Why choosing the right property legal team matters

Purchasing property can throw up all sorts of challenges, so it’s important to think carefully about the right law firm to help guide you through this process.

At PSG we have worked with numerous lawyers, especially on commercial property, but few even come close to Coffin Mew when it comes to being client-focused and innovative, closely matching and sharing our own values.

Large enough to have genuine specialists in all areas and allocate appropriate resource to the job in hand, Coffin Mew still retain the ability to move swiftly and work proactively with the client.

Amanda Read – Coffin Mew
In this article, Amanda Read, Partner in the Commercial Property Team and Head of the Pension Property Investment Team at Coffin Mew, talks us through what she does and what they can help buyers to look out for.

She has particular specialist knowledge of dealing with pension investment property transactions, having been a panel solicitor for some of the biggest and best-known pension providers in the country since 2004.

Her work with pension provider clients ranges from running day-to-day transactional matters, through to helping create standard documentation, providing training for staff and offering in-house support and document reviews.

In addition, she has a broad caseload of general commercial property work covering sales, purchases, leases, secured lending and property management work.

At TPSG’s and Coffin Mews recent webinar on the subject of ‘How to use a pension to buy commercial property and why’, Amanda Read gave an overview of the legal process involved.

Buyer’s Title review
Reviewing the Buyers rights to access, services, covenants and any restrictions of use when purchasing a commercial property are just some of the points that form part of a thorough and comprehensive due diligence process that Coffin Mew follow.

Every step of the process requires checking for consents, any loans outstanding which may cause delays when dealing with 3rd parties, rights of access that are not verified or checked which may affect the value.

Local searches, in particular those from the local authority are most important; including environmental searches and maps together with local searches that bring to our attention any common land, public highways and any planned works.

Additionally, any listed buildings, conservation areas, statutory requirements and planning consents need to be checked, all the while verifying that the property is fit for its purpose, and again, how any of the factors can affect the value.

“Caveat Emptor” – “Buyer Beware!”

Is the property worth what is being paid for it? Can it be resold? Can we use the property as needed without significant and added costs? These are just a few questions that need to be considered and that may affect the value.

The legal process and review also needs to make any professional trustees aware of any issues that might affect the property before purchase. The legal due diligence process is there to make sure that any issues if they arise, can be dealt with and any risks are minimised or resolved to protect that investment value.

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