Businesses often need to move property around between different wings, or formalise relationships over linked properties. Sometimes this will involve the switching of properties between group companies. Sometimes it will be the creation of a lease over property owned by the directors of a company, and other times it will involve the purchase of company property by a director. There are many practical commercial (as well as legal) considerations for such transactions, and our expertise can help you work through the best options for your business.

There are tax benefits to be gained by investing your pension fund in commercial property. You will need an experienced and properly accredited financial advisor to set up the scheme (normally a SSAS or a SIPP), but ultimately you and they will need an experienced property lawyer to help with the acquisition and leasing out of the property. There are some requirements for dealing with pension fund investment property that a peculiar to that type of entity, and we have extensive experience of helping pension fund trustees both locally and nationally.

What is an easement?

An easement is a right to use land belonging to a third party in a particular way or to prevent the owner of that land from using it in a certain manner. An example of an easement is a right of way.

Can someone have an easement over their own land?

No. There must be two parcels of land owned or occupied by two different parties. One parcel of land will have the benefit of the easement and the other parcel will bear the burden of the easement.

If someone has the right to cross another person’s land by virtue of an easement, can they prevent the owner from using that land?

No. An easement is a right over someone else’s land, not a means of preventing the owner of the using the land.

How can an easement be granted?

Easements can be created by deed of grant. So, for instance, if a land owner needs a supply of water and the only way of gaining it is to run water pipes through a neighbour’s land, a deed of grant can be prepared to allow the supply of water through a defined channel of pipes across the neighbour’s land. The person who has the benefit of this easement would normally be responsible for the cost of preparing the deed of grant as well as the maintenance costs of the pipes and cost of the supply of water. The person who is granting this right must not be involved in expenditure.

Can an easement be enforced against a future buyer?

Yes. If the person with the right of way over his land sells that land then the right of way can be enforced against any future owner.

Can an easement be granted for a fixed duration?

Yes. Fixed term easements are commonly granted to allow access whilst a neighbouring property is being built.

How can an easement be terminated?

There are several ways of extinguishing easements. An easement can for instance be extinguished by Act of Parliament. Alternatively, the owner of the land with the benefit of the easement can execute a deed releasing the owner of the land from the burden of the easement. And if both parcels of land come into the ownership and possession of the same person, the easement is extinguished.

Does an easement allow a person to take any natural produce or soil from the land?

No. This is known as profits a prendre. An easement is a right to use land; it’s a privilege without a profit. A profit, on the other hand, is a right for a person to remove products of natural growth from another person’s land. Examples include fishing and shooting rights.

Is there any other legal entitlement to enter another person’s land?

Yes. Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 a person may gain access to neighbouring land in order to carry out essential repairs to his own property, upon appropriate notice. If access is refused then a court order can be applied for.

A Conditional Fee Agreement ("CFA") offers a different way to fund litigation.

  • It is an agreement by which we agree to share the risk of the litigation with you according to the result
  • If you lose, you will not be liable to pay any fees to us If you win, you pay our "normal" costs (although you would look to recover most of them from your opponent)
  • If you win, you also pay an agreed "success fee" (in addition to our normal costs - although again you would look to recover it from your opponent)
  • The success fee can be as much as 100% of the normal fee - we will assess this to reflect the risk to us, the size of the claim and the likely amount of costs
  • It is important to understand that the success fee cannot be a percentage of the amount you recover if you win the claim

As an alternative to a full CFA, we may offer a partial CFA, which works in the same way except that if you lose you pay us a reduced fee.

Although the success fee will be recoverable from your opponent, if you win the case, the size of the success fee is open to challenge and if we can't agree the court may assess the success fee If you lose under a CFA, although you won't have to pay our fees, you are still likely to be ordered to pay your opponent's costs

The advantages of a CFA are:

  • Your liability to pay costs is linked to the outcome of the case
  • The CFA has to be disclosed to your opponent and the knowledge that you are in a posiiton to fight the case may encourage them to settle
  • Any damages awarded to you will not be eroded by the success fee

As an essential part of most property development work, it is important to ensure that the site has the necessary framework, such as correct planning, access and utilities, to achieve a successful development.

Our team of lawyers have considerable experience in dealing with planning matters, s.106 Agreements, compulsory purchase orders and easements for access and utilities, providing reassurance to clients that these time critical matters are dealt with pro-actively to help them achieve their target completion dates.

Our services include:

  • negotiating s.106 Agreements with Local Authorities
  • negotiating and putting in place easements for access and utilities to serve developments
  • advising on planning issues and obligations.



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We have branch offices in Sheffield City Center, Dronfield, Ecclesall, Bakewell and Rotherham.


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