JAMES LIFFEN

MISHCON DE REYA

Category
Property Lawyers
Company Size
International

Industry commentators call the highly personable James Liffen ‘an associate to watch’ — and not without reason. The young lawyer, whose venture into property was ‘slightly accidental’, has spent over 11 years advising on complex deals, ranging from shared ownership to high value financial transactions. He describes the variety of workload scattered on his desk while on the phone with Spear’s, from the refinance of a £20 million lease in Chelsea to a student portfolio in Stoke. ‘It’s very diverse in that respect,’ he adds. A significant trend he has noticed in the past 12 months is generally slow movement in the property market, with HNWs adopting an increasingly conservative attitude. ‘More people are sticking with what they’ve got rather than buying and selling,’ Liffen says. A frequent industry commentator who has appeared recently on BBC Radio Two, the solicitor’s perspective of the London market does carry weight. Liffen predicts the future to be similarly ‘static’, especially in the prime property landscape, with ‘a slight lull in the mega transactions’. He suggests ‘there will be no shift on price — people will still be slightly discouraged by the stamp duty and Brexit uncertainty,’ he says. The most challenging aspect of Liffen’s role is meeting client expectations, he says: they expect nothing less than a ‘Rolls Royce service’. ‘It’s about making sure they get the commercial advice as well as the bare bones legal advice,’ he says. ‘It keeps you on your toes.’

James Liffen