Corporate Property Sector

A feature of Farrer and Co’s commercial property practice was, during my time as a Partner, that the firm’s client portfolio included a larger proportion than usual of corporate occupier clients. Over the longer period, I have dealt with the property affairs of household names in various industries, including Trebor and Kiwi. Over a period of about 15 years, my team at Farrer’s was the principal provider of property-related legal services to the Dalgety group of companies (including Spillers and parts of RHM). This experience has given me insight into matters involving the extraction of value from corporate property holdings and, in particular, the identification of alternative uses for, and disposal of, property which is redundant to corporate requirements.


Identifying the planning potential for a former chemical works and handling its disposal in a number of parcels for different uses, in each case ensuring the receipt of full value by means of clawback and overage provisions (one of many similar transactions where I have been involved not only in setting the deal up, but also in the ongoing monitoring of development and overage). The site was heavily polluted, and wide-ranging indemnities were agreed with the retail and residential developers.

Acting for the owners of another chemical works the site of which forms part of a proposed town centre redevelopment in Wales, negotiating the terms of a sale to the developer and lease back and an agreement assuring the participation of the former owner in the profits arising from the redevelopment. Later, negotiating and agreeing a revised deal including a partial buy-out by the developers of the overage.

Advising in connection with a site occupied by three companies within the same group, all carrying out distinct functions and subject to different hygiene requirements. This involved a detailed inspection of a complex industrial site, and gaining an understanding of how the site worked and of the needs of the various businesses and how they interacted. I drafted and negotiated with the various managers a detailed site separation agreement, redrawing boundaries and granting complex reciprocal rights to enable each of the businesses to be sold separately by the parent company.

Advising a water company in connection with a major reservoir development proposal. This involved negotiating the terms of a detailed and complex option agreement with the major landowners, enabling the tests and investigations to be carried out during the option period. As in similar projects with which I have been involved, there were site inspections and meetings and many different interests to be reconciled in the detailed drafting.

Drafting and negotiating documents to give effect to a complex deal involving the conversion of a large mixed use facility in Cardiff docks to a bulk grain silo, including negotiating the grant of an Underlease to a cereal manufacturer and a management agreement with the operating company.

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