Friday, 10 August 2012 00:00
Nick joined Tozers' Private Client team in June 2010 and was promoted to associate in 2012. Since qualifying, Nick has acted for private individuals, property developers and housing associations in a range of commercial and residential transactions. These include site acquisitions, commercial lettings, lease enfranchisement and residential sales and purchases. Nick is also able to draw upon considerable property litigation experience, which is a significant advantage in his area of specialism. Here he answers questions posed by the Express and Echo regarding his field:
Q Is your firm well-established?
Most definitely. We date back to circa 1785 (comfortably before my time!) and aside from our head office in Southernhay, Exeter we have offices in central Newton Abbot and Teignmouth.
Q What is your role?
I undertake all forms of non-contentious property work, including domestic property sales and purchases with a value of anything from £1,000 to in excess of £1 million. I also specialise in lease extensions and collective enfranchisement work.
Q What type of property do you live in and what alteration or addition would you like to carry out to your home?
We currently live in a two-bed Victorian but are in the process of moving to a slightly larger property, again a Victorian terrace. I don't wish to jinx the move by planning alterations just yet
Q What are your professional affiliations?
I am a solicitor of England and Wales. I am also a trustee of Devon Arts in Schools Initiative (DAISI), a registered charity, and the Arts Education Partnership organisation for Devon and Torbay.
Q If you were buying or selling your home, what would you look for in a property solicitor?
Someone you can trust and have a good rapport with.
Q How many people handle any given property transaction – one person, or several? How experienced are they?
A case of me, myself and I with assistance from my secretary and cover from the rest of the team when I am out of the office. My clients appreciate that I am their first and only point of contact, rather than going around the houses to speak to their solicitor. I have been undertaking property work since joining another prominent south west firm in 2004.
Q How do you manage the process when acting in a chain of transactions?
The key is good communication and an ability to manage expectations. So long as all professional parties (agents and solicitors), are in close email and telephone contact throughout, there shouldn't be too many nasty surprises. Most importantly, the client should be kept fully aware of developments as and when they happen, and rightly won't thank you for keeping them in the dark.
Q How do you advertise your services?
We believe that the best way to promote our services is through the quality of delivery and a lot of mine and the property team's work is received through referrals from existing clients. We maintain a list of client testimonials on our website, which – together with press releases and updates – form the bulk of our advertising. I also host a property blog with publishes important legal updates as they happen.
Q Why did you become a solicitor?
A classic case of digesting too much John Grisham as a youngster. It is safe to say that the day-to-day Devon property scene isn't too closely linked with his plotlines, but I enjoy the satisfaction of helping clients achieve their moves and working through difficult problems as and when they arise.
Q What are some of the issues that can adversely affect a property transaction?
Delays in the issuing of mortgage offers, finances not having been properly ascertained at the outset and alterations/additions having been undertaken without all necessary consents.
Q What do you do outside the office?
I enjoy reading, watching live music and making the most of the Devon outdoors. I am also a keen sports fan and try to visit Sandy Park as often as I can (preferably when the firm is paying). Law isn't totally out of the picture when free of the office, as I regularly contribute headline articles to The Letting Update Journal, which is a specialist publication aimed at the residential letting sector with a circulation exceeding 1,700.
Q Tell me a secret
I am rather partial to a leg of darts.
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