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Dates and topics for the Blundell Lectures 2015 7 May 2015

The organisers of the Blundell Lectures have announced that there are still some tickets available for the 40th series of the Blundell Lectures.

Click here for the ticket application form.

All lectures take place from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE.

Tickets cost £65 + VAT for each lecture (or £234 + VAT for all four lectures) including e-documentation, drinks and canapés.

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Blundell Lectures, the final lecture (on 29 June) will be followed by a champagne reception, to which all attendees of that lecture are invited.  Sadly, I have to be elsewhere that day.

 

TOPICS

Monday 1 June 2015LEASEHOLD ENFRANCHISEMENT: A PORPOISIVE APPROACH?

What issues in leasehold enfranchisement or property law generally has the recent High Court decision in Westbrook Dolphin Square Limited v Friends Life Limited brought into focus? To what extent has it clarified them? What problems remain?

Adam Rosenthal, Falcon Chambers and Natasha Rees, Forsters LLP

 

Monday 8 June 2015RENEWAL OF BUSINESS TENANCIES – SOME CURRENT ISSUES

60 years after it came into force, Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 continues to throw up legal and practical issues as market and litigation practice changes. These include how the valuation formula in s.34 works in relation to fitting out rent free periods; the assessment of interim rents in the light of Humber Oil Terminals Trustee Limited v Associated British Ports; and the setting up and management of a case opposing a new tenancy on the ground of redevelopment or seeking a redevelopment break clause.

Stephen Jourdan QC and Jennifer Rickard, Nabarro LLP

 

Monday 22 June 2015SUCCESSFUL CHALLENGES TO ARBITRATION AWARDS – NEVER OR JUST  HARDLY EVER?

The Arbitration Act 1996 contains detailed provisions enabling arbitration awards to be challenged on the ground of serious irregularity or mistakes of law. But most attempted challenges fail. Is a successful challenge impossible or just very difficult? Can a useful set of guidelines be drawn up?

Kirk Reynolds QC and William Densham, Eversheds LLP

 

Monday 29 June 2015PROPERTY LAW IN A CHANGING WORLD: A VIEW FROM THE SUPREME COURT

Lord Neuberger, the President of the Supreme Court and himself the giver of a number of past Blundell Lectures, looks back to some of the landmark property cases decided in recent times, and forward to the shape of property law to come.

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury

 

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CPD talks on MEES in Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich 6 May 2015

I will be presenting three CPD talks on the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations in Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich in June.

Regular readers will be well aware that, from April 2018, it will be unlawful for a landlord to let a property with an EPC rating below E unless all possible cost-effective energy efficiency improvements have been made, or one of the exemptions applies.

What are the practical implications, and what do landlords need to do at this stage? This one-hour talk, being presented in Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich, will make it all clear – or as clear as is possible at this stage, anyway.

I will also be considering the likely effect of MEES on new and existing commercial leases, and considering some practical solutions for property owners.

Dates and venues

Cambridge – Thursday 4 June 2015 starting at 12.30 pm.  Venue: Mills & Reeve

Ipswich – Wednesday 10 June 2015 starting at 9.30 am.  Venue: Birketts

Norwich – Wednesday 10 June 2015 starting at 12.30 am.  Venue: Birketts

Cost

Just £55 plus VAT per person (to be invoiced after the event) – subject to a maximum of £275 plus VAT per firm at each venue.  That means that if you send along more than five people, you pay only for the first five and the rest go free !

Enquiries and bookings

Please contact me on info@nullfalcolegaltraining.co.uk

An in-house version of this talk is also available.  Full details are available on this web page.

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Conferences for surveyors in Leeds, Basildon, Peterborough, Nottingham and Southampton 27 April 2015

Here are some opportunities for surveyors to hear me speak about one of my passions, the Model Commercial Lease, at full-day conferences organised by Professional Conferences.  The conference is called “Current Property Issues 2015″ and has been running very successfully in this format for many years.

The remaining conferences at which I will be speaking are in Leeds (30 April), Basildon (7 May), and then Peterborough and Nottingham in June.

My talk is one of seven sessions during the day.  The other talks during the day are all by experts in their field including John Beckett, Lesley Webber and Paul Clark, and will include a variety of topics including landlord and tenant case law update, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), negligent valuations, current sustainability issues and development disputes.

The cost for attending each event is an astonishingly low £105 plus VAT for the whole day.  A hot lunch costs a few pounds more.  Please mention my name if you are booking as a result of seeing this article.

The speakers and their topics vary slightly between locations.  For information about the sessions at each of the conferences below, click on the location name.

Venues

30 AprilLeeds (Royal Armouries)

7 MayBasildon (Holiday Inn)

9 JunePeterborough (Holiday Inn)

16 JuneNottingham (Nottingham Belfry)

30 JuneSouthampton (Novotel) – sadly I cannot speak on that date so the talk on the Model Commercial Lease will be ably presented by Paul Clark

Other than in Southampton, therefore, I hope to see you there !

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Last opportunity to book for CRELA’s talk on the Law Commission’s land registration project 16 April 2015

There are still a few places left at the forthcoming CRELA** Commercial Real Estate Update in the City of London.  This takes place on the evening of Thursday 23 April 2015 at Hogan Lovells’ office in the City of London.  I will be one of the speakers, talking about one of my favourite topics – the Model Commercial Lease.  But the star of the evening will be Professor Elizabeth Cooke, one of the Law Commissioners.

The event will comprise a 90 minute session covering three main topics on current commercial real estate issues.  What follows is a summary.  You can see full details in my article on 3 March 2015 “CRELA’s Commercial Real Estate Update in the City of London“.

The Law Commission’s Land Registration project
Professor Elizabeth Cooke (Law Commissioner)

Recent and forthcoming changes to SDLT
Richard Smith and Peter Williams

The Model Commercial Lease
Peter Williams

Venue:

Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FG
(Offices of Hogan Lovells International LLP)

Timings:

6.00 pm – 7.30 pm (registration and coffee from 5.30 pm)
followed by drinks and networking until 8.30 pm

1.5 CPD points

Tickets:

No attendance restrictions.  Open to everyone.

Please book using the Booking Form which you can find here.

Members £25 + VAT
Others £45 + VAT

** CRELA = Commercial Real Estate Legal Association – see www.crela.org.uk

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CRELA’s Commercial Real Estate Update in the City of London 3 March 2015

Here are details of the forthcoming CRELA** Commercial Real Estate Update in the City of London (at which, by chance, I will be one of the speakers).

** CRELA = Commercial Real Estate Legal Association – see www.crela.org.uk

Thursday 23 April – City of London

This will comprise a 90 minute session covering three main topics on current
commercial real estate issues.

The Law Commission’s Land Registration project
Professor Elizabeth Cooke (Law Commissioner)

The Law Commission has recently started work on this new project, which
comprises a wide-ranging review of the Land Registration Act 2002, with a view to
amendment where elements of the Act could be improved in light of experience
with its operation. In particular, this project will examine the extent of the Land
Registry’s guarantee of title, rectification and alteration of the register, and the
impact of fraud. The project will also re-examine the legal framework for electronic
conveyancing, and consider how technology might be harnessed to reduce the
time and resources required to process applications while maintaining the
reliability of the register and public confidence in it.

Professor Elizabeth Cooke was appointed Commissioner with responsibility for
Property, Family and Trust Law in July 2008.

Recent and forthcoming changes to SDLT
Richard Smith and Peter Williams

In the past Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) has applied both in England & Wales
and in Scotland, and significant changes were made to SDLT on residential
property in all jurisdictions last December.  But in April SDLT will be replaced in Scotland by an entirely new tax, the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). LBTT will apply to all land in Scotland irrespective of where the purchaser is based. The Scottish Government will have control over the tax base as well as the rates, and the administrative arrangements for LBTT will be different, with an online system intended to be more modern and user friendly.

This session will provide an overview of all these changes, both north and south of
the border, to ensure that lawyers in England and Wales are fully up to speed with
these important developments which will affect their clients’ portfolio acquisitions
across the whole of the UK.

Richard Smith is a dual-qualified real estate partner in Brodies LLP, a Scottish law
firm with offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Brussels. 

Peter Williams is a freelance legal trainer, writer and lecturer at Falco Legal
Training.

The Model Commercial Lease
Peter Williams

The Model Commercial Lease (MCL) is an initiative from the property industry
itself, intended to speed up lease negotiations while maintaining the flexibility that
both landlords and tenants require to run their businesses.  This session will
introduce you to the MCL and consider its pros and cons (but mostly its pros).

Peter Williams is a freelance legal trainer, writer and lecturer at Falco Legal
Training.

Venue:

Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FG

(Offices of Hogan Lovells International LLP)

Timings:

6.00 pm – 7.30 pm

followed by drinks and networking until 8.30 pm

1.5 CPD points

Tickets:

No attendance restrictions.  Open to everyone.

Please book using the Booking Form which you can find here.

Members £25 + VAT.

Others £45 + VAT.

 

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CRELA’s inaugural event in the Thames Valley 3 March 2015

Here are details of the inaugural CRELA** meeting in the Thames Valley (at which, by chance, I will be one of the speakers).

** CRELA = Commercial Real Estate Legal Association – see www.crela.org.uk

Thursday 19 March 2015 – Wokingham

Join colleagues from law firms Clifton Ingram, Field Seymour Parkes, Mercers, Allan
Janes and Colemans (amongst others) for the inaugural CRELA (Thames Valley)
event on Thursday 19 March 2015 from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm. The event will be held
at Clifton Ingram’s office in Wokingham.

CRELA’s Thames Valley group will focus on the issues, challenges and opportunities
that commercial property professionals in the region encounter, combined with some
valuable networking.

The event will feature presentations from two accomplished speakers and is worth
1 CPD hour:

Dr Ashley Bowes, a barrister at Guildford Chambers, is a recognised expert in
planning law and procedure. Ashley will speak on “The top five things every property
lawyer should know on planning”, which will include community infrastructure levy
(CIL) and planning obligations.

Peter Williams of Falco Legal Training will provide an update on various commercial landlord and tenant issues, including the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard regulations that take effect in 2018 and the new Model Commercial Lease. Peter has been personally involved in both these developments.

After the talks there will be an opportunity for questions and then time to network
over drinks.

Cost: CRELA members – free
Non-members – £25 (equivalent to the annual CRELA subscription)

To register to attend this event, or for more details, please contact Melissa Baxter at
Clifton Ingram (melissabaxter@nullcliftoningram.co.uk or telephone 0118 912 0210).

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Opportunities for surveyors to hear about the Model Commercial Lease 18 February 2015

Here are some opportunities for surveyors to hear me speak about one of my passions, the Model Commercial Lease, at full-day conferences organised by Professional Conferences.  The conference is called “Current Property Issues 2015” and has been running very successfully in this format for many years.

My talk is one of seven sessions during the day.  At the recent Professional Conference event in Bracknell earlier in the month I received some generous feedback including –

“Difficult slot to cover but interesting and useful insight info model leases”

“Knowledgeable and informative”

“A good review of leases and drafting”

(Other, marginally less enthusiastic opinions were also available, but I was covering the after-lunch slot!  And wouldn’t life be boring if everyone shared the same opinions.)

The other talks during the full-day conference are all by experts in their field including such luminaries as Philip Freedman, Lesley Webber and Paul Clark, and will include a variety of topics including landlord and tenant case law update, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), negligent valuations, current sustainability issues and development disputes.

The cost for attending each event is an astonishingly low £105 plus VAT for the whole day.  A hot lunch costs a few pounds more.  Please mention my name if you are booking as a result of seeing this article.

The speakers and their topics vary slightly between locations.  For information about the sessions at each of the conferences below, click on the location name.

Venues

12 MarchBristol (Filton Holiday Inn) – waiting list only

18 MarchManchester (The Mere Golf Resort, Knutsford)

30 AprilLeeds (Royal Armouries)

7 MayBasildon (Holiday Inn)

9 JunePeterborough (Holiday Inn)

16 JuneNottingham (Nottingham Belfry)

30 JuneSouthampton (Novotel) – sadly I cannot speak on that date so the talk on the Model Commercial Lease will be ably presented by Paul Clark

Other than in Southampton, therefore, I hope to see you there !

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An introduction to LinkedIn and other social media for lawyers 26 November 2014

Are you confident that your profile on LinkedIn is suitable ?

Do you wonder whether LinkedIn can be used for any purpose other than seeing what people look like in photographs taken over ten years ago ?

Are you asked to provide information to your marketing team that can be used for Tweets (whatever they are) and wonder what is needed ?

Do you ever muse over why “lawyers”, “marketing” and “Twitter” are ever used in the same sentence ?

If any of these points is relevant, then CRELA’s forthcoming talk “Social media: you mean it’s just a conversation?” is right up your street.  It features Helen Hammond from Elephant Creative, who will take a practical look at a selection of the most important social media tools.

The event is being held at the offices of Berwin Leighton Paisner on the evening of Tuesday 2 December.  The event is open to everyone, not just members of CRELA (Commercial Real Estate Legal Association).  Tickets are still available and are ridiculously good value.

More details, including how to book your tickets, are in my blog article dated 24 October 2014 entitled “Social Media  you mean it’s just a conversation?“.

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CRELA event: learn how to become comfortable with social media at work 16 November 2014

This is an invitation to attend a talk from a marketing expert who will explain why lawyers need to be comfortable using social media to promote their practices – and how to do it.  The talk takes place on the evening of Tuesday 2 December and everyone is invited.

Lawyers today need many skills.  A decent understanding of the law is still pretty useful, but you also need to be an expert in marketing (including self-marketing), business development, networking, IT (including, ideally touch-typing  whoever would have guessed that twenty years ago) and … it also helps to have an understanding of Social Media.

Social Media ranges from stuff that people use at home that I really don’t understand like FaceBook and Instagram (I had to look that one up) to stuff that people use at work that  I sort of understand – like LinkedIn and Twitter.  I have a LinkedIn page (click here) and a Twitter page (click here) but I’m sure I don’t use them to best advantage (particular Twitter, which remains a permanent mystery to me).

And I’m sure I am not alone, which is why CRELA (Commercial Real Estate Legal Association) has arranged for Helen Hammond of Elephant Creative to present a talk on Social Media for lawyers on the evening of Tuesday 2 December 2014 at the offices of Berwin Leighton Paisner at London Bridge.  The talk is suitable for all lawyers, whatever their area of specialism.

In view of the importance of the topic, the event is open to everyone to attend, whether or not a member of CRELA.  Tickets cost £25 plus VAT for members and £30 plus VAT for members’ guests and non-members.

You will have guessed that there are still tickets available and I encourage everyone to attend. There will be drinks afterwards as well so you get both CPD points and penalty points (only joking).

More details, including how to book your tickets, are in my blog article dated 24 October 2014 entitled “Social Media  you mean it’s just a conversation?“.

I hope to see you there.  I am chairing the event by the way, so if you do attend and we do not yet know one another, please do introduce yourself beforehand or during the networking afterwards.

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Lunchtime training event in Norwich: Tuesday 18 November 2014 6 November 2014

Peter Williams, formerly a Professional Support Lawyer at Eversheds LLP, is returning to Norwich on Tuesday 18 November 2014 to present a lunchtime talk.  It is open to any legal advisers and other members of law firms in Norwich and the surrounding area.

Topic

The topic of the talk will be “Guarantees and Indemnities in Real Estate Transactions” and it will answer the ten everyday questions set out at the foot of this page.

This is one of the “Ten Important Pointers” talks from Falco Legal Training.  Further details of this series of talks are available on this page of Falco Legal Training’s website.

Cost

The cost will be £55+VAT per person, with a maximum of £275+VAT per firm.  In other words, any people above the first five in a firm can attend free.  Invoices will be sent after the lecture.

Venue

The venue will be the offices of Birketts, the address of which is:

Kingfisher House
1 Gilders Way
Off Barrack Street
Norwich
NR3 1UB

Falco Legal Training is grateful to Birketts for providing this venue.

Please note that NO car parking will be available.

Timings

Please please in your seats by 12.20.  The talk will last from 12.30 to 1.30.

No lunch will be provided but you are welcome to bring your own lunch with you.

CPD

This event qualifies for one CPD hour.

A written hand-out will be provided by e-mail after the event.

Booking and further enquiries

It is essential that Birketts’ staff know who is attending this event.  Please e-mail Peter Williams at the link on this page of this website to book your place.

Similarly please use the same e-mail link for any enquiries about the event.

Contents of the talk

This course on Guarantees and Indemnities in Real Estate Transactions will consider the following questions:

1.  What is the difference between a guarantee and an indemnity, and why does it matter?

2.  Why state that the guarantor is liable as primary obligor?

3.  Why do landlords insist on joining guarantors into later variations?

4.  How effective is wording saying that guarantors do not need to be joined into subsequent documents?

5.  What protections are available to someone entering into an indemnity covenant?

6.  Can a landlord retain a guarantee on an implied surrender and re-grant of a lease?

7.  Who protects the guarantor’s interests on the grant of a lease, and what needs to be considered?

8.  Does a guarantee in a lease pass with the reversion so as to benefit a subsequent landlord?

9.  Is a guarantor still liable if the tenant becomes insolvent and the tenant’s liquidator disclaims the lease, or if the lease is forfeited?

10.  I am being pursued by a landlord under a guarantee that I provided several years ago. What hope do I have of escaping liability?

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Looking for last minute CPD hours ? 28 October 2014

Those of us who have already amassed our 16 CPD hours this year are not particularly concerned about the imminence of the last day of the CPD year – Friday 31 October 2014. However, there are some folk who have not yet reached 16 hours.  This blog article is for you, so long as your firm subscribes to the Practical Law website and the webinars mentioned below are suitable for your needs, based on your existing level of knowledge of the topics.  (Some of them definitely will be, whatever your level of qualification.)

And of course if you have already amassed your 16 hours for this year, there is nothing to stop you using the information in this e-mail to start obtaining next year’s CPD hours at the start of the next CPD year.  Just return to this e-mail on 1 November.

What follows may look like an advertisement for Practical Law, but it’s actually an advertisement for my participation in a couple of these recorded webinars.

WEBINARS ON TOPICAL REAL ESTATE ISSUES

Practical Law Property has released a series of webinars on topical real estate issues – entirely free to subscribers to Practical Law Property.  The webinars build on the series of face to face lectures that Practical Law Property offered in October 2013, and are said to be targeted at trainees and those with 0-2 years PQE.  However, in my view everyone would benefit from listening to the majority of the webinars, particularly those who are not fully up to speed with issues involving flooding, green leases and environmental issues.  My webinar on Covenants affecting Freehold Land is suitable for everyone, of whatever level of qualification.

The topics covered in these free webinars are as follows:

  • Flooding Part 1: Why it matters to lawyers
  • Flooding Part 2: What lawyers need to do about it
  • EPCs and DECs: Essentials for real estate lawyers.
  • Green Leases: What to look for and how to amend them
  • Environmental issues for real estate lawyers
  • Business leases: security of tenure
  • Covenants affecting freehold land *
  • Agreements for lease **

 

With a couple of exceptions, the presenter for all these webinars is the very knowledgeable Sue Highmore of Practical Law.  The webinar with one asterisk next to it is a webinar from me (from my Ten Important Pointers series of training sessions), and the one with two asterisks is a joint presentation from me and Sue Highmore.

ACCESSING THE WEBINARS

The webinars are hosted on www.legalpd.com, the new learning solution launched in September 2014 by Practical Law.

What follows sounds much more complicated than it is.  All you are doing is setting up a personal account with a username and password.  Then you log back into the site to access the webinars.

Subscribers to Practical Law Property can access the webinars, free of charge, by following these instructions:

  • Go to www.legalpd.com/content?SN=property
  • Choose a webinar from the free series (identified by the FREE icon)
  • Click on “Buy Now/ Add to Pass”
  • Enter your email address in the New User box and follow the instructions on-screen to register
  • Select “Invoice Me” on the confirmation page (Note: the “total” should show as “£0.00 + VAT”; you will not be charged for the webinar)

Once you have registered, you only need to re-enter your password to access the other free webinars in the series.

Practical Law Property would like your feedback on these webinars and whether you would like to see further webinars.

OBTAINING CPD HOURS

If you want to obtain CPD hours, you need to watch a webinar and then complete a short quiz (achieving a mark of at least 3 out of 5).  I completed a quiz from the Agreement for Lease webinar (which admittedly I jointly wrote and presented) and got 100% !!  My certificate is proudly displayed below.

A transcript of each webinar is also provided on the website.

CPD certificate_150

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CRELA event on 2 December 2014: “Social media – You mean it’s just a conversation?” 24 October 2014

Here is a “Don’t miss” event if ever there was one, ignoring for the moment that I have organised it, and will be chairing it.  Despite that, I still maintain that it is going to be well worth attending.

On the evening of Tuesday 2 December 2014, the Commercial Real Estate Legal Association (CRELA) has arranged for Helen Hammond of Elephant Creative to speak on the subject of  “Social media: you mean it’s just a conversation?“.

With a view to attracting more real estate lawyers to join CRELA, the talk is open to everyone, whether or not a member of CRELA.  Tickets for CRELA members cost just £25 plus VAT, and tickets for CRELA members’ guests and for non-members cost just £30 plus VAT.

The event is kindly being hosted for CRELA by Berwin Leighton Paisner at Adelaide House, London Bridge, London EC4R 9HA.  Registration opens at 5.45 pm and the session starts at 6.15 pm.

Social media?  What’s that all about then?

Using her many years’ experience of advising professionals, Helen Hammond will take a practical, no-nonsense path through a selection of the most important social media tools available. She will provide a clear set of recommendations for their use as well as debunking some of the myths about the audiences currently using them (teenagers ??!) and their roles within traditional legal marketing and business development.

Using relevant case studies Helen will also demonstrate how lawyers are currently using social media to underpin cross-selling, client care and business development as well as thought-leadership, PR and knowledge management.  This session is designed to explain, at last, why you must not miss out on social media and what steps you need to take, right away.

Helen Hammond is Managing Director at Elephant Creative.   Working with leading law firms in the UK and elsewhere, she specialises in delivering common-sense, practical advice, focused on clear business development objectives.

How to book your tickets

This is going to be a very popular event and you need to book in advance.  You can find details of how to book on the CRELA website.

About CRELA

The objects of CRELA are:

  • to promote specialist non-contentious commercial real estate legal skills within the property industry and among others with interest in real estate;
  • to provide a forum in which members can share knowledge and information with a view to improving and enhancing transactional and other procedures for the benefit of practitioners and clients;
  • to provide a network for social, educational and training events.

 

Membership is open to lawyers who mainly undertake non-contentious transactional and advisory work relating to commercial real property (other than lawyers who are specialists in environmental law, planning, construction or residential property).  Professional support lawyers and in-house lawyers who qualify for membership are most welcome.

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Commercial Leases Best Practice – Morning Briefing 20 October 2014

Falco Legal Training’s blog is back, after a break for an exciting holiday in South America.

This is an announcement about a training session that takes place on Thursday this week.

Join Nick Darby (Dentons) and me on Thursday morning this week for a RICS CPD Foundation course “Commercial Leases Best Practice“.  Nick will be talking about the Code for Leasing Business Premises 2007 and the RICS Small Business Retail Lease (which he prepared for the RICS), and I will be talking about the Model Commercial Lease (which I had a hand in writing, and for which I run the website).

There will also be a session on the Better Buildings Partnership Green Leases Toolkit, comprising an introduction to the subject of green leases and why businesses might consider adopting them.

Places are still available.  More information, including how to book, is on this page on the RICS CPD Foundation’s website:

Commercial Leases Best Practice – Morning Briefing

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Two forthcoming training sessions 9 June 2014

Here are details of two forthcoming training sessions, one to be given by me and the other to be given by my friend Sarah Fox.

Wednesday 25 June 2014 – Swindon

Guarantees and indemnities in real estate transactions 

This is one of the Ten Important Pointers courses.   Each course in the “Ten Important Pointers” series comprises a series of ten deceptively simple questions on difficult areas of law.  I will work through the answers to the questions, using examples and recent cases where appropriate.

Limited availability.  Please contact me if you are interested in attending.

 

Tuesday 1 July and Wednesday 2 July 2014 – London

Protecting stakeholders from construction risks (presented by Sarah Fox)

The aim of this seminar is to provide you with all the skills, knowledge and information you need to advise clients on how they can best protect themselves from risks associated with the construction of a new development. Your stakeholder clients include funders, tenants or purchasers and are all exposed to the normal range of risks associated with construction projects.

You will go from knowing ‘just about enough’ to really getting to grips with the construction aspects of a development. This seminar aims to move you from confused to confident in 48 hours.

Sarah is a dynamic presenter with 10 years’ experience in designing and delivering effective, inspiring and enjoyable learning events. She has substantial technical and legal expertise having worked for a Top 10 national firm in their Constructing and Engineering Group (the same firm for which I used to work, co-incidentally).

For more infomation on this course, click on this link:

Protecting stakeholders from construction risks

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Just say the magic words 3 April 2014

So there I was, planning a simple blog article tonight to remind people of my existence, and it hasn’t gone quite the way I planned it.

The original article was going to go something like this.

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CPT conference “Business Occupation, Tenancies and the Green Agenda” – Central London – Tuesday 8 April 2014

This is a whole-day conference.  Although it has “green” in the title, the programme is not designed for ’green experts’.  This event is a practical guide focusing on why and how to embrace, and profit, from the green agenda.   It is aimed at typical property advisors – whether landlord and tenant agents, property managers, valuers, and occupiers themselves; and to property lawyers, developers and investors.

I will be speaking on “New law and regulations”, which will cover recent developments in the area of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (unaccountably one of my specialties) and the forthcoming Minimum Building Energy Performance Standards (MEPS).  This is the name given to the requirement in section 49 Energy Act 2011 (not yet in force) that from an unknown date between now and 2018 it will not be permissible to grant a lease of a building the EPC rating of which is lower than E, unless you fall within one of the exceptions.  No-one knows what the exceptions are going to be yet.  We are expecting a consultation on that imminently (but don’t hold your breath – DECC is finding it more difficult to finalise the consultation document than originally expected).  Somehow I have to fit all that into 50 minutes.

Other speakers will cover tax incentives, technological advances, the green leases toolkit and how to manage risks.  It promises to be an interesting day.

Full details appear here on the CPT Events website.

Falco Legal Training blog readers: quote Promotional Code GR1 to receive a discount of £55 off the cost of attending the conference.

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But then, at midday, colleagues e-mailed me to say that the Court of Appeal had handed down judgment in the case of Friends Life Ltd v Siemens Hearing Instruments Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 382The case concerned a break clause that required the break notice to specify particular wording, for reasons that are too complex to explain here (but are logical for those of us who were around at the time when the lease was entered into).  For a reason known only to the tenant’s solicitors, they did not include the “magic words” in the break notice.  At first instance, the notice was held valid, on the basis that it was clear what it was meant to achieve.  The landlord appealed, and the Court of Appeal has overturned the first instance decision, holding that the break notice was invalid.

This was the only realistic result, given the clear warning about the need for compliance with conditions in break clauses from Lord Hoffmann in Mannai Investment Company Ltd v Eagle Star Life Assurance Company Ltd [1997] AC 949.  In one of last century’s more memorable dicta, he said (again in the context of a break clause in a lease):

“If the clause had said that the notice had to be on blue paper, it would have been no good serving a notice on pink paper, however clear it might have been that the tenant wanted to terminate the lease.”

No-one can complain about that, and so it is a little surprising that the tenant even thought it worthwhile appealing the case.  Perhaps the case is being funded by the tenant’s solicitors’ indemnity insurers.

What is extraordinary is that in my forecast on this website on 12 February 2014, mulling over how the Court of Appeal was likely to decide five important forthcoming appeals (“Five important landlord and tenant appeal decisions awaited“), I forecast that the Court of Appeal would uphold the first instance decision.  I cannot explain today why I made that forecast.  Presumably I was hoping that justice, rather than precedent, would prevail.  Lewison LJ might have been having the same thought himself when he said, in the last paragraph of his judgment:

“I appreciate that that [holding the break notice invalid] is a harsh result, but hard cases make bad law.”

What happens next?  The Court of Appeal refused the tenant permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.  The tenant could in theory ask for leave to appeal from the Supreme Court itself.  However, given the simplicity of the blue paper/pink paper dictum from Lord Hoffmann set out above, it seems to me virtually unthinkable that the Supreme Court would agree to hear a further appeal.

Click here for a copy of the Court of Appeal’s decision.

 

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