05:57, June 15 445 0

2017-06-15 05:57:09
Katten secures Old War Office deal for Raffles

US firm Katten Muchin Rosenman has secured a deal for French luxury hotel brand Raffles to take over management of the Old War Office in London.

Katten UK senior counsel Bob Asher led a small team on the deal, which includes managing partner Peter Sugden and real estate investment partner Gavin Vollans.

The deal took two years to complete and sees the Grade II listed-building become AccorHotels’ first ultra-luxury property in London under the Raffles brand and its 16th location worldwide.

Asher has worked on roughly 15 deals with Accor since its acquisition of FRHI Hotels and Resorts (FRHI) in July 2016 and told The Lawyer that Raffles was looking to expand into more “Tier One cities”.

Sugden said: “It speaks to Bob’s deep experience negotiating hotel management agreements, especially in the luxury sector, that Accor entrusted us with such a significant deal.”

A 250-year lease was sold by the Ministry of Defence in 2014 for the Old War Office to a joint venture by the London-based Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group and Spanish hotel group OHL developments, which intended to transform the Grade II listed-property into a hotel.

These intentions proved controversial with some fearing the building would be “mutilated” in the process.

However, Westminster council approved the plans in February 2017 with stipulations including public access to “historically significant” areas of the building for a minimum of 10 days a year.

Raffles first luxury hotel opened in Singapore in the 1800s.