Commercial property estate purchase completed in 15 days

Philippa Jerram 
Working with and advising a private investment fund

Holmes & Hills commercial property solicitor, Philippa Jerram, worked with, advised and represented a private investment fund in successfully achieving exchange and completion of a substantial freehold commercial estate within 15 days of instruction, without compromising on due diligence or protection of the client’s legal or financial interests.

Philippa was instructed by the private investment fund which needed to exchange and complete quickly on the purchase of a freehold commercial estate in East Anglia comprising of 18 commercial units, having agreed the purchase price of £4.4m with the Vendor.

The units were all let on a variety of leases which required a material amount of work by Philippa and her colleagues to check the terms of each lease. Consideration had to be given to building warranties, collateral guarantees and planning issues. The client also expressed a wish to acquire a management company.

Assistance from across the Commercial Property Team

In order to successfully conclude matters within the required time frame, Philippa worked alongside and led several members of the Commercial Property Team who assisted in reviewing the various commercial leases and provided feedback, simultaneously, to Philippa who centralised this due diligence and provided expert and pragmatic advice guidance to the clients, advising on implications of terms and clauses contained therein, or the lack thereof, as well as answering questions from the clients.

Additional support from experts in specialist departments

To be able to provide full due diligence Philippa also enlisted the help of specialists from a number of Holmes & Hills’ other legal departments, including its Planning and Development and Construction teams. This included the assistance of Sam Bawden, Partner and specialist Construction Law solicitor, who reported on the content and effectiveness of both the Sub Contractor and Consultant warranties which had been provided to the Vendor at the time the units were built. His advice included how far the warranties could be relied upon and consideration was given to the benefit of assigning those warranties which could still be enforced. This meant that the clients could make an informed decision as to the potential risks of their investment, despite the tight deadline for exchange of contracts and completion.

Philippa also enlisted the help of David Whipps, Consultant in the Planning & Development Team and specialist Planning Law solicitor, who reviewed the planning history of the site, including the original consent for the construction of industrial units. Consideration was given to the definition of Industrial Units and whether the current use of each of the units fell within that definition. If that was not the case then David was able to advise the client on the potential implications and whether any enforcement action was likely by the local planning authority. This meant the client had a greater understanding of any future problems or liabilities that may arise so that they could make an informed decision as to whether they still wished to proceed, as well as taking steps to protect their investment.

Result for the client:

The client was able to exchange and complete within 15 days of instructing Holmes & Hills Solicitors, an incredibly short time frame for such a complex matter and a conclusion the client was extremely pleased with.

The ability to achieve such a short deadline, without compromising the client’s position, was due to Holmes & Hills' ability to utilise expertise from a number of specialist departments across the firm, as well as Philippa’s ability to call on her colleagues in the Commercial Property Team to assist with the volume of documentation to be reviewed, scrutinised and reported on.  

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