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Real Estate

A strong full-service real estate team delivering projects across the UK

Our Service

Real estate is core to our business and our heritage; with a history of expertise and success in this field, our lawyers deliver an exceptional service characterised by robust, commercial, and technically expert advice.

In addition to our core property team we also have specialists in the areas of construction, planning, environmental, property finance, management and property litigation. We draw on the skills and experience of our corporate and tax groups to provide clients with advice on sale and acquisition structuring, both onshore and offshore, stamp duty, stamp duty land tax and VAT planning.

This depth and breadth enables us to support sophisticated transactions, including those involving complex structures and offshore elements, or those with attendant regulatory requirements. We utilise our extensive international experience and contacts to complete cross-border transactions for a diverse range of companies. Our real estate clients include multinationals, major institutions and listed companies, clearing banks, lenders, developers and entrepreneurs.


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If you decide to gift property to your children, you must move out or pay them rent and live for another seven years after the change in ownership in order to avoid inheritance tax. If you die during the first year, the full rate of inheritance is payable. Each year you live after this first year results in a lowered inheritance tax rate. The inheritor can also avoid stamp duty if there is no mortgage on the property. However, the transaction could be voided if you are bankrupted within five years of making it, and if the inheritor goes bankrupt they can also risk losing the property.

Scottish and English property law have many similarities but certain key differences, including the following.

  • The English concepts of leasehold and freehold are not directly applicable in Scotland; in Scotland the outright ownership conferred by a freehold is known as “heritable” title, while the Long Leases (Scotland) Act 2012 converted ultra-long leases with an initial term of more than 175 years and an annual rent of £100 or less into heritable title, making leasehold-style ownership less common.
  • In England, buyers usually obtain conveyancing services, whereas in Scotland it is typical for the seller to do so.
  • The English concept of restrictive covenants is equivalent to a “real burden” in Scotland, but these can be restrictive and positive, whereas in England positive covenants do not run with the land and hence do not bind successors.

Real estate funds - a type of mutual fund - invests in securities offered by public real estate companies, including real estate investment trusts and stocks relating to real estate. They provide value through appreciation and do not trade like stocks - share prices are only updated once per day.

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