Law firm’s Yorkshire property team makes its mark | 21 July 11

THE specialist property team at the Leeds office of law firm Ward Hadaway has advised on over £200m worth of deals over the past year.

The Leeds property team

Making a mark - Judy Fawcett (right) with some members of the property team at Ward Hadaway in Leeds.

The team, whose clients include household names in the retail sector as well as leading developers, house builders and major land owners, has worked on a total of £170m worth of property sales, acquisitions and development agreements in the last 12 months.

In addition, its specialist lawyers have advised on almost £30m worth of refinancing deals for property clients and have secured letting agreements worth almost £6m in rent.

Ward Hadaway’s ten-strong Leeds property team achieved the deals against the backdrop of challenging conditions in the commercial property market.

Judy Fawcett, Partner in the Property team at Ward Hadaway in Leeds, said: “The past year has not been an easy one in the property sector with recovery from the recession remaining patchy at best.

“However, many of our clients have been able to take advantage of the relatively subdued conditions to forge ahead with their development plans and we are delighted to have been able to help so many of them bring those plans to fruition.

“From the work which we have done over this past year, it appears our formula of providing expert partner-led advice with a personal commitment to our clients is proving a popular one for a range of different operators in the commercial property sector.

“As property investors start returning to the market and more new developments begin to be planned in Yorkshire and across the North, the prospects for the coming year are looking encouraging for our clients and for us.”

Property sales and acquisitions the firm has advised on over the past 12 months include the £18.6m sale of No 1 The Avenue, a building at the prestigious Spinningfields development in Manchester.

Ward Hadaway advised developer Allied London on the sale of the building to Warwick-based IM Properties.

The firm also advised Allied London on a number of other disposals at Spinningfields and other locations during the year, as well a range of lettings.

In the retail sector, Ward Hadaway’s property team advised a national supermarket chain on a string of acquisitions across the country as well as a number of property lettings.

Also in the retail sector, the firm advised Kimberley Developments on the sale of a development in Hornchurch, Essex, to supermarket group Waitrose as well as advising Kimberley on a refinancing deal.

In the ports sector, Ward Hadaway advised on property deals involving over £1m worth of rental income.

The firm has also advised a major national land and property owner on over £15m worth of acquisitions and disposals over the course of the year, as well as working on significant joint venture deals for mixed use, commercial and residential schemes.

The property team’s work has played an important part in the growing success of Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office, which has seen a 28% jump in turnover in the year to the end of April 2011 with fee income topping £4m.

Profit also rose by over 45% to £1.56m for the office, which opened its doors just three years ago in summer 2008.

Judy Fawcett said: “This has been quite a busy past year with a wide variety of work being carried out by the property team in Leeds.

“It is a great feeling to be part of a firm which is really going places and making its presence felt both in the Yorkshire market and further afield.

“We look forward to continuing to help our clients to execute their plans and develop their businesses in the year to come.”

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