We have extensive experience of acting for retailers and understand the cost pressures faced in an increasingly competitive marketplace. We can provide innovative solutions on the full spectrum of property related issues, from the initial planning stage through to completion, and you will benefit from involving us right at the outset. Our goal is to provide commercial advice which mitigates your risk and ensures that your projects are delivered on time.
National law firm Browne Jacobson has advised long standing retail client, Wilko on the sale and leaseback of its Nottinghamshire distribution centre in Worksop to logistics specialist DHL for £48m.
Earlier in the year a number of fashion retailers, boldly announced the introduction of a charging fee for returning any product purchased via their online store. Yet, despite this commercial, and perhaps somewhat controversial decision, at least one major fashion giant that adopted this approach has recorded ‘historic highs’ in its September profits. Browne Jacobson partner, Cat Driscoll who heads up the firm’s commercial team in Manchester and is also head of its Fashion & Beauty sector discusses whether this change has put the average consumer off and whether the days of free returns are long gone.
This article is the second in a series to help firms take a practical approach to complying with the ‘cross-cutting rules’ within the new ‘Consumer Duty’ (CD) framework. The article summarises what it seems the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking to achieve from the applicable rules (section 2 below) and potential complications arising from legal considerations (section 3).
An engineering company in Tyne and Wear was fined £20,000 after a worker fractured his pelvis and suffered internal injuries after falling through a petrol station forecourt canopy, whilst he was replacing the guttering.
The fashion industry has a mountain to climb when it comes to sustainability. More than 8% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the apparel and footwear industries, and approaching three-fifths of all clothing ends up in incinerators or landfill within a year of being made.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, landlords and tenants have experienced significant limitations in the way rent arrears could be pursued. We first saw the moratorium on the recovery of Covid related arrears, and more recently we’ve experienced the implementation of the Covid arrears arbitration scheme.
Recent reports of flat roofs constructed using RAAC planks collapsing without warning prompted the SCOSS alert.
The Government appears set to announce plans on ‘living with Covid to restore freedom’. With the success of the retail and hospitality sector key to recovery, what protections will be on offer to tenants to deal with Covid-19 rent arrears?
The government has now published new regulations to replace the winding up restrictions mentioned above from 1 October 2021. The key point of interest from a landlord and tenant perspective is that these new regulations will prevent a landlord from presenting a winding up petition to recover rent until 31 March 2022 where the sums are unpaid by the tenant because of the financial effect of the pandemic.
Last week, the government published a policy statement to deal with rent arrears accrued during the pandemic for those businesses affected by the pandemic.
A court will not alter an unambiguous contractual term merely because it is unduly favourable to one party, imprudent or unreasonable or because it provides for one party to pay too high a price for something. However, a court can correct the literal meaning of a contractual provision by construction if it is clear both that a mistake has been made and what the provision was intended to say.
Break rights have proved a fertile source of litigation over the last few years. More often than not, tenants have found themselves on the wrong end of the decisions. However, a Court of Appeal decision yesterday has bucked that trend.
The delay in the full easing of lockdown restrictions and the knock on effect for certain tenants (particularly those in the hospitality and entertainment industry) has clearly caused a change of heart and the government has now announced a further extension of the restrictions.
One of the requirements for tenants to contract out of the security of tenure regime contained in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 is that they make a simple or statutory declaration before entering into the lease.
Landlords should reconsider summary judgment if a Part 26A restructuring plan is pending.
A landlord’s claim for summary judgment to recover rent and service charge arrears accrued since the start of the pandemic against a non-essential retailer succeeded. Like London buses, a second such case has followed hot on its heels.
Whilst this decision may not be surprising, it will undoubtedly send a chill down the spine of retailers in a similar position to The Fragrance Shop.
The government announced that it would be launching a call for evidence to help monitor the overall progress of negotiations between landlords and tenants for paying or writing off outstanding rents. This call for evidence has now been published.
The government was extending to 31 March 2021 the various tenant protections it has brought in since the pandemic began. However, that announcement of course pre-dated the current lockdown and it will come as a surprise to no-one that, despite this, the protections have been extended again until 30 June 2021.
Due to numerous recent issues affecting the property market more and more break notices are being served by commercial tenants. At the same time, more and more tenants are seeking break rights in their new leases in order to provide them with flexibility when it comes to their real estate.
A few months ago, we discussed a case where the Court of Appeal ruled that the wording of a lease precluded the tenant from arguing that certain costs should not have been included in the service charge calculation. A recent high-profile case concerns a broadly similar issue, this time in relation to the proportion of the landlord’s costs payable by a tenant.
The government was extending to 31 December 2020 the various tenant protections it has brought in since the pandemic began. Perhaps not surprisingly, those protections have now been extended again until 31 March 2021.
The Court of Appeal has ruled that the wording of a service charge clause precluded a tenant from challenging the sums claimed by a landlord.
Break rights have proved a fertile source of litigation over the last few years. Courts have consistently required strict compliance with the terms of those rights.
We reported that the Government was extending to 30 September 2020 the various tenant protections it has brought in since the pandemic began. Perhaps not surprisingly, those protections have now been extended again until 31 December 2020.
On 19 June 2020, the Government announced that it was extending the various tenant protections it has brought in over the last few months and, at the same time, published a new voluntary code of practice to provide clarity for businesses when discussing rental payments and to encourage best practice so that all parties are supported.
The Corporate Governance and Insolvency Bill provides detail on the new measures to safeguard the high street against aggressive debt recovery actions during coronavirus.
Judgement has been handed down for the seminal case of Cardtronics UK Ltd and others (Respondents) v Sykes and others (Valuation Officers) (Appellants)  UKSC 21.
In a move that will be greatly welcomed by retailers, the Government announced on 23 April that it will introduce new measures to safeguard the High Street against aggressive debt recovery actions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Find out more about the confusion around the Government’s support measures for business tenants and what to do if you have a break right during lock down.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 March that all shops selling non-essential goods must close. Will we be breaking the terms of our lease?
Some commentators had anticipated that persisting retail sector challenges might disrupt more than the make-up of the high street or commercial property negotiations between landlords and tenants.
The last two weeks have seen yet another flurry of announcements regarding big high street names including Thomas Cook, Argos, Karen Millen and Coast.
As part of the continued tightening of the restrictions on drone use within UK airspace, the latest amendments to the Air Navigation Order 2016 come into force on 30 November 2019.
H&M is the latest retailer to confront its landlords about this ‘two tier retail market’ in an attempt to explore and negotiate more favourable terms.
Ann Summers is the latest retailer to have entered into new voluntary deals with the majority of their landlords, rather than using the CVA process.
A rare case on the validity of the process to contract out of the security of tenure provisions contained in sections 24 to 28 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
One of the covenants given by a guarantor in a licence to assign was construed as a sub-guarantee and was therefore valid.