Commercial property is a complex and fast-moving environment. You need your lawyers to be on top of the latest developments, alive to opportunities and risks that you may not have perceived, and ready to act quickly.
At Morrisons, we work with every kind of client in the commercial property field across London and the South East, from individual property owners and investors to developers, lenders, land owners and affordable homes providers. We also support tenants in their dealings with property owners, so we have complete coverage of the sector and a 360º appreciation of the issues that drive decisions on all sides of the deal.
We provide robust commercially informed advice and insight on all aspects of acquisition and sale, planning, funding, development and construction, and leasing.
Our clients span a wide range of business settings including health care, office, retail and industrial, pensions, portfolio management, licensed premises and the not-for profit sector.
A Commercial Property client
We are absolutely delighted by the high level of service received by Morrisons' commercial property team.
Products and services
Below is a quick overview of a number of the ways in which the Morrisons team is able to support you, and your business.
- Leases of offices, retail and industrial premises
- Landlord and tenant property management issues, assignments, sub-leases and licences
- Leases for professional practices including dental and healthcare
- Freehold and leasehold acquisitions and disposals (see Investment Property)
- Mixed business and residential property transactions (see Investment Property)
- Charity land transactions
Negotiating and preparing leases correctly, while not core to most businesses, is very often fundamental to their success. For a tenant, the lease is frequently your largest single item of expenditure and getting it right is the difference between having a profitable site or a cash-draining, growth-inhibiting liability for your business. For landlords, it’s a matter of making the property a profitable asset and sound investment or a burden on your portfolio. So, you need a legal adviser who knows how to adapt commercial leases to suit the needs of your business.
At Morrisons, we have extensive experience in representing both landlords and tenants, helping them to secure terms that reflect their priorities and which afford their businesses the best possible chances of success.
- Landlords: We help landlords manage the leasehold aspects of their commercial property portfolios, which involves granting leases, licences, deeds of variation, lease renewals and acting for landlords on assignments of leases.
- Tenants: We act for tenants in a variety of circumstances including those who are seeking the granting of leases and lease renewals, licences, and deeds of variation, or who are taking on new leases or purchasing existing leases from outgoing tenants. In particular, we help tenants with drafting and negotiating complex rent review or service charge provisions and break clauses.
Our experience in business property offices, retail units, restaurants, units on industrial estates and warehouses, units in shopping centres, medical centres and dental surgeries, and other property used in the Healthcare and Not-for-Profit sectors.
Company commercial and corporate support
- Property issues on asset and share sales and purchases
- Property warranties
- Funder report and certification process
- Liquidation, restructuring and distress sales
Very few major corporate transactions or restructurings take place without property playing a significant role – either as an asset or a liability.
We work closely with our colleagues in Corporate and Finance to provide expert advice on the property implications of proposed corporate event to ensure that the value and specifics of any property holding and leases are fully taken in account in pricing and deal structures. In cases of insolvency, we also work with liquidators, administrators and receivers to provide transparency and achieve maximum value for creditors.
- Security agreements and arrangements
- Legal mortgages and charges – freehold and leasehold
- Funding agreements
We regularly work with a number of UK and overseas institutional and corporate lenders on transactions where property is used as collateral, providing accurate and timely legal advice to expedite the release of funds while ensuring that our clients’ interests are protected. We also advise borrowers and guarantors on liability and lenders’ powers under loan arrangements and mortgages.
Our current clients include Handelsbanken, Barclays, NatWest, Lloyds, and Close Brothers. We are also on the panels of Northern Bank, Metro Bank and Santander, and have been approved as a non-panel firm for dealing with transactions for Clydesdale Bank.
- Freehold and leasehold acquisitions and disposals
- Mixed business and residential property transactions
- Pension scheme property (e.g. SIPPs, SSASs) and lease management
- Leases of portfolio property – office, retail and industrial premises
- Reversions and ground rents – acquisitions and disposals
- Owner-occupied premises and going concerns – acquisitions and disposals
Property investment is a complex environment, fraught with risks that can quickly turn ostensibly attractive assets into liabilities, eroding profit and consuming time and resources.
At Morrisons, we can support you with all aspects of managing your property portfolio, whether that’s commercial or residential or a combination of both, from initial purchase and design of holding vehicles to the structuring and grant of leases on your property. Our aim is to understand your priorities and to proactively offer advice that helps you to maximise the value of your investment.
We also have long experience of acting for either side on the sale of freehold property from owner-managed businesses to property investors, PLCs and private trusts. This often includes secured lending, an area in which we have established expertise.
- Options and conditional contracts
- Pre-emptions/rights of first refusal
- Development agreements
- Planning, infrastructure and other statutory agreements
- Joint ventures
- Overage and uplift agreements
- Building contracts and associated appointments, collateral warranties and other ancillary documentation
From greenfield and brownfield sites to urban redevelopment projects, we have extensive experience of supporting developers in securing their target sites, liaising with planning authorities, and maximising the return on their investment.
Our lawyers understand the commercial pressures facing developers and the life-cycle of development projects, and provide insightful advice to help you achieve your goals.
We have extensive experience in both residential and commercial developments, including handling option agreements and plot sales, collateral warranties, and overage agreements.
We also have a long tradition of acting for land owners in their dealings with developers, helping to achieve the desired outcome for them and the communities in which they hold land.
Examples of work
Letting in The Shard
Acted for a global digital marketing agency on taking a level in The Shard for their prestigious London offices.
Aviation sector lettings
Act for aviation company on all property operations at an airfield.
Secured lending for banks
As a panel firm for major UK banks, our team has advised on a number of complex secured lending matters, including taking security over commercial and mixed use properties, and development contracts.
Advise property companies on setting up ownership regime for newly developed apartments.
Advised a large national building society on the lease of its head office.
Advised a residential property development company on the property issues relating to a number of large apartment blocks. This included reviewing and dealing with all title and property queries, warranty and SPA requirements within 3 days of being instructed.