Planning and the proceeds of crime

The term “proceeds of crime” tends to conjure up images of popular HBO crime dramas and 1950s gambling rings. It certainly doesn’t tend to be associated in most people’s minds with subdivision of flats without planning consent. But it should be. Southwark Council have recently won a £1.2m proceeds of crime confiscation order from a … Read more

Residential Leasehold up for grabs – change is coming, get ready!

The report of the Parliamentary committee on residential leasehold reform has been published containing strong recommendations, many of them radical, and some where it is not at all clear how they could work in practice.  Nevertheless, this is likely to be the future and a good commercial conclusion may be to assume that this will … Read more

Well-Being in the Built Environment

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Exchange Network, a network of senior women in the London Real Estate department, recently hosted the “Healthy Buildings” panel discussion in conjunction with REWomen. Joined by over 90 attendees from the real estate industry, the panel discussed the economic drivers of well-being in the built environment, who the players are, who benefits, and … Read more

CREFC’s due diligence guide for lenders – new edition

Over the last 18 months, Herbert Smith Freehills has been working with the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (the CREFC), a trade body for real estate debt lenders and investors in Europe, to help produce the new edition of CREFC’s due diligence guide for lenders against UK commercial real estate. The CREFC Due Diligence (DD) … Read more

Back to basics: acquiring land compulsorily by way of a GVD

Current crises in housing and in town centres have placed greater emphasis on the role that local authorities can and should play in compulsorily acquiring land to promote much needed development, whether to implement local plan policies or to help progress consented schemes. In a series of back-to-basics posts we will discuss the various stages … Read more

A bonanza for empty rates schemes?

The Supreme Court has given judgment in the case of Telereal Trillium v Hewitt (VO) [2019] UKSC 23. The latest in a long line of rating cases to be considered by the Supreme Court in recent years, this case indicates that even the most unattractive, seemingly impossible to let, empty property is likely to be … Read more