Our property team has a substantial presence in the Christian property world. We act for national church bodies and local churches. The examples below highlight the strength in depth and ability to engage with a variety of work including being a main legal advisor in a custodian trustee relationship, being involved in both larger transactions (developments) and smaller transactions (manse sales) and advising on national policy for a Christian church.
BAPTIST UNION CORPORATION - Lead advisor to a national Christian church
We act as the main property advisor to the BUC (as property holding trustee) for Baptist churches. The role has enabled us, over a period of 25 years, to develop systems and ways of delivering work alongside this organisation. We also act for other Baptist property holding trustees. Through our expertise in trusts law and our pragmatic commercial approach to property transactions, we have developed a way of operating which ensures that the property holding trustee is protected and the individual Churches comply with property law, charity law and the requirements of the BUC. We have developed a very good working relationship with the custodian trustee, and this has been critical to the success of the relationship. It is a good example of how we appreciate that each church is different and how we ensure their needs and experience in these types of matters is accounted for.
SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS - Lead advisor role to a national Christian church
We act as a lead advisor to the Seventh-Day Adventists on all their property transactions, which largely focuses on buying, selling and leasing property. We also advise them on any dispute matters or complicated title issues that arise. We have been their sole advisor for many years and regularly advise them on matters involving charity law and the interaction between a transaction by the local church and the custodian trustee. We understand the relationships between the individual churches who may want to pursue a transaction but the need for them to do this in conjunction with the custodian trustee. We frequently advise and assist during transactions in managing the relationship between the central body and the local church.
BUC & AN INDIVIDUAL CHURCH - Development
We advised on the development of a church site and construction of a new church on adjoining land within a large town centre regeneration project. This was a complex transaction with legal issues relating to construction, development, funding, charity law, complex trusts and litigation around occupation. This was set against the backdrop of being part of a development of a larger site. The key to this transaction was protecting the church client against the developer as the risk profile of the developer and the client were different. The church was clear that its mission was to remain in the area and serve its congregation, therefore, while a new church building was key to this mission, the church could not share the risk of being left with nothing if the property market changed.
For more information
Please contact Dominic Curran.