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Isabel Rial

Isabel Rial, Partner in DTM Legal’s Commercial Property Division advised the tech Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) on its recent move to £17.8 million Sci-Tech Daresbury Violet Campus.

MCS is a certification company for green energy technologies such as heat pumps and storage batteries. The office spans 4, 416 square feet and will be the main headquarters for the 30 plus team.

Isabel Rial expands on the role DTM Legal played during the process.

‘As a newly built property there were several factors beyond the typical scope involved in a lease transaction, involving practical completion of the construction to enable occupation, infrastructure, possible defects and associated costs, access and alike. We were therefore heavily engaged with our client, the landlord’s solicitor to progress the transaction, taking account of such matters and their consequential timescales.’

How did you ensure that MCS’s (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) new premises would fit the company’s needs for the future?

‘When undertaking a lease transaction for a client, we believe a key component of providing best value is to discuss with them as soon as possible their medium- to long-term goals for growth and where the property fits into them. Depending on what they are looking to achieve, this helps us to provide advice on whether they should seek to negotiate extra incentives such as a contribution towards fit-out costs, break rights and future rent-free periods if breaks are not exercised, or (where applicable) service charge caps, etc. These types of terms are far harder to introduce after Heads of Terms have been agreed, but not impossible, and it is far easier to negotiate their introduction if done immediately after Heads of Terms have been issued. In this case, such discussions did take place and I believe the Microgeneration Certification Scheme need to take a large part of the credit for the outcome that was achieved because of their engagement. They were excellent to work with.’

When advising on a change of premises like this, what factors are crucial to keep in mind?

‘I think it is nowhere near enough just to deal with the ‘legalities’. Any business interruption is abhorrent and costly to a business owner and I therefore strongly believe it is a critical part of a property solicitor’s role to identify with their client and then factor in the practical implications of a move. For example, clients can experience a lead time of 90 days or sometimes more for the installation of a new telecommunications system. Failing to address practical matters early can have a real negative impact on timescales and efficiencies. Timescales are also influenced by contractor availability for fit-out and move-out dates of existing property. Discussing and planning the transaction to accommodate for practical considerations is crucial to ensuring the smoothest transition possible for a client into new premises.’

For full details and for advice on Commercial Property please contact Isabel Rial at


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