Knowledge and experience
Devonshires’ expertise in the wider property industry includes the commercial property market. The team act on the sale and purchase (acquisition and disposal) of commercial property. The team deal with the day to day asset management of a number of client’s portfolios across all of the different sectors including industrial, office and retail sectors.
The team act for a broad spectrum of clients including:
- Property investors – buying and selling buildings and or estates as well as the day to day asset management of their portfolios. This also includes the redevelopment of key assets
- Registered Providers and their commercial property portfolios as well as their own corporate occupancy and any redevelopment projects
- Corporate occupiers – across their portfolios ensuring that they can concentrate on their core business
- Retailers – acquisition and disposal of new space and where appropriate mitigating the costs
The team bring a commercial focus to the negotiations between the parties with a practical ‘can do’ attitude to address the needs and risk profiles of the parties to conclude the relevant transaction in a cost effective manner.
Examples of our work:
- Sale of a retail block in Basildon with a worked up scheme for planning for a larger mixed use scheme as part of the wider regeneration in the area.
- Acquisition of industrial investment properties across the country including in the Heathrow area and the South Coast of England.
- Acting for clients taking new offices both in London as well as setting up new core regional hubs after they assess the impact of Covid on their business and working practices. e.g. Birmingham.
- Acquisition of development project in North London.
- Letting and disposals of mixed use scheme in Slough.
- Disposal of surplus retail properties from a portfolio across the country.
- Acting for a listed group of companies on all of their property requirements.
- Acting for an international retailer who are currently on an acquisition programme for a number of number of new lettings across the country.
We deliver a full service of advice and support, on matters including:
- Commercial Landlord and Tenant: Our team advises both tenants and landlords on a variety of matters from granting and taking leases to licences to assign, sublet or alter during the course of the term of the lease. This also includes evaluation of the terms of the documentation for both acquisition work (both corporate and property led) as well as reviewing terms to assess the impact of any liability between landlords and tenants.
- Business Leases and Renewals: We advise in relation to both opposed and unopposed (also referred to as hostile and non-hostile) business lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
- Investment Acquisitions and Disposals: Our lawyers have exceptional experience across the investment sectors. Their ability to spot an angle and/or problem solve depending on the transaction enables clients to conclude their transactions at the right risk profile.
- Development: Our experience ranges from small scale residential and mixed use infill sites through to multi-phase urban regeneration and infrastructure projects.
- Portfolio Management: We know that our clients need to actively ‘sweat’ their assets to generate better returns. Similarly, economic conditions dictate how this can sensibly be done. Our client base and the geographical locations of their portfolios provides the team with a good cross section of the different ways that both landlords and tenants have sought to deal with the recent pandemic across their assets The team’s extensive experience helps clients to achieve this and we seek to provide a value added service to their portfolio – ironing out any wrinkles and identifying opportunities to enhance value.
- Structuring: Including LLPs, offshore entities and transferring the beneficial interests of asset ownership. Throughout this process, in conjunction with tax advisers, we look to find ways that simplify the structure whilst planning ahead for any anticipated exit strategy.
- Corporate Vehicles and Joint Ventures: Our team can readily call upon advice from corporate lawyers who bring specialist expertise in the establishment of joint venture vehicles and contracts for real estate development and management projects.
- Real Estate Finance: Our banking team works extensively on the whole real estate finance sector be that senior, mezzanine or development requirements for residential, commercial or industrial property.
- Dispute Resolution: Our litigation team deal with all real estate disputes and, more importantly, how to avoid them. They are on hand to provide strategic advice from the outset before a potential dispute escalates and/or how to ‘deflate’ matters to enable parties to concentrate on their commercial aims.
- Redevelopment: We are regularly asked by clients to provide strategic advice as to how site can be redeveloped and how to deal with any occupiers to ensure vacant possession and implementation of the scheme.
Understanding your business: We focus on understanding your business and the markets within which you operate to ensure that you receive relevant commercial advice to help you implement your objectives.
Development and regeneration focus: Our breadth of experience benefits our developer and regeneration clients on mixed use projects. We are adept at tailoring commercial leases to ensure that they maximise the viability of the occupying business whilst minimising the impact on residents.
A specialist team
Our Commercial Property team sits within the Real Estate & Projects Department which has over 60 members of staff. It has built up experience in all legal and regulatory issues relating to:
- Sale and purchase of commercial property
- Conditional agreements for lease
- Asset management from new leases to surrender and the day to day management of assets.
- Real estate finance
- Site assembly
- Planning and negotiation of planning agreements
- Development of mixed-use properties
- Rack rent and premium leases
- Rent reviews
We are conscious that completing matters in a timely manner at the right risk profile is fundamental to you. The team has the resources to tackle all transactions quickly and efficiently, however unique or complicated. Key contacts from our team can be found on the right hand side and below:
Dan Moan, Partner: Dan brings a pragmatic, commercially focused approach to his work with a ‘can do’ attitude – problem solving any issues to help the client get the transaction over the line with a risk profile they are comfortable with. Dan’s areas of expertise include:
- Acting for both landlords and tenants on commercial lettings
- Asset management work for a number of clients (this includes acting for both landlords and a number of tenants across their portfolios)
- Investment properties – sale, purchase together with ongoing asset management
- Conditional contracts, overage agreements and collaboration agreements
- Development work
- Restructuring of ownership of assets for clients
- Secured lending including securitisation of portfolios
- Telecommunications leases – acting for landlords
Victoria Schofield, Solicitor: Victoria has broad commercial property experience, with particular emphasis on commercial and mixed-use acquisitions and disposals (both freehold and leasehold), commercial lettings (acting for landlords and tenants in new lettings and lease management) and secured lending (acting for lenders and borrowers). Victoria has acted for a variety of clients, ranging from investment clients, small companies, registered providers and charities as well as private individuals.
We have published a number of articles as part of our IT’S THE LAW series, which are designed to be easy read publications that provide a basic knowledge on a range of topics. Examples include:
- Commercial Property
- Commercial Leases: Rent Review
- Commercial Property: what to do when a tenant defaults
We have also hosted a webinar on Problematic Commercial Tenants, discussing the options available in relation to commercial space where the tenant owes arrears in the Covid era.