Nabarro's award-winning rebranding in 2007 made "clarity matters"
the firm's new slogan and a user-friendly legal practice its modus
operandi. One of the leading firms for real estate matters,
Nabarro has a broad-based practice that targets clients across a
range of industries. The firm currently ranks 22nd in Legal
Week's list of the top 50 UK law firms by turnover, having seen
revenue grow by an impressive 15.4 per cent in 2008.
Nabarro is best known for its property work, and thanks to the size
and depth of its institutional client base managed to make it
through 2008 with fewer real estate market worries than most.
Nabarro's commercial real estate group counts six of the top 10
real estate companies in the UK among its regular clients, with
Quintain Estates & Development, SEGRO, Hammerson, Liberty
International, Land Estates and British Land all firmly on its
roster. For Land Securities alone, the firm closed £1 billion
worth of deals in 2008. Nabarro also advises a number of FTSE
250 real estate companies, including Warner Estates and Great
The real estate team has received a number of significant
instructions in recent months. In February 2009, for example,
Nabarro advised London & Stamford Property on its joint venture
with British Land, which involved the £587.7 million sale of
British Land's stake in Meadowhall Shopping Centre,
Sheffield. Two months later, the firm acted for AFIAA, the
Swiss Foundation for International Real Estate Investments, in its
first acquisition of property in the UK when it purchased the long
leasehold interest in Garrard House, London.
In other recent real estate developments, the firm has teamed up
with Eversheds and Pinsent Masons to provide legal advice to the
Better Buildings Partnership on the development of a "green lease"
toolkit, a framework for landlords and tenants to make their
commercial properties more environmentally friendly.
Nabarro also consolidated its environmental and regulatory
capability in May 2008 with the launch of a new climate change
group. The group consists of 20 partners and 23 associates
who together cover energy, property development, planning,
construction, litigation and fund management. Energy, water
and waste regulation advice are also addressed by the new
group. Among the firm's energy clients are the Coal Authority
and UK Coal, Britain's biggest producer of coal.
Nabarro added to its real estate strength in 2009 with the
high-profile hire of Dechert's head of real estate, Ciaran
Carvalho. The move came despite Nabarro beginning redundancy
consultations with its real estate and commercial groups in
November 2008. When redundancy talks ended in March 2009,
Nabarro confirmed it would be laying off 22 people across its
London and Sheffield offices.
Nabarro's network of offices is relatively small for a large firm,
with its only international base located in Brussels.
However, the firm has a number of alliances with European firms
that provide it with good access to foreign clients. While
the majority of its alliances are on an informal basis, the firm
established formal ties with French firm August & Debouzy and
German firm Gassner Stockmann & Kollegen in 2002. In
2008, Nabarro added new firms to its friends network, this time in
Spain and Italy, when Spain's Rodés & Sala Abogados and Italy's
Nunziante Magrone joined the firm's list of preferred firms.
In July 2009, Rodés & Sala Abogados merged with another Spanish
firm, Gomez-Acebo & Pombo; Nabarro hopes to continue working
with the Rodés & Sala lawyers at Gomez-Acebo on a nonexclusive
Nabarro has been devoting significant energies to its corporate
capabilities. This has been particularly true on the AIM
front, where Nabarro has made considerable headway in recent years,
and in corporate matters in the property, projects, alternative
energy and health care sectors. The firm counts a number of
key names among its corporate clients, including Land Securities,
Laing O'Rourke and Euromoney Institutional Investor. In 2009,
Nabarro acted for financial advisor Numis Securities on the rights
issue and placing of insurance organisation, Beazley Group.
The rights issue raised £150 million of expenses. Nabarro
also landed a key role as advisor to Yoplait in its £63.5 million
buyout of joint venture partner Dairy Crest.
On the contentious side, Nabarro is exploring ways to trim costs
for clients. In spring 2009, the firm launched a
conflict-avoidance audit service together with Sperry Marine, the
UK subsidiary of defence contractor Northrop Grumman. Maybe
less litigation and smaller legal bills will help avoid situations
like the one the firm currently finds itself in with respect to
former client Uno Group. In April 2009, Nabarro filed a claim
in High Court against the retail office designer in an effort to
recover more than £50,000 in unpaid legal fees.
Try to impress in three minutes or
Preparing the way for its up-and-coming talent, Nabarro signed an
agreement with Kaplan Law School in February 2009, which will see
all of its London trainees taking the LPC at Kaplan, where,
alongside the core LPC subjects, they will receive tailor-made
Nabarro has a proven track record in recruitment matters, and in
June 2008 won LawCareers.Net's Training & Recruitment Award as
the "Best Recruiter" in the large city firm category. It has
also been recognised as running the "Best Undergraduate
Internship/Vacation Programme" at the TARGETjobs National Graduate
Recruitment Awards 2009, for the third consecutive year, against
stiff competition from the likes of Allen & Overy, Accenture,
Deutsche Bank and Lovells. As an example of the firm's
efforts to stand out among students, Nabarro recently debuted a
networking exercise modelled on a speed-dating event for the firm's
vacation scheme applicants. Apparently, the timed
meet-and-greet sessions were such a success that the firm plans to
build further networking training and opportunities into the summer