Lancashire law firm expands office space as commercial property work takes off

A growing county law firm has taken additional space at Lytham’s Jubilee House to accommodate the expanding commercial property department.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 3:30 pm

And Vincents Solicitors has welcomed Sophie Mercer and Yasmine Dragan to spearhead the Fylde coast offering, working alongside department head Craig Aikman.

Solicitor Sophie Mercer joins the firm from PHH in Cleveleys, prior to which she trained and qualified at Napthens in Blackpool.

Legal assistant Yasmine Dragan, currently in Year 2 of a degree apprenticeship, comes direct from Napthens where she has worked for 14 years.

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Craig Aikman with Sophie Mercer (left) and Yasmine Dragan (right) at Vincents Lytham office at Jubilee House

Sophie is a specialist in landlord and tenant matters, and leases and refinancing arrangements, and has been brought into assist with the vast growth in commercial work the firm has seen over the last two years.

Sophie said the current market was incredibly buoyant with refinance arrangements and lease negotiations, particularly on the Fylde coast.

She said: “The strength of the market might seem quite surprising given the current situation, but there is always opportunity for businesses looking to buy property or arrange new leases during economic uncertainty,” said Sophie.

“Some landlords, particularly where their tenants’ businesses have failed, are offering good incentives to get their retail and industrial units re-let. New start-ups – of which there have been many during the pandemic – and existing companies are still in the market for new premises, whether upsizing or downsizing, and these incentives are proving very popular.

“I’m also seeing a lot of refinance deals from businesses choosing to restructure to alleviate their current financial pressures, or to release equity to allow for further investment. There is also a good deal of portfolio investment and Blackpool is proving to be a key area for both local and out-of-town buyers due to the attractive yields it provides for investors.”

“There is also a good deal of portfolio investment and Blackpool is proving to be a key area for both local and out-of-town buyers due to the attractive yields it provides for investors.”

Craig Aikman, head of the firm’s property department, said the new Lytham commercial team would boost the local expertise available for clients active on the Fylde coast.

He said: “Sophie is an excellent commercial property solicitor and a well-respected operator on the local scene.

“There is no shortage of work in the corporate and commercial sector at the moment and, with residential property also seeing its busiest ever period, we are certainly on the look-out for new talent. We are expecting to recruit further to both the corporate and commercial teams in Lytham in the next six months.”

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