Buying a commercial property can be a long and complicated process. From arranging your commercial mortgage to instructing a survey on the property there are plenty of issues to consider. One of the most important factors involved in a commercial property transaction is the legal work involved.
So, it is vitally important that you find a commercial property solicitor who is competent, experienced and that you can trust. There can be a lot of legal issues that arise in a commercial property deal and so our guide looks as the factors you should consider when hiring a commercial property solicitor.
Regulation – Firstly, you should choose a solicitor who is correctly insured and regulated – by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. This offers protection to you as a client should they fail to discover any major legal issues during the buying process. If they are correctly regulated it allows you to seek recourse should they fail to act correctly during the commercial purchase.
Location – Many people prefer to use a local law firm as they have a greater knowledge of the area than a company working remotely. Local solicitors also know about the types of searches that are applicable in your area and should be able to help with other local issues that you may not be aware of.
Cost – Whilst you want to be sure that you are getting value for money, you shouldn’t necessarily select the cheapest solicitor. As with many things, the quality of service is likely to be proportional to the cost. Find out what you can expect to get for your money rather than simply finding the cheapest solicitor you can.
The legal costs of buying commercial property can run from a few hundred to several thousand pounds depending on the type and value of the property. Solicitors will also charge for ‘disbursements’ such as local searches and VAT.
When choosing a commercial property solicitor, make sure you understand how their charging structure works. Is it a fixed fee or are you paying them based on the work that they do? Solicitors are obliged to provide you with an estimate of costs for a transaction and their fees should be consistent with this original estimate. Don’t be afraid to tackle the issue of costs with a solicitor before you agree to hire them.
Experience – When choosing a commercial property solicitor it is useful to find one with significant experience in dealing with transactions like yours. Have they worked on this type of commercial property before? Find out what experience the solicitor has and what similar properties they have worked on. Find out also how long they have been practicing and whether they are Law Society accredited.
In addition, find out what level of service you can expect to receive from the solicitor. Will you be dealing directly with them or with a junior partner or associate? Who will deal with your transaction in the absence of your own solicitor? Make sure you are comfortable with the firm’s arrangements and service commitments.
There are plenty of commercial property solicitors out there, just as there are many commercial mortgage lenders to choose from. So, take your time and research the market to find the right solicitor for your particularly property deal.