Your Shout: Use your solicitor as a project manager

14 February 2005
Your Shout: Use your solicitor as a project manager
Philip Shotter of Glovers Solicitors
Solicitors are often seen merely as advisers on contract negotiation and lease documentation, but in the lead-up to taking possession of a new restaurant they can play a much more hands-on role - that of a ready-made project manager. - Instruct your solicitor as early as possible so they can advise on realistic timescales or whether the deal should be made conditional on any outstanding planning issues. - On an assignment or underletting of lease, you will need to think about an application to the landlord for consent. Comprehensive financial details about you or your company will have to be provided and standard references obtained. - Get your solicitor to liaise with your architect about rights over adjoining property for extraction ducts, condensers, emergency escape and delivery routes, refuse storage areas and outside seating. - Your solicitor can advise about the property's planning history. - Your own works may require planning permission or listed building consent. By liaising with your architect, your solicitor will be able to advise whether consent is likely to be a formality. - Your solicitor should also be put in contact with your accountant so that issues such as price apportionments for goodwill, fixtures and fittings and the treatment of capital allowances can be considered. - Employment issues also need to be considered to ensure the TUPE regulations are addressed properly. - Your solicitor should also deal with the liquor licence. Remember that any works may have to be approved by the licensing magistrates. [
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