The property market has always been a barometer for gauging the state of the economy. Of course there have been recessions before but from a property perspective the fall in values this time have been more pronounced than in the early 1990s. The banks have been under unprecedented pressure, which has created a lack of debt financing and uncertainty in pricing and a dwindling appetite for risk. Instead investors and lenders are wrestling with legacy issues on plummeting property assets. Anxiety seems only to have encouraged litigiousness as players see this as a way of clawing back losses.
Clouds do, of course, have silver linings. One thing is clear as we emerge from the gloom, there is a definite changing of the guard. New talent is emerging as some of the established industry players are forced out or simply decide they no longer have an appetite for the business. We are seeing the emergence of a new wave of real estate investors, some from overseas and attracted by the UK’s opportunities and a favourable exchange rate. They are looking for prime property investments and whilst the demand is high from overseas and institutional investors, the supply is low. "Wait and see" may be the most bullish of strategies at present. As for those not weighed down with baggage, opportunities will undoubtedly emerge.
In this new world, lawyers will have a new role to play. They will need to look beyond traditional areas of service and assume a far more active role in generating business for clients through the introduction of people, property and/or money. An infrastructure of connections and investors is critical.
Why we are different
Our Real Estate Group provides specialist practices that enable us to offer clients a genuine one-stop shop for property services. Our clients benefit from the close relationship between the contentious and non-contentious experts in the practice. From acquisition and planning, to construction and disposal through to commercial and residential property. Beyond this we involve the Firm’s other specialist departments and can facilitate deals by bringing people, financial investment and opportunities together via our extensive network of contacts.
Whatever the specifics we understand that real estate is primarily about getting deals done as quickly and as smoothly as possible. So we are proactive, we will not allow things to drift or to be held up by overlawyering. If there are issues along the way, we find practical commercial solutions which are all about adding value. In particular we are able to add value through the use of creative tax driven structures in our clients' transactions.
In this current economic environment, our commercial and value driven approach enables us to help our clients extract value from their assets. Disputes are a fact of economic life. We take a businesslike and assertive approach, avoiding litigation where possible but always acting assertively to push for a quick and positive outcome.
For the best results on major planning applications, appeals and strategic developments, we look to combine our expertise with that of the clients’ team of consultants. We are adept at managing the people and processes in local, regional and national government, and interested third parties.
The construction industry has suffered the sharpest fall in output since the 1980’s and may be one of the slowest sectors to recover. However we believe there are many opportunities emerging and have therefore invested by expanding our specialist team.