Commercial department expands In Lytham

Growing offering requires premises move

Lancashire law firm Vincents Solicitors has taken additional space at Lytham’s Jubilee House to accommodate the arrival of a new commercial property department. Vincents has welcomed Sophie Mercer and Yasmine Dragan to head up 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.

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. “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.”

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. Her network of referrers and connections know her strengths well, and have full confidence in the technical accuracy and efficiency she brings to her work which ensures transactions are completed without delay.

“Together with her highly experienced assistant Yasmine, their commitment to excellence and ability to generate new work will make the new team a huge asset to our department.”

Headquartered in Preston’s Winckley Square, Vincents has six offices throughout the county, two of which are in Lytham. The original Park Street branch provides family and private client services, while the Jubilee House team provides corporate and property services to homebuyers and the business community.

The Fylde coast corporate and commercial hub has grown significantly since it first launched at Jubilee House in August 2019 with five people. It expanded with a dedicated four-strong residential property team during 2020, and the firm has this month moved to a new larger office within the building to house all three departments, and to provide space for its continued expansion.

Craig added: “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.”

N.B. Vincents’ offices are currently closed to visitors in line with the government’s latest guidance. All departments are still open with staff working from Covid-secure offices or from home, who can be contacted in the usual ways by telephone and email.
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Pictured: Craig Aikman with Sophie Mercer (left) and Yasmine Dragan (right) at Vincents’ Lytham office at Jubilee House