03 Nov 1999



Simmons & Simmons recently acted for Despa, the German open ended fund, in connection with the completion of its acquisition of the office building at 10-14 Stratton Street, London W1 for a sum of £35.5 million. The property was sold by a Dutch investment fund. The offices are the headquarters of the surveyors firm, Grimley J.R. Eve.

This is the third transaction Simmons & Simmons has advised Despa on in the last six months. In May 1999, Despa acquired Colmore Gate, Birmingham for over £47 million and also disposed of the John Lewis Headquarter building at 171 Victoria Street, London for £113 million.

The Simmons & Simmons team was led by property partner Alan Butler. Despa were also advised by Richard Ellis St Quintin. David Gidney of Burges Salmon acted for the vendor.


Notes for editors:

1. Simmons & Simmons is worldclass law firm with offices in London, Paris, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York with over 1,400 staff worldwide. For further information on Simmons & Simmons please visit our website at

2. The Property Department comprises 16 partners plus 37 other lawyers, trainee solicitors and paralegals. As well as supporting the corporate areas of the firm, it has its own pure property and planning practice. Areas of expertise include property development, landlord and tenant work, commercial conveyancing, town and country planning and property finance. Property litigation is carried out by a dedicated team within the Litigation Department, headed by Carol Hewson. Support when appropriate is obtained from members of the Tax Department and Environmental Law Department.

Simmons & Simmons' Property Department has recently been involved in some of the UK's most significant property transactions. These include Despa's £140 million funding of Helical Bar's 260,000 sq ft office development at 25 Chiswell Street, London EC2, which has been pre-let to law firm Slaughter and May; the US$250 million forward purchase by Despa of the Diagonal Mar Shopping Centre in Barcelona, believed to be the largest retail shopping centre in Spain; Despa's purchase for £56 million of The Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead and its sale for £70 million of Hill House, Little New Street, London EC4; MEPC's development of Northgate House and Kent House, London EC2 and the pre-let of the office space to Cazenove & Co; the joint venture between Railtrack and British Land for the development of approximately 700,000 sq ft of offices at Broadgate, London, Railtrack's sale to British Land of the income stream from five Phases at Broadgate for £140 million, Despa's sale of the John Lewis Headquarter building for £113 million and Despa's acquisition of Colmore Gate for £47,015,000.