Property and Commercial Law Specialists
 

Our People

Mark Allen (Partner)

Area of work: Property and Commercial agreements
Year qualified: 1992

Career

Mark qualified at City firm Simmons and Simmons in 1992 and more recently gained further city experience during a year spent at the London office of American firm Mayer Brown in 2003. In 2004 Mark joined Alan Thompson at the firm then known as Thompson Sherwood and he became a partner in the newly-formed Thompson Allen in April 2006.

Expertise

Mark specialises in all aspects of commercial property and general commercial law. He acts regularly for tenants and landlords of all types of commercial premises, dealing with transfers, sublets and grants of leases of properties ranging from lock-up shops to large developments. He advises on sale and purchases of development sites, including those subject to planning or other conditions. His work also covers residential property, particularly where this forms part of an investment portfolio or a development project. Mark has practical experience of the sale and purchase of businesses both by way of asset and share sales. On the commercial side, Mark has experience of dealing with shareholder agreements, franchises and development agreements. He is a fluent French speaker.

Particular cases of interest include:

  • Assisting a growing local fast food franchise with all its property matters, ranging from acquiring development sites to drafting security documents and franchisee leases.
  • Acting on the purchase of a residential care home and simultaneous adverse possession claim of part of the business property.
  • Acting for the purchaser of a disused petrol station where contracts had to be exchanged within 24 hours of receipt of papers, in order to secure the property for the client. The rapid turnaround was made possible by being extremely pro-active, conducting thorough preliminary research and the efficient and 'hands on' use of I.T.
  • The sale of a residential riverside site with private marina, subject to a complex construction contract.
  • Dealing with all property matters for a client selling its retail business comprising five shops.

Justin Thompson (Partner)

Area of work: Residential/Commercial Property and Company law matters
Year qualified: 2003

Career

Justin qualified with a well-known and reputable Brighton-based commercial firm in 2003 and joined Thompson Allen LLP in early 2005. He became a partner of the firm with Mark Allen and founding partner Alan Thompson in April 2006.

Expertise

Justin has a wealth of experience conducting residential and commercial property transactions and a firm understanding of ancillary company law matters. He acts regularly for investors, developers, landlords and tenants alike. His work ranges from sales, acquisitions, leases, sub-leases or re-mortgages of single units to more challenging and intricate developments. Justin enjoys working closely with a number of small/medium sized developers and investors who acquire or refinance sites for residential/commercial development including open/agricultural land, land in need of reclassification of use or planning and then sub-division of their existing land stock. Justin has also acted regularly for clients in assisting with the procurement and sale of owner managed businesses from hotels, restaurants and public houses to betting and post offices as well as conducting a number of small/medium company share sales and acquisitions.

Justin also prides himself on his knowledge and understanding of the legislation applicable to transactions involving a tenant or tenants compelling a landlord to extend their leases or to sell the freehold interest.

Particular cases of interest include:

  • The acquisition of an investment head lease, subject to commercial sub-leases and residential tenancies.
  • The sale of a lease of a public house, entailing the drafting of practical contractual provisions and commercial solutions to deal with deficiencies for having failed to pay stamp duty and register the lease with Land Registry on the original purchase.
  • The sale of an entire office complex and surrounding grounds.
  • Acting for an investor on multiple purchase and sub-sales of newly developed residential leasehold properties.
  • Acting for an investor on the re-mortgage of a portfolio of freehold properties, subject to a number of commercial and residential leases, and contemporaneous auction purchase of a development property.
  • The purchase of a multi tenanted industrial park by way of a sub sale of larger development with an option having been granted back to the to sub seller to buy back the industrial park free of the tenants in the event of an acceptable planning permission for residential development being granted.
  • Acting for investors buying and selling houses in multiple occupation ('HMO's)
  • Advising a limited company on a number of substantial property sales to directors, to include advice on compliance with company law procedures.

Tony Foot (Consultant)

Area of work: Property, Company, Commercial, Planning, Licencing
Year qualified: 1972

Career

Educated at Fettes College Edinburgh and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. After being a partner at two other prominent Brighton commercial law firms for a total of more than 25 years, Tony joined Thompson Allen in 2008 as a full-time consultant.

Expertise

Tony has extensive commercial experience, particularly with regard to commercial conveyancing, company law and charity law, all transactions of acquisition and disposal of commercial property, financing, leases, development projects, planning and licensing. Tony has particular expertise when it comes to buying and selling public houses. He has also acted for and still does for charities and industrial and provident societies of all sizes and is acknowledged as an expert in this field. With experience as Chairman and non executive director of companies, Tony has dealt with management buy outs, sometimes combined with section 457 actions, company sales and purchases and all aspects of company and commercial law. He has for many years been a member of the Society for Computers and Law and as such has a good comprehension of the legal and commercial requirements of IT businesses.

Particular cases of interest include:

  • The sale of a Royal British Legion Club's premises on it going into liquidation and a lease back on its coming out of liquidation. The Club is an Industrial and Provident Society
  • Setting up Portsmouth Supporters Society Limited (Pompey Supporters Trust) as an Industrial and Provident Society registered with the FSA.
  • Acting on the purchase of Woodlands with Standing Timber for a prominent ecological charitable company.
  • Securing entertainment licences for major outdoor events despite significant local authority opposition.

Suzy Abbott (Solicitor)

Area of work: Property Litigation and debt recovery
Year qualified: 1994

Career

A Cambridge graduate, Suzy qualified with Boodle Hatfield, and gained city experience at SJ Berwin & Co and Denton Wilde Sapte.

Expertise

Suzy has over 20 years experience of property litigation. She advises in connection with commercial and residential matters including 1954 Act lease renewals (opposed and unopposed), rent review, dilapidations, service charge disputes, forfeiture, distraint, trespass and adverse possession.

Particular cases of interest include:

  • Acting on a large solicitors negligence claim for a client whose tenant went into liquidation and whose solicitors gave incorrect advice regarding the protecting of the valuable sub-tenancies.
  • Acting for a developer client who wished to remove restrictive covenants to allow him to build on top of his existing building.
  • Acting for a client who purchased a large commercial building with defective windows.
  • Acting for a large portfolio client who wanted to carry out a redevelopment in York. The case involved co-ordinating several lease renewal applications and formulating a strategy to obtain vacant possession from those tenants who opposed the landlord's plans.

Emma Thompson (Associate Solicitor)

Area of work: Property and Commercial Litigation
Year qualified: 2007

Career

A Sussex University graduate, Emma qualified with a well-known Brighton-based commercial firm in 2007 before moving on to a prominent Hastings practice. In 2008 Emma was employed to work for and advise a large public limited company with an extensive property portfolio, which also dealt with all other aspects of property management. Through this work, Emma was subsequently employed as an in house solicitor for a group of companies, dealing primarily with the management of their property portfolio and giving direct advice to its property management company. Emma moved back into private practice in April 2012, when she joined Thompson Allen.

Expertise

Emma has over 8 years' experience of commercial and property litigation matters having conducted claims on numerous civil and commercial disputes covering contractual and engineering disputes, managing agent negligence, specific performance and other injunctive remedies.

Emma's extensive advocacy experience includes small claims final hearings, interim applications and Leasehold Valuation tribunal hearings. Emma has also had plenty of experience of working with counsel in High Court matters.

Particular cases of interest include:

  • A High Court action in the Chancery division for breach of trust on handover of portfolio and claim for a detailed account in respect of service charge accounts for approximately 250 properties.
  • Claim in the Queen's Bench Division for delivery up of materials.
  • A multi-party, multi-jurisdictional claim in the Technology and Construction Court arising from the supply of four aircraft suffering from latent defects.
  • Claim for excess of £100,000.00 heard by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal concerning a service charge dispute spanning 12 years, which included significant major works.

Jade Golesworthy (Assistant Solicitor)

Area of work: All aspects of commercial and residential conveyancing
Year qualified: 2012

Career

Jade graduated from the University of Brighton with a BA (Hons) in Law with Business and then went on to complete her LPC at the College of Law in Guildford. She completed her training contract with a long standing reputable Brighton law firm, where she specialised in residential and commercial property, before moving to Thompson Allen.  

Expertise

Jade specialises in non-contentious residential and commercial property.

Particular cases of interest include:

  • Acting for a Landlord on multiple simultaneous voluntary lease extensions involving over 100 properties.
  • Acting for Landlord on multiple simultaneous statutory lease extensions involving over 50 properties.
  • Assisting in a Court of Appeal matter regarding an application to discharge restrictive covenants.
  • Assisting in a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal matter regarding a Landlord's application to vary repairing covenants on some 132 properties.

Jeremy Bolton (Consultant) 

Area of work: Commercial and residential conveyancing
Year qualified: 1978

Career

Jeremy was born and educated in Brighton.  He served his Articles with a local firm and went on to become a partner, leaving to join another local firm at the time of a merger.  He joined Thompson Allen as a full-time consultant in January 2013.  In the past, Jeremy was chairman of the Sussex Young Solicitors Group and served on the Sussex Law Society Committee for a number of years.  In almost 35 years of practice in Brighton he has built up a good clientele and many local contacts.

Expertise

Jeremy deals with all aspects of commercial and residential property:  in the latter specialising in high-value properties, both freehold and leasehold.  He has a good working knowledge of mortgage work and related matters.  In the commercial property world he deals with development work and has substantial experience of dealing with the sale and acquisition of businesses, in particular restaurants, pubs, shops and offices.  He acts for a number of well-established businesses in Brighton & Hove, and has assisted and continues to assist the start-up of new businesses.

Particular cases of interest include:

  • Purchase of land for construction of a mansion for an international and premiership footballer and dealing with a Design and Build Contract.
  • Sale of a Company which owned a hotel and a similar transaction, this time a purchase of another company which owned a large public house.
  • Purchase of agricultural land in Dorset for the setting up of a farming business and preparing an agricultural partnership agreement.
  • The purchase of a house which commenced with initial instructions in the morning and resulted in completion in the afternoon of the same day. 

Babs Bowler (Assistant Solicitor) 

Area of work: All aspects of residential conveyancing
Year qualified: 
2009

Career

Babs, originally from Brighton, completed her education at the University of Westminster, where she gained a distinction on the LPC, followed by an LLM qualification.

On completion of her studies, Babs spent a year gaining experience in the property department of a large City firm before returning to Brighton where she was offered a place in the commercial property department a well-known Brighton based firm in 2010.  Babs was asked to join Thompson Allen in 2012 

Expertise

Babs has over 6 years of experience in all aspects of non-contentious residential and commercial property, with particular knowledge in relation to homes in multiple occupation (HMOs) and buy-to-let properties generally.   

Particular cases of interest include:

  • Dealing with the re-mortgages of large portfolios of properties;
  • The sale and purchase of individual and portfolios of HMOs;
  • Dealing with the granting of various leases from a building converted to flats and subject to outstanding planning obligations; 

Sarah Lawrence (Solicitor)

Area of work: Commercial and residential conveyancing
Year qualified: 
1999

Career

An Oxford University graduate, Sarah trained at magic circle city firm, Slaughter and May, qualifying into their commercial real estate department.

Expertise

Sarah has over ten years’ experience of all aspects of commercial property practice, including all property matters involved in corporate mergers and acquisitions, secured lending such as securitisations and mortgage debenture stock, development work and landlord and tenant matters.

Particular cases of interest include:

Representing a well know retailer on the disposal of its Kensington department store to a supermarket chain, conditional on planning. The deal involved both the landlord and a separate tenant of the upper floors as the sale was preceded by a surrender of the second floor which was to be re-let to the other tenant and necessitated major works.

Acting for a major house builder in establishing a joint venture with its lender to build out a residential development at Falcons Wharf, Battersea.

Advising an international leisure company on the property aspects of the disposal of its European hotels business and associated health clubs and subsequent intra-group transfer of its head office premises.

Call Us on 01273 608 003 for a free advisory session

6 Marlborough Place,
Brighton, East Sussex,
BN1 1UB.

DX: 2754 Brighton
T: 01273 608 003
F: 01273 608 004

Thompson Allen LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales
Registered office as above / Registered number OC317587 / VAT number: 879 0067 92
Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
For applicable professional rules see: http://www.sra.org.uk/handbook/
The term 'partner' is used to refer to a member of Thompson Allen LLP.

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