Canary Wharf European Medicines Agency

Landlord demands EMA pay £500m for Canary Wharf lease

pharmafile | July 27, 2018 | News story | Medical Communications Canary Wharf, EMA, Litigation, London, amsterdam, court 

A British landlord is taking the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to court over a £500 million bill for unpaid rent.

Europe’s equivalent to the FDA signed a 25 year lease on its Canary Wharf premises in 2014. However following the Brexit vote in 2016, the agency is set to move to its new location in Amsterdam.

As such the EMA has sought to end the 25 year lease on its London headquarters, as it argues that Brexit amounts to an unforeseen event of “frustration” of the 2014 lease. This would allow the medicines regulator a legal get out clause.

However, the owner of the premises, Canary Wharf T1 Ltd, have taken the case to court demanding that the £500 million in unpaid rent, rates and service charges should be paid.   

A spokesperson for the property owning company said: “We feel that the EMA should continue to comply with their freely negotiated legal obligations. We have been working with the EMA for nine months to see if they can resolve the issue. However, we are seeking this declaration so that the EMA is clear that its lease obligations will not be affected by Brexit.”

While MPs voted this month to continue to participate in the EMA’s regulatory network after Brexit, the Brexit vote has caused a series of crises for the European organisation, as it begins its move from London to the Dutch capital.

Louis Goss

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