Increased regulations and compliance requirements, societal changes, plus a chronic housing shortage have resulted in increased pressure on developers of residential and commercial property.
To ensure your project is a success, our Property Development Solicitors will provide robust advice on everything from acquisition and disposal, finance, regulatory compliance, planning, environmental issues, and construction law.
You can be confident that we have the skills and sheer intelligence required to move your site development to completion on time and on budget.
We are a diverse, multi-lingual law firm that uses best-in-class technology to provide clients with streamlined, modern, and highly effective commercial property law advice and representation. Our years of experience in commercial property law means we have a robust reputation for excellence with the UK’s best Barristers and Queen’s Counsel, Estate Agents, Independent Financial Advisers, Surveyors, and Lenders who can bring additional support to our Commercial Property Department if needed.
Below are some common questions our Property Development Solicitors are asked by investors, builders, and developers.
What are the different types of development agreements?
There are several types of development agreements, including:
- Agreement for lease (pre-let agreement) – a tenant agrees to take on the lease of the premises once it is completed.
- Forward purchase agreement – typical commercial property buyers such as a pension fund or life insurance company exchange contracts for the sale of the completed property at an early stage in the development process. The forward purchase agreement sets out the terms on which the developer will sell the property to the fund.
- Forward funding agreement – the purchaser/fund provides finance to cover the costs of the development. Although the developer’s profit may be diluted, the risks are mitigated as compared with funding the development through finance and then selling the completed investment. In turn, the purchaser/fund takes on some of the risks in exchange for a lower purchase price and ultimately higher yield. With a forward funding agreement, the property will be pre-let. A speculative funding agreement is the same as a forward funding agreement except the property is not pre-let, leaving the purchaser/fund carrying a higher risk.
- Stand-alone development agreement – a landowner brings in a developer to carry out a project on land they own. For example, a supermarket or mall may bring in a developer to create additional retail space. The contract will stipulate whether the project will be carried out at the landowner’s or developer’s expense.
What is development finance?
Development finance is where a party borrows money to finance both the real estate purchase and the building or redevelopment of that property. The lender will use the property and the rights of the developer in respect of the development documents while the property is under construction as security.
Lenders will want to understand:
- The loan to value. When the economy is under strain, lenders will pull back lending on speculative developments and instead want to see a considerable level of pre-lets, pre-sales or deposits, and significant equity investment.
- The development cost, including land acquisition, designing, building, managing and letting or selling the completed property is within budget and, at the time of the project’s completion, not more than the value of the development.
- Can the lender ‘step in’ to complete the project if something goes wrong?
Why choose us?
Solicitors involved in site development need to be meticulous, quick, and alive to circumstantial and regulatory change. Our team regularly advises on multi-million-pound developments and know the level of due diligence and agility required to ensure investors and other stakeholders’ money and reputations are protected.
Our Property Development Solicitors have the experience and resources available to ensure that every aspect of your project which requires attention will be spotted, brought to the fore, and managed. Our expertise covers site assembly and acquisitions, joint ventures, pre-lets, planning for residential, commercial, and mixed-use schemes including compulsory purchase, environmental law, and construction documentation. Our team also advises on rights to light, rights of way, and easements, as well as dispute resolution. We will leave no stone unturned when managing your site development project and you can be assured that we will provide the commercially astute legal advice you need to protect your interests and investment.
Our Solicitors are businesspeople themselves; therefore, we understand that every decision you make must encompass commercial reality. We receive most of our instructions via word of mouth recommendations because landowners, developers, and investors are confident that we have the expertise required to ensure they get the deal signed, the finance acquired, and the project completed.
We are focused on results and achieving them in the swiftest, most cost-effective way possible. Our Commercial Property Solicitors will take care of your legal concerns so you can concentrate on your project’s completion and profitability.
To talk to us about site development, please contact us using the form below.
Meet your 'Site Development' specialists
The team to guide you through your legal needs.
Depending upon the complexity we are able to offer fixed fees in some cases. In other cases our solicitors charge the following hourly rate:
- Partner/Member SolicitorHourly rate of £250 + VAT
- Senior Solicitor or Head of Dept: (PQE 8yr+)Hourly rate of £225 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitor/Fee Earner (PQE 3/7yr)Hourly rate of £200 + VAT
- Newly Qualified Fee Earner (PQE 1/3yr)Hourly rate of £170 + VAT
- Paralegals/TraineesHourly rate of £120 + VAT
- Support ParalegalsHourly rate of £100 + VAT