Theresa Spalding helps clients to acquire and dispose of residential development schemes, including both instant and strategic sites, so that they can minimise third-party impediments to meeting their objectives.
From individual house builders to collaborations between multiple developers, Theresa helps her clients feel like they are on solid ground and can move their projects forward. For "instant" acquisitions, where sites are purchased either conditionally or unconditionally, this could mean investigating and resolving adverse rights or other third party issues. For strategic work Theresa not only handles options, collaboration and promotion agreements, but takes a more overarching view to make sure that once planning permissions are obtained any issues can be dealt with effectively and efficiently. Her ability to quickly grasp potential legal and commercial hurdles means her clients benefit from clear and succinct guidance where they most need it.
Working alongside our planning experts and wider real estate team, Theresa also helps her clients secure the planning and infrastructure agreements they need to make developments a success.
In residential development you are often starting with what is basically a blank canvas, guiding your clients through the entire process. It's very rewarding seeing a site go from bare land to a massive development with houses, schools and infrastructure. Theresa started out as a corporate/insolvency lawyer, but did a stint on property while on a secondment and hasn't looked back. Although working part time means that getting the work/life balance right while retaining flexibility for clients is an ongoing challenge, it's worth it to see the process of evolution developments go through, the creativity that goes into them, and being able to look back on the work we've done.
One piece of work that really stands out was acting for Persimmon on the acquisition of a £50 million site. We were instructed in January 2014 and had a target for exchange in June 2014. It was what we would call a "jigsaw site", with lots of land held by different parties to be bought together – we were working with four separate vendors with a mixture of instant and strategic purchases. Completing such a large acquisition on time was a really significant moment, both for the team and for Theresa personally after working on it solidly for about six months. It was the type of deal that only comes up once or twice in a career!
Large residential developers and some of the UK's leading house builders, including Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey, The Miller Group, Grainger plc, BDW.
Acting for Persimmon, one of the UK's largest house builders, on the acquisition of a £50 million site that involved working with four different vendors and a mixture of instant and strategic purchases.
Working with a listed residential landlord and developer on the development of a seven-phase site in Hampshire. This long term project has seen Theresa deal with both phase one and phase two, including the ongoing sale of affordable housing.
Advising Grainger on land acquisition and disposal aspects of their cutting edge move into the build-to-rent sector, which will see them working alongside local government bodies to develop new housing schemes aimed at making renting more attractive to working professionals.
Helping BDW, a national house builder, put in place and exercise a number of options agreements, predominantly within the West Midlands area.
Providing a single package service to a number of clients by advising on infrastructure agreements, easements for utilities and other documentation needed for successful developments, often working closely alongside our planning team.