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Relevant Experience Real Estate

Real Estate Finance

  • Royal Bank of Scotland: We acted for the bank in connection with the grant of security over the existing long leasehold city centre building together with a charge over a new agreement for lease conditional upon practical completion of the new building. We also advised the bank in connection with its security over the construction documentation including the grant of collateral warranties from the project team.
  • UK based property investment and development group : Acting for a UK based property investment and development group on its refinancing with a UK and Luxembourg based property fund. The work included review and negotiation of a Loan Market Association facilities agreement, intercreditor and subordination arrangements, security documents and satisfaction of conditions precedent, including the provision of certificates of title in respect of multiple retail properties.
  • Lender and sub-participant : Advising the lender and sub-participant in respect of a EUR 27.5 million property re-financing facility, and funded sub-participation therein, in respect of Russian commercial premises and related security (including limited recourse guarantee, debenture, subordination agreement and duty of care deed).
  • Austrian private bank : Advising an Austrian private bank in respect of its loan and security arrangements under English law for the provision of a facility to an individual to acquire an Isle of Man company owning high value residential property in London, including drafting and negotiating the security, reporting on title to the security property and obtaining a legal opinion from lawyers in the Isle of Man.
  • Swiss Private Bank: Advising a Swiss private bank in relation to a US$ 50 million term loan facility for the construction of a luxury hotel and villas/apartments, and related security assignments, mortgage and subordination agreements.
  • Offshore property investment vehicle: Advising an offshore vehicle backed by UHNW individuals on refinancing an UK property business.
  • Monoline insurer: Advised a mono-line insurer on the securitisation of a significant number of properties. Tap issue involving the securitisation of a well-known pub chain (over 4,000 underlying properties).

Property Litigation

  • Developer: Acting for a developer in relation to the removal of telecoms apparatus occupying a substantial development site. The role involved advising the client on the effect of the status of the occupants, the preparation and service of various notices without prejudice to one another and subsequently defending court proceedings brought by one of the telecoms operators.
  • Retailer: We were successful in securing Judgment for The Range in respect of hard fought litigation against its landlord relating to commercial premises in the North West. The claim was in respect of the discovery of asbestos in the premises and succeeded on the ground of misrepresentation made by the landlord in its replies to enquiries. Judgment was subsequently handed down in favour of The Range for just under £1.5million.
  • Local Authorities: Acting for the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond in all non-routine litigation matters including residential possession actions, leasehold matters, homelessness reviews, disrepair claims, judicial reviews, commercial lease disputes and management and telecoms issues 
  • Private individual: Our client purchased a house with adjoining land. Shortly after the purchase a farmer in the locality claimed that part of the land was subject to a tenancy granted to his father many years ago. We advised the client on the position on the purchase and on the succession claim and conduct of the application on the client's behalf in the Tribunal. 
  • Dispute: The clients are owners of a residential property of significant value (£4m+) and have plans to develop and extend their property. They are involved in a dispute with their neighbours regarding the planned works and the neighbours allege that the clients are in breach of a restrictive covenant.
  • Construction: Acting for the client in various issues arising in connection with a proposed multimillion pound housing development site.  The work included taking steps to obtain an order from the Court for the removal of commercial lease holders. 

Housebuilding & Development

  • Wichelstowe: appointed by Wichelstowe LLP, a joint venture between BDW Trading Limited and Swindon Borough Council, whose aim is to develop a large residential led scheme at West Wichelstowe in Swindon. The site will comprise of 2,750 new dwellings, with supporting retail and leisure uses, school and amenity land.
  • Forder Valley: Advising on the Forder Valley development site, a £160 million housing scheme which will deliver a total development area of 71.37 hectares, of which 38.67 hectares will be given to the North Plymouth Community Park, plus land for an education centre, a city farm and a major new link road.
  • Maiden Green: Advising on Maiden Green development, a major development of 80 acres of land west of Truro - a mixed use scheme with a development value more than £200 million.
  • Yetminster: We have acted for a number of companies within the Burrington Estates Group in connection with their conditional contract for the purchase of land in Yetminster, Dorset on a subject to detailed planning basis. Our work has included site acquisition, assisting with planning agreements and sectional agreements, development agreements for the provision of the affordable housing and open market housing sales.
  • Private Landowner: Acting for a landowner on the sale of a 44 acre development site to a national housebuilder for up to 230 dwellings and office space; negotiating sale documents and legal mortgage for deferred consideration and provision of due diligence information.
  • Gillingham: Acting for CG Fry & Son in relation to a consortium of landowners and developers promoting a 2000+ dwellings extension to Southern Gillingham.

Real Estate Investment & Asset Management

  • Acting for a Local Authority on their commercial property investment strategy which has involved the acquisition of a number of large scale assets across the country for significant values across various sectors including retail, offices, leisure and logistics warehousing.
  • Acting for Mendip District Council on the acquisition of a number of commercial property investments with a value in excess of £15m across various sectors including retail and logistics warehousing.
  • Acting for Majestic Wine on its major store expansion programme. Advising on their expansion plans by securing units of around 3,500 square feet in prominent locations throughout the country.
  • Acting for the Courtenay Group of Companies managing their extensive portfolio of properties across England and Wales.
  • Acting for Penhaligon’s in relation to new and existing commercial lease transactions and in particular management of their flagship store in Regent Street.
  • Acting for Mylan in relation to UK property matters including the relocation of their UK Head Office and warehouse expansion at Discovery Park, Kent.
  • Panel Solicitor for Subway responsible for new and existing commercial lease transactions and the sale and purchase of existing Subway stores.

Social Housing

  • Assisting a client with preparation of new tenancy agreement and supporting policy documentation.
  • Advising a London Borough on procedures for redevelopment.
  • Acting for a client in contested possession action based on succession following death of tenant.
  • Acting for a client in possession claim based on subletting and non-occupation. 
  • Acting for a client in obtaining a closure order against a family causing significant problems in the neighbourhood.
  • Acting for two Housing Associations in the phased acquisition of the affordable housing provision (approximately 500 units).
  • Acting for a Housing Association in their acquisition and development of a mixed scheme of affordable and extra care dwellings.

Planning

  • Wembley Park: Advising the London Borough of Brent in relation to all the s106 requirements for  the Wembley Park Development, the UK's largest build to rent scheme - c.5000 homes).  We have recently varied the original S106 for Wembley Stadium to enable Tottenham Hotspur FC to use the National Wembley Stadium for their home League and Cup fixtures. 
  • Exeter City FC: Permission for a new football stand and student accommodation was challenged by a local neighbourhood forum by way of Judicial Review. The Judicial Review was successfully defended allowing the development proposed to proceed.
  • Inspired Asset Management Ltd: A scheme for a new 11-storey building of 40+ apartments in the Croydon Opportunity Area. Negotiations in respect of the two stage review mechanism for the affordable housing were complex and protracted given the Mayor publishing a revised Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance midway through the negotiations.
  • Bovis Homes: A large strategic allocation for 2000+ homes on a site south west of Exeter.  Advising on a complex and comprehensive  S106 Agreement.  We have also advised on Community Infrastructure Levy liability and planning conditions. 
  • Wandsworth Council:   Advising on all aspects of CIL liability including a judicial review against HMRC on the calculation of CIL and, in particular, indexation, and complex s106 agreements including the Agreement for the Royal College of Art's £100m re-development of its Battersea Campus and for the redevelopment of the Shell Savoy, Battersea by the construction of 89 apartments
  • Taunton Deane Borough Council: advising on land assembly for the development of Firepool, a major long term town centre regeneration project. We are also advising on the use of a CPO, appropriation, the Council's participation in the development, and the provisions of the development agreement including an indemnity for CPO costs and compensation.

Section 106 agreements

  • Advising the local planning authority in connection with the redevelopment of the Empress State Building in Earls Court, including a section 106 agreement providing off site affordable housing, financial contributions and linking the proposal with the wider Earls Court redevelopment.
  • Negotiating, on behalf of a housebuilder, a section 106 Agreement for 500 home site in Somerset with both District and County Councils including affordable housing and various infrastructure contributions.

Applications and Appeals

  • Undertaking section 288 challenges for developer clients on sites in St Austell, Swindon and Wincanton in respect of both Inspector and Secretary of State decisions and advising a developer in Devon in respect of such a challenge brought by an environmental group.
  • Galion Homes instructed Ashfords to appeal against the refusal by South Hams District Council to grant permission for four exclusive detached properties facing the famous Burgh Island Hotel at Bigbury on Sea.
  • Acting for Yelverton Properties and Exeter City Football Club in granting planning permission for a purpose built student accommodation block (circa 300 units) on land adjoining the football club together with a new football stand to replace the old (circa 100 year old) grandstand at St James Park, Exeter. The local neighbourhood forum challenged the decision by way of Judicial Review. The Judicial Review was successfully defended allowing the development proposed to proceed.

Real Estate

  • Willow Green Developments: Acting for the buyer of a 49 acre development site for mixed development including residential, retail and leisure.
  • Loungers Group: Advising on Group property work including new acquisitions for their city centre Cosy Club, Porto Lounge, Fino Lounge, Velo Lounge brands.
  • David Wilson Homes: Acting for the housebuilder on its purchase by way sub-sale of development site for residential development for 83 units, by way of two linked sub-sale purchases.
  • Private Land Owner: Acting for landowner on sale of 44 acre development site to a national housebuilder for up to 230 dwellings and office space.
  • Redevelopment: Advising on a £250 million town centre redevelopment including the relocation of a bus station and bus depot, with associated road closure orders, and CPO.
  • Redevelopment: Acting for a local authority on the disposal of an eight-hectare town centre development site using the competitive dialogue process. Long-term development agreement with novel environmental and sustainability requirements. Development value in excess of £300 million