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  1. Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire
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Lester Aldridge LLP’s property department has particular expertise in property finance and investment transactions in the telecoms, healthcare, leisure, and port and marina sectors. Of particular note, Suki Samra is advising EE and Three on the property issues arising from a government-sponsored project to supply emergency network services. Samra also acts for bank-side clients in a litany of secured lending transactions. Additionally, Mark Benham advised Meggitt Properties on the property aspects of its £57.5m sale to QinetiQ Group. The team was also involved in a large medical centre disposal and acted for a landlord in a substantial corporate letting agreement. Marina Developments, McCarthy Stone, Big Yellow and Captiva Homes are among the team’s key clients. The department is led by Matthew Barrow out of the Southampton office.

Clients of Steele Raymond LLP 'cannot praise the team highly enough' for its ability to 'consistently provide exceptional advice’. Noted for his ‘dynamism’, department head Chris Twaits advised a real estate group on a multimillion-pound acquisition of an office building in Bristol. Residential development specialist Emma Stainwright acts for agricultural landowners in multiple sale transactions regarding residential development sites. Stainwright also advised a developer on the multimillion-pound acquisition of a mixed-use development site in Hampshire. The ‘tenacious and diligent’ Jennifer Rogerson provides comprehensive non-contentious property advice to Selwood, and assists Sydenhams with the property aspects of all of its acquisitions. Working alongside the firm’s corporate group, Rogerson advised a client on the property aspects sale of its multimillion-pound sale of a prestigious care home. Carol Elliott is among Dorset’s ‘eminent commercial property lawyers’. Sue Middleton is another key figure in the team.

Laceys Solicitors incorporating HLF is ‘very strong in the local commercial property market’ and stands out for its ‘excellent client communication’. The property department was strengthened in 2017 by the arrival of solicitor Alanna McDonough, who joined from recently merged Bond Dickinson. McDonough and department head John Munro acted for Wilson & Sharp Investments in negotiations with Arts University Bournemouth for the provision of 153 student housing units. Additionally, Munro advised on the purchase of an investment property in Devon, and acted for the landlord in a series of letting agreements for a town centre office block. Jonathan Ogden was instructed by Bracken Developments in a number of site acquisitions, and also assisted Lime Wood Group with multiple hotel acquisitions. Further, Mark Preece  was involved in the multimillion-pound sale of a development site by Lidl.

Trethowans LLP has experience in residential development, landlord and tenant work and property finance. Senior associate David Jones handles secured lending work, and advised a European commercial bank on the provision of a loan to a private equity group, which was secured over a £23m redeveloped sixth form college. Jones has also acted for a client in the multimillion-pound sale of a commercial estate in east London, and assisted a national retailer with a letting agreement. Gareth Yeoman advised a property developer on its £2m site acquisition for the development of flats and offices. The property group is headed by Garry Treagust, who has expertise in pensions-related property transactions. Caroline Probert heads the Salisbury property team. A number of new fee-earners were hired in 2017 including consultant Biddy Walker, who joined from recently absorbed Thomas Eggars, and senior associate Juliet Biddle , who joined from Bevan Brittan LLP.

Highly regarded for its private client work, Wilsons is often engaged by private landowners in development site transactions, and also advises corporates, charities and property investors in commercial letting and transactional property matters. ‘An experienced and incisive property expert’, Jane Lonergan advised Saba Software on a commercial lease agreement for its office space in the south of England. Lonegran also provides ongoing property advice to charities such as Help for Heroes and Sense. Moreover, the team acted for a prominent real estate investor in the sale of an office building in a central London location. Alison Bailey has experience with development contracts, and is instructed by corporate and individual landowners. Also recommended are Dominic Ogden and consultant Robert Swift.

Battens Solicitors Limited has substantial experience managing property portfolio matters for corporates and property investors, and also has experience in residential development. Ray Edwards has assisted an insurer with property due diligence in relation to the client’s asset and share acquisitions, while on the development side, consultant Robert Wright advised an investment company on a multimillion-pound development agreement. Additionally, consultant Anna Austin advises a house builder on ongoing property issues such as development agreements, disposals and planning and infrastructure agreements. The team also handles ongoing portfolio management issues for various property companies. Roger Chadwick is a contact in the Bath office.

Blanchards Bailey LLP has ‘a well-established commercial property group’, which focuses on agricultural land transactions, residential development and commercial investment property. Following the retirement of Mike Herbert, the team is now headed by Sarah Heath, who is instructed by corporates and developers in real estate and development site transactions and has also advised a high-net-worth individual in a multimillion-pound sale of a freehold property in London. Melanie Harrison is a consultant in the practice group. The team has also handled commercial letting agreements.

Frettens LLP’s property group is considered by some peers to be ‘on par with much of the local and regional competition’. The team is headed by Oonaugh McKinney, who has experience in large-scale commercial letting work and development land transactions. McKinney has been involved in a litany of lease transactions and has advised individuals and residential developers on various land transactions. Niki Adkins handles freehold property transactions and has expertise in collective enfranchisement matters. Additional contacts include Clare Hallett and solicitor James Love. Purewell Electrical Company is among the team’s clients.

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Legal Developments in South West for Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 


    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

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