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Real estate and built environment

Blog

"Innovative and sustainable" – Rio Ferdinand launches new redevelopment and regeneration model

23 March 2016

Former England football captain and Manchester Utd Defender Rio Ferdinand presented his new charity, The Legacy Foundation, to delegates at MIPIM last week.

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Blog

Global Real Estate Transactions to Hit $1tn by 2020

21 March 2016

According to a new report released on 15 March by JLL, the global ageing population will drive real estate transaction volumes over $1tn (£704bn) globally by 2020, up from $700bn (£484bn) in 2015.

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Blog

Urban Land Institute publishes Second Edition of acclaimed Build to Rent Guide

07 March 2016

Last week the Urban Land Institute published a Second Edition of its acclaimed Build to Rent Guide - hailed by some in the market as a "Bible" for the PRS industry.

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Blog

NEC must extend culture and spirit to lawyers to end curse of the Z Clause

11 February 2016

In the NEC Users' Group Newsletter (No.75 November 2015), Rudi Klein – in his article, "Revisiting the curse of the Z clause" (page 2) – remarks that, "Unfortunately, through the 'loophole' of option Z, far too many NEC contracts are amended beyond recognition and fail to deliver as they should".

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Blog

Housing shortage is a construction industry skills crisis

18 January 2016

Headlines focus on the emotive issue of hard-working families being unable to afford their own homes, and the Government’s pledge to get Britain building.

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Blog

Cavendish win on penalties: Supreme Court makes finger-tip save of ageing doctrine

06 January 2016

The Supreme Court has provided long awaited clarification of the law on penalty clauses and liquidated damages, upholding the "penalty rule" but further limiting its utility in a commercial setting.

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Blog

Titan v Colliers – the price of everything and value of nothing

30 December 2015

The Court of Appeal recently overturned the High Court's judgment in the case of Titan v Colliers.

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Blog

No returns for M&S following Supreme Court ruling

11 December 2015

The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Marks and Spencer plc (M&S) v BNP Paribas Securities Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd (BNPP).

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Blog

Squatting: an own goal?

01 December 2015

In October 2015, a Manchester hotel undergoing extensive refurbishment works was occupied by squatters and housing activists.

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Blog

Tribunal criticizes HMRC’s refusal to allow retrospective VAT group application

Published on 27 November 2015. By Ben Roberts, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal (in Copthorn Holdings Ltd v HMRC) has asked HMRC to reconsider its decision to refuse a taxpayer’s application for retrospective VAT group registration. This is the second time HMRC have been asked to “think again” on their decision.

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Blog

Office to residential development crusade continues

16 October 2015

As part of the Government's ongoing crusade to get homes built, the office to residential permitted development right, previously set to expire in May 2016, has been made permanent.

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Blog

MEES: The legal implications

02 September 2015

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards regulations (MEES) will implement legislation that could make the potential benefits of "being green" tangible.

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Blog

Service charge interpretation and the cautionary tale of Arnold v Britton

17 August 2015

In the recent case of Arnold v Britton[1], the Supreme Court considered the meaning of a service charge clause in a long lease which would result in the tenant paying service charges of over £550,000 per annum by 2072.

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Blog

Business Rates: Don't pull the Woolway over your eyes

13 August 2015

A recent Supreme Court decision on business rates had the RPC Real Estate team talking, and not just because it related to our second & sixth floor neighbours, Mazars.

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Blog

"That don’t distress me much …"

31 July 2015

George Osborne's pledge to tackle the housing crisis, if acted on, should see an increase in housebuilding.

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Blog

Summer Budget – property developments

Published on 14 July 2015. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last week's "summer" Budget, the first by a (solely) Conservative government for nearly two decades, was full of surprises but contained relatively few specific property tax measures.

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Publication

Time limit for challenges to adjudication decisions clarified

01 July 2015

Adjudication is intended to be a quick and cost-effective means of resolving a dispute. However, in its first decision concerning adjudication, handed down on 17 June 2015, the Supreme Court has reached a finding that means parties to adjudication may face a very long delay to reach a final determination of the dispute between them. The decision, in the case of Aspect Contracts (Asbestos) Limited v Higgins Construction plc, allows a respondent to adjudication to challenge the outcome any time up to six years after it makes payment to the successful referring party, thereby potentially rendering historic adjudication decisions vulnerable to further litigation.

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Publication

Play nicely, children

17 June 2015

Litigation is, by its very nature, an adversarial process. But as the court has made clear in the case of Simon Gotch & Susan Linda Gotch v Enelco Limited1, litigants should also co-operate, to ensure the swift and cost-effective resolution of their disputes.

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Blog

Forfeiture ... that's a relief

17 June 2015

A landlord's right to forfeit for breach of covenant by the tenant is a useful remedy commonly found in leases.

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Publication

Getting to Level 2

03 June 2015

What insurers should look out for in BIM project management

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Publication

Flood Re: the impact of the scheme on surveyors and valuers

02 June 2015

The catastrophic impact that flooding can have on property owners has been seen all over the news for the past decade. In particular, 2012 saw some of the wettest weather for a century and left thousands of households struggling to find insurance cover for their properties.

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Publication

Beyond night and day: The importance of causation

27 May 2015

In order to succeed in a claim for professional negligence, a claimant must establish that the professional owed him a relevant duty of care, that they breached that duty and that the breach caused the loss he seeks to recover.

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Blog

Legal Lasers

12 September 2014

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is quickly becoming recognised as the future of design, construction and facilities management for new build projects. But what about existing buildings?

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Blog

Let's talk about VAT – a useful reminder

Published on 14 August 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

A recent Court of Appeal decision (CLP Holding Co Ltd v Singh and Kaur[1]) serves as a reminder to consider VAT during sale negotiations, and ensure that VAT wording in contracts is sufficiently clear.

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Blog

Be careful what you dig for

20 June 2014

Beginning a project in an area of archaeological interest can be an historical minefield for both developers and contractors.

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Blog

Right time for UK REITs

22 April 2014

Real Estate Investment Trusts ("REITs") are listed companies that invest in physical property, typically commercial real estate.

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Blog

Right time for UK REITs

22 April 2014

What are REITs? Real Estate Investment Trusts ("REITs") are listed companies that invest in physical property, typically commercial real estate.

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Blog

The New Draft ICC Conditions

16 April 2014

A new and updated version of the Infrastructure Conditions of Contract (ICC Conditions) was issued in consultative draft form for comment in March 2014 by the ICC Development Forum.

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Blog

The New Draft ICC Conditions

16 April 2014

A new and updated version of the Infrastructure Conditions of Contract (ICC Conditions) was issued in consultative draft form for comment in March 2014 by the ICC Development Forum.

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Blog

Budget 2014 - update

Published on 24 March 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last week's Budget announcements were light on the property tax front.

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Blog

Budget 2014 - update

Published on 24 March 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last week's Budget announcements were light on the property tax front.

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Blog

Freedom of information: access denied by ministerial veto

04 February 2014

Not since September 2012 when the Attorney General exercised powers under section 53(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) blocking the release of correspondence between Prince Charles and seven government departments has there been a matter likely to attract attention to the use of the ministerial veto.

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Blog

2014 – Another Year of Planning Reform

03 February 2014

The past few years have seen a raft of changes to planning regime and 2014 seems set to continue with that trend. The matters below highlight some of the changes on the horizon.

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Blog

Too close for comfort – LPAs fail on the duty to co-operate

14 January 2014

You would have thought that by now, after nearly 2 years since the Localism Act and National Planning Policy Framework have been in place, that local planning authorities would have got their act together.

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Blog

Adjudication - "Pay first, argue (now up to twice as much) later"

07 January 2014

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Aspect Contracts (Asbestos) Ltd v Higgins Construction Plc [2013] EWCA Civ 1541 clarifies that a limitation term is implied into every construction contract under the Construction Act 1996, where no express term exists.

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Blog

Want to Control the Future?

10 December 2013

A seller commonly wishes to restrict the buyer's use of land after the sale – sometimes forever and sometimes only for a limited period.

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Blog

A Damp Squibb

25 November 2013

The recent case of Squibb Group Ltd v (1) London Pleasure Gardens (2) London Borough of Newham [2013] EWHC 3275 (TCC) demonstrates that contractors cannot rely on funders to pay outstanding fees where an employer runs into financial difficulty.

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Blog

It shouldn't be a hard sell. Getting your head around the known knowns and the known unknowns

06 November 2013

Although Don Rumsfeld wasn’t talking about the sale of property when he talked about knowns, he makes an important point about knowledge. Picture the scene.

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Blog

Pledging to use Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR")

30 October 2013

On November 12th, signatories of The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR)'s new 21st Century Pledge will be announced.

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Blog

Is sunlight a nuisance?

Published on 08 October 2013. By Jonathan Carrington, Senior Associate

Reports that sunlight reflecting from the unusually shaped "Walkie Talkie" building at 20 Fenchurch Street in London has melted parts of a Jaguar motor-vehicle parked on Eastcheap Street raises an interesting question whether reflected sunlight or heat from a building is actionable in law.

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Blog

Procurement Policy Note on EU Directives

23 August 2013

The Cabinet Office has issued a Procurement Policy Note (“PPN”) which summarises the main outcomes of the new EU Directives relating to public procurement, utilities procurement and service concessions. The PPN also outlines the next steps in finalising and implementing the Directives.

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Blog

HELP TO BUY: BOOM OR BUST?

22 August 2013

The Help to Buy initiative forms part of the Government's Funding for Lending scheme.

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Blog

SDLT group relief anti-avoidance – good news from HMRC

Published on 14 August 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last week saw some (much needed) good news on the topic of SDLT avoidance, that should clarify HMRC's approach to the common commercial practice of transferring a property intra-group, following the acquisition of a property-owning company (PropCo).

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Blog

SDLT avoidance - HMRC victorious regardless of taxpayer 'motive'

Published on 26 July 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

HMRC has scored a resounding victory in the first case[1] to consider in any detail the wide-ranging SDLT anti-avoidance provision (section 75A of Finance Act 2003).

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Blog

Insurers as lenders: what borrowers need to know

12 July 2013

Insurers are the new show in town The make-up of providers of debt secured against UK real estate has changed dramatically.

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Blog

When the levee breaks

20 June 2013

Whilst the stalled talks between ABI and Government have recently re-started, in less than 8 weeks a substantial number of properties may suffer significant loss of capital value if their owners are no longer be able to obtain flood risk insurance.

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Blog

Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013

05 June 2013

The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 (the Act) was given Royal Assent on 25 April 2013.

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Blog

Outsourcing Health & Safety – a step too far?

22 May 2013

Michael Scott & Danielle Lodge question the wisdom of outsourcing health and safety responsibilities

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Blog

Adjudicator's Fees

20 May 2013

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that an Adjudicator is not entitled to any of his fees in circumstances where his decision is unenforceable.

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Blog

Property Rental Business Transfers and Leases – Reclaiming VAT and SDLT

Published on 17 April 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last November, following the decision in the case of Robinson Family Limited, HMRC announced that a transfer of a property rental business can qualify as a "transfer of a going concern" (TOGC) – and therefore not attract VAT – even if the transferor retains a reversionary interest in the property.

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