Advising and representing a consortium of seven land owners

Rebecca Mason 
Working with and advising a consortium of seven landowners

Development and land solicitor, Rebecca Mason (Partner), worked with and advised a consortium of seven land owners in the south west, ultimately drafting a complex Promotion Agreement to benefit all parties. Prior to Rebecca's involvement the consortium was being advised by another law firm however, due to lack of progress, one of the consortium members approached Rebecca, who was instructed to work with the land owners thereafter and through to the eventual successful sale of the land.

Co-ordinating the land owners

Due to the number of land owners, there was a need for Rebecca to co-ordinate the parties involved. Complicating factors included the fact that some of the original land owners party to the consortium had passed away or disposed of their interest in the land, which meant that dealing with enquiries raised by the land promoter and potential purchasers, regarding the history of the land, proved challenging to obtain.

Due to difficulties in coordinating some of the individual land owners party to the consortium, and in order to continue to progress matters proactively, Rebecca organised for instructions to be taken at round-table meetings. Rebecca’s previous experience dealing with consortiums has proven that such meetings lead to more effective discussions between the parties and to agreed instructions being received more promptly, providing for a more efficient service to be provided and more timely conclusion of the development agreement, in this instance the Promotion Agreement.

Ensuring consistency with the pre-existing consortium agreement

The terms of the Promotion Agreement had to be carefully drafted to ensure it was consistent with, and did not contradict, the terms of a pre-existing consortium agreement, which pre-dated Rebecca's involvement with the consortium. In this regard it was necessary for Rebecca to carefully review the Consortium Agreement and advise the land owners on areas of conflict between this and the terms of the Promotion Agreement being discussed. Rebecca's advice to the consortium provided for the drafting and successful conclusion of a Promotion Agreement without conflicts arising between the two development agreements, for the consortium as a whole or any individual member.

Pre-existing options and minimum land values

Part of the land owned by parties to the consortium was subject to a pre-existing option making it necessary for Rebecca to advise the consortium on the implications of this. Rebecca also advised the consortium on the merits of of including provisions for minimum land values within the Promotion Agreement in order to protect the interests and assets of the consortium.

Sale in whole or in part

As with any consortium it was necessary to advise the clients, with consideration of the separate land holdings and nature of the land in question, of the potential for the land to be sold in whole or in part, advising the consortium on the implications for different landowners within the consortium, as well as how the Promotion Agreement can be drafted so as to align the interests of all parties.

Varying the agreement

Following the death of several of the consortium members and the granting of planning permission by the Local Planning Authority, it was necessary to vary the Promotion Agreement. Rebecca advised the consortium on the amendments necessary for the Agreement to reflect the up to date position and drafted two Deeds of Variation. The first provided for the Agreement reflecting the landowners that were no longer going to partake in the consortium and the second varied the terms with the promoters and in particular in relation to the distribution of funds. 

Property litigation

During Rebecca's latter involvement with the consortium, it was necessary for Rebecca to enlist the legal expertise of one of Holmes & Hills' specialist property litigators. This followed one of the land owners party to the consortium being contacted by a relative who sought to stake a claim to a share in the land. Holmes & Hills property litigator advised the land owner on the legal position and strength of the claim.

Sale of the land

At the point the promoter successfully sourced a buyer for the land, Rebecca dealt with the legal aspects of the land sale and the distribution of funds according to the Promotion Agreement and Consortium Agreement.

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