Clai Harrison is a dual-qualified (admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales and licensed by the State Bar of Texas) corporate partner based in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s London office, focusing on private equity, real estate private equity and venture capital / growth investment transactions. He represents private equity/investment firms, corporates and other institutional investors in the UK, across Europe and the United States on private equity and real estate private equity transactions, corporate real estate M&A, joint ventures, majority-control or minority investments, divestitures, carve-outs and loan portfolio acquisitions.
He is recommended by The Legal 500 UK 2024 as a “Next Generation Partner” for Real Estate: Commercial Property – Investment, where clients describe him as “meticulous, quick-thinking and thorough. Has led several complicated deals, and very strong at moving the ball forward” and recognised for Real Estate: Property Finance. He has consistently been ranked by The Legal 500 UK each year since 2018 as a “Next Generation Lawyer” for Real Estate: Commercial Property. In addition, he is recognised by the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom as a leading lawyer for Real Estate.
His recent experience includes advising:
- Cale Street Partners, LLP in a number of real estate private equity transactions and joint ventures for finance and property acquisitions in the UK and other European jurisdictions, including its joint venture with Hines for the investment of €500 million and development of an approximately 250,000 square metres “Unione 0” lot, part of the “MilanoSesto” urban regeneration project in Milan, Italy, which is part of the broader project between Hines and Prelios for the biggest urban regeneration project in Italy and one of the largest in Europe, on a site spanning 1.5 million square metres in Sesto San Giovanni
- IPI Partners in its acquisition from the selling shareholders of DigiPlex, Nordic owner/operator of hyperscaler and scalable, sustainable and secure data centres across Norway, Sweden and Denmark with approx. 21,000 sq. m (230,000 sq. ft) of white space having approx. 40 MW of capacity. DigiPlex is a fully 100% renewable energy data centre owner/operator and market leader in the Nordic data centre sectors
- L Catterton, Wittington Investments and Sweaty Betty in the $410 million sale of Sweaty Betty, a global fitness, activewear, and lifestyle brand, to Wolverine World Wide, Inc., a NYSE listed company and one of the world’s largest portfolios of footwear and lifestyle brands
- Nuveen, PFA and WeWork, Inc. on their joint acquisition, financing and joint venture arrangements for Devonshire Square in the City of London
- Oaktree Capital Management (UK), LLP in a number of real estate private equity transactions and joint ventures for properties in the UK and across Europe, including on its successful Euro 1.4 billion tender offer made as the lead investor jointly with consortium members to acquire at least a majority interest in the shares of German listed company Deutsche EuroShop, the holding company of several shopping centers located principally throughout Germany
- A NYSE listed, S&P 500 company having REIT status in its corporate real estate acquisitions in the UK and other European jurisdictions
- Verne Global, a Icelandic-base, sustainable energy powered data centre provider, in its series of early and growth stage fund raising rounds and ultimate sale to Digital 9 Infrastructure plc, a digital infrastructure investor listed on the London Stock Exchange, constituent of the FTSE 250 Index and managed by Triple Point Investment Management
- A number of seed and early stage institutional investors in technology companies focused on gaming, consumer services and other technology enabled services in series seed, early and later stage investment rounds
Clai received his Juris Doctor from the Duke University School of Law, where he was the managing editor of the Duke Law Journal. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University in 1999.