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VMA SOLICITORS
ST JAMES'S

LONDON

 

ABOUT US

VMA Solicitors are a progressive and 21st Century Law Firm based in St James’s, London

We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) under firm number 617883. 

VMA Solicitors, is the trading name of VMA Legal Services Limited, registered in England & Wales with Company Number 9111151. 

Our solicitors and firm’s regulatory records can be checked at the Law Society or at the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Value addition to your personal and business goals

We are committed to assisting our clients to achieve their personal, commercial, and professional goals and we are privileged to assist our clients in pursuit of such objectives. We offer jargon free advice and are committed to providing innovative business solutions and helping our clients conclude deals or resolve disputes efficiently and effectively. We are also committed and enjoy building strong and long-term professional relationships with our clients and their businesses.

Experienced and personal service

We have accumulated a wealth of experience and connections in the diverse practice areas in which we practice. We are a niche practice having considerable experience in dealing with high value and complex transactions. We often act on behalf of clients whose opponents are represented by larger firms in the City of London and we assist our clients by taking on cases against the larger City firms. Our aim is to provide our clients with an all-round personal service. Our clients can reach us outside normal business hours and we are able to meet our clients at their convenience at suitable mutually convenient locations.

 

We have developed our business and relationships to service both our United Kingdom and overseas clients who share our vision that inward investment into the United Kingdom has considerable benefit and we continue to assist our clients in achieving their goals in such pursuit. Our high value and notable transaction are summarised on our website. We have assisted substantial UK and overseas clients in various litigation disputes in the High Court and Court of Appeal. Some of our notable cases are summarised on our website.

 

Our business is supporting your business and assisting you to achieve your business goals, protecting your family, wealth, structuring your business and family affairs in a manner that prevents disputes and in the unfortunate event of clients being embroiled in business or family disputes, to resolve such disputes by providing innovative solutions through various dispute resolution mechanics.

 

PRACTICE AREAS

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Litigation

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Construction and Development

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Matrimonial

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Corporate and Business Reorganisation

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Family Business Acquisition and Sales

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Real Estate

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Private Client

 

NOTABLE CASES

Defamation

Defamation proceedings in the High Court. Acted on behalf of a subsidiary of a listed Indian company in defamation proceedings issued against The Sunday Times in relation to the development of a new city in India.

The Sunday Times issued a written apology to the client following commencement of proceedings against News International in the High Court in London.

Enfranchisement proceedings

Acted on behalf of a substantial overseas corporate leaseholder in enfranchisement litigation with Grosvenor Estate, in relation to whether the property in question was a ‘house’ within the meaning of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. The subject property was a substantial property in Mayfair, London.

 

At first instance, our client was successful in obtaining a declaration that the subject property was a ‘house’ within the meaning of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 which enabled the client to purchase the freehold of the Mayfair property at a substantial discount to the open market value of the freehold.

 

Grosvenor Estate appealed to the Court of Appeal and our client was again successful in defending the appeal. 

 

Following the dismissed appeal, we assisted our client in successfully negotiating and concluding the purchase of the freehold title of the property which included the airspace above the property from Grosvenor Estate.

Tracing claims and civil contribution claims

Acted on behalf of a substantial client in relation to alleged tracing claims made against the client’s property investment in Mayfair, London, originating from a failed property development involving a convicted fraudster in South West England. 

 

The case was complex, far reaching and involved matters relating to, civil fraud, property dispute, insolvency, priority of secured and unsecured creditors, tracing claims, equitable proprietary rights, contribution claims under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978 by the liquidators of the defrauded company as well as complex issues in securing vacant possession of the property against a fraudster and his affiliates during the Covid Pandemic when the Government issued  emergency legislation to limit commencement of possession proceedings and defending claims made by the landlord in relation to alleged breaches of the lease and advising on potential claims of professional negligence against the client’s former solicitors.

 

Notwithstanding the above complexities, we successfully assisted the client in refinancing the property where the client was discharging monthly interest repayments being paid to a short-term bridge financier.

Forfeiture proceedings of commercial premises in Mayfair, London

Acted for a commercial leaseholder of a substantial office building in Mayfair, London, who was served with forfeiture proceedings for breach of various leasehold covenants.

 

Successfully defended the Estate landlord’s claims and negotiated a settlement of the dispute. Following settlement of the dispute the property was let to a single occupier resulting in the creation of a substantial investment for the client.

UK real estate joint venture dispute relating to a declaration of trust 
Acted for a claimant in the High Court, London who sought a declaration as to one-half interest in UK joint venture investment property company pursuant to a declaration of trust which the defendant resiled from.

 

After successfully obtaining an order for specific disclosure against the defendants, the defendants conceded the claim and discontinued their counterclaims a few weeks before commencement of the trial. 

Shareholder dispute and unfair prejudice 

Acted for a UK family who were respondents to a s.994 Companies Act (Unfair prejudice) petition in a shareholder dispute between two wealthy families.

 

After obtaining specific disclosure orders against the petitioners in respect of overseas bank accounts, the claim was settled on the opening day of trial with the client successfully taking control of the family business.

 

Following the settlement, we remained instructed and acted for the client family in restructuring the share buy out in tax efficient manner with external bank funding. 

Shareholder dispute resolution

Acted for a client in relation to a substantial shareholder dispute between two families who owned a hotel in prime central London. We also assisted in negotiating the settlement of family dispute by way of shareholder agreements following the implementation of best auction bids between two rival shareholders.

Directors’ right to company books and records
Acted for a claimant director in the Companies Court against a fellow director who refused access to the books and records of a company. Proceedings were issued under the Conway v Petronius Clothing authority for access to and delivery up of the books and records of the company.

 

Successfully obtained multiple Court orders against the defendant director including a penal notice order for delivery up of books and records of the company on a continuing basis.

Director responsibilities 

Advising a broker of a nursing home investment scheme selling nursing homes bed to international clients following the developer and operator failing to comply with income rental guarantees offered to investors, including advising the client on how to assist the investors following a substantial dispute having arisen between the developer and the investors.

Freezing injunction 

Acted for a client in the High Court, London in relation to  proceedings to obtain injunctive relief by way of freezing injunction and successfully obtaining a freezing injunction preventing proceeds of sale of a UK development property leaving the UK jurisdiction. 

 

Successfully protected the claimant’s financial interest in the proceeds of sale of the development property and successfully obtained the freezing injunction with indemnity costs order against a UK solicitor defendant.

 

The immediate injunctive relief protected our client’s financial position in an aggressive partnership dispute.

Professional negligence against former solicitors

Acted for family in relation to a claim against their former solicitors for failure to advise on restrictive covenant which prevented development of the family home.

 

The matter settled pre-action with the former solicitors insurers and the client received damages and costs.

Professional negligence claim in respect of property fraud

Acted for client in a professional negligence claim against his former solicitors in relation to a substantial property development where the client had made a substantial investment. 

 

The claim was settled pre-action and resulted in the client recovering his investment and legal costs.

Defamation

Acted behalf of client in an aggressive partnership dispute who was threatened with a defamation claim and claim for substantial damage by preventing the claimant from issuing any claim for defamation.

Restraint of trade claims

Acted for defendants in relation to claims brought by previous employers in respect of alleged breaches of non-solicitation covenants, derogation from grant and various claimed breaches of employee and consultancy agreement covenants.

 

The matter settled before trial, after successfully obtaining orders for specific disclosures of the claimant’s bank statement and tax returns. The client successfully continues with his new accountancy business following settlement of the litigation.

Specific performance of property development contract

Acted for a developer client who contracted to purchase a site in Greater London and assisted him in successfully completing the purchase of the development property by issuing an claim for specific performance of the purchase contract on an expedited basis which prevented the Seller from selling the property to another prospective purchaser at a higher price.

Service charge dispute with landlord

Acted for a client in relation to a substantial service charge dispute in relation to a high value property in Kensington, London. The dispute was concerning the landlord’s failure to properly perform services under the service charge provisions in the lease.

 

The matter settled pre-action with the landlord conceding and agreeing to waive a considerable amount of service charge previously claimed.

Election conduct

Advising a client in respect of reporting matters to the Serious Fraud Office in relation to irregularities conducted by a UK company relating to elections conducted in an African country and fraudulent activity conducted in another African country where the proceeds of crime had been remitted to Europe and the UK.

Multi-jurisdictional shareholder dispute

Advising a family on a substantial family dispute across 3 continents, including advising on the prospects of enforcing a settlement agreement of assets in 3 jurisdiction. Advised on various ancillary disputes between two group of family shareholders.

 

NOTABLE TRANSACTIONS

Mayfair hotel acquisition 

Acted for client in relation to the acquisition of a flagship hotel in Bond Street, Mayfair, London, including acquisition and disposal of various prime central London hotels.

Residential property redevelopment in Mayfair, London

Acted for a leaseholder in relation to a substantial redevelopment and conversion of a Mayfair property into apartments. We also negotiated and advised on the structure of the purchase of the development property and dealt with planning and development aspects of the property.

Redevelopment of former Crown Estate property

Acted for a client, in relation to the acquisition, planning, demolition and reconstruction of a substantial family home within the Crown Estate’s portfolio, including negotiating and settling terms with the Crown Estate in relation to the construction of a substantial family home in Ascot. 

Overseas hotel acquisition

Acted on the acquisition of development land in India and in relation to investor joint venture development agreements, construction, and project management agreements relating to the development of a 200 bed 4-star hotel in India.

 

Also advised in matters relating to hotel management agreements with one of the largest hotel operators, Accor Hotels.

Acquisition of multiple highly specialist Harley Street medical practices to provide services to the Middle East
Acted on behalf of client in relation to a corporate acquisition of five specialist and world-renowned Harley Street medical practices. 
Lending and security

Acted on behalf of mezzanine financier is in relation to substantial property development project in Central London and Surrey.

UK inward investment structuring

Advised a prominent family in the Bollywood film industry in relation to the acquisition of UK assets including structuring of the UK inward investment.

Corporate structuring for UK inward investment
Advised a substantial client in Asia in relation to the structuring of UK asset acquisition in Park Lane, London.
Corporate demerger

Following an aggressive dispute between two families, we were instructed to negotiate and settle the dispute and acted on behalf of one family in relation to the structuring of a corporate demerger of the family business which divided the business and cash assets in tax efficient manner.

Other transactions

We are regularly instructed by and act on behalf of sellers and buyers of the following businesses by way of either an asset purchase structure or share sale structure in the following sectors: hotels, nursing homes, dental practices, accountancy practices, optician businesses, educational and tutorial businesses, food and beverage businesses (including various franchise businesses), banqueting business, public houses, medical and healthcare sectors, legal and professional services, leisure sector, logistics and warehouse, pharmacy, retail sector, commercial wholesalers and other business sectors.

We also are regularly instructed by and act on behalf of clients in relation to purchase and sales of various commercial investments properties and residential investment properties in the UK as well as advising on various secured lending structures to assist with the purchase of such investments.

 

PRICING & COMPLAINTS HANDLING PROCEDURES

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VMA SOLICITORS
ST JAMES'S

LONDON

OUR ADDRESS

Rex House,

4-12 Regent Street
St James’s, London, SW1Y 4PE
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3432 7136
Fax: +44 (0)20 3432 7135

Email: law@vmasolicitors.co.uk

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