Opening of Liverpool’s £1bn Liverpool One signals ten year relationship for BLP

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) acted for Liverpool City Council on the flagship £1bn regeneration Liverpool One scheme, which includes new retail, commercial, leisure and residential sites around Paradise Street in Liverpool City centre. The project, which is one of the biggest retail-led development and city regeneration project in Europe, was officially opened in a fanfare ceremony by HRH Princess Anne earlier this month.

Awarded as the ‘European Capital of Culture for 2008’, the project has put Liverpool on the global map as one of the most significant city centre regeneration schemes of recent years.

What began as preliminary structuring advice in 1999, developed and grew to keep pace with the progress of the project. BLP Partner, Candice Blackwood (Real Estate) was involved in the project from the very beginning. Together with Planning Partner, Tim Hellier, she collated and managed a specialist team from across BLP to formulate the planning strategy and site assembly, negotiate the Development Agreement and manage real estate, planning, construction and tax issues. The Planning Team represented the Council at a 13-week planning inquiry and acted jointly for the Council and Grosvenor on the subsequent CPO inquiry. In addition, the BLP Funds and Tax Groups advised the Council on the £1bn financing (involving four equity providers and five debt providers) required by Grosvenor for the project.

The BLP team handled several referrals to the Lands Tribunal and all of the 250 interests acquired as part of the site assembly process and the discussions around the settlement of compensation claims arising from the CPO. Seven different BLP practice areas resourced by more than 20 staff were involved from planning and real estate through to tax and dispute resolution.      

Candice said: “It is amazing to be a part of a project of this size and see it come to fruition. The city has undergone a total transformation within the decade. The complexity of the redevelopment adds to the challenge and excitement! When you work on a project for this long, you become well aligned to the needs of the client and completely integrated with their teams.

It is testament to the breadth of experience not only in the BLP real estate team but in the firm as a whole, that we were able to provide advice on a range of issues throughout the duration of the project. Our leading reputation for major regeneration projects is now cemented.” 

BLP’s wider real estate team is also going from strength to strength. Its approach to offering clients the full range of real estate legal services while working with other practice groups across the firm to advise on complex, multi-disciplinary and high value assignments continues to attract prestigious clients. Recent high profile appointments include Andrew Yates as joint head of the regeneration and public sector team. 

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