September 14, 2012

Leading Chinese retailer’s new £26m European headquarters handed over on time, following advice from Gordons

Construction and commercial contract advice from Gordons has been instrumental in a new flagship store and European headquarters for leading Chinese down apparel retailer Bosideng International being handed over on time.

The prestigious six-storey building, at the head of London’s South Molton Street, near the Oxford Street shopping area of the west end, will now be fitted out, following its release by the contractor.

A multi-disciplinary Gordons team originally advised Bosideng on the £20m property acquisition. The firm subsequently worked with the client on the £6m building phase, including the tendering process and preparing all procurement documentation for the contractors and team of professional consultants.

Richard Piper, head of Gordons’ construction team, said: “Apart from a continuing hand-holding process, including ensuring any statutory requirements are complied with, and liaison with the building contractors, our recent work has included negotiating successfully with Crossrail’s legal team. This was to ensure Bosideng’s foundation works were compatible with Crossrail’s ongoing operations.

“Crossrail is linking existing Network Rail services with new underground stations, building 21km of new twin-bore tunnels beneath London in the process. Their activities take precedence, but we were able to satisfy them Bosideng’s plans didn’t involve undue risk to their activities and agree terms which permitted our client’s work to proceed without interruption from Crossrail’s proposed tunnelling.”

One other issue which Gordons’ construction specialists have managed successfully arose following an unexpectedly large amount of additional rock and concrete being discovered beneath the site during excavations. Despite the impact this could have had on the programme, terms were negotiated with the contractor which avoided subsequent claims for delay, extensions of time or damages and ensured the building was still delivered by the original target date.

Richard said: “This ‘hands on’ proactive involvement typified our approach throughout the project. It demonstrated that, by retaining the legal team throughout the construction phase, the usual claims and disputes were avoided.”

He added that the Gordons approach also meant issues were authoritatively resolved at the time rather than accumulating into bigger problems later and a proactive strategy could be deployed, with the overriding objective of achieving completion on time.

Kelvin Mak, chief financial officer, Bosideng International, said: “We appointed Gordons because of their outstanding retail sector experience and they have ably demonstrated their capability throughout the project. It has been complex and challenging, but whether we’ve worked with their commercial property, corporate, planning or construction specialists, they have been exceptional in all aspects.”

Richard Piper said the project had again demonstrated his team’s preferred operating method of staying involved and keeping close to other consultants throughout a project could pay dividends.

He said: “By ensuring that the lawyers remain part of the team during the build process, we tackle many issues that arise more effectively and at less cost to clients than would otherwise be the case. It’s just a simple example of prevention being better than cure when it comes to sorting out the usual issues on a project.”

Advice on the construction project is part of a wider relationship between Gordons and Bosideng International, which also includes general commercial contract work. In addition to support facilities and services for the London store, this has also recently embraced the client’s PR and marketing support, warehousing facilities with Clipper Logistics, non-disclosure agreements and formation of new company Bosideng Retail Ltd.