Property Development

The Firm has the most substantial property development practice in the Islands, representing more active developers than any other law firm. Saunders & Co is at the forefront of commercial property development activity and the Firm is the acknowledged leader in property development work.

Our practice

The Firm’s work in this area includes advising on the acquisition and disposal of development sites, advising on the most efficient structure to undertake a development, advising on and assisting clients with discharging all regulatory obligations, securing the transfer of title to a development site, negotiating Development Agreements with Government, assisting with Planning Submissions (and appeals, if necessary), advising on traditional and non traditional financing options, drafting or reviewing Architectural and Construction Contracts, drafting standard Sale and Purchase Contracts and documentation, answering questions and negotiating sale and purchase agreements with prospective buyers or their counsel, acting as Trustee and Stakeholder for deposits prior to commencement of construction, securing registration of strata titles, effecting the transfer of title from the developer to buyers, advising on and establishing a management structure and entities, drafting and advising on employment contracts, advising on handing over the management of the development to owners or the assumption of management responsibilities through a developer-controlled management company, and advising on the ongoing management of the resort or the residential development.

Financing the Development
We provide advice on financing options and assist in securing and structuring financing, including traditional bank borrowing, private debt and equity financing, advising on and structuring joint ventures, structuring owner take back mortgages on development site, licensing agreements, and structuring a front end lump sum payment for the acquisition of a preconstruction condominium (at a discounted price).

Regulatory requirements
We advise on business licensing obligations, work permits, national insurance, health and safety, and physical planning obligations. The Development Agreement We undertake all negotiations with Government regarding the reduction of import duties, permanent residency certificates, and work permit assurances and, where appropriate, negotiating the acquisition or lease of Crown Land.

Sale & Purchase Agreement
We advise on provisions providing for the forfeiture of deposits on default, provisions prohibiting the assignment of a purchase agreement during the developer’s sell-out period, clauses allowing for customs import duty clawbacks to owners of residential suites in a resort development, drafting and advising on suitable bylaws providing for a residential resort, or a flexible development, advising on the level and timing of interim payment obligations, advising on drop dead dates for the commencement of construction and the completion of the development, and advising on clauses providing for the conditionality of Sale & Purchase Agreement until the grant of planning permission.