Simon Wood helps clients to increase the value of their property portfolio by actively managing their assets.
An asset management specialist, Simon advises some of the UK's leading property investors on assets across a broad spectrum, from industrial space to shopping centres (and everything in between). The management of a property asset after its acquisition can be just as important as the acquisition itself as an opportunity to add value.
Simon puts in place robust and commercial arrangements that work in his clients' favour, whether they are instituting new lettings, re-gearing existing leases or preparing parts of their portfolio for sale. Approachable and responsive, his client-focused attitude means he is an expert at keeping their objectives in mind and ensuring his transactions are completed with speed, accuracy, and without unnecessary legal jargon.
With an extensive and successful track record of completing real estate transactions, managing property portfolios and negotiating leasehold obligations, Simon brings clients a balanced perspective (partly developed through one of his previous roles as Company Solicitor for an AIM listed retailer) and an incisive focus on what is ultimately important and what is not.
"For me this job is all about the clients - getting the results they require in a speedy and effective fashion (no matter the stiff deadlines they're prone to setting!). Developing new clients is something that I really enjoy, finding out what makes them tick so we can provide them with a better, more rounded service. I think at heart I am an 'owner'. If a client has a problem, then it is also my problem, and I really want to get it solved as quickly as possible.
"Asset management really is a great team to work in. I split my time between our London and Birmingham offices so it means that I get the best of both worlds, being immersed with our clients doing business in the City and working closely alongside our Commercial Development and Investment team, while also benefiting from the geographic centre that is Birmingham for being able to reach out to our clients with assets all over the UK."
Working with Kennedy Wilson on their £127 million refinancing is a stand-out. It was straight out of the gates for Simon (he'd only been with the firm for five weeks!) and both time-pressured and labour intensive. He was working through the night, liaising with numerous sets of lawyers involved with other aspects of the deal, and cross-working with our commercial development and investment team. Ultimately, we got the deal over the line on what was a crucial transaction for them, which is the result you want to get for your client and was a great start to Simon's time here.
Simon acts for many of the largest property investors in the UK market.
Acting for clients such as The Crown Estate, Henderson, Harbert, LaSalle Investment Management and Kennedy Wilson on the ongoing development and management of their property assets, including new lettings, preparing portfolios for sale and re-gearing leases.
Advising Kennedy Wilson on a refinancing facility with GE Real Estate Loans Limited worth £127 million and involving 18 industrial and office assets, a crucial transaction for the client completed on tight timescales with rigid due diligence requirements.
Advising The Crown Estate, one of the UK's largest property owners, with their acquisition of Fosse Shopping Park, near Leicester – one of the largest out-of-town shopping parks in the country – for in excess of £340 million. The Crown Estate as property owner took a 50% stake in the park with another investor through an English Limited Partnership, and we continue to manage the asset on the partnership's behalf.
Acting for a global investment fund on the re-gearing and new letting of eight separate industrial units. All of the transactions had to be completed within three weeks of instruction so that the industrial estate could be valued for sale at a significantly higher level with these tenancies in place.