DWF advises Norwepp as HCA invests in Liverpool Innovation Park

Top 20 business law firm DWF has advised Norwepp on the sale of Liverpool Innovation Park and Exchange Station, a recently-refurbished office in the city centre, to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The HCA has announced its investment in these two major commercial developments in Liverpool following an agreement between the HCA and Aviva Investors to close the North West property joint venture Norwepp.

Norwepp, formed by the North West Development Agency (NWDA) in 2006 as a 10-year joint venture with Ashtenne Industrial Fund, controlled by Aviva Investors, was set up to manage, enhance and sell a number of the former NWDA's industrial and office assets. The NWDA's interest transferred to the HCA in September 2011 as part of the closure of the Regional Development Agencies and following the sale by Norwepp, again advised by DWF, of 17 industrial assets as a single portfolio in November 2013, Liverpool Innovation Park and Exchange Station were Norwepp's only remaining assets.

Deborah McLaughlin, HCA's executive director for the North West, said: "The Partnership did a tremendous job in improving its property assets and moving them on into private ownership, especially when it mostly operated during a period where there was a dramatic fall in property values and rents and economic uncertainty. The two remaining properties in the portfolio have transferred to the HCA and we will manage them with a view to selling them to the private sector as this is in the best interest of the tenants and the agency."

Julie Simms, real estate partner at DWF in Liverpool led the deal and commented: "Norwepp has done a fantastic job of improving a number of property assets across the North West since 2006 and as only two properties now remain this decision is the right strategy for the partnership in the current market."

The core team advising on the deal included Julie Simms, Helen Thomas, Vicky Green, Guy Thomas, Jo Merrick, Paul Attwood, Sophie McKibbin, Andrew Rogers and Catherine Haslam.

Julie Simms


I trained and qualified in Liverpool and have over ten years’ experience covering a full range of real estate work. I won North West Insider 2014 Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

Helen Thomas

Senior Associate

I am a Senior Associate with expertise working with organisations in the education and food sectors.


Paul Attwood


I advise on a full range of commercial legal agreements, including agency, distribution, logistics, outsourcing, IT, licensing and co-packing arrangements. I also advise on aspects of intellectual property law and competition law.


Catherine Haslam

Partner - Head of Solar

My specialist area is commercial landlord and tenant law in the context of telecommunications mast sites and renewable energy schemes.