Expertise

Public Authorities & Regeneration

Our Public Authorities and Regeneration sector looks after the needs of the numerous local and public authorities for whom we act.  These include government agencies, Urban Regeneration Companies, Local Authorities, PCTs and Police Authorities.

Our practice is built on the foundations of promoting effective collaboration between the public and private sectors and we focus on innovative solutions and delivery.  We help the public and private sectors to understand each other and to appreciate that goals need not be mutually exclusive and that it is important for both public and private sectors to work together to deliver schemes which achieve both the required economic development outputs and commercial success.

The projects on which the team are currently working involve comprehensive economic development requiring advice on transaction structure and the most efficient contractual frameworks, such as the advice we are giving to Three Rivers District Council on the South Oxhey regeneration project.  We also advise on collaboration agreements, JV development and grant funding agreements, site assembly and disposal.   We have been involved with the Bristol and Bath Science Park at Emersons Green since its inception.  Our clients regularly rely on strategic advice from us on OJEU procurement and state aid.  We also provide advice on construction, planning and environmental matters and all aspects of management of the authorities estate.  Our clients range from the Isle of Wight Council, to Motability Operations, and we advise many local councils such as London Borough of Havering, and we are panelled on the North Somerset Legal Framework, advising on numerous projects for Bath & North East Somerset Council on its world heritage estate.   We are currently advising Bath Abbey on a pro bono basis in connection with its Footprint redevelopment project.

Commercial Developers

We advise on all aspects of property development for a diverse range of clients who are developing and investing in commercial, industrial, residential, office, mixed-use and retail developments. Our clients range from sophisticated national development companies to the smaller entrepreneurial companies; from landowners to local authorities; and investors to corporate occupiers.

Whatever the size and quality of the development project we can support your entire legal needs – from the initial planning, environmental and finance stages, through to land acquisition, construction and sales. We match the depth and complexity of the transaction with a dedicated cross discipline development team drawing in support from our planning, environmental, construction, procurement, banking, litigation and tax departments where necessary.

The commercial development team works closely with other sectors such as the national house builders and social housing providers and is a market leader in regeneration and development of sports facilities.

We take a proactive approach to our client’s projects, seeking innovative but workable solutions to issues where they arise, particularly in a market where funding is difficult to obtain and risk needs to be managed. Above all we pride ourselves on our commercial focus whilst ensuring the interests of our client’s are protected.

Real Estate Finance

Combining a depth of property expertise with extensive knowledge and experience of the legal and practical aspects of financing has enabled us to build a strong reputation in this market and are recognised by Legal 500 for “Excellent and very personal service. Very client focused and pragmatic.”

We act for clearing and private banks, building societies, specialist lenders and borrowers (both corporate and Individual) on all aspects of property related lending transactions covering a broad range of sectors, including large scale residential and commercial development projects and the provision of leisure and sporting facilities.

We have developed processes for managing efficiently and cost-effectively the due diligence and reporting procedures associated with the financing or re-financing of property portfolios. We pride ourselves on delivering this service on time and on budget.

We also have ready access to the ancillary skills often required to overcome more challenging issues, including those related to solvency; construction documentation and planning and environmental control.

Construction

Clarke Willmott LLP’s team of nine construction solicitors understand that in times of increased economic pressure, experienced proactive commercial construction advice, can make all the difference to our clients in the real estate sector, whether they are employers, contractors, funders or consultants.

Our experienced legal advice can protect contractual arrangements, manage risk and help to avoid disputes leading ultimately to project success commercially on time and on budget.

We are one of the largest regional construction law teams and our solicitors advise on projects nationally and internationally.  The team works out of our offices in Bristol, Birmingham, Southampton, Taunton and London.

We offer real experience and expertise for our clients in all forms of construction dispute resolution including litigation, arbitration, adjudication and mediation.

We have wide experience of all the industry standard forms of building contract including JCT, NEC, FIDIC, IChemE, MF/1 and others.  We can provide advice on bespoke amendments to improve your contractual and risk position within the project structure.

We can advise you concerning possible professional negligence involving a construction professional. We can explain all the necessary procedure, recommend experts and draw up a cogent strategy for obtaining the best result.

We have acted for many of the mainstream funding institutions in the UK, both for secured and mezzanine funding, and we are able to provide a fixed price package in most cases.

House Builder

Clarke Willmott are regarded as leading legal advisers to the residential development sector. Our full service residential development team advises many of the largest developers as well as strategic land companies, smaller traditional builders and niche start-up ventures. Major clients include: Barratt Homes, Persimmon Homes, Bellway Homes, Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson, Galliford Try and Countryside.

Our development lawyers work closely with our dedicated planning, construction and dispute resolution teams to offer an integrated legal service that helps provide solutions that contribute to your success. The team have extensive experience in advising on all matters that arise throughout the life time of residential and mixed-used developments, including sustainability, regeneration, environmental and planning issues, covenants, rights to light etc. Commercially and legally astute, we work with you to help overcome the problems presented by difficult sites.

Our specialist plot sales team ensure that complex sites are accurately and efficiently set up while using electronic case management systems to deliver effective project management of the legal aspects of the plot sales process.

Areas of advice include:

  • The drafting and negotiation of complex conditional purchase agreements, options, collaboration agreements and joint ventures
  • The negotiation of planning permissions and planning agreements
  • Settling consultants’ appointments and the negotiation of construction contracts particularly in the context of mixed use developments
  • The efficient tax structuring of deals with particular reference to SDLT and VAT planning
  • Leading you through the tangle of environmental regulation as well as dealing with environmental disputes and prosecutions
  • Using our dispute resolution skills to help maximise and protect the value of your developments

Investors

Led by Clare Wood, our national Real Estate Investors team are not only excellent lawyers in their fields, but are fully aware of the business requirements of, and the challenges faced by, our Investor clients.

The current market conditions mean that investment clients are working their assets harder and trying to maximise value by looking at potential development opportunities.  We work closely with the firm’s other Real Estate subsectors for example the Commercial Developers subsector to help client’s achieve this potential.  The value we bring is in the attention we give to, and interest we take in, our clients. Our objective is to maximise their assets.

Our approach is one where cost-effectiveness coupled with high standards of service have the potential to make us a more viable option for clients than large, city-based competitors.

Our clients include major UK companies with significant portfolios as well as leading property investors. We’re experienced in all aspects of property investment, management and ownership.

For instance, we can without compromise arrange the acquisition and disposal of property investments, including both traditional sales and acquisitions and more sophisticated multi-million pound portfolio transactions.   We can also deliver commodity estate management work, quickly and efficiently.  We can organise complex re-financing arrangements. Then again, the solution might be as straightforward as removing some clauses or extending a lease. We always aim to be as tax efficient as possible.

Our experience, established internal reporting structure and the resources which we can put at your disposal, allow us to respond dynamically to your needs, providing a service of quality and efficiency, no matter the size or scope of the particular project.

Our Investors team also includes experienced property litigators, to ensure a seamless service on all aspects of property portfolio management, including 1954 Act lease renewals and rent reviews.