Manchester real estate….meet the team!

Approximately 18 months ago the Manchester real estate team was born at Freeth Cartwright, with the arrival from Nottingham of Ian Tempest. The team now boasts two partners, one associate, an assistant solicitor and a legal assistant. We will be joined by a further partner in October.

During this time, the department has grown to a full service real estate team with a turnover in excess of £750,000 and with even further growth predicted in our current financial year.

Within our national real estate group there are around 100 banking, construction, environmental, planning and real estate lawyers with a single focused attitude to achieve success for you by consistently applying our knowledge and providing an excellent service on time and budget. Whatever your project, you can be sure that our strength in numbers, experience and extensive skills equip us to achieve real results for even the most exacting or extensive projects and portfolios. We successfully manage all types of transactions consistently delivering results in all areas of this sector by covering our firm’s expertise in a range of areas. Perhaps that is why independent guides to legal profession consistently identify us as market leaders.

Read what the legal 500 have to say about the FC real estate team:
Corporate
The “exceptional” team at Freeth Cartwright LLP delivers “all that is expected in terms of quality of work, coupled with outstanding availability in a range of high-pressure negotiating situations”.
“Light years ahead of the competition, Freeth Cartwright ticks all the boxes in property, handling all types of work from residential property development to hotels, retail and office.”

Can we help you? Whatever area of real estate/property you are looking for assistance with, we can offer you a complete, practical and solution based service from our Manchester office.
We can provide you with a personal service wherever you are based whether in the North West or in a different part of the country thanks to our secure and effective communication methods.

If you would like to talk to us about any of your property needs please do not hesitate to contact any member of our real estate team here in our Manchester office.

Meet the team:

Ian Tempest H&S smallIan Tempest

Head of Real Estate/Partner
Tel: 0845 274 6818
Email: ian.tempest@freethcartwright.co.uk

Summary of work:

Commercial and Residential Development.

http://www.freethcartwright.co.uk/person/ian-tempest

Richard Holmes H&S SmallRichard Holmes

Solicitor/Associate
Tel: 0845 050 3691
Email: Richard.holmes@freethcartwright.co.uk

Summary of work:

Property Investment, Portfolio Management and Commercial/Residential Development

http://www.freethcartwright.co.uk/person/richard-holmes

Paul Calladine H&S smallPaul Calladine

Partner
Tel: 0845 634 2606
Email: paul.calladine@freethcartwright.co.uk

Summary of work:

Contaminated land, Environmental and Minerals

http://www.freethcartwright.co.uk/person/paul-calladine

Michelle Upton H&S smallMichelle Upton

Solicitor
Tel: 0845 077 9623
Email: michelle.upton@freethcartwright.co.uk

Summary of work:

Property Investment, Portfolio Management and Commercial/Residential Development

http://www.freethcartwright.co.uk/person/michelle-upton

Lee Malam H&S smallLee Malam

Legal Assistant
Tel: 0845 017 7612
Email: lee.malam@freethcartwright.co.uk

Summary of work:

Working with the members of the real estate team in Manchester on a range of property transactions.

How sociable is your media?

Social media concept in thumb up symbol on white background

Social media offers new strategies that can help raise a company’s business presence. Blogs and similar media present a unique opportunity to put a positive image of a business into the public domain, getting it right can bring about huge benefits for your company, however, get it wrong and it has the potential to drive away your customers.

Have a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaNuE3DsJHM. Social media, in this case YouTube, must have heavily influenced the public’s perception of Domino’s Pizza. Will you be ordering pizza from Domino’s tonight?

There is a growing body of case law in the employment tribunals surrounding disputes that have arisen between companies and their employees due to the use of blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and comparable platforms.

See below some recent tribunal decisions in relation to Facebook…..

Asda Stores found themselves in trouble when a manager took to Facebook to declare it would make her happy to hit customers on the back of the head with a “pic axe” (sic). Asda, perhaps understandably, viewed the comments quite seriously – the comment had been made in the public domain and it hardly reflected the tone it wanted to hit (excuse the pun) in relation to customer service. Asda dismissed the manager summarily for gross misconduct. However, Asda later lost a claim for unfair dismissal brought by the employee.

In contrast, when Apple faced a claim from an employee, after they were dismissed summarily for making critical comments on Facebook about the company and its products, they were able to successfully defend it.

Mr Crisp, the former Apple employee, posted comments such as “jesusPhone” and “tomorrow is just another day that hopefully I will forget”. The latter posted a day before Apple used the tagline of “Tomorrow is another day. That you’ll never forget” in advance of the Beatles’ music being available on iTunes.

So why were Asda and Apple treated differently by the employment tribunals??

Well…Asda couldn’t successfully defend the claim because the employee’s conduct fell into the “misconduct” category (rather than gross misconduct) of the examples given in Asda’s own internet policy – and the policy failed to say that such conduct would be viewed more seriously if it concerned a manager (although that was their later argument).

But in Apple’s case, the tribunal was persuaded by how clear it had been about its “core value” being the protection of its image – Apple had hammered this home (again, excuse the pun) to employees in all its policies and training material.

These disputes show the importance of training your staff to guide them on the use of social media as well as having regularly updated social media policies in place. Your policies should be aligned to the direction your business is taking, or you might find it difficult to take the appropriate disciplinary action against employees without repeating Asda’s mistakes.

Chris Sing H&S smallWritten by Christopher Sing

Christopher Sing is a partner in the Employment Team of the law firm Freeth Cartwright LLP http://www.freethcartwright.co.uk/person/Christopher-sing

House prices are rising! Good or bad news???

I am sure you would have all seen in recent months according to official statistics that house price inflation in the UK is continuing to rise at a gradual rate both in London and the regions. No doubt you will have also heard the talk of a “housing market recovery”. For all of those involved in the property sector increased levels of transactions both in the residential and commercial markets can only be deemed as a good thing.Investment, Money House, buying to rent

The property market has had its difficult times in recent years and market conditions on the whole still remain very tough. Recent RICS figures suggest that prices are rising at their fastest since November 2006, with the largest levels of activity coming in the West Midlands and the North East.

Does this mean the property sector is now heading in the right direction? For now our view is that it is still difficult to say.

For some, rising house prices are not always seen as a positive thing (particularly for first time buyers and for those with young families who are looking to get onto the property ladder). Some economists are of the view that rising house prices can put the whole economy at risk. There is no doubt that since the 1970s the UK has had several boom and bust cycles which many believe are not healthy for the economy.

It would also seem that Government incentives such as the “Help To Buy” scheme are having a substantial effect upon the market. It is probably fair to say that in recent months we have seen a slight increase in lending from the usual high street banks.

For our large investment/developer clients this news will be most welcome to them and indeed many of them have seen large increases in their share prices in recent months. As a firm in recent months we have also seen an increase in the level of both commercial and residential transactions. Which for us is good news!

We welcome your thoughts on how you are finding the market at the moment and do you think rising house prices are a good thing or bad thing?
We would also welcome your experiences on how you are finding schemes such as the Government Help To Buy scheme.

If you have any comments on the above issue or require any legal advice on any other property matters, then please feel free to contact Richard Holmes on richard.holmes@freethcartwright.co.uk

Some Common Professional Indemnity Pitfalls

What's Next, written on an yellow sticky note pinned on a cork board

Many of you will have professional indemnity insurance – and for many of you it will be a requirement of your membership to a professional body. But how many of you are aware of the specific terms of the policy and what action you can and cannot take if and when a complaint is made?

Hopefully, you will never have to deal with a claim or dispute but, if a client makes a complaint, there are certain steps that you must take and certain things that you must not do, in order to ensure that coverage is granted under the policy. Failure to follow the procedures set out in the policy could lead to coverage being rejected – an expensive oversight for many.

Below are a few things to take into account if a complaint is made against you:

  • Notification: Most of you will know that you have to report a claim but, under most Professional Indemnity policies, you must also report any circumstance that is likely to or may give rise to a claim. This means that, under most policies, even a complaint made against your company should be reported under the policy;
  • Don’t admit liability: This may be difficult, especially where you know you have done something wrong, but admitting liability can invalidate cover so make you that you don’t make any admissions without authority;
  • Carrying out remedial works: Again, it might seem obvious to some however, a familiar situation in the construction industry occurs when someone carries out works that are found to be defective and require urgent attention. The action taken by many is to address the problem first and notify the matter to their insurers afterwards in order to recover the monies spent to rectify the problem. However this can cause a number of problems because, if the works weren’t obviously caused by negligent design (and may, for example, have been caused or contributed to by bad workmanship), insurers may reject cover or reduce it to reflect that they have not had the opportunity to investigate the actual cause of the problem.

This is not an exhaustive list of the steps that you must or must not take if and when a claim or circumstance is raised against you however the lesson, in short, is that you make sure you should know your policy.

If you have had your claim rejected by insurers or if you need advice following a complaint that has been made against you, please contact Helen Sutton on 0845 634 2601.