Peter Thorne helps clients to maximise the value and maintain the liquidity of their real estate assets. He seeks to ensure that his 30 years' experience of leading substantial real estate transactions is available to clients of the firm. He specialises in commercial property investment and development and regeneration projects.
While his primary focus is to understand a transaction from his client's perspective, Peter recognises that in order to achieve a successful outcome it is also important to listen to and seek to understand the views of all of the parties involved in a transaction.
In providing his advice, Peter believes in the three Cs being considered, clear and concise. He also appreciates that clients want the advice they receive to be practical and reflect the context in which it is given.
In his own words
First, I listen and try to understand the client's objectives and the issues involved. Then I seek to apply my knowledge and experience to provide pragmatic advice and solutions to real estate transactions.
I've been fortunate to be involved in some high-profile and challenging jobs which, as well as giving me some valuable experience, have enabled me to develop some close and valued relationships that I can draw on to provide the best advice.
I try to recognise everyone's contribution and appreciate that without the support of my colleagues, clients and their other advisers I cannot provide the best advice that I can.
- The development of the new US Embassy is certainly one to remember. As well as being a high profile transaction it presented a myriad of technical and practical issues to which there was a real collaborative approach from the representatives of the US Government and their professional team. The development of the embassy was the catalyst for one of Europe's largest and most exciting regeneration areas.
- My familiarity with the Nine Elms regeneration on London's South Bank assisted my appointment by St Modwen Properties and Vinci in their bid to become the preferred development partner of the Covent Garden Market Authority. It is particularly gratifying to work as part of a client's multi-disciplinary team, which was successfully appointed following a lengthy public procurement process, against strong competition.
- Finally, I would select the development of the new Swansea University £450 million Bay Campus. I worked as part of the St. Modwen team from the initial acquisition of the site from BP Chemicals, through the competitive dialogue process, to its selection as the preferred development partner of Swansea University and then subsequently on all aspects of the continuing development of this exemplar campus. This has included remediation, planning, the development agreement with the university that provides for subsequent phases as the campus expands, and the forward funding of the first phase of 970 units of student accommodation with the M&G Secured Income Fund. The many component parts required me to assemble and lead a team of five partners and six other lawyers to provide advice and to deliver all aspects required for this project. Although I have led teams on transactions in the past this was the largest redevelopment project where I had primary responsibility for the work of the team. I really appreciated the quality and commitment of my colleagues and the need to ensure that I communicated everything with each of them, so as to deliver the service that the client required.
My clients include CERN Pension Fund, Intu Properties, Manchester Airport Group, St Modwen Properties, The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society.
Ballymore Properties called on Peter to advise on the preparation for and sale of land for the development of the new US Embassy. If Peter was setting a real estate examination question, he would choose this one because of the range of issues it presented and for which solutions had to be found. The transaction involved three successive agreements with the United States of America to bring the site to a stage at which the development could commence.
St. Modwen Developments sought Peter's counsel on its joint venture with Persimmon Homes. This bespoke agreement had to provide for a long term joint venture, initially introducing seven sites but with provision for further sites to be introduced as they were identified and satisfied certain criteria. The agreement clearly identified the responsibilities of each of the joint venture partners in working together to realise the development of each of the sites for residential dwellings.
Intu Properties was looking to acquire its shopping centre at Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes, when it called on Peter. He undertook the transaction within two weeks of initial instructions.
Intu Properties also turned to Peter for the re-gearing of its ground lease of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, Nottingham, to enable the comprehensive refurbishment of that centre and Intu's proposed extension of the Intu Victoria Centre, which it also owns in Nottingham.
Royal London Mutual Insurance Society has sought Peter's knowhow with regard to a wide range of assets that it manages, and in particular the acquisition, redevelopment and sale of its asset at 43/48 Dover Street, London, and the acquisition of 131 Finsbury Pavement, London, let to the Swedish Stock Exchange.
Peter worked for one client advising on the offshore ownership of a portfolio of development sites through a Luxembourg SARL. As well as advising on the ownership structure he was also involved in the appointment of the Luxembourg management team.
Carmaker Peugeot came to Peter for advice on the sale and leaseback of a portfolio of UK dealership premises. The original purchaser failed to proceed and through contacts of Peter's the client was able to secure a new purchaser and the successful completion of the transaction.
Peter acted for Wilson Bowden Developments on its joint venture and agreements with Derby City Council, Rolls Royce and other land owners for the development of a technology park adjacent to the Rolls Royce factory at Chellaston, Derby. The negotiations required Peter and his team to align the various interests and objectives of each of the interested parties.
The joint venture between St. Modwen Properties and Vinci has a strong relationship with Peter. First, he advised on their bid to become the preferred development partner of the Covent Garden Market Authority and second, following its successful appointment, he worked and continues to work on the implementation of that development. Peter worked as part of a highly skilled professional team throughout the assignment and looks forward to being part of the transformation that this project will provide in one of London's most exciting new quarters.
Peter has also worked on the acquisition of a former BP Chemicals site and the redevelopment of that site for a new £450 million campus for Swansea University. It has been a demanding but very satisfying regeneration project, on which he initially commenced work in 2009, transforming the site into a stunning new campus for Swansea University. The project had several strands that needed to be progressed at the same time, including the forwarding funding of the student accommodation, and Peter enjoyed the challenge of leading the team and receiving unquestioned support from the partners and assistants that made up the team.