Legal business DWF has secured a three-year panel appointment that will see the business become Whitbread's sole provider of real estate work for the hospitality giant's Premier Inn, hub by Premier Inn, Restaurant and Costa brands. The high-profile appointment covers all 'business as usual' property work across the UK, including construction, property litigation and planning, and also covers the Northern Ireland and Eire regions.
DWF has a long-standing relationship with Whitbread, having advised the FTSE 100 multinational through multiple stages of strategic growth for both its hotel and restaurant brands. In addition to handling Premier Inn's work across London, Scotland, the North of England and the Midlands, the firm has historically handled all Costa work north of the border. The firm has also advised Whitbread on the roll out and development of its innovative hub by Premier Inn brand in London and Edinburgh, and has, during the last 12 months, advised on 4 significant sale and leaseback deals at prime London locations – Kings Cross, Westminster, Farringdon and Shoreditch - representing capitalised value of over £350 million.
The new panel appointment represents a sizeable increase in work for the DWF team, which is led by partner and DWF Head of Real Estate North West Paul Inman and supported by Manchester-based real estate partners Naveen Gupta and David Frankland, who will head up the day to day relationships with Costa and Premier Inn respectively.
Paul Inman commented:
"I've worked with Whitbread for over 25 years, and throughout that time I have had the pleasure of advising the company through some of its most complex and exciting transactions. The scope of the panel work means that there is a good opportunity ahead of us to deliver some long-term strategic projects together that will enable the company to continue growing its core UK portfolio as well as creating a strong platform to support future development in new markets. Whitbread see us as a key part of the team delivering their strategy, and we are delighted with our extended role"
Chris Vaughan, General Counsel at Whitbread, added:
“DWF has been a trusted adviser for Whitbread for many years, and I am delighted that the relationship continues to strengthen. Earlier this year, we reviewed all of external our legal spend, and were looking to appoint a more strategic partner for our business at a significantly better price. As a result of this review, DWF was appointed to provide all our property law advice, across both Premier Inn and Costa, as both businesses continue their ambitious growth plans. We were looking for a combination of excellent legal skills and a commercially astute and value-adding approach, at the right price. DWF ticked all these boxes very well.”
DWF's national real estate team advises a number of UK household names, including Greene King, and has recently made strides in enhancing its international capability following continued expansion into new jurisdictions. Over the last year the business has made a number of partner hires, including London-based property specialist Mark Shephard, Paris-based partner Charles Koskas, and Director Guy Rusling in the business's Leeds office. The business also launched a new real estate practice in Dublin with the appointment of partner Michael Neary from Eversheds.