Maria Nicol

Principal Associate - Commercial Property

"I am a dedicated commercial property lawyer with a requirement to ensure I meet clients’ requirements every time and make every transaction as seamless as possible including you being informed every step of the way.”

I qualified as a commercial property solicitor in 2004. I joined Higgs in 2015 after being at my previous Firm for 11 years.

I advise on all areas of commercial property including the following:-

  • The sale and acquisition of freehold and leasehold properties with or without lending;
  • Acting for both Landlord and Tenants in relation to leases and lease renewals;
  • Acting for investor clients dealing with Landlord and Tenant portfolios including advice on the obligations in leases;
  • Pension fund acquisitions and disposals acting for SIPPs and SSASs including lease back arrangements adhering to Pension Scheme requirements;
  • Negotiation, advice and completion of overage agreements, option agreements, conditional contracts and complex Property arrangements;
  • Acting for lenders on finance transactions;
  • Acting for franchisees in dealing with sales, purchases and Lease transactions; and
  • Dealing with the Property aspects of the sale and purchase of franchisee companies.

My clients include buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, lenders, franchisees, franchisors, SIPPs and SSASs dealing with various sectors including retail, offices, fast food outlets and manufacturing.

My particular expertise is acting on behalf of pension schemes (SIPPs and SSASs) ensuring all compliance aspects are adequately adhered to.

Further I specialise in franchising advising for multiple franchisees of a leading fast-food brand with their sales, purchases and lease transactions.


  • Acted on behalf of a SIPP in relation to the purchase of a property subject to leases. As the upper floors were made up of residential aspects, a long leasehold was prepared for the commercial ground floor premises. In turn I assisted in the purchase of the long leasehold ground floor premises on behalf of the SIPP with the freehold being acquired by the individuals of the pension scheme personally (represented by a third-party solicitor on a limited retainer basis due to the conflict of interest).
  • Dealt with a Lease for a Tenant for a Term of 10 years at an annual rent of £186,000 per annum. Negotiated a number of terms outside of the heads of terms agreed including a Tenant break clause upon the fifth anniversary of the Lease term as well as a limitation of the repairing obligation so that the Tenant did not have to return the property in any better state of repair and condition than as at the date of completion of the Lease.
  • Receiving joint instructions from a large relationship bank and client company in the security of a property to the value of £3 million. This involved a full due diligence exercise and report on title to the bank with satisfaction of the lender’s requirements including a legal charge and debenture.
  • Acting for the franchisee of a large leading fast-food brand in the acquisition of six stores. This not only involved the usual reporting to the clients in relation to the franchise lease as well as the replies to enquiries relating to each Store but also involved addressing the number of title issues given that various of the Leases had not been registered at the Land Registry.
  • Assisting on the purchase of a property whilst encountering issues with unregistered land between the clients property being purchased as well as the clients adjoining owned property. I established the facts regarding the unregistered land and then prepared statutory declarations for the purposes of claiming adverse possession of the various parcels of land successfully for the client.

More about me

My hero

My Mom. My inspiration.

Interesting fact

I can speak fluent Sicilian being the daughter of Sicilian parents.

Favourite film


Most used app

Vinted. Love a bargain!

"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

"We appreciate the work you have put into ‘rescuing’ this sale. I am sure that it would not have gone ahead if you had not secured the appropriate documentation from the Land Registry"

A satisfied client

"I instructed Maria to act in the purchase of some land and buildings which was important for the growth of the business. I thought this was going to be straightforward. However, when Maria carried out her investigation, we discovered all sorts of issues and obstacles. Maria explained clearly what was needed to be dealt with and gave me solutions to the problems"

A satisfied client

Meet the team