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DWF advises FirstService on acquisition of leading UK retail property specialist

UK top 20 law firm DWF has advised FirstService Corporation, one of the world's largest property managers, and its subsidiary, Colliers International, on its acquisition of Briant Champion Long (BCL), one of the UK's leading independent retail property specialists.

BCL will be integrated into the operations of Colliers UK and be led by Managing Partner, Mark Phillipson. This deal builds on the successful acquisition of Colliers International in 2012 and further strengthens Colliers' presence in London, in addition to expanding its international reach.

BCL employs more than 30 professionals and provides agency, investment and professional advice to a wide range of retail clients, landlords and investors. BCL is currently engaged in letting more than 4 million sq. ft. of retail space in the UK and over the past year has completed more than 800 transactions and acted on more than £425 million of investment transactions. The BCL operations generated approximately US$9 million in revenue during 2013.

Chris McLernon, CEO of Colliers International, commented: "BCL strengthens our capabilities in the UK and is another step forward in our strategy to grow and consolidate the commercial real estate industry and Europe and globally. This transaction is another example of our disciplined approach – partnering with high quality professionals that are aligned with our culture, while deploying our capital prudently to grow our business internally and through acquisition."

Jay Birch, head of corporate in London, led the deal at DWF and commented: "This acquisition complements Colliers' existing retail business and is consistent with its UK growth strategy. The deal establishes Colliers as one of the top players in the retail agency, investment and advisory sectors in the UK."

Jay was supported on the deal by director Manmohan Singh and partner Jon Stevens in the tax team.

Jay Birch

Partner - Head of International Corporate Development

I am a Partner in the Corporate team and have extensive experience in the full range of corporate transactions.