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About me

I deal primarily with residential property development work which I find extremely interesting, varied and rewarding. It’s no secret that housing is in short supply, so seeing a site transition from bare land into an occupied and “practically completed” development really puts a smile on my face.

I have worked with regional and larger PLC developers, landowners, charities, registered providers, local authorities and more for just over 10 years. My specialisms include strategic acquisitions, instant site acquisitions (including conditional contracts), social housing acquisitions and disposals (including “Golden Brick” deals) and ancillary infrastructure deeds including substation leases.

I provide value to clients from the very outset by actively assisting at the heads of term stage. I can also provide indicative constraints plans showing what affects a site as revealed by due diligence and to make legal reports more “digestible”.

I am flexible, pragmatic and hands-on in my approach and am always available to meet with clients wherever it suits them (I have wellies for those muddy site visits!) or welcome them here at our amazing Birmingham offices.

Outside of work, I am kept busy by my young family and in my free time I enjoy watching TV series and movies. I also like to take part in physical challenges and team events, especially for charitable causes. If you want someone on your dragon boat team, sign me up!

Top Tips & FAQs

Discover my top tips

Always carry out a site visit with a solicitor. It’s really important to check that the physical boundaries of the property are consistent with the legal boundaries and title plan. How the property will be accessed and serviced is also very important as is looking out for third party interests e.g. informal rights of way.

Consider legal input into negotiating heads of terms. Well negotiated HOTs can really save time on document negotiations later and help avoid issues. Investing time early on can make the whole process much smoother.

Always have one eye on future saleability and chargeability. What works for you now, may not work for someone else later. Funders, in particular, can have very specific requirements - involving them early may be worthwhile.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m a buyer and I’ve been asked to release a deposit as “agent”, what does this mean?
A deposit paid as “agent” means that it is released to a seller into their bank account, not held by the seller’s solicitor (in their firm’s client account) securely. The risk of releasing cash to a seller is that they renege on the contract and reclaiming the money may be difficult especially if the seller has become insolvent.
To mitigate this, it is important to think about having security in place at the time that the money is released – this could be in the form of a priority-first legal charge registered against the property.

Do I need a title indemnity policy and will this fix the issue?
Sometimes title due diligence reveals adverse matters. For instance, a covenant on the title to the property may prevent the erection of dwellings. A title policy could assist with this. However, it is by no means a “silver bullet” as it doesn’t correct a defect in title or remove a covenant but rather it can provide a sum of money which can be used to defend claims brought against you.
Even if the risk of enforcement is considered, cover may be necessary to satisfy other future stakeholders.

I think there is a public footpath running through the site. What can we do about this?
It’s important to check if a footpath is in place and if it is public footpath. This can be ascertained by carrying out a highways search. There are two ways to deal with a footpath – you could either leave the footpath and accommodate it within your proposed site layout or you could make an approach to the local planning authority and enquire about the costs of relocating the footpath, or check whether a diversion order can be issued. I work very closely with the firm’s Highways, Planning and Environment team to assist with matters such as this.

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