Elizabeth Napier helps clients deal with property issues swiftly, efficiently and with no unnecessary hitches.
Elizabeth is part of a rapid response team specialising in transactional property work, usually on tight timescales, on everything from the real estate aspects of corporate projects to insolvency disposals, along with standalone leasehold and freehold acquisitions and disposals.
When corporate transactions or projects involve property aspects, clients want a dedicated service that delivers results and allows them to focus on the big picture. Elizabeth understands the need for a quick and co-ordinated response, often working closely alongside our corporate team to resolve the property issues surrounding mergers and acquisitions, sales, purchases and re-financings. Additionally, she has experience of assisting with the property aspects of private sector takeovers of public services (usually from local authorities).
At a standalone transaction level, Elizabeth often works with Law of Property Act Receivers, liquidators, administrators and insolvency practitioners dealing with the disposal of properties, and other property issues associated with insolvency.
She also regularly conducts lease work, acting for both landlords and tenants.
She really enjoys the variety of work in her team - every day is extremely different, partly because the team acts for internal clients (for example, working closely with the corporate, projects and insolvency teams on large transactions) as well as running its own specialised matters with external ones.
Elizabeth has to be able to change hats quickly, going from thinking about a lease negotiation one second to carrying out due diligence on a corporate transaction the next. Focus and efficiency is generally what our clients are looking for. Being constantly immersed in different transactions, rather than being part of a general team that occasionally turn their hands to transactional work, means that Elizabeth can deliver that.
Elizabeth was lucky enough to spend nine months on secondment with a multinational apparel client, based in their European headquarters in the Netherlands and dealing with their property needs across Europe. It was a great experience, working directly with them and gaining insider knowledge of what really makes our major commercial clients tick - coming back, it has really helped Elizabeth in terms of being able to step into their (and similar clients') shoes and clearly see their objectives when negotiating on their behalf.
A couple of major deals that she has worked on also stand out, such as acting for Morrisons on its re-gearing of a substantial number of leases and being part of the property team working for Sanctuary Housing on their £300 million bonds issue. They were complex deals and had very tight timescales, so she had to deal with things under real pressure. Deals on this scale also always have a lot going so, so there is a huge element of having to think about the property aspects as part of a bigger picture and keeping the overall objectives in mind.
The extremely wide range of clients Elizabeth acts for includes large corporate, retail and third sector entities, LPA receivers, liquidators and insolvency practitioners.
"Liz has consistently sought to further our commercial position and mitigate risks where they have arisen and has worked with a pragmatism that has been crucial ... she has been both professional and personable throughout, and it has been a pleasure to work with her."
A Housing Association client, 2 June 2015
Advising UK supermarket chain Morrisons on its re-gearing of a large number of leases which it has purchased from the administrators of Blockbuster and Jessops. The properties were earmarked for the supermarket's expansion of its Morrisons M local convenience stores chain.
Advising Sanctuary Housing Association on its acquisition of the Consensus property portfolio
Advising Sanctuary Housing Association on the property aspects of its £300 million secured bonds issue, as part of a large cross-firm team. Elizabeth has also advised Sanctuary on property aspects for a number of other large or strategic projects.
Advising Amey on its property advice for its contract with Sheffield City Council to oversee the upgrade and maintenance of Sheffield's roads.
Acting for Arena Coventry Ltd in relation to the due diligence aspects of the acquisition of the Ricoh Arena by Wasps.
Acting for a large solar farm client preparing certificates of title on a number of properties in relation to the refinancing of the company.
Acting for LPA Receivers in relation to property matters, including dealing with commercial and residential, freehold and leasehold disposals either by private treaty or auction.
Acting for Premier Foods Plc in relation to the property aspects of its disposal of certain assets to Princes Ltd.
Acting for Patriot Aviation Ltd (part of the Rigby Group of companies) in relation to its acquisition of British International Helicopter Services Ltd.