Real Estate & Construction
The real estate and construction sector has faced huge difficulties lately. With the economic downturn and depressed property values, you may think there are few funding or investment opportunities available or that you will find it tough to get your project off the ground. But, at Harper Macleod, we believe getting your ventures going and keeping them on track is a matter of receiving sound strategic advice which limits risk. We can provide that service to you.
From acquisitions and disposals to development agreements, portfolio management and funding, we can help with all aspects of the property and construction process - and we don't just take the tried and tested route; we look at developing new financing and partnering models for our clients. Because we have close working relationships with the leading operators in Scotland's property and construction industry (including Scottish Government, investors, developers and their funders, main contractors, specialist subcontractors, purchasers and tenants) we see the bigger picture and anticipate the best approach to help push your plans over the line, on time and on budget.
We also work alongside clients and law firms based in jurisdictions outside Scotland, who require our knowledge of the Scottish legal system and the property and construction sector in general. We also know that, in a competitive industry such as this, not everything can go to plan. If you find yourself in difficulty, we can advise you on employment issues and debt recovery. Or if you find yourself in the middle of a dispute which is holding your project up - we offer mediation and other alternative dispute resolutions; these are often more cost-effective than court proceedings and avoid publicity.
Our key services (click for more info)
- Business Support
- Dispute resolution
- Commercial litigation
- Employment & HR issues
- Property & development advice
- Construction advice
- Planning advice
- Restructuring & insolvency
Our Key Services
We advise contractors, developers, funders, investors, office and retail tenants on a variety of property and construction matters. We also work with property professionals including engineers, surveyors, architects and accountants to achieve their aims and objectives. Our Real Estate & Construction Sector Group can help you with:
Whether you're purchasing an investment property or getting a development project off the ground, our Business Advisory team can help. Let us advise you on what type of legal vehicle is best for your acquisition or project. We regularly assist in respect of funding those vehicles, for example, structuring equity investment or secured debt finance - whether that be from mainstream banks or mezzanine providers. Our advice can be tailored to all types of business ventures, whether it's existing businesses, single purpose vehicles, joint ventures or investment funds established to invest in a series of opportunities.
Property and Construction is a highly competitive industry and, as a result, disagreements and disputes are not uncommon. Whether the dispute is over land agreements, terminating a contract or a project that is taking too long to complete, we can help you solve the problem through a variety of measures including litigation, adjudication and arbitration. We are also one of the few law firms to provide mediation services - ideal if you want to resolve your differences quickly, out of court and the public eye.
With the impact of the credit crunch on the sector, many organisations require commercial litigation advice. Not all disputes can be resolved without the need for litigation. We are renowned for having some of the most skilled litigators in thecountry. Our sector-specific teams
have valuable experience of a wide range of disputes in the property and construction sector and deliver the right results for our clients. Two of our Partners are ranked asleaders in the field of commercial dispute resolution in leading legal directories, so you can be sure that your affairs are being handled by the best there is.
Managing a business means managing employees which can prove tricky ground to cover in terms of legal responsibilities. From standard documentation like employment contracts to advising on disciplinary matters, we can help you with all aspects of employment law. We can even advise you if you're in the unfortunate position of dealing with a fatal workplace accident on your site.
We can advise you on acquisitions and sales, and the management and letting of investment properties in Scotland, ranging from shopping centres and landmark office buildings to business parks and high street shops.
Commercial leasing, leasebacks, conveyancing, portfolio management and disposals and acquisitions all fall under our area of expertise. Having advised on many developments in Scotland, including the Glasgow Indigo Hotel Partnership, we know how to get your project off the ground. We have worked with hotels, student accommodation, offices and retail, helping them with site acquisitions, development agreements and construction advice.
Drafting contracts for significant public projects and representing clients in high value or complex contentious matters, are just some of the things we advise on a regular basis. We can help with all aspects of the construction legal process including building contracts, development agreements, framework agreements, construction contracts, professional appointments, novation agreements, collateral warranties, bonds and guarantees; and a variety of other contractual documentation. We can also help you consider things like if you're a sub-contractor and the contractor goes into administration, who's liable for the outstanding work and costs? Or, if you're working to strict deadlines you may want to consider incentivising your contractor with an early completion bonus. A watertight contract that includes protections such as audit provision can make sure everything is accounted for.
The planning process in Scotland is similar to the rest of the UK, but there are significant differences. Recently implemented legislation has introduced many changes in application and other procedures. The planning system can often prove challenging for developers, many cite it as more of a hindrance than a promotion of development. We have an accredited planning specialist to manage your requirements and provide advice on the process from pre-application to implementation, including appeal, review, enforcement and agreements.
Unfortunately, the need for restructuring and insolvency has become all the more common, given the economic climate. We can advise you on the insolvency process, whether that be administration, liquidation, receivership or sequestration; your rights as a creditor, debtor, director or security holder and solvent restructuring and other creditor arrangements.