Observations from MIPIM: The Public Dented Sector

Author: Matthew White, Partner and Head of Planning, London

Now that the annual decant to Cannes has drawn to a close, I am left wondering how to judge the mood of this year’s MIPIM – the world’s biggest property show. This was a year of contradictions: not just the capricious weather, but also the prevailing atmosphere of scrutiny that hung heavy over the enthusiastic hospitality.

Rumours of undercover reporters and elaborate sting operations were overblown, ‎with only the Guardian having written anything so far (in their article, here). But this didn’t stop it being a common theme of conversation on the roadside outside Caffé Roma and in the foyer at the Martinez regardless.

‎Comparing the London stand with five years ago, it was remarkable how far the pendulum had swung from the private to the public sector. Many exhibitors this year were local councils: alongside the venerable City of London Corporation, I spotted Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Croydon, Ealing, Havering, Harrow, Hounslow, Newham and Kingston. Their presence at MIPIM is often criticised in the press. How can local authorities possibly justify spending council tax receipts on an annual jamboree in the south of France? Photograph a council officer holding a champagne glass or on a yacht; print it next to a millennial who can’t afford to buy a new home and you have an instant headline. This is despite the fact that developers actually chip in to cover council attendance costs through sponsorship.

There is actually a better story beneath the surface: why do local authorities attend MIPIM?

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Observations from MIPIM: logistics and prop tech

Author: Paul Chases, Partner and Head of Corporate Real Estate, London

In this post, Paul Chases, a partner in the HSF London Real Estate team comments on his experience of the Shedmasters event at the MIPIM real estate conference, and on the direction of travel of parts of the real estate industry.

  1. Continued Growth
  2. Future of the Shed
  3. Impact of Brexit

1. Continued Growth

The popularity of this year’s Shedmasters event at MIPIM (sponsored by Savills, Gazeley and Prologis, amongst others) is testament to the ongoing strength of the logistics sector, which, in 2017, saw record highs for investment in the industrial and distribution sector. The general view seems to be that this trend is likely to continue for 2018 and beyond with returns for the industrial and logistics sectors predicted to outperform those for office and retail (for example) over the next five years. Already this year, HSF has acted on a number of logistics deals. With such positive forecasts, the expectation is that new investor entrants will look to enter the market and there will be further consolidation by those already involved in the sector.

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Observations from MIPIM: Flexible workspace

Authors: Alice Dockar, Partner and Will Turnbull, Senior Associate, Real Estate London

New technology is changing the way people live and work, and flexible workspace is the subject of several events at this year’s MIPIM real estate conference. Debate at the conference has centred around whether the changes led by technology are temporary or permanent and how the industry and its participants, including landlords, tenants, agents and financiers, will adapt to this new world.

In this post, HSF partner Alice Dockar and senior associate Will Turnbull provide some observations from MIPIM on this debate.

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The road to MIPIM – podcast interview with HSF partner Matthew White


Matthew White, partner and head of the UK planning team in the London office of Herbert Smith Freehills talks to Lucy Morton, another lawyer in the planning team, about what he’s expecting from the MIPIM real estate conference in Cannes (13th – 16th March 2018) and about his forthcoming cycle ride to the conference. Please listen to this short (5 minute) podcast. Herbert Smith Freehills will have a team attending the MIPIM conference, please contact us for more details.

If you’d like to sponsor Matthew White on his cycle ride, he’s raising money in aid of Coram, a UK charity for vulnerable children and young people, here’s the link.

Matthew White
Matthew White
Partner and Head of Planning, London
+44 20 7466 2461
Lucy Morton
Lucy Morton
Professional Support Lawyer, Planning, London
+44 20 7466 2626