Building Legal Solutions

Property development

It’s very easy for lawyers to obsess about technical legal issues but unless they have an effect on the below two points, they really should not be the focus of a development lawyer’s time and energy.

Having worked with developers for many years, we have identified our clients’ major concerns are:

  1. Can I build out this development on time and on budget?
  2. Can I sell this development at my target price and without delay?

There are a host of things which may have an effect on those major concerns. Some of these can be identified by looking at the legal title and other papers supplied to us but others can only really be spotted either by a physical site visit or a detailed virtual site inspection. That’s why we visit our clients’ sites wherever possible to identify such issues as boundary discrepancies, third party rights, rights of light issues and other potential impacts on neighbours which are difficult or impossible to assess from a review of the papers alone. Where a physical inspection is not possible we use a variety of online tools to inspect the site. As part of our due diligence we would review the planning permission and conditions in order to advise on any issues with carrying out the development.

Our expertise in buying and selling development sites enables us to identify critical obstacles to the smooth progression of the transaction at an early stage to ensure that as little time as possible is wasted. Whenever we discover a problem we see it as our duty to come up with a solution. ‘Building legal solutions’ is the motto we try to live by every day.

We work closely with the other members of our clients’ professional team, particularly architects and project managers to ensure we have a thorough understanding of the project. Without a detailed knowledge of a client’s proposed scheme we believe it is impossible to deliver the bespoke service that they require.

Different development projects require a different emphasis and we tailor the solutions we offer to suit the needs of different development approaches. Our pricing structure always reflects both the number and complexity of the legal documents involved but also the overall transaction value. We avoid charging by the hour and our clients know that as a result there is never a risk that they will be penalised if the matter becomes protracted.

On larger projects we put together a team with expertise in each facet of a development project. Each member of our team leads on a particular area of the transaction but crucially all of us communicate to ensure that at any one time all members of the team have an overall knowledge and grasp of the current status of the transaction. Our clients build relationships with a number of individuals within the development team and we believe this gives them the confidence that each element of the project is being handled by the person most suited to that aspect of the transaction.

The above approach is exemplified by our dedicated plot sales and planning teams. Many niche practices lack the scope to offer a full range of services to take a development project from initial appraisal to final disposal but we feel we can add value by our acquisition team sharing crucial insights with our planning and plot sales teams which enable them to deliver a bespoke service which best suits our clients’ needs.