Q&A

An­drew Law­son, com­mer­cial prop­erty solic­i­tor at Swital­skis So­lic­i­tors.

Yorkshire Post - Business - - NEWS -

What’s the biggest de­vel­op­ment you’ve seen in the le­gal world dur­ing your ca­reer? Hav­ing started in the le­gal pro­fes­sion over 35 years ago the biggest change dur­ing my ca­reer is with­out a doubt the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments. When I started in 1983, we didn’t even have a fax ma­chine so all doc­u­ments would be ex­changed by post, which would, at best, be re­ceived the next day. Now, we ex­pect to send and re­ceive in­for­ma­tion in a nanosec­ond, which has dra­mat­i­cally changed our in­dus­try and the speed at which trans­ac­tions can be com­pleted. It has also changed clients’ ex­pec­ta­tions.

What law would you like to see changed? I would like VAT to be scrapped on com­mer­cial prop­erty trans­ac­tions. It is com­plex and can pro­long deals. Whilst good ad­vice and care­ful plan­ning can help with the process, do­ing away with VAT on com­mer­cial sales and leases would sharpen up the process and help with clients’ cash flows.

What is the most ex­cit­ing work you’ve ever done? I acted for a client who was buy­ing two neigh­bour­ing re­tail prop­er­ties in the North East, con­cur­rently, from two sep­a­rate sell­ers. The price of the prop­er­ties could have been sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased had ei­ther of the sell­ers known about the client pur­chas­ing both prop­er­ties and so we had to tread very care­fully. It was ex­tremely nerver­ack­ing yet very ex­cit­ing when the trans­ac­tions went through seam­lessly to­gether.

Who in the le­gal world do you most ad­mire? My for­mer col­league, Bruce Copsey who I worked with over 15 years ago. His straight­for­ward and hon­est ap­proach to client work has stayed with me ever since.

What ad­vice would you give some­one out in the pro­fes­sion? start­ing You have to be able to lis­ten to your clients and drill down to re­ally get a firm un­der­stand­ing of what their ex­act needs are.

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