Informer: Real Estate Newsletter Spring/Summer 2014
A warm welcome to the Spring/Summer 2014 Edition of Informer.
Confidence is returning to the UK real estate market driving investment deals to a level (in size and volume) that we haven’t seen since before the recession. Having been turned off in the late 2000s, the development tap is also back on again, with developers anticipating a space race as the UK economy picks up and employers look for additional space. This is likely to apply not just in London, where big city offices and residential blocks are again appearing on the skyline, but also in the regions.
These general positive trends have been further fuelled by an increase in the availability of funding. No longer the preserve of banks, new entrants from the private equity and insurance worlds have contributed to the amount and available levels of development and investment funding, giving rise to new levels of liquidity in the market.
What's new at Fieldfisher?
- New premises: we have been doing our bit to fuel the property market with our move to Riverbank House at the end of May. We have the top three floors of the building, with spectacular views over the River.
- New in Manchester: we recently merged with a Manchester based firm, Heatons LLP. This has given us 3 new real estate partners in our Manchester office, being James Flynn, Matthew Dobson and Stephen Evans-Jones. Our real estate team in Manchester now totals 11 lawyers. This merger not only increases our geographical reach, but also gives us further strength in depth in relation to development, investment, property finance and construction work.
- New brand: you will see from this edition of Informer that we are now branded 'Fieldfisher' (no longer 'Field Fisher Waterhouse' or 'FFW').
- New website: our new websitehas just gone live – we welcome any feedback on it.
We are now 15 real estate partners and a total of nearly 50 real estate lawyers. That includes four new partners in London.
Rhodri Pazzi-Axworthy and Thelma Marshall are both real estate investment lawyers who also have very considerable development work expertise. They have been involved in a number of significant real estate transactions, including acquisition and disposal of major real estate assets for investment clients, both on a direct and "wrapper" basis, acquisition and development of space for various end users, development projects and the creation of various finance-driven structures involving property.
Rhodri has particular experience in advising inward investor clients investing in a number of sectors including City office, logistics/industrial, hotels, student residential and healthcare. He recently advised a US REIT on the purchase of portfolio of operational nursing homes on a "propco" basis and a number of forward purchases of a pipeline of nursing homes in development.
Thelma acts for a number of large investors, institutions, property companies, corporates and Banks. Her highlights in 2014 include acting for a company in the development of a 1000MW CCGT plant.
Cecily Davis heads our construction and engineering practice. She is a highly experienced construction lawyer who has advised on some of the landmark buildings in London and elsewhere. Her clients include Bouygues, SAS Endel, GEA and Systra.
Owen Talfan Davies joins our property litigation team. Owen's clients include developers, investors, professional service firms and occupiers. His highlights in 2014 include acting for a developer client in a high profile £750 million claim. He is currently representing a global high street fashion retailer in a break dispute in the High Court.
In this Informer, we have again a wide range of interesting pieces covering interesting and recent developments. Our articles include a useful summary of the new CRAR regime ("Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery") following its coming into force on 6 April 2014. William Thompson explores the interaction of misrepresentations and non-reliance clauses in the acquisition of land. Tom Morton covers (what is expected to be) the final chapter the Game litigation and the liability of administrators to pay rent whilst using premises. Also, a further break notice case (from the Court of Appeal) is covered by Owen Talfan Davies, a subject which is now almost a permanent fixture in Informer. A full list of the pieces in this edition is provided below.
- Strictly does it
The Court of Appeal adopts a strict approach in lease construction cases
- Fast tracking planning cases
Speeding up resolution of major planning cases
- Converting shops to residential
Government seeks to further boost development through extending permitted development rights
- Dwellings held in corporate structures
15% tax rate extended for offshore companies and unit trusts
- Game over
Hotly anticipated Court of Appeal decision overturns previous law on rent as administration expense
- Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery
The New Regime
- Crossings the ‘I’s and dotting the ‘t’s
Invalidity of Section 146 Notice highlights critical importance of precise drafting in forfeiture notices
- Valuing damages for trespass and hurting the feelings of a company
Should companies be able to benefit from an award for aggravated damages?
- Clarifying the significance of T-marks on a plan
Just exactly what do t-marks on a plan mean?
- Did they put that in writing?
Non-reliance clause trumps proven misrepresentation
I very much hope you enjoy reading the contributions and, as ever, please do contact either the relevant writer of our articles if you have any questions on the pieces or me if we can help you with any real estate related matter.