Our dedicated science parks team provide legal services to support science and technology parks, incubators and accelerators and their tenants and use their experience to find legal and commercially viable solutions to any issues that may arise.
We are active participants in the UK Science Park Association, attending and supporting most UKSPA members’ meetings around the UK. Our team have been advising science, technology and research parks for well over thirty years.
From consultation on design and commercial structure of a new park, through to enabling an existing scheme to re-assess its objectives or to re-design its operational structure.
Our team has experience in dealing with projects of all scales, from a single incubation facility through to major campus projects which have evolved over decades, and whether university- or research facility-led or run by private developers/landowners, the public sector or through some sort of joint venture.
From regular instructions – for instance the regular letting of an incubator or innovation centre where we look to help a science park bring new tenants to its site, and the relocation of the tenants within the site as needs require – to one-off projects: the design and development of a bespoke research facility, for example, or the adaptation of old buildings to a change into high-tech uses, for example, we can guide you with the complexities and bring you and your project to a secure future.
Operators, owners and developers a science parks
We advise on all aspects of owning and operating a science or research park from the formation of the operating entity, through initial development and its funding – both secured and by grant – land acquisition and planning and on- and off-site infrastructure, through to day-to-day letting management, gained by advising on many projects across the UK.
On larger projects, or where multiple lettings are required, our science park team works hand-in-hand with our real estate team which comprises experienced commercial property lawyers, who regularly advise on complex property acquisitions and lettings for landlords, tenants, developers and funders, particularly the clearing banks.
Science and research parks may also need advice and solutions on other areas and issues, and our team draws further upon other specialist lawyers across the firm, all of whom understand the sector’s needs.
Away from the real estate side, we can also help you resolve issues relating to corporate structures, commercial agreements, terms of business, data protection and freedom of information, employment, HR services, general litigation and environmental matters – if it’s a problem faced by any commercial business, we have specialists ready to help find solutions.
More specific information about the various ways our teams can assist you with a variety of issues that may arise is set out below.
Property – lettings and management
Over the last 30 years, our team have developed a flexible approach to managing science parks. With fast turn-around times for documentation and options for generating bespoke leases within a standard precedent, we view ourselves as an extension of the science park management team to assist with the smooth running of the park in general.
The aim of our team is to protect the science park and its assets, while appreciating the ultimate goal of a viable and profitable business that harbours a supportive environment for businesses to develop and grow.
Our experiences to date indicate that most science parks are cooperative in nature and strive to help tenant’s to grow their company, develop their business with a hope of their tenant organisations graduating from accelerators and on-site smaller incubation or innovation units into larger commercial spaces.
Leasing premises does not simply require getting a lease in place. Having robust documentation outlining specific break and repair obligations in important, but so too is the facilitation of a tenant’s entry into or exit from your property.
"Barry Sankey is a widely experienced commercial property lawyer and is an expert on science and technology parks."
Tenants and occupiers at science parks
As a multi-disciplinary firm, we have a range of experienced personnel waiting to assist you with all elements of running your business.
In our experience, tenants at science parks are often exciting new businesses that are looking to grow and establish in their relevant market place. If you’re a new business looking for guidance in the way to proceed, or an established businesses looking to expand there are a variety of legal and commercial issues that will be faced.
Alternatively, a tenant may be looking to graduate from a science park to grow into a fully-fledged and potentially floated company or perhaps the business has been propositioned for a merger with a large company. The implications of such a change are potentially daunting with a number of queries to be raised.
Our science park team have a range of expertise to help clients to overcome the spectrum of issues faced at the different stages of a company lifecycle.
How else can we assist?
As well as providing legal advice and commercially viable, practical solutions, there are additional ways in which the science park team assist our sector clients. We appreciate the value in a changing digital world the need for our client’s to reliable digital services as well face-to-face networking.
UK Science Park Association
Our science park team have been business affiliates of the UK Science Park Association since 1993. As active members, we regularly meet with our client’s at conferences and other events to discuss the sector movement, challenges and new opportunities that are faced across the broader sector.
This membership has provided us with a unique opportunity to better understand the changes to the sector to help us find commercially viable solutions for our clients.
Technology supporting our team
We support our science and technology park clients through leading edge software that’s developed and managed internally within Wright Hassall using bespoke case management systems to help us generate the leases and other legal documents you may need.
These systems also help us to track and progress matters promptly, so you can move tenants into your buildings rapidly and securely, and from Q2 2017 we will be generating automated reporting so you can see, updated daily, the stage any new lease, renewal or relocation has reached, all without any intervention on our part.
We also provide on-line access to management copies of your leases and other property paperwork via secure web portals driven by HighQ’s leading server systems, ensuring that you have 24x7 access to your property paperwork – indeed, you will usually have access to completed leases the same working day – often within minutes of actual completions taking place.
From our offices in Leamington Spa, we also operate using multiple internet connections, and live back-up systems to ensure that whatever problem might arise, we still there for all our clients, and even have our own on-site standby generator …
Never fear that this is, however, technology-gone-mad: our team are to hand on the phone – or Facetime or Skype if you prefer – for person-to-person queries and assistance during office hours and outside those hours by appointment, or in emergency.