According to the Chair and CEO of Avison Young, Mark E. Rose, Avison Young has acquired legal advisory firm based in U.K. – Wilkinson Williams LLP and has opened a new office in London’s West End.
Founded in 1991, Wilkinson Williams has been the leading advisory specialist firm acting in the U.K.’s out-of-town retail market. Representing many leading landlords and tenants across the UK, Wilkinson Williams provides expert advice on all aspects of their respective retail warehousing and food-store property needs with the business focused solely on retail sector within the U.K. .
According to Mark E. Rose:
“The acquisition of Wilkinson Williams represents another significant milestone in the growth of Avison Young and further underlines our progress towards becoming a market-leading real estate advisory business across all sectors and disciplines in the U.K. This acquisition is another example of how our Principal-led partnership structure and collaborative culture allow us to attract and deliver talent of the highest caliber. Furthermore, the addition of 16 members, including eight principals, will greatly strengthen our existing high-performing U.K. team.”
Instructed on more than 21.5 million square feet ( or 2 million square meters), in 2017 the firm advised clients on investment transactions combined value of approximately £580 million (($754 million).
Wilkinson Williams will be rebranded ,with 16 members joining from Wilkinson Williams, as Avison Young.
Rose further commented:
“The Wilkinson Williams team will provide clients with fully integrated services in the retail sector, including investment consultancy, occupational and asset management advice, rent review and lease-renewal advisory services. This acquisition will ensure that we have a market-leading capability in the retail service line, providing us with intelligent insight and market knowledge on a national level. The new Principals are well-respected leaders within the retail industry, and their combined experience and approach to the delivery of client projects will be extremely beneficial to Avison Young as we continue to execute our strategic growth plan throughout the U.K.”
Jason Sibthorpe, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the firm’s U.K. region had to say the following about the acquisition:
“We look forward to adding Wilkinson Williams’ retail expertise to our comprehensive U.K. business-line coverage. The new team prides itself on being the retail market leader in its space and has developed incredibly close relationships with clients – many of whom have relied upon the firm since its inception. Retail is, perhaps, the most challenged real estate sector, and it is crucial that we are able to provide our clients with intelligent and integrated advice that responds to disruption and technological challenges with innovation and educated foresight. Our clients rightly demand and expect informed advice that clearly demonstrates added value and holistic solutions.”
Sibthorpe added the following:
“Wilkinson Williams has been leading the way for many years in the retail sector and will add fantastic gravitas, capability and coverage to our rapidly growing U.K. and global operations.”
Hiren Thakar, Avison Young Principal and COO, International Operations said the following:
“This acquisition of Wilkinson Williams establishes another benchmark in the expansion of our rapidly growing international operations. By opening a second London West End office, we continue the trend of rapid growth in the U.K. through high-end services for clients. The new Principals are not only high achievers, but great partners. Their addition offers us another opportunity to provide clients with additional services in the U.K., Europe and globally as we widen our retail platform by providing expanded services for occupiers, investors and asset managers alike.”
Terms of the Wilkinson Williams transaction were not disclosed.
About Avison Young
Founded in 1978, Avison Young provides commercial real estate services and focuses on providing investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing, and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial, and multi-family and hospitality properties. Headquartered in Canada, the company offers consulting and advisory, enterprise solutions, facility management, lease administration, project management, tenant representation, transaction management, and valuation and advisory services; and capital markets, investment and asset management, investment sales, landlord representation, mortgage, project management, property management, and valuation and advisory services.
About Wilkinson Williams
Founded in 1991, Wilkinson Williams provides agency, investment, lease advisory, and asset management services in the United Kingdom and is also headquartered in the UK. As of August 1, 2018, Wilkinson Williams LLP operates as a subsidiary of Avison Young (Canada) Inc.