The real estate sector is critical to both the national and global economy and our team will help you to navigate this multi-faceted industry and its dynamic changes and cycles, including the forthcoming Brexit and the unique challenges it brings.
We focus on providing the full spectrum of legal services needs to your business, providing a one-stop-shop for legal advice. We bring to bear multi-disciplinary teams to support you with:
- Financing and refinancing, debt capital and fundraising
- Acquisition and disposal of real estate assets
- Development, management or leasing of property
- Strategic land development
- Corporate (including private public partnerships, formation of SPVs and JVs, private equity)
- Regulatory (environmental, health and safety, data compliance)
- Property taxes
- Financial regulatory.
We work hard to provide practical, targeted advice and support, bringing together bespoke multi-disciplinary teams to meet your needs. Long standing client relationships are important to us. They, together with a deep understanding of the industry, help us to understand the issues and challenges you face and enable us to collaborate with you to provide pragmatic and commercial solutions to all of your legal needs. You need legal counsel that anticipate economic changes, operational challenges and regulatory or legislative revisions impacting on your sector and who understand how these factors each impact on your business objectives, and therefore the advice you need.
Our mission is to act as your trusted advisor, assisting you to negotiate the real estate sector and its opportunities and challenges both profitably and efficiently.
What we do
- Developers and investors
- Private rented sector
- Social housing.
Examples of work
- Acted for Commercial Estates Group (CEG) on an option over farmland at Rownhams, Hampshire ("Main Option") and several options over adjoining houses to be demolished so as to provide access to the land in the Main Option. CEG secured planning for 320 homes, a 60-unit care home and paddocks for horses. We completed the purchase of the houses and went through the option mechanics to acquire the farmland in the Main Option which entailed our property litigation team dual tracking a price arbitration and price mediation to determine Market Value which was disputed by the landowner. Market Value was determined within the parameters set by CEG and the option was then exercised, but not before a sub sale of the land for the 320 homes was structured to Taylor Wimpey. The sub sale enabled CEG to avoid paying SDLT on the purchase of the land within the Main Option but the sub sale involved restructuring the Main Option to allow for deferred payments to the landowner to mirror the structure Taylor Wimpey offered. The linked transactions were complex but our performance so impressed Taylor Wimpey – Southern – that they have since instructed us on several matters. CEG will promote the paddock land for more housing
- We acted for a real estate investment fund on its acquisition on a five-storey, 126,000 square-foot modern office building known as Cobalt 23 on Cobalt Business Park, Newcastle. The acquisition was from fixed charge receivers and effected by the client through a corporate joint venture with the developer which had led the original development of the Park. In relation to the corporate vehicle, we advised on the structuring of the shareholder agreement and the articles, dealing with the respective rights of the joint venture parties and matters such as future funding, construction works, property management, veto rights, letting arrangements and the terms on which parties can exit from the joint venture. From the real estate perspective, we acted on the acquisition of the property by way of a contemporaneous purchase of the freehold and a long leasehold interest from the joint venture party and the seller (acting through its receiver) respectively. Our construction team advised on the availability and assignment of collateral warranties from the contractor and professional team from the original procurement of the building. Womble Bond Dickinson was able to provide a full service to the fund, including corporate structuring, bricks and mortar procurement, title and real estate matters
- We advised the Vista PRS Fund (a fund managed by Hermes and Countrywide Scheme) on the forward commitment to purchase a yet-to-be-developed scheme of 325 flats at Baltic Village Liverpool. This included advice on site development and assembly, acquisitions/disposals of land/buildings, statutory agreements (e.g. s38, 278, 104, etc.), planning agreements (s106 and s111), development and management agreements, construction agreements and property taxation advice. The client secured successful exchange of contracts on a forward commitment basis to acquire the scheme, subject to completion of the development in a form acceptable to the buyer. This was the fund's first major PRS acquisition. Post exchange of contracts, the developer experienced construction delays. Between exchange and completion our drafting and advice around delay provisions allowed for a satisfactory outcome for the client, including receipt of LAD payments; revised delivery date; phased drawdown; and improved specification for the finished product. The project completed in August 2017.
"The 'knowledgeable team' is 'second to none; it isn't afraid to take on a challenge, going above and beyond to achieve exactly what the client wants."
"They have the benefits of a locally based firm with the breadth and capability of a national firm."