Pandemic fails to stifle activity for specialist solicitors’ team

The Holiday & Home Parks team at Blacks Solicitors has been involved in park deals worth a total of more than £20m from 2019 to 2021 despite the impact of COVID-19.

The 10-strong team across a range of disciplines, including Employment and Commercial Property, completed a wide range of instructions from a number of sector clients, and won a string of new clients in 2020-2021, with turnover rising by 15%.

Katy McPhie, senior associate in the Planning team, was recruited in August 2020 to provide specialist planning related support to parks clients and the team has continued to retain talented advisors.

The virus outbreak has had a particular impact on the specialist sector, with Blacks advising clients on holiday park closures and customers challenging terms or not paying pitch fees.

Aimee Hutchinson, a Partner in the Holiday & Home Parks team at Blacks Solicitors, said: “Although it’s been a challenging year, we’ve had significant opportunities to support a growing specialist sector and build on the good relationships we’ve been developing for some time.

“Our growth and new client wins have played a key part in our decision to recruit Katy and have contributed to the successful retention of team members all of which has in turn strengthened our ability to attract new clients and win work despite the impacts of the pandemic.

“We’re expecting to be very busy assisting and advising businesses on opportunities as the sector reopens and the further legislative change that is on the horizon for the residential park sector in relation to being a ‘fit and proper’ person.”

Blacks says that as lockdown restrictions have eased, opportunities have increased for the team in relation to work concerning holiday parks in particular due to the growth in the “staycation” market.

The firm adds it has also seen an increase in the acquisitions and disposals of these parks.