We are pleased to share that Farrer & Co and Lewis Silkin LLP have been shortlisted in the Real Estate Team of the Year category in The Lawyer Awards 2023. The awards celebrate legal excellence, showcasing leading lawyers and firms across the UK. Jointly, the team have been recognised for their work acting for Shinfield Studios Limited on the construction, financing and real estate aspects of the state-of-the-art film studio facility that is being developed at Shinfield Studios, Shinfield, near Reading.
The UK’s high-end TV (HETV) and film industry is booming; the British Film Institute (BFI) reports that the industry spent £5.6bn in the UK in 2021, a figure that could reach £7.6bn a year by 2025. As a result, the demand for film studio space has skyrocketed. Over recent years big name players including Prime Video (Amazon’s streaming arm) and Disney have block-booked well known British film studios such as Shepperton and Pinewood, creating a need for new options.
The Shinfield Studios project is one of the most significant new developments being built in response. A greenfield new build development of nearly 1 million square feet of studio space, it includes 18 purpose-built sound stages, together with offices, workshops and infrastructure. The new facility constitutes a major piece of international investment into the UK HETV and film industry, and is expected to generate between £500-600m of inward investment annually.
A total of 30 Farrer & Co lawyers, led by real estate partner Mark Gauguier, collaborated to deliver this complex transaction, which includes: financing to the value of up to £260m for a build that will cost up to £300m; bespoke business requirements for film studio operators and occupiers; a 199-year lease of part of a wider science park; an innovative biodiversity off-set structure; and significant placemaking and legacy elements.
Peter Rumbold, Director of Shinfield Studios Limited, wrote:
“Mark and the team at Farrer are fantastic and a pleasure to work with. They consistently gave practical and constructive advice that took into account our commercial objectives and found innovative, creative solutions to overcome the many challenges we encountered during this transaction. The project management and teamwork were seamless, and the team was strong across all of the sub-disciplines. We were delighted with the result at Shinfield and continue to use Mark and team across our investments in the UK”.
© Farrer & Co LLP, April 2023