Increasing levels of business activity across the South have prompted Dorset law firm Coles Miller to expand its specialist commercial property team.
Coles Miller has recruited highly experienced commercial property solicitor Kerry Houston-Kypta to meet rising demand from industry, developers, investors, landlords and tenants.
Kerry is a key appointment for Poole-based Coles Miller’s market-leading commercial team.
Her specialist areas of expertise include freehold and leasehold sales and purchases, commercial leases, options and conditional contracts.
“The recovery in commercial property is definitely gathering pace. The market has been improving steadily over the last year,” she said.
“There is more confidence. Importantly, the banks are starting to lend again and people are doing deals.”
A number of recent deals have involved the office sector as companies expand to larger premises, sometimes a bigger suite within the same business centre.
“My developer clients are also seeing a lot more activity. They are pursuing more planning consents and taking out more options on sites.”
Much of the activity by developers involves residential and mixed use schemes - ground floor offices and retail with upper-storey accommodation.
As good sites become harder to acquire, many residential schemes are now being based on freeing up surplus land from back gardens.
A number of developers are creating larger sites by acquiring land from two or more adjoining gardens.
This can be legally complex as potentially more than one set of restrictive covenants can be involved. It can also be much harder to gain approval from lenders if any of the land is mortgaged.
Developers are under growing pressure to move more quickly to seize opportunities now the commercial and residential markets are moving again.
It underlines the importance of instructing solicitors early and ensuring that all the paperwork is in order from the outset: planning consents, building regulations, restrictive covenants, environmental licences.
Coles Miller’s commercial property team is led by Partner Carol Elliott whose clients include companies, developers, banks, pension funds and charities.
Much of the work is in Dorset - particularly in Bournemouth and Poole - but the team also handles projects in London, Southampton, Salisbury and across the central South.
Coles Miller has extensive specialist knowledge in key sectors such as housing associations, motor dealerships and charities.
Work carried out by the commercial property team includes:
- commercial property acquisitions and disposals - office; industrial; retail; hotels, leisure and licensed property; developments; investment property; joint ventures; site assembly; sale and leaseback
- finance - mortgages; rent deposit deeds; legal charges; equity funding
- leases - drafting and reviewing leases; assignments; renewals; licences and rent reviews
- business acquisitions and disposals.
The commercial property solicitors also work closely with Coles Miller’s dedicated planning consultants led by James Cain.
Work covers every aspect of the planning process including applications, appeals, dealing with objections, enforcement and strategic site promotion.
For expert legal advice on all commercial property matters, please contact Kerry Houston-Kypta, 01202 338893 or Carol Elliott, 01202 338921.