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David has wide experience of acting for and managing client teams for funds, major property companies and developers including sales, purchases, lettings, refinancing, development and asset management advisory services. He has also been very active for foreign investors in the UK and charity sector asset management, development and regeneration portfolios.
He also advises on the impact of the changing climate, both physical and political, on private and public sustainable initiatives. In particular, he has been advising on green development and leasing and the effects of the changing regulatory climate on the institutional real estate sector.
- Acting for South African investor Zeno Capital on various deals including:
- the £400M acquisition of Riverbank House, the 320,000sq ft City of London office building which is the headquarters of hedge fund, Man Group and subsequent re-financing.
- the re-financing of Standard Chartered’s HQ building at Basinghall Avenue.
- the acquisition of the Sainsbury Supermarket site on Purley Way, Croydon.
- Acting for IXO Group on its residential and mixed use development portfolio.
- Advising a London City Mission on its property portfolio and strategic development proposals.
- Acting on behalf of The Co-mission Churches Trust on the redevelopment of church premises with enabling residential development in South West London.
David joined Wedlake Bell in October 2018 having previously led RPC’s Real Estate Investment and Development team, where he had been a partner from 2011.
David qualified in 1998 after obtaining a degree in Law from the University of Reading, and an LPC from the College of Law in Guildford. He became a partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner in 2006.
David is a member of the Board of Revo and Chairman of its Sustainability and Community Engagement Committee and is a former member of the policy committee of UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). He has also delivered masterclasses on Service Charge as part of Revo’s professional education programme.
David is a Trustee of the Revo Educational Trust and speaker on the Solent University Diploma in Retail and Leisure Place Management.
"My main contact is David Johnston – a man with incredible knowledge, capacity, integrity and diligence. His advice is always spot on and I know that if he says we need to take this course of action or that, I can trust him entirely."
— Legal 500, 2023
"David Johnston has been our lead point of contact at Wedlake Bell, working on property transactions and development agreements. These throw up many diverse challenges but he has been my rock in every storm. I have 100% confidence in him. His legal knowledge and grasp of context, fused with his ability to communicate precisely, succinctly and clearly, have been invaluable."
— Legal 500, 2022
Green Leases – Going, Going, “Green”