Professionals: Gordons, Opus North, Legatus Law

LAW firm Gordons has facilitated a high profile property development in the east end of London.

The firm has aided developer H2O Urban in its acquisition of a site at the junction of the Regents and Hereford Union canals, adjoining Mile End Park, in Tower Hamlets. The land has been bought for an undisclosed sum from the Canal & River Trust, which cares for Britain’s 200-year-old network of canals, rivers and docks.

Currently home to a car park and derelict former warehouse, the site, in a conservation area, known as Bow Wharf, will be redeveloped in a joint venture with London-based construction company Rooff.

A Gordons team, including solicitors Sarah Ratcliffe and James Cook, from its commercial property and corporate departments respectively, and Rachel Stoyle, a legal executive in its construction team, have advised H2O Urban.

They have assisted the client on acquiring the land, the joint venture agreement with Rooff and construction matters. In the future, Gordons will advise H2O Urban on aspects including securing funding and sales of residential plots at the site.

Nicola Tindale, chief executive officer of H2O Urban, said: “The firm has been advising us for about three months on a number of issues, including negotiations with Rooff over the joint venture agreement.

“They drove the process forward, ensuring completion still took place within the demanding timescale, acceptable to all parties, that we’d set them. We look forward to starting on-site at this exciting project, which will bring new life to a derelict piece of the canal side.”

H2O Urban had employed Gordons before on the regeneration of Northwich Marina, in Cheshire, where it created a mixed-use waterside development, comprising retail units, restaurants and retirement apartments.

It is currently also working with the firm on the creation of Wigan Pier Quarter, a retail, leisure and residential development in a currently neglected part of Greater Manchester.

One of the UK’s most successful law firms, Gordons has offices in Leeds, Bradford and London, employs 235 people and has a turnover of more than £22.9m. Clients include Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc, construction and high performance materials manufacturer Saint Gobain, international brewers Molson Coors and the world’s largest electrical heating business Glen Dimplex.


Property development firm Opus North, has sold the final phase of its development in Runcorn to DaleKim Investments for £1.68 million.

The last phase of the development comprises a Burger King restaurant and a Halfords store and the sale represented a yield of 6%.

Phase One of the development in West Lane saw Ilkley-based Opus North pre-sell a 15,000 sq ft Ford Motor dealership for £2.72 million to a North East private investment company.

A site was then sold to Lidl supermarket, which formed Phase Two of the development, for £1.45m. Lidl built their own store on site which is now open.

West Lane is opposite Halton Lea shopping centre in the heart of Runcorn.
Andrew Duncan, managing director of Opus North, commented: “These were excellent deals in initially challenging times for the property market in the north of England.

“The new Ford dealership kick-started this development in central Runcorn, complementing the popular Halton Lea shopping centre.

“The dealership takes up a third of this area and the development of the rest of the site has proved to be the final piece of the retail jigsaw for this part of the town. It has also created a number of much-needed jobs”.


Leeds and London-based Legatus Law has brought together figures in the finance industry  to discuss the future of SME finance and the alternative options to bank lending for SMEs.

The event aimed to raise awareness and understanding of alternative SME finance and how to access it.

The panel of experts included Adrian Doble, a turnaround specialist and partner at FRP Advisory, David Jones, managing director of Reward Capital, Nicholas Sellars, chairman of Pulse Cashflow Finance, Platform Black managing director Caroline Langron and Funding Circle head of collections and recoveries Andrew Jackson.

Some of the issues debated were the impact of EU uncertainty on future investors, foreign pension fund investment and new platforms such as peer-to-peer lending as well as the threat of future regulation on the industry and the effect on investors.

Rashmi Dubé, founder of Legatus Law, who chaired the event at Cedar Court hotel, Wakefield added: “Alternative SME finance is clearly a topic of interest for both small businesses and banking professionals judging by the turn-out at the seminar.

“In my experience, a large number of small businesses feel they are being held back from growing thanks to a lack of access to finance but as our panel demonstrated, there are a growing number of opportunities outside of traditional banks.

“The issue is raising awareness of these opportunities and the fast, flexible and simple access to finance that is available in contrast to the banks.”

“I’m very grateful to the speakers for taking time out of their busy schedules to help raise awareness of the issue, particularly Andrew, Adrian and Caroline who travelled up from London to join us.”