Rachel Kerr Principal Associate


Speaks:  English


Primary office:  Birmingham



Rachel Kerr

Rachel Kerr helps clients to maximise their property investments and navigate their way through complex commercial acquisitions and developments. She does this by quickly 'getting under the skin' of transactions to effectively meet clients' commercial needs through the identification and provision of practical legal solutions.

Rachel acts for both investors and developers on a wide range of commercial property matters including:

  • investment portfolio sales and acquisitions
  • asset management matters prior to redevelopment and advice in relation to development schemes
  • shopping centre acquisitions
  • sales and management
  • redevelopment schemes including hotels, retail and mixed-residential.

Her five years at the firm, working in the biggest team in the real estate department, has given me the opportunity to work on a large number of varied and diverse commercial property transactions covering all aspects of investment and development work.

She particularly enjoys property due diligence including title and leasehold analysis in order to assist clients' understanding of the assets they are purchasing and/or looking to develop. However, the most challenging yet enjoyable part of her job is applying that detail in a practical fashion so that every client has a clear understanding of the risks involved and the solutions available to them in light of those risks.

Key to this is having a clear understanding of each client's commercial goals and needs and she therefore works hard to build up strong client relationships ensuring that client service is just as important as the quality of work she delivers. The complexity of the transactions the commercial investment and development team deals with means that she can confidently apply the skills she has acquired in working on investment and development transactions across many real estate sectors including investment, offices and shopping centres.

Highlights

Leading the property due diligence element of Northwood Investor LLC's £635 million acquisition of the Highcross Fund/portfolio which comprises more than 7.1 million square feet of office and industrial properties throughout the UK.

This was a demanding job both in terms of the amount of properties and timescales involved. It was Rachel's responsibility to head up the internal team to ensure that the due diligence was carried out in a timely and effective fashion and act as the key client contract throughout the job. The sheer size of the transaction meant that a number of law firms were involved and she demonstrated an ability to quickly build up strong relationships with Northwood's other corporate advisers to deliver a result that the client was delighted with.

Clients

I act for a number of UK and US based investment and pension funds across a wide range of asset types including offices, retail, industrial and shopping centres as well as UK-based corporates such as GKN. My development clients are actively involved in a variety of developments including hotels, distribution warehouses and mixed commercial and residential schemes, including in the Private Rented Sector.

Experience

Advising Northwood Investors LLC on the £635 million acquisition of the Highcross Fund/portfolio comprising more than 7.1 million square feet of office and industrial properties located throughout the UK. While purchased via a corporate structure, the properties comprising the Fund were the key asset and the advice provided by Rachel ensured that Northwood could secure critical mass in the regional UK markets with difficult-to-replicate countrywide presence.

Advising PMB Holdings on all elements of its ongoing development of Berwick Street in Soho - from acquisition of the site to dealing with and managing surrenders of existing tenants and negotiating leases with new occupiers for the developed scheme which PMB Holdings sees as integral to the regeneration and reinvigoration of Soho.

Advising Pearson Pension Property Fund on the redevelopment of Midland House in Portsmouth. Planning has been obtained and is being implemented in respect of an 84 room hotel and ground floor retail. By advising the client on title matters, working closely with the development manager for the Scheme and negotiating agreements for lease to ensure that the developed property will be fully occupied following practical completion, Rachel has assisted the Fund in modernising a tired office block and increasing its income opportunities.

Rachel advises a number of investment funds in relation to their property assets whether it be acquiring new assets, disposing of assets no longer required by those funds or managing the asset while in the fund's ownership. This exposes Rachel to a variety of challenging property work such as advising a client following the collapse of a shopping centre roof in the busy Christmas period both in the immediate aftermath and the resulting asset management and rebuilding work.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2017

    • Career
      July2017
      Gowling WLG (UK), principal associate
  • 2016

    • Career
      February2016
      Gowling WLG (UK), senior associate
  • 2014

    • Career
      2014
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, associate
  • 2012

    • Career
      2012
      Wragge & Co, solicitor
  • 2010

    • Career
      2010
      Wragge & Co LLP, trainee
  • 2009

    • Education
      2009
      University of Law, Moorgate, LPC
  • 2008

    • Education
      2008
      University of Law, Birmingham, GDL
  • 2002

    • Education
      2002
      University of Oxford, Balliol College, BA (modern history)