Top Five Property Lawyers
From ‘the sheikh or the oligarch who wants a property to live in or to have as an investment hold’ to the ‘traders and investors buying buildings from overseas’, Cooke is your global go-to.
‘I love the breadth of UHNW clients we see day in and day out — from the Arab royalty to the government ministers to the South-East Asian entrepreneurs to the Russian mineral billionaires,’ says the likeable and good-humoured super-solicitor. ‘The insights, views and comments from all these individuals make life interesting and enjoyable!’
The firm’s private property group and private client head has seen some shifts in the past year, including a ‘significant’ cash surge into London from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. Many of his instructions have come from ruling family members.
‘This seems to have been despite concerns over increased property taxes in London and despite Brexit,’ he says, highlighting London’s seemingly impenetrable safe-haven status. Though not as prominent as in recent years, he continues to see quality work from Asia, and even from Russia: ‘Russians with established businesses in London or holding dollars or sterling, and those not immediately close to Mr Putin, continue to invest.’
Cooke currently counts close to £2 billion of work across his desk, including a £120 million project in Buckingham Gate (overlooking the entrance to the Palace) for a Middle Eastern UHNW. He has also secured sizeable deals for clients at the likes of Clarges Mayfair and Chelsea Barracks — in some cases with record-breaking prices.
Also qualified in the BVI, Cooke joined Charles Russell in 1997.