A daunting decision: Buying v Leasing...

A daunting decision: Buying v Leasing...

Commercial Property: Buying or Leasing

The process of buying or leasing a property is not easy. It is important to make the right decision, as this could impact the future development of the business. Here are some points to consider.

Starting point

•           Consider your type of business

•           Do you require office space, retail or warehouse space?

•           What are your expectations in the years ahead?

•           Visualise where you expect the business to be in five years’ time.

Leasing is more flexible than buying the property and it might be a better option if you expect your business to grow quickly. You can take a lease of a property based on your space and location requirements and you do not need to worry about selling the property if it becomes too small due to an expansion of the business. A short-term lease is ideal to start with and preferably with some tenant’s rights to terminate, often referred to as ‘Break Clauses’.

On the other side, if you decide to buy a property, you may have the opportunity to extend or adapt the building to the needs of your business without the complication of having to obtain landlord’s approval.

Think about freedom

Think about freedom of actions as a tenant and as an owner of the property. Do you want to make your own decisions or are you happy to obtain the landlord’s approval for any changes that you want to make (which could cause delays and extra costs)? When leasing, you will be involved in negotiating the terms for the lease, rent reviews, renewing the lease and arguing dilapidation claims (if you move out).

There might be some similar restrictions when buying the property, for example, the need of planning permission when the occasion arises or the need to maintain and insure the building.

Financial point

Many large businesses think that their capital will earn higher returns in the business itself than if it is invested in the business’s property. They would rather lease their buildings than own them. This decision depends on the way that you expect the property market to move. If you expect rents to increase rapidly, as a tenant you could face financial difficulties due to rent increase and rent reviews.

If you own your property, you will get the benefit of any capital appreciation together with owning an asset. The advantage is that you will not need to worry about rent increases and rental market.

Whatever decision you make (buying or leasing), you would need to decide how to finance the acquisition. There are many commercial mortgages available for the purchase or taking a lease of a property by a business, but you must be aware about the additional costs (lender’s fees, lender’s valuation costs and legal fees) as well as capital repayments and interest payments.

It is important to understand the tax implications whether you lease or buy a property and you should take specialist tax advice.

The decision is yours. If you require assistance or need information about business properties (leasing/purchasing/selling), please do not hesitate to contact Helen Washington of Pickford Solicitors on 0121 726 5986 or by email to: helen@pickfordsolicitors.com.

Waltzing into a modern world...

Waltzing into a modern world...

As Strictly Come Dancing fans delight in the glamour and infectious laughter portrayed on our TV screens during this year’s series, it is also great to see professional dancers Karen and Kevin Clifton working together and supporting each other so effortlessly following their decision to divorce.  In the media Kevin and Karen have been praised for their united front, leaving hearts melting after Kevin jumps over the sofa to congratulate Karen following her outstanding performance.

Sadly, some would still say it is a rarity, for a couple to remain amicable whilst dealing with their separation.  It is often the case that during this time emotions will run high resulting in an acrimonious divorce process for those involved.  However, a non-confrontational approach is preferred, to agree a way forward if possible.  It is argued therefore that the current law governing divorce in this country does not fit with this modern attitude.

Let’s have a look at the current law relating to divorce in England and Wales, this is governed by The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

Either party to the marriage may petition for a divorce on the sole ground that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.  This must be done by satisfying the Court of one or more of the following facts:

(a) adultery

(b)unreasonable behaviour

(c)Desertion for a continuous period of at least two years

(d)The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years and the other party consents to a divorce (“two years’ separation”)

(e)The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years (“five years’ separation”).

It will often be the case, especially when a party seeks a divorce quickly, that a fact blaming one party or the other must be used.  There is a risk this will amplify difficulties between the parties whether they wish to avoid hostility or not and doesn’t promote a more desirable, amicable way. 

Support for reform of the law has continued to develop over the years for a “no fault” divorce.  The recent news that the Ministry of Justice will again consult to reform old legislation has been welcomed.

In the meantime,…

If you do need assistance with any family law related matter, then please do not hesitate to contact me for an initial discussion on 0121 726 4999 or email at jennifer@pickfordsolicitors.com

And… ”keep dancing…..”


Coming Soon...

Coming Soon...

Launching as corporate and commercial specialists, in July 2017, we knew we wanted to a be a Birmingham based business and quickly finding our home in Sutton Coldfield we realised the community was lacking a customer focussed legal business with a difference…

By returning calls and emails the same day, being honest and transparent with our advice and fees and using technology to deliver a quick and efficient service, we were quickly able to make our mark in the local community.  

The development of our residential conveyancing department, which launched early this year, has been a huge success and continues to grow and make its mark on its local competitors.

By applying the same methods, we knew we could successfully develop, another department to serve the needs of the local community…

With a plan in mind, our next mission was to find an ambitious individual who matched our vision and brand values, but most solicitors aren’t like us. They do not work like us and are usually set in their historic ways!

With this being a well-known fact in our industry, how were we to find our ideal person? Was this our hardest task yet?

With the power of social media, yes, social media, we came across the perfect candidate. After a LinkedIn conversation, and a few meetings later, we had found our ideal person…

Jennifer Brook will join the rest of the team at Pickford Solicitors at the beginning of October. Jennifer is an experienced solicitor who will develop and launch our newest department… Family Law!

Keep your eyes peeled, for more Jennifer related news.


Ben's Story

Ben's Story

Hello, my name is Ben, I am 16 years old and attend Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield.

Prior to my week’s placement at Pickfords I had worked in a law chambers where I experienced law from a barrister’s perspective. Therefore, I wanted to work at Pickfords Solicitors to develop an understanding of the differences between a solicitor and a barrister, which Pickfords has been able to show me.

Upon arrival at Pickfords I was introduced to the whole team who were very welcoming. Firstly, I scanned some residential conveyancing documents to the case management system and then used this system to do some file opening. Later on, I attended a cooperate and commercial meeting with Jas, this allowed me to develop an insight into what a solicitor has to do when a customer is buying a property, this includes the advice given and the formalities which are carried out.     

On Tuesday I carried out Anti-Money Laundering Searches with Naresh which showed me the stringent processes that need to take place. Shortly after I did a Due Diligence bundle which required me to sort a variety of documents into a folder so that they could easily be viewed by the buyer of the property. In the afternoon I generated quotes which were then sent to customers so that they could view all the details and prices of the property they were selling or purchasing.

On Wednesday I carried out Legal Research, this included finding certain laws and researching a specific case. Finding and reviewing these particular laws enabled me to establish why these laws were passed and how they have been updated over time. In the afternoon I transferred a hand-written document onto Microsoft Word so that it could be electronically viewed and was more accessible.

On Thursday I did another Due Diligence bundle however this time the bundle was from the point of the seller. Therefore, I could compare the differences between the documents required from a buyer’s perspective and a seller’s perspective.

I thoroughly enjoyed my week at Pickfords and particularly liked the cooperate and commercial meeting with Jas. Over the course of this week I have gathered lots of information on the different avenues that can be taken in Law which has increased my interest in the profession. I would like to say thank you to the whole team at Pickfords for welcoming me and making this week an enjoyable and useful experience.


Eliane's Story

Eliane's Story


Hello, my name is Eliane I am aged 14 and I attend Sexey’s school in Somerset.

Before I started my week at Pickfords I knew that I wanted to become a barrister specialising in either criminal or human rights law, so I was very excited when I got the chance to experience what life was like working in a solicitor’s office for a week.

This was my first time being in an office environment, so I was apprehensive at first but as soon as Sinead introduced me to everyone I felt fine. The team was welcoming and friendly and everything I needed to know was explained. I started off doing some file opening and scanning. Later, I was shown how to use a website called Canva where feedback is typed up to be put on social media.

The next day I carried on with some scanning, but I also got to sit in on a meeting with Jas and a customer. It was very interesting to be able to listen to what sort of questions are asked and the different things that you need to consider whilst buying and selling a business.

On Wednesday I got the chance to go to another meeting but this time outside of the office with Sinead. We went to a Financial Services Business and had a meeting with one of their accountants. Sinead told me that meetings like these are imperative to a business’ success as they help to forge relationships with other companies that can potentially bring in new customers. Later on, Naresh a trainee solicitor explained some different routes to qualification. I also reviewed a residential conveyancing folder with Amdad, in this case the customer was selling a leasehold property.

On Thursday Sinead took me into the board room and we did a role play interview. I pretended to apply for a role as a head of department criminal solicitor. She told me that at different points in my career employers will focus on different parts of my CV. I enjoyed this because I also found out about different qualifications I will need when I am older and found out about what employers look for in potential employees. Towards the end of the day Naresh explained the process of buying and selling shares and the documents involved. Then, Sinead pretended to be a customer selling her shares and I had to complete and fill out the forms that would be involved.

Looking back on my week at Pickfords my favourite part was being able to sit in on meetings and have a look at different case files. This experience has made my interest in law even bigger and has made me even more determined to peruse my dream career as a barrister. I am very grateful that Pickfords offered me this opportunity and were so welcoming and friendly towards me. I would defiantly be interested to come back again.

Once again, I'd like to say thank you to the team at Pickfords!



Tony's Guide To Buying A House

Tony's Guide To Buying A House

1. Things to consider

There are many factors to consider when moving to a new house. Practicalities such as arranging removals, defrosting your freezer, enrolling children at a new school and notifying utility companies. You’ll also need an expert conveyancing solicitor who will deal with the legal process efficiently and effectively so that there are no surprises. 

2. Expertise

Make sure your solicitor specialises in residential property matters! It is important that your solicitor has the technical legal skills and experience that is required to get you moved in. 

 3. Communication is Key

Make sure your solicitor speaks your language and can explain the jargon and is accessible by phone and email. 

4. Cheapest isn't always best!

Buying a house is one of the biggest financial purchases of your life! Speaking with different solicitors for quotes isn't a bad idea but the cheapest isn't always best. Invest in your solicitor as you intend to invest in your home. 

5. Estate Agents – Our Closest Friends

Make sure your solicitor communicates and respects the estate agent involved. The estate agent will be your right-hand person and will help you raise any difficult or awkward questions with the seller.

6.  Mortgages

Ensure you have your mortgage in principle ready, before actively looking for a property. This will help speed up the legal process and will reduce the risk of delay!

7. Property Searches

When buying a house, there are a range of searches a solicitor can carry out on your behalf. They can include but are not limited to:  a Local Authority Search; a Water and Drainage Search and; an Environmental Search. Make your solicitor explains each search and advises you of there differences and what the results mean. 

8. Speak Up

Make sure you ask questions! No questions are silly! You are paying your solicitor to answer questions, don’t be intimidated to ask!

9. What are you buying? 

Make sure you are buying what you think you are buying! Your solicitor will give you a document known as a “title plan”. This will show you the full outline of the property you are buying – the boundary usually being marked red! Visit the property to satisfy yourself that the title plan matches the physical position at the property. This is the only thing your solicitor can't do for you. 

10. Feedback

If you have any concerns about the solicitor you are using, you should raise this with his/her and their head of department. On the other hand remember, if your solicitor has done a good job, why not leave them positive feedback. 

If I can help you move home, call me on 0121 726 4999 or email me at tony@pickfordsolicitors.com

If you are looking for a conveyancing quote, visit our residential property page to access a quick and free fixed fee quotation. 

One Year Later


One Year Later

Ambition … 

What an incredible first year in business! We can hardly catch our breath, it’s flown past so quickly. 

Pickford Solicitors started as a niche commercial law firm with a healthcare specialism. We understood that these sectors are highly regulated and in need of legal support from solicitors with a high degree of specialist knowledge. Our Corporate and Commercial Department led by Jas Singh, assisted by Nisha Bharadwa and Naresh Gill, not only understood this, but stood up, stepped in and assisted dozens of owner managed businesses… 

Cue the applause…

The team completed over 40 transactions with an aggregate value of more than £50 million. Our average transaction value was an amazing £1.25 million. A large percentage of these deals were made up of nurseries, pharmacies, domiciliary care agencies, care homes and dental practices. WOW! 

The 6 months ramp up…

We knew from the beginning we would acquire, or develop other services such as Residential Conveyancing, Family Law and Wills and Probate and with the financial investment from our shareholders, Pillbox Capital, we were able to start our journey into the world of residential conveyancing…

Anthony Lea joined us in September, to lead the development of the department and get us over some tough hurdles. In January this year we jumped our first as we received the Conveyancing Quality Scheme Accreditation. Tony soon tackled the second hurdle as he made his way through bank panel applications! 

In March, Tony was joined by Amdad Hussain in readiness for the conveyancing enquiries to overflow our inboxes…   

Throughout March and April, Tony, alongside Sinead, the business manager, actively marketed through our website and social media and developed relationships with Estate Agents, Mortgage Brokers and Accountants.

The phones rang, the emails flooded in, our conveyancing system exploded and by June we had reached an impressive 42 active conveyancing files. GO TEAM! 

We don’t do things by halves… EVER

We understand the importance of achieving quality standards within the business. Best practice and customer service are two of our brand values, so it was a huge milestone for us when we achieved (with a clean sweep) the Law Society’s leading accreditation, Lexcel. What an Achievement! 


We celebrated our first 12-month milestone, with personalised cupcakes, pizza and prosecco and were joined by many local businesses who have worked with us over the last 12 months. We thank each and everyone one of them for their contribution to our success. No matter how big or small it may have been!

Growth and Expansion

We have flown into our second year, leaving nothing behind. The directors, management team and staff are still as dedicated and motivated as they were in the first year and this is the main reason for our continued success.  

For the corporate team to continue at full speed ahead, they require an ambitious corporate solicitor to join their ranks. This person will work alongside Jas Singh with existing transactions and to assist the development of our Transaction Manager Naresh Gill, as he works towards his training contract. 

Our second year will also see our corporate and commercial team expand, as we welcome the full arrival of Barry Guest, our non-executive director. Barry has a wealth of managerial experience as well as being a commercial property expert. 

Our search for another experienced commercial property solicitor will continue, their role will be to assist with an existing workload and help market and develop the commercial property department in its own right.    

The residential conveyancing team seek an experienced secretary to join our fast-growing department. This person will assist Tony and Amdad with administrative duties, which will assist the department’s continued growth and track record of providing exceptional customer service. 

NEW DEPARTMENT: This year the business excitedly expands its private client services, as it welcomes a senior family solicitor. She will lead the development of the department and work alongside Sinead, to market effectively and appropriately to those needing assistance with Separation, Divorce and Child Arrangements.

Thanks for hanging in there with us and watch this space…