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Business & Economy

WBD advises South Tees Development Corporation on a major land acquisition

Transatlantic law firm, Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD), has advised South Tees Development Corporation (STDC), the first mayoral development corporation established outside of London, on over half of the developable land on the wider Redcar steelworks site. Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen formally signed off the deal yesterday (February 21).

WBD has provided legal advice to businesses in Teesside for over 22 years and was instructed to advise on STDC’s acquisition. The formerTata Steel site on Teesside comprises 1,420 acres of land, including two kilometres of river frontage, and represents over half of the developable land.

The team at WBD advised on the acquisition, on-site maintenance and phased handover to ensure continuity of maintenance programmes as well as on and offsite infrastructure ownership and obligations, and provided strategic and commercial advice on procuring the release of options and rights of pre-emption in favour of third parties. The firm continues to advise on the environmental and permitting issues of the current and future uses of the sites.

The multi-disciplinary team at WBD included Barbara Painter, John Booth, Thomas Welch, Nicole Tanfield, Will Bonas, Stuart Wardlaw,Fiona Graham, Sam Dixon, and Lee Parbery.

Barbara Painter, Partner in Real Estate, commented: “After 22 years of working with businesses in Teesside, we are continuing to provide legal support as the firm plays a key role in delivering this major project.  It was a really complex acquisition in view of the size of the sites and their disparate locations within the identified masterplan boundary. We are delighted to have supported on this acquisition as the site is key to bringing forward the Corporation’s plans to regenerate the redundant steel works and promote economic development and business growth in Tees Valley.”

Paul Booth, Interim Chief Executive of the South Tees Development Corporation added: “We were extremely grateful of the work which Womble Bond Dickinson provided us with, and we would like to place on record that they have done a really great job. This is a landmark deal for the future of the Tees Valley and will be felt for generations. I want to thank the team at Womble Bond Dickinson for their help and professionalism on behalf of the entire Development Corporation board.”

Ranking in the UK’s top 20 law firms and by Chambers as a Band 1 firm for National Leaders (Outside London) in real estate, WBD provides legal expertise in eleven key sectors from across eight offices in the UK and 19 offices in the US. The firm’s housing and real estate client portfolio in the UK includes Grainger, Sembcorp, Middlesbrough College, Teesside University and Places for People.