Property re-finance with a large national lender

08 August 2023

Sarah Bradford, a Legal Director in our commercial property department with specific expertise in property finance matters.

Sarah specialises in large complex property finance or re-finance transactions, analysing and understanding the practical and legal property requirements, explaining them clearly to the client and helping them navigate the process to successfully achieve their end goal.

Sarah was instructed by a group of companies which operates care homes across the West Midlands.

As part of a group reorganisation following advice from the specialist corporate tax team Sarah acted for the group in respect of its property re-finance with a large national lender.

The £1.6 million re-finance involved multiple properties within the client’s portfolio which were to be secured by legal charges in favour of the lender (among other securities required by the lender).

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“… thank you for your assistance and guidance on the … transaction, …the speed of the transaction and the service has been fantastic. Your hard work … is very much appreciated! Thank you for your time, and I look forward to working with you and the Higgs team moving forward.“

To ensure the property re-finance completed successfully Sarah dealt with the following:-

  • Drafting documentation to transfer ownership of properties within the group as necessary to ensure tax efficient structuring in line with advice from the Tax Team at Higgs;
  • Due diligence for each property over which the lender was taking security, involving title investigations, searches, responding to lender’s enquiries, reviewing property valuations and collating information to report to the lender’s lawyers;
  • Reporting to her client, dealing with the lender’s specific security requirements for each property and the mechanics of document signing and completion, including complex pre-completion undertakings;
  • Dealing with the release of previous lender security and ensuring the property transfers and new legal charges, debentures and guarantees were completed and registered as necessary with Companies House and the Land Registry, also dealing with Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) requirements relating to the property transfers.

This transaction was challenging as Sarah’s client was travelling internationally as the matter neared completion, but the lender required wet ink document signatures and there was a hard deadline for completion by the client’s financial year end.

Sarah really enjoyed working closely and collaboratively with her client, the corporate tax team, the client’s accountants, lawyers for the lender and the lender throughout and particularly to overcome the challenges to achieve completion in line with the client’s objectives.

Sarah’s client was pleased to complete the re-structure and re-finance to enable their business to work towards their future growth plans and success, utilising the new banking facilities from the lender across the group and with the group and property holdings structured in the most tax efficient way.

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