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Joanna Williams

Special Counsel
Fax +44.(0)20.7648.9001
Mrs. Williams is a special counsel in the firm’s London office and is a member of the real estate practice group specialising in investment, development and management.

Public Sector Investment and Development: Mrs. Williams has had much experience of advising on both investment and development for Local Councils. She has been the lead real estate lawyer on the setting up of the structure of these deals, and has been instrumental in the drafting and completion of the matters including assisting Local Councils in increasing their provision of affordable rented homes.

Private Sector Investment: Mrs. Williams has had experience of advising on purchases, sales and the taking of long leasehold interests of a range of properties including: the sale of airports and the purchase and sale of large-scale shopping centres, the purchase of London and regional office buildings, the sales and purchases of warehouses and residential properties. She has acted for a wide range of clients including: institutional investors, joint ventures, international investors and high net worth individuals. She also has experience in the corporate purchase of companies with significant value in their real estate assets including retail chains and solar panel companies.

Her work has included the drafting and negotiation of sale and purchase agreements and associated documentation, the drafting of certificates of title for sales of properties and carrying out due diligence and drafting reports on title and advising on the risks involved on purchases.
Development: She has experience of consideration of the title issues facing the redevelopment of sites and advising on adverse possession and overage. Her work has included drafting development agreements and leasing arrangements for developments.

Management: Mrs. Williams has had much experience of the management of shopping centres, working for institutional landlords on their assets throughout the UK and has acted for tenants in the securing of important office space.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mrs. Williams trained in London with an international firm and qualified in 2008, she remained there as a Senior Associate within the commercial real estate team.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Law Society Member
  • INTO University Volunteer

Speaking Engagements

  • Workshop for agents on heads of terms and commercial points in lease negotiations due to be held February 2015.
  • Educational workshops for graduate surveyors 2013-2014.
  • Part of the internal education team for trainees 2011-2014.
Mrs. Williams has outstanding, varied experience covering investments (acquisitions and disposals), management, development and corporate real estate. Key headline experience includes:

Investment Transactions
  • Lead real estate lawyer on the structure, drafting and negotiation of a £60,630,000 Transfer of 167 homes for Croydon Council with an £44,600,000 income strip sale to L&G.
  • Lead real estate lawyer on the structure, drafting and negotiation of a £21,700,000 Transfer of 96 homes for Croydon Council with an £15,634,500 income strip sale to Canada Life.
  • Real estate associate on sale of Barnard's Inn for TH Real Estate for c. £60 million.
  • Sole associate on all lettings at the Hallmark Building, Leadenhall, London for TH Real Estate
  • Real estate associate on the purchase of a ground and roof mounted solar panels company.
  • Sole associate working on the purchase of a £20million UK let industrial property.
  • Lead associate on the negotiation of the sale of London Shopping Centre for over £100million.
  • Lead associate on the due diligence aspects of the purchase of a 50% stake in a large UK shopping centre by an Australian investor, for over £250million.
  • Sole associate working on the sale by receivers of £20million of industrial buildings across different locations in the UK.
  • Drafted the sale and leaseback documentation for the proposed sale of a high profile building.
  • Part of the team working on the certificate of title for the £1.5billion sale of Stansted Airport.
  • Sole associate on the purchase of a £7million retail and office property in Holborn.
  • Part of the team working on Hammerson's sale of its office portfolio in London.
  • Assisted on the due diligence for the purchase of a UK retail distribution warehouses for £265million.
  • Worked on the due diligence for the purchase of a larger retailer by a US fashion firm for £215million.
  • Led the negotiations of the sale of land owned by a charity.
  • Acted on proposed purchases of high value residential properties for a high net worth family.
  • Acted on the sale of a strip of land subject to an adverse possession claim with overage provisions.
  • Assisted on the due diligence on the purchase of a shopping centre in Leeds for £48million.
  • Part of the team working on the sale of Gatwick Airport by for £1.51billion.

Development Transactions

  • Lead real estate associate on the Barking & Dagenham development of the Gascoigne Estate, which will provide over 1500 new homes by 2024, of which over 400 will be affordable homes.
  • Drafting complex leasing arrangements on public sector housing.
  • Advising Inquilab Housing Association on real estate aspects in respect of their assets.
  • Drafting a development agreement and lease documents for the building of a new hotel.
  • Advising on the purchase of an industrial property with development potential.
  • Advising on the redevelopment of a mixed use property in central London.
  • Ran the investigation and drafted the report on the rights and restrictions facing a client at their site, consisting of over 30 registered titles and unregistered land. Assisted the planning team with the s.106 agreements.
  • Advising on a renovation project for a shopping centre and the effect the restrictions in the leases have on the project and providing advice on how to proceed.
  • Assisted in the forward purchase of a site with a pre-let tenant.

American - London Tenant Transactions

  • Advised for Par Pharmacautical on taking office space in London.
  • Acted for Nortek in respect of office leasing in the UK.
  • Acted for Brightstar Capital Partners in relation to their retail warehouse leases in the UK.

Management matters

  • Responsible for the leasehold management of four UK shopping centres, acting for a large institutional pension fund investor. This role includes both the overseeing of associates work on matters and the drafting and negotiating a range of documents including: agreements for lease, leases, licences, assignments, surrenders, 1954 Act renewals, wayleaves, and maintaining model form leases specific to the shopping centres for that client, updated in-line with relevant case law.
  • Acted for the owner of airports in the UK in the negotiation of a new customer lounge and a complex assignment of the lease of an airport hangar, understanding the complexities of leasing property which lies beyond customs at airports and negotiating detailed agreements under tight time pressures.
  • Acting for several tenants in negotiations for key office space in the UK.