London real estate heavyweight and BCLP EMEA senior partner Robert MacGregor to retire

MacGregor to step down after more than 40 years advising on major real estate deals including in relation to Canary Wharf

Robert MacGregor Image courtesy of BCLP

UK law firm BCLP has announced that senior partner EMEA, Robert MacGregor, is set to retire later this year.

MacGregor, a real estate lawyer, will step down in September after a career of more than 40 years, during which he has advised on many of Central London’s largest office and mixed-use development projects. 

BCLP said MacGregor had been instrumental in advancing the firm’s strategy and building its 750-strong real estate practice, now led by global head of real estate, Chris de Pury, and Sam Narula, who leads the UK real estate practice.

Lisa Mayhew, BCLP’s co-chair, commented: “We are indebted to Robert for the enormous contributions he has made in our firm and his relentless pursuit in serving our clients. He is respected and admired by everyone who has had the privilege of working with him and we are so grateful for the performance culture legacy he leaves behind him. 

“In terms of our real estate sector business, he has been instrumental in building our number-one-ranked multi-disciplinary real estate practice, which leverages our international platform to assist clients with a full range of domestic and cross-border, big-ticket international real estate mandates.”

MacGregor qualified at legacy firm Titmuss Sainer & Webb in 1985 and was made a partner there in 1989. He moved to Clifford Chance in 1990 to join a team led by David Bows and Andrew Rolfe who were acting for Olympia & York on the development of Canary Wharf, a project which was to prove influential throughout the remainder of his career. 

He became a partner at Clifford Chance in 1992 before leaving in 2004 to join legacy firm BLP as head of real estate and a member of the board with a brief to help transform BLP’s real estate business and work as part of then managing partner Neville Eisenberg’s management team to grow and internationalise the firm.

In 2012 he became chairman, handing over the head of real estate role to de Pury in 2013. On the firm’s 2018 merger with Bryan Cave, he took on his current role of senior partner EMEA and as a member of BCLP’s board.

MacGregor maintained a busy transactional practice alongside his management roles that has seen him work with clients including Canary Wharf, Aviva, JP Morgan Asset Management and Citibank, among others. 

BCLP described him as ‘one of an early group of London real estate lawyers who, as the real estate market evolved in the 1990s, took the opportunity to lead multi-disciplinary teams on transactions for clients and who also travelled with clients to do those sorts of deals internationally.’

In the mid 1990s he acted for Paul Reichmann’s syndicate to re-acquire Canary Wharf from the administrators and then led teams advising on the subsequent development, financing and sale of many of Canary Wharf’s largest buildings. Late last year he also advised the group on its 50/50 life science JV with Kadans. 

Over the course of his career he has also acted on the development and related JVs and/or sales of London landmarks including 20 Fenchurch Street, 21 Moorfields, Winchester House, 120 Fleet Street, Chelsea Barracks and Greenwich Peninsula, among others. 

MacGregor said: “I have been remarkably fortunate to have had so many very able and supportive colleagues to work with during my career and without their help and expertise I could not have transacted a fraction of the deals I have been lucky enough to be involved with. 

“Much has changed in law and real estate over the last 40 years but the buzz from working with great clients and colleagues on interesting transactions has not. It’s been terrific to be part of some wonderful teams and I hope that over the years I have been able to provide some of my younger colleagues with the encouragement and opportunities that were given to me.”

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