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Herbert Smith Freehills advises British Land on its new joint venture with AustralianSuper to accelerate delivery of the Canada Water Masterplan

09 March 2022 | London
Deals and cases


International law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised longstanding client British Land on its sale of 50% of its share in the Canada Water Masterplan to AustralianSuper for £290 million. Following completion of the sale, British Land and AustralianSuper formed a 50:50 joint venture to accelerate the delivery of this 53 acre development, which is one of the largest and most sustainable London regeneration projects in history. This transaction values British Land's interest prior to the sale at £580 million.

The Masterplan is centrally located in London's Zone 2 on the Jubilee Line and London Overground, making it easily accessible from London Bridge, the West End, Canary Wharf and Shoreditch. British Land achieved full planning permission for the scheme in 2020.  This consent is highly flexible, enabling it to deliver between 2,000 and 4,000 new homes alongside a mix of commercial, retail and community space.  Sustainability is central to the Masterplan and the developments will target the highest environmental standards. Over 35% of the Masterplan will be public realm, with new open space including a 3.5 acre park.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by Gavin Davies and Heidi Gallagher (corporate), Richard Forsdyke and Kathryn Coveney (real estate), and William Arrenberg (tax).

Gavin Davies commented:

"This new partnership accelerates the delivery of the Canada Water Masterplan, which will deliver new homes and workspace and create new opportunities for local people. We are proud to continue to support British Land on this exciting regeneration project to create a new urban centre for London."

The firm acted for British Land on site assembly for the Masterplan since 2015, including creating an innovative joint venture agreement with Southwark Council in 2018 and obtaining the largest planning permission granted by the London Borough of Southwark in 2020.

About British Land

Our portfolio of high quality UK commercial property is focused on London Campuses and Retail & Fulfilment assets throughout the UK. We own or manage a portfolio valued at £13.3bn (British Land share: £9.8bn) as at 30 September 2021 making us one of Europe’s largest listed real estate investment companies.

We create Places People Prefer, delivering the best, most sustainable places for our customers and communities. Our strategy is to leverage our best in class platform and proven expertise in development, repositioning and active management, investing behind two key themes: Campuses and Retail & Fulfilment.

Our three Campuses at Broadgate, Paddington Central and Regent’s Place are dynamic neighbourhoods, attracting growth customers and sectors, and offering some of the best connected, highest quality and most sustainable space in London. We are delivering our fourth Campus at Canada Water, where we have planning consent to deliver 5m sq ft of residential, commercial, retail and community space over 53 acres. Our Campuses account for 70% of our portfolio.

Retail & Fulfilment accounts for 30% of the portfolio and is focused on retail parks which are aligned to the growth of convenience, online and last mile fulfilment. We are complementing this with urban logistics primarily in London, focused on development-led opportunities.

Sustainability is embedded throughout our business. In 2020, we set out our sustainability strategy which focuses on two time-critical areas where British Land can create the most benefit: making our whole portfolio net zero carbon by 2030, and partnering to grow social value and wellbeing in the communities where we operate.

Further details can be found on the British Land website at

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