Knowledge Hub | Cases

27 June 2014

Helping Chartridge Developments to lay foundations for a successful business

Full-service law firm, B P Collins LLP, is helping Beaconsfield-based, Chartridge Developments to lay the foundations for a successful business.

Chartridge Developments - the business

Chartridge Developments is a UK-based residential property development company specialising in bespoke, substantial, luxury houses. Established in 2000, Chartridge was founded with the aim of delivering high quality luxury properties to clients in desirable locations including Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey and London.

In today’s turbulent property market, it’s vital that developers are prepared for any obstacles that may deter them from acquiring the site or sites that they wish to develop. Restrictive covenants, third party leases and planning constraints are all common issues that might crop up along the road to success. However, understanding how to manage these potential pitfalls can help keep growth plans on course.

Lay the foundations

Chartridge quickly recognised the need for a strong legal partner to help lay the foundations for its business and help it through the legal complexities from acquisition to disposal. It enlisted full service legal firm, B P Collins LLP to offer pragmatic and proactive advice as it looks to develop and grow its business.

Graham Thomson, director, Chartridge Developments says: “Prior to founding Chartridge Developments, we had worked with the B P Collins team for a number of years at our previous organisation, Berkeley Homes. We had a great track record with them and were confident in their abilities. Whilst they had a lot in their favour from a geographical point of view, as our offices were in Beaconsfield, there were other solicitors that we could have chosen but we knew B P Collins were up to the task. Around 70% of our properties are based Oxshott, Weybridge and Cobham way, so obviously not local, but B P Collins’ still have the experience to iron out any legal wrinkles and help us to purchase those properties.”

Risk management

“Over the years, we’ve increased our knowledge of the legal challenges and risks involved in property development and have become more accustomed to dealing with those. However, our partnership with B P Collins has added a sense of security and sustainability and we now consider them an instrumental part of our team.”

Since the engagement began, B P Collins has handled more than seventy matters on behalf of Chartridge ranging from insurance complications to employee departures.

“There have been various instances where B P Collins’ assistance has been imperative,” continues Thomson. One particular occasion was on a site in Gerrards Cross which had a covenant on the land. A covenant restricts you from doing certain things – for example it may only allow you to build one property on the land – building two would mean we were breaching the covenant.  Initially, we were refused insurance to protect us against any claims towards one of the sites, which was of course a major cause for concern. 

“B P Collins carried out research into other areas where covenants had been breached and sent the information back to the insurance company. The result was that the insurance company did insure us – without which we wouldn’t have been able to proceed.” 

Chartridge also used B P Collins during the exit of one of its directors to ensure that the relevant documents; shareholder agreements, resignation documents etc. were handled correctly.

B P Collins continues to advise Chartridge as they look to expand the business further – the property developer currently has four houses under construction and another four in the pipeline therefore legal support has never been more imperative.

Trusted legal partner

Thomson concludes, “We’re very fortunate to be working with B P Collins – in fact we feel honoured to have such a good relationship with the team.  There are a lot of individual covenants and land owner covenants within property development therefore having a trusted legal partner that we can rely on is absolutely crucial. When dealing with land purchasing, I probably speak to the team every couple of days but I know I can always pick up the phone and get an immediate and helpful response.

“The team at B P Collins is always very calm and collected – and perhaps most importantly they are always one step ahead.”

Chartridge Developments can be contacted on 01494 672250 or visit www.chartridgeplc.co.uk

Stay in touch

Phone: +44 (0) 1753 889995

Email: enquiries@bpcollins.co.uk

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