Tees Valley Commercial Property Case Study

As the academy’s existing property no longer accommodated their growing business, we were tasked with securing a 10-year lease for larger commercial premises in Stockton-on-Tees.

Client’s employer industry:

Commercial Property

Scope

In November 2020, BWL Legal was contracted to act on behalf of a dance academy in the Tees Valley. As the academy’s existing property no longer accommodated their growing business, we were tasked with securing a 10-year lease for larger commercial premises in Stockton-on-Tees.

BWL’s Legal Director immediately contacted the property agent to introduce themselves and establish lines of communication, forming a positive relationship from the outset and securing the support of the agent throughout the process.

The client and case were registered on our case management system, Clio, and an engagement letter was issued to the client by email; this clearly outlined our terms, the scope of works, and our fees.

Our team’s extensive knowledge and experience in commercial property law ensured that all elements of the case were accounted for in the engagement terms, with no ambiguity regarding responsibility.

As many legal cases are time-sensitive, BWL’s letters of engagement are sent with electronic signature fields, enabling clients to sign and return engagement terms electronically and with ease, while also aiding adherence to BWL’s paperless policy.

BWL appointed an experienced Commercial Property Solicitor to the case, while the Property Director maintained overall conduct. Both individuals were available throughout the process as direct points of contact for the client, assignor and landlord solicitors, and agent.

Weekly updates were sent electronically to the client, who had mobile phone numbers for both fee earners to ensure they were contactable at all times. As specialists in commercial property law, they were able to provide expert advice to the client both in and out of office hours, ensuring any queries were handled promptly and appropriately.

On receipt of the official copy of the freehold register from the outgoing tenant’s solicitors, our Commercial Property Solicitor quickly identified a discrepancy in the property documentation. The original lease had not been registered at the time of grant to the existing tenant, meaning that the outgoing tenant did not hold the legal estate or, therefore, the right to assign or transfer the lease to BWL’s client.

BWL contacted the outgoing tenants and insisted that they immediately rectify the discrepancy with HM Land Registry so that registration was completed before the lease assignment.

The lease also contained a narrowly drafted permitted use definition that did not cover our client’s intended use. Our Commercial Property Solicitor promptly drafted a new deed of variation which was submitted to the landlord, ensuring that the issue was addressed simultaneously with obtaining the landlord’s consent to the assignment, minimising any further delay.

While the matter took longer than anticipated, our team’s expertise in commercial property law ensured that any disrupting factors were identified early and addressed promptly, allowing the lease to be successfully assigned to the client with no further issues.