James Spence is a partner in the firm’s Real Estate Industry group. Mr. Spence has a broad range of experience in domestic and cross-border real estate investments and M&A transactions, with a focus on operational real estate assets and businesses. He acts for a variety of stakeholders across the real estate sector on all aspects of investments in real estate, including structured sales and acquisitions, joint ventures, real estate funds and investment management mandates.

Mr. Spence is a member of Goodwin’s PropSci Practice Steering Committee, which is focused on supporting the intersection of real estate and life sciences through thoughtful collaboration across the two practice areas. As a key contributor to the group and Steering Committee, Mr. Spence stays up to date on relevant market trends impacting the PropSci sector to effectively support clients involved in this space. Mr. Spence is also involved in Goodwin’s PropTech Initiative which focuses on the intersection of real estate and technology.





Mr. Spence’s recent matters include representing:

Real Estate M&A

  • Advised Clarion Partners Europe (European real estate investment fund manager) on the sale to Dream Industrial REIT (an open-ended real estate investment trust listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange) of a corporate structure holding a portfolio of 31 institutional quality logistics assets across Germany, Holland, France, Spain, Slovakia and the Czech Republic for a consideration valuing the properties at over €880 million.
  • Medical Properties Trust on the acquisition of a corporate structure which owns a portfolio of 30 acute care hospital facilities valued at approximately £1.5 billion. The acquisition is considered the UK’s largest real estate transaction of 2019. 
  • A global real estate investment fund on the establishment of a new UK holiday parks brand, including joint venture and management agreements, asset and business acquisitions, development and financing.
  • A UK holiday parks owner/operator on the ground rent sale and leaseback of a substantial portfolio of holiday parks.
  • HSBC and Hines, as joint owners, on the £416 million sale of the entire issued share capital of the corporate owner of the 460,000 square feet Broadgate Quarter office complex, situated on the Broadgate estate, London EC2.
  • Kennedy Wilson Europe on the £204 million acquisition of 111 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1 – a 227,000 sq. ft. landmark, Grade A building located near Victoria Station, London.

Pan-European Portfolio M&A

  • BentallGreenOak on the sale of a portfolio of 42 premium logistics assets across four Western European jurisdictions (France, Spain, Italy and Netherlands) for a consideration of around €1.2 billion, via a sale of a structure involving regulated and unregulated, listed and private vehicles.
  • Gramercy Property Europe (now Clarion Gramercy) on the €1.085 billion sale of a logistics portfolio to a consortium of clients managed by AXA Investment Managers.
  • Medical Properties Trust on the acquisition of, and shareholder arrangements in relation to, a 46% stake in the Swiss healthcare real estate company Infracore SA. The acquisition valued the real estate (13 Swiss acute care hospital campuses) held by Infracore at around $900 million.

Real Estate Joint Ventures

  • AXA IM – Real Assets backed Kadans Science Partner on the establishment of a development platform with Canary Wharf Group to build Europe’s largest commercial lab building – the transformational 750,000 square feet building will form the first phase in the construction of a world leading health and life sciences hub on an 8.2 acre Canary Wharf site, which will play a key role in establishing London and the UK as a leading destination for the life sciences sector. 
  • Ares Management on various matters, including the establishment of a joint venture relating to the acquisition and on-going development of the Kampus PRS/mixed use site in Manchester and the acquisition of a 70% stake in the Go Native serviced apartment operating business and related joint venture arrangements.
  • A global alternative asset manager on the establishment of a c. £150 million co-investment vehicle to invest in the acquisition and development of PRS schemes across three central London locations.
  • HIG Capital in relation to Bayside Capital’s (a credit affiliate of HIG Capital) joint venture with M7 Real Estate to acquire light industrial real estate in the Netherlands.
  • Kennedy Wilson Europe on its joint venture agreement with AXA Investment Managers, pursuant to which AXA acquired a 50% interest in a portfolio of Irish PRS assets (Alliance, Clancy Quay and Sandford Lodge), comprising 1,173 total units.

Real Estate Funds

  • Gramercy Property Europe (now Clarion Gramercy) on the establishment and close of Fund III and Fund IV in the flagship Gramercy Property Europe series of pan-European real estate funds targeting investments in logistics assets.
Professional Experience

Prior to joining Goodwin, Mr. Spence was a senior associate with Linklaters LLP.


Mr. Spence has been recognized as a Law360 Rising Star 2020 for his accomplishments in Real Estate. He is also recognized as a leader by major UK legal directories, including Legal 500 and IFLR1000. Clients refer to Mr. Spence as having “excellent knowledge of the industry and highly commercial.”

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Dip L.P., 2004
The Oxford Institute of Legal Practice
B.A., 2003
Oxford University, New College



Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
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