Small Conveyancing Firm of the Year 2018

Winners of the prestigious award for Small Conveyancing Firm of the Year 2018

Gaddes Noble Property Lawyers are very proud to announce that they have won the prestigious award for Small Conveyancing Firm of the Year 2018.

The LFS Conveyancing Awards are the largest and most prestigious event in the conveyancing calendar.  At this national event, over 700 solicitors, licensed conveyancers and conveyancing professionals enjoyed an evening of entertainment, a three course gala dinner and a nervous wait with other finalists to see who would be crowned winners.

Small Conveyancing Firm of the Year 2018

The award that we have won was available to all Small Conveyancing Firms. It gave us the opportunity to enter for offering a first class service but without having the large marketing budgets of our larger rivals and to compete against each other on a level playing field.

The judging process was over five stages and comprised of:

  1. Completion of an application so that the judges could make an initial assessment.
  2. A mystery shopping exercise to obtain a conveyancing quote. This process was scored on both the quality of the phone call and the subsequent quote pack that they received.
  3. A compliance check undertaken by Legal Eye. They requested several documents and policies and a score was given to each firm.
  4. A telephone interview by one of the judges.
  5. Shopper Anonymous undertook a client survey based on a net promoter score.

Managing Director, Lee Gaddes, commented ‘to win this highly acclaimed award is an honour and a testimony to our fabulous conveyancing team.

We all enjoyed the evening with our fellow finalists in Birmingham and never expected to win. The award now takes pride of place in our reception area in our offices in Huddersfield and will be our benchmark for the years to come’.

Small Conveyancing Firm of the Year North win 2018

Gaddes Noble Shortlisted Small Conveyancer of the Year

Shortlisted for the prestigious award for Small Conveyancer of the Year 2018

Gaddes Noble Property Lawyers are very proud to announce that they have been shortlisted for the prestigious award for Small Conveyancer of the Year 2018.

The LFS Conveyancing Awards are now in their seventh year and are the biggest and most prestigious event in the conveyancing calendar.

The award that we have entered was available all Small Conveyancing Firms. It gave us the opportunity to enter for offering a first class service but without having the large marketing budgets of our larger rivals and to compete against each other on a level playing field.

We have been part of a five-stage judging process, comprising of:

  1. Completion of an application so that the judges could make an initial assessment.
  2. A mystery shopping exercise to obtain a conveyancing quote. This process was scored on both the quality of the phone call and the subsequent quote pack that they received.
  3. A compliance check undertaken by Legal Eye. They requested several documents and policies and a score was given to each firm.
  4. A telephone interview by one of the judges
  5. Shopper Anonymous undertook a client survey based on a net promoter score

Managing Director, Lee Gaddes, commented ‘to be shortlisted for this highly acclaimed award is an honour and a testimony to our fabulous conveyancing team.  We are all now looking forward to attending the awards dinner later this year in Birmingham’.

Blockchain and bitcoin property transaction

Blockchain and Bitcoin, the Future of a Conveyancing Transaction?

Blockchain and Bitcoin

Blockchain

A continuously growing list of records called blocks which are linked and secured using cryptography.

Bitcoin

A worldwide cryptocurrency and digital payment system called the first decentralised digital currency.

A property lawyer is responsible for millions of pounds of client money each year ensuring funds are protected and then transacted to complete a property transaction.  The current payment process is through our banking system in the UK mainly using the CHAPS method of payment.

Will what we do and how we transact be revolutionised by blockchain technology?

The simplest way to explain the technology is thinking back to when HTML became the visible layer of the internet allowing it to be navigable and appealing to non-engineers.  Blockchain technology is similar to HTML and will become the invisible piece of software behind highly trusted transactions like the ones we transact every day in conveyancing.

In October 2017 a dentist based in Swansea was the first property buyer in the UK to exchange contracts digitally in a process which its promoters claim has the potential to remove the need for solicitors in transactions. The buyer acquired a £700,000 commercial property in Trowbridge in an online deal secured by blockchain digital encryption technology.

Blockchain is also being investigated by law firms and insurers as a way of creating ‘smart’ contracts, the terms of which are activated automatically on receipt of trigger information. Blockchain could transform the process by securing all details of the transaction in a tamper-proof form.

So blockchain is potentially a game changer and we are closely monitoring its development and its implementation worldwide.  Anything that will make the conveyancing process more efficient is a win-win for the client and the solicitor.

A legal title will still need to be checked and searches will still need to be carried out, but this may eventually be undertaken at the very outset when a property seller is ready to put their house on the market. A digital file would be created and verified without the need for a property lawyer to check it several weeks into a transaction being instructed.

Payment using Bitcoin

In terms of payment, many people worldwide hold Bitcoin as a digital currency and they exchange Bitcoin for other currencies, products and services.

Bitcoin could be used to purchase a property.

In September 2017 a property seller in Dubai listed the first property development ever to be offered for sale using the virtual currency.

The discussion around blockchain and bitcoin will continue and considering the government’s current consultation on improving the home buying and selling process, if greater efficiencies can be created whilst saving time and reducing costs, this can only be a good thing.

At Gaddes Noble Property Lawyers, we will embrace all positive changes and technological enhancements ensuring that cost savings are passed directly to our clients.

Commercial property, stamp duty land tax

Commercial Property and Stamp Duty Land Tax

Since the introduction of the controversial 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on second residential properties we have seen a sharp increase in our investor clients purchasing commercial property and land.

The purchase of a second residential property generates SDLT of 3% on the purchase price.  This applies to any residential property over £40,000.00 so if you purchased at £100,000.00 you would pay £3,000.00 in SDLT.

Our clients are being creative in a variety of ways, for example purchasing:

  1. Open land with a view to developing and building on the land
  2. Commercial property, for example a shop, to then convert into residential apartments
  3. Derelict commercial property to demolish and use the land for residential development

These scenarios would not generate the additional SDLT on completion and would result in the investor/developer eventually owning more residential property.

HMRC give a definition of non-residential property which includes:

  • Commercial property, e.g. shops or offices
  • Agricultural land
  • Forests
  • Any other land or property which is not used as a residence
  • 6 or more residential properties bought in a single transaction

They also define a ‘mixed use’ property is one that has both residential and non-residential elements, e.g. a flat connected to a shop, doctor’s surgery or office.

Commercial Property Service

As part of our service to you, we complete all necessary Stamp Duty Land Tax forms and ensure that you pay the correct rate on your transaction.  This applies to commercial leases as well as the purchase of a commercial property.

For commercial leases, we act on behalf of Landlords and Tenants.

  • With a Landlord client we usually meet at the outset and discuss the Heads of Terms, we then draft the commercial lease and send this to the Tenants solicitor for approval.
  • With a Tenant client we ensure the Heads of Terms match the draft Lease provided and advise the client on the various clauses and legal terms. We’ll submit searches for a Tenant client where necessary and we also advise at the outset on the SDLT payable upon completion.

We have experience in acting for clients selling, buying and leasing shops, hotels, public houses and warehouses.

We can also advise on investment purchases with a return which can includes the purchase of a room in student accommodation, the purchase of a room in a care home and the purchase of a room in a hotel.

Please contact us for a free initial consultation for all your commercial property conveyancing legal requirements.