Whether you’re buying, selling or leasing property for your business, or investing for a better return on your money, getting the legal side right is of paramount importance. Richard Hegarty of Hegarty Solicitors talks to us about the Commercial Property sector and the specialist legal services department he heads up
Commercial property is an essential part of Hegarty’s business. Can you give us an idea of the range of your clients?
We act on behalf of a wide range of clients covering the whole spectrum, from individuals to companies who are looking for operational premises, warehouses and even large factories. We also have key relationships with development companies, property companies and do quite a lot of pensions work for people with SIPPs (self-invested personal pensions) and for buy-to-let landlords bulk-buying property. We also work with government bodies, local authorities and charities that are looking to buy or lease property. So there really isn’t anybody we don’t act for!
Commercial property isn’t simply about buying and selling is it?
That’s right. We also work on commercial leasing contracts. In fact, we do more lease work than anything else: everything from corner shops to industrial units, office blocks right up to pubs and restaurants, every lease is different according to the specific circumstances.
What other areas does your department deal with?
One area that is growing is high-value residential developments. We set up the estate and organise Section 106 agreements with the local authority – which are the payments to the local authority required to offset the impacts of that development.
The Commercial Property Services department must, by its very nature, be highly specialised.
It’s what we do. The entire firm is made up of individual, specialist departments. We actually have two separate property departments: a commercial department and a residential conveyancing department, because the skills involved are so different. Commercial property is very specialist because there are so many potential pitfalls in commercial conveyancing.
Peterborough has attracted a lot of investment recently. Has this been reflected in your business?
Our department has doubled in the last three years. All firms of solicitors that work on commercial property are the same, we’re all busy. It’s not just an indication of Peterborough’s success but also the fact that a lot more people are getting involved in commercial property. Interest rates are very low and people are looking to commercial properties for a return on their money.
Is the prospect of Brexit likely to put the brakes on this growth?
Not so far, but we don’t know exactly what will happen yet. What we can say is that it looks as though we’re going to have low interest rates for some time. That will mean more people looking to commercial property for a return because they can’t get a decent return with their money in the bank.
What would you say your unique selling points are as a legal firm?
We strive to provide the best service to our clients. We have eight specialist legal departments with experts in every field, so we can help you with commercial property, an employment problem and all corporate issues. We also have a litigation department, so if you have a business dispute we can help there too. We’ve always retained clients, they come back to us time and time again due to our levels of service and our key focus on client care.
What have been the big success stories of 2016?
This year we have conducted a number of prodigious transactions. We have bought, sold and leased substantial commercial properties for a variety of clients and have completed a number of local authority investment opportunity purchases. We’ve also expanded our network with a new office in Oakham. But the one thing we are most proud of is the repeat business we enjoy, which has been increasing even while we continue to attract new clients.
To discuss any aspect of commercial property or for more information on Hegarty legal services please call Peterborough (01733) 346 333, Stamford (01780) 452 066 or Oakham (01572) 757 565, alternatively you can email
See more at www.hegarty.co.uk/property