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In commercial property and business transactions there can often be unexpected complications or strict legal requirements, making it essential that you receive full and accurate legal advice and representation from expert commercial property conveyancing solicitors. For example, does the new lease you are entering include any unfair clauses, and does it fully meet your expectations?  Are you sure that the terms of the transaction cover all of the assets of the business, or all of the property you were expecting to acquire? And are there any other factors such as tax or insurance which need to be considered and managed?

Specialist Commercial Property Solicitors

Our expert commercial property solicitors have extensive experience on a variety of issues that arise in commercial property transactions. Our specialist team will provide you with full advice and guidance throughout the whole process and ensure that every aspect of the transaction meets your business needs and expectations, whatever your line of business. We offer advice and assistance on a fixed fee basis, giving you a clear understanding of the legal costs from the outset, and providing a bespoke and personal service tailored to the specific requirements of your business. Our commercial property team represent a diverse range of independent business clients such as shops, restaurants, hotels, and beauty salons, as well as owners of commercial property.

Commercial Property Services

Headed by Senior Associate Solicitor Matthew Smith, our team has wide expertise in dealing with all aspects of commercial property and business transactions, including:

  • Sale and purchase of all types of commercial property including business premises, offices, land, and portfolios featuring multiple properties (whether freehold or leasehold)
  • Business leases and associated documents such as licences for alterations, agreements for lease, assignments and subleases, deeds of variation, and rent deposit deeds (acting for both landlords and tenants)
  • Property development, including issues arising from the refurbishment of existing property, and buying and selling plots of land requiring planning consent (including overage)
  • Business sales and purchases, including both share and asset sales, as well as franchising
  • Refinancing and mortgages of commercial property (acting for both borrowers and lenders)
  • Advising on and assisting with specialist matters such as easements, the grant and release of covenants, and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954

Our approach to commercial property work

We take care of all of the legal aspects of the transaction from beginning to end, covering:

  • Drafting the initial contracts giving effect to your agreed terms
  • Negotiating the terms of the documents to ensure that they are fair and that your interests are protected
  • Providing detailed advice on the contracts and other relevant documents of title
  • Liaising with the solicitors for the other party to the transaction, as well as interested parties such as lenders and agents, to ensure that your transaction runs as smoothly as possible
  • Dealing with finance and advising on the exchange of contracts and completion
  • Handling necessary post-completion matters such as Stamp Duty and registration of the transaction at the Land Registry

Contact Us

Our commercial property solicitors would be more than happy to discuss your plans for your business at your convenience, on a no-obligation basis, so please feel free to get in touch.

Please contact Joy Heron by telephone 0191 2438164 or by email joy.heron@davidgray.co.uk

I’ve found a buyer for my business. What should I do now?

You or your agents should ensure that a full record is made of all of the agreed terms, to be circulated to the parties and their solicitors (and any other relevant advisors, such as agents or surveyors). Having opened our file, we would then be able to prepare and issue the draft contracts providing for the sale in accordance with the agreed terms. Your buyer might also expect you to provide replies to enquiries about the business, and so you would be advised to ensure that all documents and records of the business are readily available and in good order.

Do I need a lease for my business?

Not necessarily. Many businesses are operated from freehold properties, although this is likely to require you to be able to fund a freehold purchase, whereas with a lease you would often not need to pay anything up-front. Short-term licence arrangements might also be available for businesses not requiring a permanent base. If this is true of your business, you should check with the landlord what terms are available.

How long should my lease be?

This depends on the specific requirements of your business and what you are able to agree with the landlord, but there are various factors to consider. Shorter leases allow for greater flexibility but offer less security if you are intending to stay in the same premises for the long term. For longer leases, you would be advised to try to have a break clause included in the lease, so that you can end the lease early if the needs of your business change and you need to move before the term of the lease is up. Longer leases might also be registrable at the Land Registry, so we can advise on whether this will be necessary in your case and attend to any necessary work involved.

How much should I be paying for my lease?

You should seek expert advice from a valuer to check that you will be paying reasonable rent. However, we will provide you with a reliable and detailed estimate of the legal costs before we begin work. We can also check that there are no additional hidden costs provided for in the lease, such as service charges, contribution to the fees of the landlord’s solicitors, or a rent deposit.

I would like to change my lease. Is this possible?

It might be. You should check with the landlord whether they will agree to a variation of the lease. If so, we can put in place the documents needed to give effect to what is agreed. Please note that the landlord’s agreement to a variation might be subject to conditions.

I’m buying an existing business. Do I need searches?

If your business acquisition includes premises, then we would advise that usual conveyancing searches be carried out, as the results could reveal information that is relevant to your ability to operate the business. Searches are likely to be required by your lender if you are buying with the benefit of mortgage funding, but can still be useful even for leasehold premises for which no up-front payment is being provided. We can help with these.

The David Gray Commercial Property Team

Cliff Veitch

Cliff Veitch

Partner

Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith

Senior Associate Solicitor

Andrew Tague

Andrew Tague

Solicitor

Hayley Baker

Hayley Baker

Customer Relationship Manager

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