The commercial property team are one of the leading advisers of all commercial property matters in the Thames Valley.

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Marcus Francis

Marcus Francis

  • CGT – Understanding the extent of Private Residence Relief

    propertycommercial propertyhomepageresidential property

    Date: 18 September 2018

    Richard Higgs, partner in our Commercial Property Team, considers the applicability of the Private Residence Relief for Capital Gains Tax to a sale of garden land where the house is retained.
  • Designation of Town or Village Greens

    propertycommercial propertyhomepage

    Date: 12 September 2018

    Michael Higgin comments on the case of Cooper Estates Strategic Land v Wiltshire Council. Landowners and developers will be pleased by the outcome, which puts sensible limits on the ability to designate land as a Town or Village Green.
  • Injunction against “urban explorers”

    propertycommercial propertyresidential property

    Date: 18 July 2018

    Paul Dench considers the use of injunctions against modern trespassers and persons unknown.
  • Repair –v- compensation for Disrepair (Part 3)

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 30 May 2018

    In this final instalment our commercial property partner Michael Higgin, and Alexandra Holloway in our expert property litigation team, explain how dilapidations claims are pursued and whether a tenant might do the required repair works or not.
  • Repair –v- compensation for Disrepair (Part 2)

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 16 May 2018

    In this second of three instalments our commercial property partner Michael Higgin and Alexandra Holloway in our expert property litigation team, explain Schedules of Dilapidations and how forfeiture for disrepair might occur.
  • Repair –v- compensation for Disrepair (Part 1)

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 16 May 2018

    In three instalments our commercial property partner Michael Higgin explains a tenant’s duty to repair its premises and looks at what compensation it may need to pay for not doing so.
  • Day in the life of a property trainee

    propertycommercial propertyresidential property

    Date: 10 May 2018

    Our property trainees provide an insight into the typical day of a trainee solicitor in our residential and commercial property teams.
  • Understanding Authorised Guarantee Agreements

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 13 April 2018

    Our commercial property partner Michael Higgin explains what an AGA is, and what its enforcement means in practice.
  • Comply with your insurance policy, or else!

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 02 March 2018

    Hazel Eccles explains how the court decision in Bluebon Ltd v Ageas (UK) Ltd reminds us that the terms of an insurance policy must be followed or the insurer may not pay out for loss.
  • The merits of Making Concessions

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 15 February 2018

    Here are tips from commercial property partner Michael Higgin on the things to think about when showcasing and selling goods within another retailer’s store space.
  • Pilot Scheme for Unopposed Business Lease Renewals

    dispute resolutionpropertycommercial property

    Date: 17 January 2018

    Alexandra Dennis, Associate in the Property Disputes Team at FSP, discusses a new pilot scheme which is likely to signal a change for unopposed business lease renewal claims.
  • Using restrictive covenants to secure payments – caution advised

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 22 December 2017

    The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has the discretion to discharge or modify restrictive covenants on specified grounds. The case of Barter Re Ivy House offers an interesting insight into the treatment by the Tribunal of recently imposed covenants.
  • Agricultural lawyer joins FSP’s real estate team

    propertycommercial propertyfarming and estatesstrategic land

    Date: 19 October 2017

    FSP are delighted to welcome Hazel Eccles to their real estate team.
  • Modification of restrictive covenant unlocks land for development

    propertycommercial propertyresidential propertyproperty disputes

    Date: 19 October 2017

    Becky Powell, a trainee solicitor in the Commercial Property team, considers a recent decision of the Upper Tribunal to modify a restrictive covenant under a rarely successful statutory ground.
  • FSP’s annual property seminar

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 18 October 2017

    FSP’s real estate team in conjunction with Ridge Property and Construction Consultants and Pegasus Group welcomed over 130 attendees to the Green Park conference centre on 12th October.
  • FSP’s annual property seminar

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 22 September 2017

    This year’s property seminar has already set record attendance figures with over 100 people having registered so far.
  • Buying stolen property – some cautionary tales

    propertycommercial propertyresidential propertyproperty disputes

    Date: 15 September 2017

    A recent purchase of a used car from a seller who had no right to sell it has re-ignited the debate concerning good faith, stolen goods, and title, as Samantha Simpson explains.
  • Senior lawyers join FSP’s real estate team

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 11 September 2017

    FSP are delighted to welcome two senior lawyers to their real estate team which is already the largest such team in Reading.
  • FSP handles headquarters disposal for US biotech business

    propertyconstructionproperty developmentcommercial property

    Date: 05 September 2017

    FSP has just completed the sale of Unither House in Chertsey for United Therapeutics who develop and produce treatments for patients with chronic and life-threatening conditions.
  • Vacant possession and the break clause

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 22 June 2017

    Catherine Ramsbottom, a trainee in the Commercial Property team, considers a decision of the High Court examining the tenant’s failure to give vacant possession on the exercise of its break clause.
  • FSP acquire new offices for BDO

    propertycommercial propertyproperty development

    Date: 22 May 2017

    FSP have just acquired new offices for professional services firm BDO in 12th floor of the newly extended Thames Tower in Reading.
  • FSP advises funder lending to Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

    propertycommercial propertyconstructionbanking and finance

    Date: 08 May 2017

    Santander Corporate and Commercial Division have provided a new £7.4m facility to fund the complete refurbishment of legacy RAF buildings on their globally-important science park.
  • Business rates on properties which are being renovated

    propertycommercial propertyproperty development

    Date: 28 April 2017

    Marcus Francis considers a recent case in which the Supreme Court decided that stripped-out office developments should not be liable to business rates.
  • Disposing Charity Property? Don’t get caught out

    propertycommercial propertycharities

    Date: 10 April 2017

    Anna Zatouroff, a commercial property senior associate at FSP, outlines the statutory duties for charity trustees before a charity disposes of its property.
  • New “super depot” for Whistl

    propertycommercial propertyproperty developmentconstruction

    Date: 10 February 2017

    Marcus Francis, head of commercial property at FSP, has recently acted for Whistl UK Limited (the second largest postal operator in the UK) on their lease of a 225,000 square foot distribution warehouse in Bolton.
  • AirBnB may cause you to lose sleep

    propertycommercial propertyresidential propertyproperty disputes

    Date: 25 January 2017

    The exponential growth of AirBnB is a shining example of the so-called “sharing economy”. Mark Banham from our commercial property team considers the potential perils that hosts may encounter whilst using this service.
  • Welcome to Alexandra Dennis

    propertycommercial propertybusinessproperty disputes

    Date: 10 January 2017

    We are delighted to announce the arrival of Alexandra Dennis as an Associate in our Property Disputes Team.
  • Business Rates overhaul in 2017

    propertycommercial propertycorporate

    Date: 13 October 2016

    The process to appeal Business Rates assessments in England is being overhauled in 2017 to coincide with the 2017 Rating Revaluation. Anna Zatouroff, a senior associate in our Commercial Property team, outlines the new system.
  • Getting your house in order

    propertycommercial propertyresidential property

    Date: 14 September 2016

    Mark Banham from our commercial property team explains the new regulations relating to Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in the Private Rented Sector.
  • Councils lose on affordable housing

    propertycommercial propertyfarming and estatesproperty development and planning

    Date: 26 May 2016

    Anna Zatouroff, a commercial property senior associate at FSP, outlines the statutory duties for charity trustees before a charity disposes of its property.
  • SDLT changes for non-residential properties

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 25 May 2016

    Lauren Ellison from our Commercial Property Team looks at the latest changes to the rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for commercial and non-residential properties.
  • What are a landowner’s options for strategic land development?

    propertycommercial propertyresidential property

    Date: 19 May 2016

    Vicky McDonald and Michael Higgin from our Commercial Property Team take a look at what choices landowners have when considering how their land could be used for development.
  • New power of social investment for charities

    propertycommercial propertycharities

    Date: 06 May 2016

    The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 enshrines the power for charities to make social investments. Anna Zatouroff explains how charities can enter into social investments.
  • Office-to-residential permitted development rights to be made permanent

    propertycommercial propertyresidential property

    Date: 10 March 2016

    Lauren Ellison in our Commercial Property team looks at the Government’s decision to introduce a permanent permitted development right for change of use from offices to residential properties.
  • FSP Sponsor The Gap Festival 2016

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 01 March 2016

    FSP are very pleased to be sponsoring The Gap Festival which is five days of music, literature, visual and performing arts, with talks, demonstrations, workshops and fringe events.
  • Using tax to change the housing market

    taxbusinessp-philippa-rolescommercial propertyresidential property

    Date: 05 February 2016

    Philippa Roles, head of Tax at FSP, looks at the use to which the stamp duty land tax and income tax regimes are being put to bring about social and economic change in the UK housing market.
  • Landlords not complying with tenancy deposit rules

    businessproperty disputescommercial propertyresidential property

    Date: 28 January 2016

    A report published by The Centre for Economic and Business Research in January 2016 suggests that 15% of landlords aren’t protecting tenants’ deposits. Mark Banham warns of the potential consequences.
  • Landmark ruling on parking fines

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 31 December 2015

    Car park managers and landlords breathe a sigh of relief following a decision of the Supreme Court. Michael Higgin explains.
  • Minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES)

    businesscommercial property

    Date: 15 October 2015

    Landlords and tenants will need to be aware of the new energy efficiency regulations, as Pierre Dutton explains.
  • The private rented sector – new rights for tenants

    propertycommercial propertyresidential leasesresidential property

    Date: 01 May 2015

    Joe Lott considers a raft of recent legislation designed to enhance the rights of tenants in the private rented sector. This has been backed up by new guidance published by the Government.
  • Section 21 notices just got harder

    propertyresidential propertycommercial propertyresidential leasesproperty disputes

    Date: 30 April 2015

    Joe Lott considers big changes to section 21 notices coming into effect in October 2015. There is plenty to think about for landlords and managing agents and planning ahead is essential.
  • Tenancy deposits – some important changes

    propertyresidential propertycommercial property

    Date: 24 April 2015

    Simon Roberts considers a number of important changes to the tenancy deposit rules. Landlords may welcome some of the changes but in some situations they will now have to act very quickly.
  • Reading FC new training ground approved

    propertycommercial propertynews

    Date: 09 April 2015

    Reading Football Club has been given the go ahead for their new training facility at Bearwood.
  • A great accolade for Heartstone Inns

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 13 March 2015

    Heartstone Inns has been recognised in the London Stock Exchange’s “1000 Companies to Inspire Britain” report 2015.
  • A Nuclear Deterrent to Development in Berkshire

    propertycommercial propertyresidential property

    Date: 27 February 2015

    Nuclear safety zones around the Atomic Weapons Establishments in Berkshire exclude General Development rights. Michael Higgin from our commercial property team explains.
  • Are monitoring fees a necessary planning obligation?

    propertyproperty disputesresidential propertycommercial property

    Date: 24 February 2015

    Anna Zatouroff examines a recent High Court decision on whether monitoring fees in a section 106 agreement could be charged under the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations.
  • Landlord’s intention to redevelop

    propertycommercial propertyproperty disputes

    Date: 24 February 2015

    When does a landlord’s intention to redevelop a property occupied under a business tenancy need to be proven to get possession back? Anna Zatouroff considers a recent Court of Appeal decision.
  • Is terrorism a “usual comprehensive risk”?

    commercial propertyresidential propertyproperty

    Date: 15 January 2015

    Joseph Preisner, an associate in the Commercial Property team, reports on a recent case dealing with the necessity for landlords to consider terrorism insurance carefully.
  • When do Landlords need to consult?

    propertycommercial propertyproperty disputesdispute resolutionresidential property

    Date: 18 December 2014

    Joe Lott, a partner in our property disputes group, considers in what circumstances landlords need to consult with leaseholders about “qualifying works” following the 2014 Court of Appeal decision in Francis v Phillips.
  • Clarity is restored on the status of held-over leases

    propertycommercial propertyproperty disputes

    Date: 08 May 2014

    Michael Higgin, Partner in the commercial property team, comments on the restoration of normality in cases where tenants holdover premises, the Court of Appeal decision in Erimus Housing
  • All change for agricultural buildings?

    propertyfarming and estatescommercial propertyresidential propertyeducation

    Date: 02 April 2014

    James Burgess considers the impact of the recent amendment to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 for rural communities.
  • Getting information on service charges – not so easy

    commercial propertyresidential propertyproperty disputesbusiness

    Date: 19 February 2014

    How can a reluctant landlord be forced to provide final service charge accounts? Joe Lott explains that the Court of Appeal has just issued some, possibly controversial, guidance.
  • Defining lawful and unlawful activities

    regulatory law licensingbusinesscommercial property

    Date: 11 February 2014

    Joe Lott considers the effect of a recent decision of the Supreme Court on unlawful activities and how this might have wider implications, in particular in lease covenants.
  • Subject to contract?

    businesspropertycommercial propertycommercial contractscorporate

    Date: 22 November 2013

    The very recent case of Newbury v. Sun Microsystems is a reminder to businessmen and lawyers alike that care is required to avoid negotiations becoming binding contracts.
  • New guidance on managing Japanese Knotweed

    propertycommercial propertyproperty development

    Date: 28 June 2013

    The Environment Agency has issued new guidelines for developers and landowners on managing this beguilingly pretty pest. Michael Higgin from our commercial property team reports.
  • VAT shock for home owners with solar panels

    propertyresidential propertycommercial propertytax

    Date: 28 June 2013

    The European Court has ruled that homeowners with solar panels are in business and therefore liable to register for VAT. Sarah Wray, head of our residential property team, and Philippa Roles, head of tax, explain.
  • De-licensing indoor sports, plays and dance shows

    businessregulatory and licensingcommercial propertyeducation

    Date: 20 June 2013

    The Government’s Red Tape exercise is cutting into the Licensing Act 2003. From 27 June premises will no longer have to have a licence to put on certain types of entertainment. Joe Lott explains.
  • Counting the days

    propertycommercial propertyproperty disputesproperty development

    Date: 07 June 2013

    Many legal procedures and notices have timescales within which certain steps have to be carried out. It is important to count the days correctly in these cases as Michael Higgin explains.
  • Sometimes advance rent is just that

    dispute resolutionbusinessp-tim-childresidential propertycommercial propertyproperty

    Date: 04 June 2013

    Residential landlords have to be very careful to properly register deposits, or dire consequences can follow. But what about rent paid in advance? Joe Lott considers the latest guidance from the Court of Appeal, and possible implications for landlords.
  • Lease break rent refunds

    propertycommercial propertyproperty disputesproperty development

    Date: 28 May 2013

    STOP PRESS: the High Court has ruled that a tenant may recover rent paid in advance when a break option has been exercised. This is not what is normally expected as Joe Lott explains.
  • Aspects of dilapidations

    propertycommercial propertyproperty disputesproperty development

    Date: 21 May 2013

    Claims by a landlord for compensation for disrepair of a property – known as dilapidations – are often contested nowadays. Michael Higgin considers some recent developments in the law on dilapidations.
  • New rules for owners of listed buildings

    propertycommercial propertyproperty disputesproperty development

    Date: 03 May 2013

    The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 has simplified part of the heritage protection system in England. If you own or rent a listed building, Michael Higgin offers an overview of the new law.
  • Developers protected from Village Green ambushes

    propertycommercial propertyproperty disputesproperty development

    Date: 02 May 2013

    Opponents of local development have for a number of years had some success in thwarting development by applying for sites to be designated as village greens. As Michael Higgin reports, things are likely to change following recent legislation.
  • The impact of the Energy Act 2011 on rental property

    propertybusinesscommercial propertyproperty disputesp-daniel-yorkarticles

    Date: 17 January 2013

    Joseph Preisner, a solicitor in our commercial property team, considers the impact of the Energy Act 2011 on the owners of rental property .
  • Break notices - beware the DIY option

    propertycommercial propertyp-daniel-yorkbusiness startups

    Date: 18 October 2012

    Joe Lott explains why it is vital that tenants are very careful when completing and serving a break notice. The consequences of getting it wrong can be disastrous.
  • Tenant's guide to commercial leases

    propertycommercial propertyp-daniel-yorkbusiness startups

    Date: 18 October 2012

    Joseph Preisner highlights the key basic terms of commercial leases that tenants will need to think about and discuss with their professional advisers before agreeing the heads of terms.
  • Licensed to spy - CCTV and the law

    propertycommercial propertyregulatory law licensingdispute resolutionbusinessp-tim-child

    Date: 18 October 2012

    Joe Lott offers a timely reminder that CCTV users need to be licensed by the Information Commissioner and comply with a proper data-handling policy.
  • A highway to nowhere? No way

    propertycommercial propertyproperty developmentresidential property

    Date: 21 September 2012

    Michael Higgin, partner in our commercial property team, looks at a recent case where an attempt to designate land as a highway failed because there was no way for the public to get to or from the land.
  • Assignments and sublets - getting the landlord's consent

    business startupspropertycommercial property

    Date: 13 July 2012

    Joe Preisner from our commercial property team provides this quick guide to the rules and time-limits relating to applications by tenants to assign or sub-let their premises.
  • Insuring your property against flooding

    propertyproperty developmentresidential propertycommercial property

    Date: 21 June 2012

    Insuring your property against the risk of flooding may become increasingly difficult to do. Dean Bickford, partner in our commercial property team, explains why.
  • Code for Leasing Business Premises

    propertycommercial propertyproperty developmentconstructionbusiness startups

    Date: 01 June 2012

    The Lease Code is a voluntary code that aims to achieve fairness between landlords and tenants. Marcus Francis examines the extent to which it has been embraced by the property industry.
  • Premises licence fees get tough

    commercial propertypropertyregulatory law licensingbusinessp-tim-child

    Date: 22 May 2012

    Tim Child explains why Licensees must ensure that they have proper diary systems in place so that the annual licence fees are paid promptly - and what will happen if they aren't.
  • Give and take is better than all or nothing

    residential propertycommercial propertyproperty disputesproperty

    Date: 22 May 2012

    Battling with your neighbour through the courts can be distressing and expensive. The Court of Appeal has now made it clear that they will expect the parties to try to work things out before a court case comes to trial.
  • Contracts: getting out of a bad bargain

    propertycommercial technologycommercial propertyconstructioncorporateproperty disputesdispute resolutionbusiness

    Date: 03 February 2011

    Bill Dixon comments on a recent case the firm was involved in (Gold v BDW) on getting out of contracts which have come unprofitable.
  • Selling up? Don't double your trouble

    businesscommercial propertycorporatedispute resolutionresidential propertybusiness startups

    Date: 28 January 2011

    Penny Garden from our corporate team explains what to watch out for if you are selling a business or house and decide to change your corporate finance adviser or estate agent.
  • Sports clubs beware, are you causing a nuisance?

    propertybusinesscommercial propertyproperty developmentsports

    Date: 03 March 2009

    A recent decision of the Court of Appeal serves as a useful reminder that a planning permission may not be enough if you wish to use land in a way which affects neighbouring owners and that neighbouring owners may have rights under the law of nuisance.
  • Overage

    propertycommercial propertyproperty development

    Date: 19 September 2008

    Overage is a potential right to receive future payments in respect of land. This guide examines the use of overage in land transactions and how the right to a future payment may be protected.
  • Alienation

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 04 September 2008

    The term "alienation" refers to the provisions in leases which govern the tenant's ability to transfer the lease, underlet the premises or share occupation of the premises.
  • Security of tenure

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 04 September 2008

    An overview of the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
  • Break clauses

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 02 September 2008

    Making sure you operate your break clause effectively.
  • Control of asbestos

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 28 August 2008

    The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 came into force on 13 November 2006, are you fulfilling your duty to manage?
  • Energy efficiency in commercial buildings

    propertycommercial property

    Date: 21 August 2008

    Energy performance certificates: What, when and why?
  • Dilapidations

    propertycommercial propertyproperty disputes

    Date: 11 December 2007

    Tenants should be fully aware of their repair and decoration obligations before taking or renewing a lease and should try to limit their obligations at that stage.