Temple Bright delivers on purchase of 574-bed Liverpool student accommodation development


Bristol and London law firm Temple Bright has advised on the purchase of a major student accommodation scheme in Liverpool.

The deal builds on Temple Bright’s recent experience on a similar rescue from administration of the nearby Aura student accommodation project, with the firm saying it further demonstrates its ability to deliver on complex projects and to field a team able to advise seamlessly across real estate, construction, financing, insolvency and corporate matters.

The latest 574-bed scheme on the site of a former coach station was originally funded by investor deposits through a fractional sales scheme but ran out of money in late 2021 – with the original developer falling into administration.

Specialist real estate investor Blacklight Capital Partners formulated a bid to buy the site out of administration.

Following authorisation of the sale by the court, entities controlled by Blacklight completed the purchase, with debt financing for the acquisition and ongoing development costs provided by funds advised by RoundShield Partners.

The development has now been rebranded as Limelight, with practical completion expected ahead of the September 2023 academic year.

Temple Bright fielded a team able to advise Blacklight on not only the purchase of the site from the administrators and the procurement strategy for the continuation of construction, but also the structuring and terms of a complex structured debt package provided by RoundShield, which was advised by Goodwin Procter.

Blacklight founder Matthew Hunt said: “Having worked with Temple Bright on the Aura project as developer, they were the obvious choice to assist us on the Limelight project.

“We are looking forward to completing the scheme and delivering another high-quality asset to the student accommodation market in Liverpool.”

Temple Bright real estate partner Iain Macfarlane added: “This complex transaction played to our strengths in several complementary areas of expertise and we look forward to providing continuing legal support to the Blacklight team in the coming months.

“With several other schemes yet to complete and financing becoming increasingly challenging in the current market, we are expecting – and are currently working on – similar projects that allow us to deploy the firm’s considerable and increasing expertise in this area.”

Temple Bright has more than 70 partners with offices in London and Bristol. The firm, which operates a streamlined partner-only business model, has particular strength in a range of commercial practice areas including insolvency, real estate, planning and construction.

Temple Bright’s core team for the Limelight transaction included Iain Macfarlane (real estate), Will Whitt and Alistair Hill (insolvency/banking), Kit Harvey (construction) and James Vickerman (corporate).

This article appeared in the Bristol Business Newsletter on 16 September 2022.

Iain Macfarlane
  • Real Estate
  • Energy & Environment
Will Whitt
  • Banking
  • Energy & Environment
Alistair Hill
  • Insolvency & Turnaround
  • Banking
Kit Harvey
  • Construction & Engineering
James Vickerman
  • Corporate