Commercial Property

We have been a recognised leader in the commercial property sector for generations.

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Forging long-term relationships

Thanks to our vast experience, our award-winning team and client service ethos, we can offer you clear, straightforward advice to support and grow your business, every step of the way.

Our specialist legal practitioners are acknowledged experts in all aspects of commercial property, be it freehold or leasehold. These include sales and purchases, property development, property investment, property finance, licensing, retail, landlord and tenant issues, wayleave and telecoms agreements, estate management and rural property transactions.

We understand the significance and delicacy of every transaction, which is why we always pay meticulous attention to detail. This ensures we progress your matters promptly and professionally, giving you confidence and peace-of-mind. Most important of all – it gets results.

Every commercial property transaction involves more than just property law. Which is why we work closely with our established network of surveyors, financial advisers, agents and other professionals – throughout the Midlands and beyond – to ensure a seamless package of care.

Similarly, we work collaboratively with our business services colleagues within the firm to bring you a full range of expertise. This covers business acquisitions and sales, restructures, business recovery, insolvency and more.

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What is a commercial property transaction?

Commercial property is the legal process that changes the ownership of buildings, land, or other property used for a business.

This work is normally carried out by a solicitor or licenced commercial property lawyer. They can guide you through the process, ensuring you have all the information and legal documentation you need to buy or sell business property.

Buying commercial property

Whatever type of commercial property you wish to buy, freehold or leasehold, we can help. We will give clear, honest and well-informed advice to guide you every step of the way.  We have a great track record in acting on a diverse range of commercial property acquisitions, from complex, high-value, multi-let schemes, to owner-managed businesses looking to relocate to new premises to suit their business needs.  As well as our strategic expertise, we can handle all the necessary practical and procedural aspects for you.

Typically, this process will include:

  • Pre-contract negotiations and enquiries: this covers investigation of title, pre-contract searches and Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSEs).
  • Document negotiation and review: this covers the purchase and sale contract, the transfer, the lease (if it is a leasehold property), stamp duty land tax and legal charges.
  • Exchanging contracts
  • Arranging completion
  • Dealing with post-completion obligations, including preparation of stamp duty land tax returns to submit to HM Revenue & Customs, and registering the transaction at HM Land Registry.

Selling commercial property

If you are selling commercial property of any kind, we can provide all the legal expertise and practical support you need. We have the resources and know-how to handle every aspect of the transaction on your behalf, ensuring you achieve the best possible outcome.  

Typically, this process will include:

  • Preparing a title and contract pack and sending them to your buyer or tenant.
  • Preparing replies to Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSEs) on your behalf, together with replies to any additional enquiries raised by your buyer or tenant.
  • Working with you to collate regulatory and other documents, including asbestos surveys and Energy Performance Certificates, if applicable.
  • Negotiating all documentation, including the purchase and sale contract, the transfer, and (where applicable) the lease.
  • Managing the exchange of contracts.
  • Arranging completion.
  • Liaising with any lender to arrange the repayment of any outstanding bank security.

"The level of service and expertise deployed by Cherry and her team was very super effective - this in turn enabled our client to complete an important transaction in a very timely and straight forward manner."

Review Solicitors

“Jen and I have worked together now for over two years, on a variety of matters. She stepped in to help me with a particularly high-value, urgent sale and she did an excellent job, achieving a fantastic result for our group in very challenging times.”

Amy James, Legal Director & Head of Legal at London & Cambridge Properties

"From acting for me in the purchase of the land to the ultimate sale of the property that I built on it Gurvinder provided consistently driven service, with a tenacious approach and a willingness to communicate out of traditional office hours."

Review Solicitors

Commercial leases

When you are buying a leasehold property, understanding the terms of the lease is critical. This can determine whether the deal is practical and beneficial to your business. At Higgs, we have extensive experience of commercial leases and can provide an exhaustive lease review and drafting service. Where necessary, we will also guide you through all aspects of alterations, variations and lease assignment or underletting.

If you are a tenant of a commercial property, we can advise you on applications for landlords’ consent to allow you to carry out works, or to sell or underlet the property; our property dispute team also advise on lease renewal negotiations, surrenders, wayleaves and dilapidations.

Overage and clawback

When you sell commercial land, it is possible to include a clause that means you benefit from a future uplift in its value. For example, an additional payment may be triggered if and when the buyer obtains planning permission.

Known as ‘overage’ or ‘clawback’, such payments are in addition to the agreed purchase price.

Whether you are buying or selling, we can advise you about overage and clawback agreements. We will analyse if such a clause is right for you or your business, according to your specific circumstances. As well as strategic advice, we can guide you through the practicalities and negotiations with the other party.  

"Maria has been invaluable in this transaction. Due to various complications in the title and the requirements of the buyer purchasing through its pension fund the matter has proved difficult and became extremely protracted. Maria worked conscientiously and proactively to keep the matter moving ..."

A satisfied client

"Aman was able to effectively lead and conclude this highly important transaction to completion. She was able to competently and efficiently negotiate the deal and really understood the commercial pressures that were upon us"

Legal 500

"Capable of acting for a variety of clients from national retailers and charities to banks and investors, Higgs LLP‘s areas of expertise include strategic land acquisitions, developments and construction matters."

Legal 500

Option agreements

An option agreement is a contract, normally between a landowner and a property developer, under which the developer has the first option to purchase land from the owner, with a defined time frame. The option is generally triggered by a specific event, such as the grant of planning permission for the land.

Option agreements present an opportunity, but not an obligation, for one party to buy under agreed circumstances. There are advantages and drawbacks to both the buyer and seller, so it is important to take advice before proceeding. We can offer a clear and balanced view, based on your specific circumstances. Furthermore, should you wish to go ahead, we can provide all the necessary practical assistance and support in negotiating with other parties.

Asset management

If you are an investor landlord, we can assist you with the management of your commercial property portfolio. Such work would include dealing with your lease renewals, working alongside our property disputes team to serve renewal notices under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, assisting you with documenting rent reviews, and advising you on any applications you receive from your tenants for consent to alter, or to sell or underlet their leases.

Why choose us as your commercial property solicitors

At Higgs we have a broad and established track record in advising on and dealing with commercial property and land.

Our experience and understanding of the myriad factors which can affect a transaction, together with our meticulous attention to detail, ensure that your affairs will progress smoothly and without delay.

Our priority is always to serve our clients’ best interests. To achieve this, we tailor our services to offer you a bespoke service, according to your individual needs. This can involve harnessing the skills and knowledge across our practice areas.

Allied to our straight-talking, down-to-earth approach, these qualities enable us to build long-term relationships with clients, many of whom have used our services for several decades. It’s a philosophy which benefits our clients and has won the firm several coveted industry awards and accolades.

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Commercial property transactions tend to be more complex, and therefore more expensive, than residential conveyancing. Commercial properties are frequently occupied by tenants, whose leasehold interests make the process more complicated.  In addition, the cost of running searches on a commercial property is significantly higher than on a residential building.

These added complexities and risks serve only to underline the wisdom of choosing a solicitor with demonstrable expertise and experience in the commercial property sector.

If you are seeking a quote for a commercial property transaction, make sure it covers all the stages listed above. 

Selling or leasing a commercial property usually takes between 8 – 12 weeks from the date heads of terms are agreed.  It is worth being on the front foot if you are intending to dispose of your commercial property, and we strongly recommend keeping good records of the regulatory documents that you will be required to provide to your buyer or tenant.  For example, asbestos surveys, Energy Performance Certificates, buildings insurance policy details, copies of your option to tax VAT, Fire Risk Assessments, PAT test certificates, service charge budgets, utility bills and health and safety files.  We can provide you with a full checklist of the documents you will need to collate, if you choose to instruct us.

In addition, you should check what original deeds and documents you hold for the property, and provide them to your lawyer as soon as possible.  Being organised from the outset minimises delays in your lawyers being able to prepare the contract and title packs.

Meet the commercial property team