Stage 6 – agreeing the contract terms

When the seller’s solicitor prepared the draft contract, it will have included the obvious terms (eg: price) and terms to protect the seller (eg: an indemnity by the buyer in respect of post-completion debts of the business), but not necessarily any terms to protect the buyer (eg: non-competition clauses by the seller). It is the buyer’s solicitor’s job to make sure the...
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Stage 5: replying to enquiries

There seem to be two types of buyer’s solicitors: those who ask the seller’s solicitors to answer standard commercial enquiries, however irrelevant they are to the particular transaction, and those who raise their own enquiries ensuring they are relevant and purposeful. Similarly, there seem to be two types of seller’s solicitors: those who go through the enquiries with the...
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Searches – what are they all about?

Lawyers often talk about “the searches”, but what do they mean? The main search is the “local search” – strictly, a search in the register of local land charges maintained by the local district or borough council (or unitary authority), combined with a range of enquiries raised with that council, all in relation to the property being searched against – not in...
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Stage 3: Checking the paperwork

This is where the Buyer’s solicitor can get his (or her) teeth into things: going through the lease (if the pub is leasehold) and the other title documents, checking for defects or problems, raising enquiries about any problems as well as a wide range of other enquiries about the property and the business, and reporting to the Buyer on what is found. It is important that the Buyer and the...
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Stage 2: draft contract

If the seller has prep’d his or her solicitor, so that the solicitor has the relevant title documents, getting a draft contract out to the buyer’s solicitor should not be a lengthy process or involve any delay. Selling a single pub is much like selling any other small business, except for the need to deal with the transfer of the premises licence and the fact that the inventory is...
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