Pinsent Masons advises on HSBC's UK ring-fenced bank head office

20 Apr 2015 | 09:21 am | 2 min. read

International law firm Pinsent Masons has advised developer Arena Central Developments, a joint venture between Miller Developments and Pro Vinci Asset Management, on a landmark deal to develop new UK headquarters for HSBC.

HSBC will forward purchase the 210,000 sqft 2 Arena Central in Birmingham, which will be the Head Office of HSBCs new UK ring fenced bank serving personal and business customers. Ring fencing legislation comes into effect in the UK on 1 January 2019 and HSBC confirmed last month that it will create its ring-fenced bank head office in Birmingham.

The building will have the capacity to accommodate up to 2,500 people including leadership and managerial roles. It will be forward-purchased on a 250 year lease. Birmingham is already home to more than 2500 HSBC employees and around 1,000 head office roles will move from London before 2019.

Subject to securing planning permission at the end of April, work will start on 2 Arena Central in the summer and will be handed over to HSBC in mid 2017 for occupation from early 2018.  Designed by renowned architect Ken Shuttleworth of  Make Architects, the building will be the first in Birmingham  to be constructed to LEED Gold accreditation (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design).

The Pinsent Masons team acting on the deal was led by real estate partners Tom Johnson and Lisa Middleton, supported by Chris Dewes, Lyneth Blackwall, Nigel Blundell, Jonathan Vickers, Pam Bhatti, Martin Damms, Matthew Fox, Ruth Chapman and John Christian.

Phil Miller, Chief Executive Miller Developments, said: “The two teams have worked tirelessly to deliver what is the most significant deal in Birmingham for over a decade and will redefine the westside of Birmingham. This is great news for both Birmingham and for Arena Central and builds on the city’s burgeoning reputation as a leading centre for professional and financial services operators."

Graham Canvin, HSBC, said: “We want to be the bank of choice in the UK and creating our ring-fenced bank in Birmingham brings us a step closer to that ambition for our 16 million personal and business customers.  Arena Central was a natural choice for our ring-fenced bank, with a building capable of being delivered to our timescales and to meet our exact specifications along with a connected, central position within the city. Our team will be working closely with ACDL ahead of our transition from London, which will begin in 2017.”

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The announcement of HSBC’s relocation to Birmingham is the latest in a series of global companies that have demonstrated a commitment to the city by locating key services here."

Tom Johnson, Head of Pinsent Masons UK Development practice, said: " As well as being one of the most significant office development deals in the centre of Birmingham for several years, the HSBC HQ project is a clear vote of confidence in the city and the region, and underlines the reputation of Birmingham as a world class business centre.  Looking ahead, the redevelopment of Arena Central will have a transformative effect on the regeneration of Birmingham's west side and the evolution of Birmingham as the Midlands powerhouse."

The Arena deal is the second major Birmingham property deal for Pinsent Masons in as many months. In March the firm announced that it had advised  Persimmon Homes on a £100m deal that will create hundreds of new homes at the former Selly Oak Hospital site.

HSBC was advised by Eversheds and CBRE; and Birmingham City Council was advised by Squire Patton Boggs and GBR Phoenix Beard. 

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