Real Estate

Our real estate team is focused on delivering sound commercial and legal advice, delivering cost effective solutions to our clients. We act for a wide range of funders, investors, developers and occupiers of real estate, from individuals to large corporates. In addition to commercial real estate advice we also assist our clients on property litigation, planning agreements and environmental issues as well as corporate advice in real estate transactions. Our experienced real estate team has expertise in development (both commercial and residential), real estate investment, real estate asset management, real estate secured lending and complex infrastructure projects.


With significant experience in acting for both land owners and developers, we can advise on the commercial structuring of acquisitions and disposals including the intricacies of the planning system and the requirements of funders. Our client base includes both commercial and residential developers, all of whom are active in the market.


Our investment practice advises on UK wide real estate investment opportunities including hotels and leisure, office space, retail and commercial. We provide clients with strategic commercial advice within the context of each deal.

Asset Management

We advise a range of clients on general asset management issues including acquisitions, disposals and landlord and tenant issues. With the support of our property litigation team we provide timely proactive advice that best protects our clients’ interests.

Secured Lending

We have extensive experience of real state secured lending both for investment and development purposes. We act for both borrowers and lenders and know how best to structure deals in a way that achieves the aims of both parties.


We act for developers and investors in a variety of infrastructure projects including renewable energy, housing and hotels/leisure providing land assembly support, dealing with environmental issues, including consenting, and strategic planning advice.


We can guide you through the myriad of environmental legislation to ensure compliance and best practice. We advise on environmental liabilities and risks for both real estate and corporate transactions and strategies to minimise these risks and have expertise in advising on regulatory matters for our clients. Areas we advise upon include:

  • Regeneration and brownfield development. We cover all aspects of the contaminated land regime and in particular the contractual apportionment of liability, common law liability matters and environmental damage liability to clean up land as well as remediation strategies as part of the planning process
  • Environmental liabilities and risks. We advise on the operation, acquisition or financing of portfolios and in particular the development and regeneration of brownfield land
  • Environmental consenting. We advise on the regulatory requirements for projects (including in particular energy from waste projects)
  • Waste management. We advise on all aspects including the definition of waste, duty of care, and end of waste matters
  • Renewable energy projects. We regularly advise on e.g. solar, EfW, biomass/CHP projects, the "green" incentives available such as FITs, ROCs, CfDs and the RHI, and the real estate, planning and environmental issues for such energy projects
  • Climate change policies and sustainability. Our understanding of policy in this area both at the UK and internationally enables us to advise clients how to approach these requirements in development proposals including drafting in planning permissions
  • Carbon emission/energy efficiency legislation. We advise clients on compliance in this growing area, e.g. the EU ETS scheme, the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, minimum energy efficiency standards for buildings, and ESOS
  • Health and safety. We can advise on health and safety policy requirements, including compliance with asbestos regulations


We do not normally offer this service and where we do, on the rare occasion take on this work, it is normally for ultra-high value properties. There are two main elements to the legal costs of completing a sale and purchase: our charges; and expenses we must pay out of your behalf.


We have a minimum fee of £5,000 (plus VAT and expenses) for either a sale or a purchase.

By way of example, for a freehold purchase of a £10 million property with a mortgage, the charges typically range from £20,000 – £30,000 (plus VAT and expenses).

For the same purchase price and using the same example as above of the £2 million property, our charges for a leasehold purchase will be from £25,000 – £35,000 (plus VAT and expenses).

Our hourly rates vary depending on who in the firm is involved in your matter. This can range from £200 (plus VAT) for a paralegal – £800 (plus VAT) for a partner.

Please note that these are our average charges, therefore please do get in touch with details of your own transaction so that we can provide you with a bespoke fee estimate.

The exact cost depends on the specific circumstances of your case. The above range of costs is based on the following factors:

  • the title of the property is registered;
  • the property is already built;
  • dealing with leasehold enfranchisement situations that may arise;
  • the transaction is concluded in a timely manner;
  • all parties are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing information;
  • the terms of any funding required to purchase the property is agreed;
  • any potential defective titles which require remedying before completion;
  • if this is a leasehold transaction, no lease extension or enfranchisement (buying a share in the freehold) is required. If you have any enfranchisement requirements, please contact us as we have a specialist team for this type of transaction;
  • no indemnity policies are required.


We would usually expect to incur certain expenses on your behalf which we will also add to your bill. The amount of expenses can vary and the following is an estimate only:

Expense Estimated amount VAT chargeable
HM Land Registry fee£40 – £910No
Search fees£500 – £750Yes
Electronic money transfer fee£75Yes


This will be payable in addition to the expenses above and depends on the value of the property. There are many permutations in calculating the duty payable based on each individual circumstance. You can calculate the amount payable using the online calculator on HMRC’s website –

HMRC guidance relating to SDLT for properties in England is available here –

There are different rules for a corporate body purchasing residential property for more than £500,000 –

If the property is located in Wales, additional guidance from the Welsh Revenue Authority is available here –

Please note that the above links are for guidance only and you should take specific advice from a tax specialist. Such advice would fall outside the scope of our acting on your purchase but we do have specialists who could advise in this respect, if required.

On leasehold property purchases, you should also be aware the ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and anticipated service charge as soon as we receive this information. We will provide an accurate figure once we have seen the relevant documentation for the property.


The above fee cost ranges includes the key stages of a property purchase:

  • implementing the legally required anti-money laundering checks;
  • taking instructions and giving initial advice;
  • checking finances are in place to fund the purchase;
  • receiving and advising on contract documents;
  • carrying out searches and making any necessary enquiries of the seller’s solicitor;
  • giving advice on the documents and information received;
  • reviewing the conditions of any mortgage offer;
  • sending final contract for signature;
  • preparing the Transfer and advising on joint ownership;
  • obtaining pre-completion searches;
  • agreeing completion date;
  • exchanging contracts and notifying when this has happened;
  • arranging for all monies needed to be received from any lender and you;
  • completing purchase; and
  • dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax and application for registration at Land Registry.

They specifically do not include (please note that this list is not exhaustive):

  • the cost of obtaining any title indemnity policy required;
  • providing tax advice other than in relation to the calculation of the SDLT liability;
  • advising on and arranging any lease extension or enfranchisement.


How long it will take from your offer being accepted until completion of the purchase will depend on a number of factors. On occasions where the matter is urgent, this can sometimes be completed within a day or two. The timescale may vary depending on the parties in the chain; sometimes it can take several months, however the average process takes between six to eight weeks. If any complications of any nature arise the matter may take longer. We will advise you if and when this occurs.


Our team has experience in delivering high quality work relating to the sale and purchase of ultra-high end residential property.