective’Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is an impressive niche practice. Jonathan Roberts and Sarah Hung are ‘painstaking and accurate’, as well as‘pleasant to deal with’..
The 2014 Legal 500
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP was listed in four sub categories for real estate including Commercial Property, Property Development, Property Investment and Property Litigation. Four of the department’s lawyers were recommended by the Legal 500 being described as having “excellent communication skills” and being “clever and commercial'.
'Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has a good track record in hotels, refinancing, development and general property matters, with values up to £40m. John O’Callaghan, Jonathan Roberts, Sarah Hung and Simon Lawrence have ‘excellent communication skills'. Clients include Habib Bank AG Zurich.'
Simon Lawrence handled some key matters in 2014 for Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP, including work for expanding Lebanese restaurant chain Comptoir Libanais. Jonathan Roberts shows ‘good depth of knowledge’, and Sarah Hung demonstrates ‘uncompromising thoroughness’.
The Legal 500 2013
The firm was listed for Commercial Property and received particular mention for being ‘poised, very experienced and commercially aware’.