Holmes & Hills' team of commercial property solicitors acted for a subsidiary of a national fast food franchisee in connection with taking a lease of a new-build retail unit on a retail park, where ASDA was to be the 'anchor' tenant. The lease was for a 15 year term and Holmes & Hills was advising prior to completion of building works.
In addition to negotiating the usual lease and licence documents, Holmes & Hills also had to consider and advise the client on the build contract and the need for obtaining collateral warranties from the contractors building the units. Planning matters needed consideration by Holmes & Hills to ensure that the client would have the necessary consents to use the unit as A3/A4 use in the context of the larger development and to ensure the unit was not bound by any conditions in the planning permission that could impact upon the unit to be leased.
Of crucial commercial importance to the client was the advice Holmes & Hills provided in identifying and highlighting terms which may impact on the client’s ability to manage their portfolio of leasehold properties in line with their commercial strategies, which, for this particular client, often meant a preference for flexibility and aligning break clauses to terms within their franchise agreements. Such advice prevents exposure to direct financial risks posed by lease terms as well as risks of lease terms being inconsistent with terms within franchise agreements, a significant commercial risk with material associated financial risks.
The client entered into the new lease arrangements pre-completion of the building works with due protection from issues that might arise from negligent building works, confirmation of appropriate planning permissions pertaining to planned use of the unit and with clauses within the lease aligned to wider commercial factors impacting the client, including franchise agreements.