Hewitts > Services > Commercial Property

Commercial Property

Our expert commercial property law solicitors have extensive experience, regularly advising business owners, developers, funders and investors in respect of industrial, retail, healthcare, energy, leisure, office, investment and refinancing across the length and breadth of England.

Recent highlights include:
– advising on the expansion of a boutique leisure operator across England, advising on all aspects from the corporate structure, refinance, occupational arrangements and service level agreements;
– advising on proposed commercial and residential developments including site assembly, mineral rights and planning obligations; and
– acting for PLC lenders in securing finance against portfolios of properties.

No matter your needs or size of the project, our committed and experienced team of commercial property lawyers, available across all our office locations, can handle all your leasing and commercial property requirements.

What Areas Do We Cover?
– Sales and purchases
– Leasing commercial property
– Financing Commercial property
– Management of Portfolio of properties
– Property Disputes
– Option agreements
– Overage
– Residential or commercial development
– Planning obligations

Our commercial property team regularly work with colleagues within other departments to offer a holistic service aimed at providing you with pragmatic advice to protect your interests.

Sale and Purchase of Commercial Property

The buying and selling of land can be complex and involve negotiations with a number of interested parties.

Our commercial property solicitors offer expert advice to parties looking to sell or acquire land for a range of purposes, whether it is for an investment or for a trading business. In particular we provide advice and guidance on the following points that can arise when buying and selling land:

– Conditional contracts;
– overage provisions;
– title issues such as restrictive covenants that may affect the use and enjoyment of the land;
– rights of way and service media;
– any mines and minerals issues; and
– dealing with the requirements of any lender involved in the transaction;

Our commercial property team have experience of working on the sale and purchase of all types of land including:

– large areas of farm land across the north-east;
– former quarry land;
– land for large scale retail and leisure mixed use development;
– land for residential development;
– industrial units;
– healthcare premises;
– investment land, including sales and leasebacks using of SIPPs; and
– everyday high street and business premises.

Landlord and Tenant Portfolio Management

A lease of premises can often be a tenant’s largest overhead and for a landlord they provide an important income stream. Accordingly it is vitally important to ensure that whether you are granting or taking a lease that you receive specialist advice from experienced solicitors.

Hewitts have a specialist team of solicitors, who can advise you on the whole life cycle of leasing a property, including:

– advising on the Lease and any ancillary documents such as rent deposit deeds and licences for alterations;
– assigning the lease or sub-letting the premises;
– securing finance and complying with any lender’s requirements;
– compliance with break clauses;
– bringing a lease to an end; and
– advising on any disputes that may arise between the parties such as dilapidations and rent reviews.

The commercial property team at Hewitts are experienced in advising landlords, tenants and lenders across a broad range of sectors including:

– Agribusiness;
– healthcare;
– retail and leisure;
– office;

Over the years Hewitts have acted for a number of pension schemes and landlords with investment portfolios (including generations within the same family). We provide pragmatic and timely advice in respect of ongoing management of a scheme or portfolio the properties to ensure that the portfolio is proactively managed to maximise returns.

Development Land and Planning Agreements

With Interest rates at historic low levels, investment in land for development can be an attractive option, but there are numerous complicating factors which make legal and financial advice an absolute necessity.

Our team of experienced commercial property lawyers can assist at every stage of a development:

– Putting the site together with conditional contracts and overage provisions;
– Securing tenants on pre-letting arrangements to support your business case;
– Acting for your lender to enable you to find funding, secured on the land;
– Negotiating and drafting development agreements with third parties for construction;
– Dealing with the local planning authority and highways and water authorities in relation to community infrastructure levy and adoption of roads, sewers and drains.

Hewitts has acted for a variety of developers from national housebuilders to individuals and companies building up an investment portfolio or expanding their business premises.

Agriculture and Farm Tenancies

With four offices located across County Durham and Teesside Hewitts are ideally place in the thick of agribusiness industry in the North East. Hewitts are proud to have advised many generations of the same family of our farming and landowner clients on various issues including:

– Partnership agreements and succession planning;
– sales and purchases of farm land;
– securing finance;
– sale, purchase and options of land for development;
– overage agreements;
– succession tenancies, farm business tenancies, grazing licences;
– easements, wayleave agreements and public and private rights of way;
– mineral rights; and
– fishing and shooting rights.

Hewitts also help with personal matters such as wills, trusts, succession planning, probate and family matters.

Plot Sales and Estate Set Up

With a dedicated team of specialists Hewitts act for all sizes of developers in:

– acquiring land for development;
– planning agreements such as S.106, S.38 and S.104 agreements;
– preparing legal packs for plot sales;
– attending to plot sales, part exchanges and any other builder-specific schemes; and
– onward sale of part exchanged houses.

We understand that plot sales are time critical and we work with our developer clients to ensure that plot sales are dealt with in an efficiently and timely manner and that the sales team are kept fully up to speed on the progress and subsequent completions.

Further, Hewitts are continually nominated by national developers as the preferred conveyancers to act for purchasers of new build plots. These recommendations are based on our:

– speed of completing transactions;
– knowledge and understanding of the various schemes on offer e.g. help to buy (through its various incarnations), forces help to buy, affordable housing, part exchange and other builder-specific schemes;
– excellent client service; and
– value for money fee estimates.


Tim Wilks, is a successful commercial property developer based in the North East.

Commercial property developer Tim Wilks has used Hewitts for more than ten years.

One of Tim’s most recent acquisitions, The Fox Hole Pub and Kitchen, at Piercebridge, was bought at auction.

He explained: “With a completion deadline of 28 days after the auction – and a ten per cent deposit at risk if you can’t complete – it’s important to have a firm you can rely on. Luckily, I know I can trust Hewitts completely.

“I have used Hewitts for more than ten years and, before that, my father used them for many years. I know they won’t let me down.

“When I am talking to Hewitts I never feel as though I’m on the clock – we have a personal relationship which means dealing with Hewitts is very relaxed.”