Farm Land

Record year for farm, land and residential transactions

Record Year

With more than three months still to go, leading Ayrshire law firm Frazer Coogans Solicitors reports that it has already achieved a record year for farm, land and residential transactions.

So far in 2014, Frazer Coogans has been involved in Farm and Land transactions with a value of over £30 million, as well as advising on numerous Partnership issues, Wills, Estates and Tax Planning.

The firm has marked the passing of this milestone with a new advertisement in The Scottish Farmer.

Frazer Coogans Commercial supports a large number of farming clients throughout Scotland. They provide a prompt and cost-effective service in relation to all aspects of agricultural and country property including sale, purchase and leasing of farm and farmland, wind turbine development and agreements, access and water issues, partnerships and family business re-arrangement including Wills, Trusts, Tax Advice and Partnership Agreements.

Senior Director Norman Geddes has been in practice since 1976. His principal areas of expertise are in property conveyancing work with a particular interest in commercial and agricultural property and property development and property investment. He has extensive knowledge of the property market and a keen interest in farms and country property.

Peter McNamara is a director in the Commercial Property Department. He has extensive experience in all aspects of Commercial Property including Development Land, Investment Property, Farms and Country Properties and Caravan and Leisure Parks.

He is also a Chartered Tax Adviser, advising on Tax Planning and is an associate of the Association of Taxation Technicians and a qualified member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Norman Geddes commented: “The West Coast market in 2014 has proven so far to be buoyant and prosperous for Scotland. Our busy Commercial team has been involved with farming and land transactions exceeding the value of £30 million since the start of the year. This shows great strength and positivity in the current market.

“Similarly, our residential conveyancing team has also experienced record conveyancing transactions in 2014. The market is vibrant and strong in Ayrshire and appears to be back on track.”

Frazer Coogans Solicitors is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, of which Norman Geddes is the Executive Chairman.

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Legal Services

Frazer Coogans Solicitors opens in Prestwick

Frazer Coogans Prestwick

Leading Ayr based law firm Frazer Coogans Solicitors are delighted to announce that they have expanded into Prestwick and have taken over the former practice of Lawson Russell Solicitors of 163 Main Street, Prestwick.

Donald Russell and Iain Lawson have run Lawson Russell for over 30 years in the heart of Prestwick and are well established and respected in the local community.

Norman Geddes, Senior Director for Frazer Coogans commented “I wish Donald and Iain all the best in their retirement and assure them that Frazer Coogans will continue to provide the excellent service which Donald and Iain have provided to their clients and the Prestwick community over the last 30 years. We welcome the new staff members and look forward to this new chapter”.

“This is an exciting time for Frazer Coogans Solicitors, and we are all looking forward to even more progress and development in the years to come.”

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Farms & Country Property

Be prepared for property law changes

Scottish Farmer Press Release

Recent major changes in the Scottish Land Register System together with commencement of the new Land and Buildings Transfer Tax from 1st April make it more essential than ever for buyers and sellers of property to seek advice from an experienced property solicitor. With six solicitors and experienced support staff working daily in all aspects of the property sector, Frazer Coogans are well placed to handle any transaction. Norman Geddes and Peter McNamara bring expertise to the Agricultural and Commercial Property sectors. Carly Brodie and Jacqueline Malcolm specialise in Residential Conveyancing. Working together with drive and initiative they have helped place Frazer Coogans in the forefront of property conveyancing in Scotland. Recent figures issued by the Land Register of Scotland confirm Frazer Coogans to be the leading firm of solicitors in South West Scotland by number of properties registered last year.

Frazer Coogans regularly deal with sale and purchase of farm and country properties of all types, commercial property including leases, and residential conveyancing. In the agricultural sector they regularly deal with tenancy issues, wind turbine and other agreements and are frequently asked to advise on issues arising in farm partnerships. They are happy to provide an initial discussion without commitment or charge and regularly make farm visits.

Frazer Coogans’ Chairman, Norman Geddes said “With a highly experienced and dedicated property team we enjoy providing advice to farmers, land owners and house purchasers. Tax advice is nearly always relevant to a property transaction and with Peter McNamara also being a Chartered Tax Adviser and a certified Trust and Estate Practitioner we are uniquely placed to combine property, succession and taxation advice.”

Preserve your property and make it grow. Ensure that you have the best advice in all aspects of your business and family life.

At Frazer Coogans we pride ourselves in providing personal professional advice to all of our farming clients. Norman Geddes has a lifetime’s experience of advising on all aspects of farm and country property. As well as being an experienced Agricultural Solicitor, Peter McNamara is a Chartered Tax Adviser. With their capable team they regularly advise on the matters detailed below.

Forthcoming changes in the law make it even more important to take professional legal advice at an early stage before any property transaction. We are always happy to have a free initial meeting on any legal issue and welcome your call.

• PURCHASE & SALE OF FARMS & LAND

• DEVELOPMENT LAND – OPTION AGREEMENT

• HOUSE PURCHASE & SALE

• PARTNERSHIP CHANGES & DISPUTES

• WIND TURBINE & RENEWABLES AGREEMENTS

• ACCESS AGREEMENTS

• WILLS & LIVING WILLS

• SUCCESSION & INHERITANCE TAX PLANNING – PRESERVING ASSETS

• EXECUTRIES & TRUSTS

• POWERS OF ATTORNEY

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Accident Claims

Protecting your land on Scotland's land register

Registers of Scotland

Scotland is moving to a single system of land and property registration, with work underway to complete the Land Register of Scotland. Landowners can protect their property by moving to the digital, map-based land register.

If you own land or property in Scotland, your ownership is recorded on one of two public registers – the 400-year-old General Register of Sasines, or the modern Land Register of Scotland. While the older register relies on verbal descriptions, the land register records precise boundaries on an online digital map.

The land register is replacing the sasine register. Once complete, it will provide a full picture of exactly who owns what, and reduce the cost of buying and selling property.

Scottish ministers have asked Registers of Scotland, the non-ministerial government department responsible for land and property registration, to complete the land register by 2024.

Voluntary registration

Registers of Scotland is encouraging owners to voluntarily move their property to the land register, and is offering a 25 per cent discount on its fees for voluntary registration. It has also set up a team of expert advisors to guide owners through the voluntary registration process.

Moving to the land register makes future property transactions easier, faster and cheaper. It clarifies exact boundaries, allowing owners to iron out any uncertainties between neighbouring properties. It simplifies estate management and succession planning, and provides greater certainty and security. And titles on the land register include a state-backed warranty, protecting against claims of adverse possession.

In addition to voluntary registration, property titles are being moved to the land register when properties are sold, and when owners remortgage or take on additional borrowing with a new lender. The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland is also using new powers introduced as part of the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012 to register properties without an application from the owner. This ‘keeper-induced registration’ will initially only be used in urban, residential areas like housing estates, where Registers of Scotland already has a lot of information about property titles.

For larger landholdings, including farms, we believe that voluntary registration is the best option as it allows owners to use their expert knowledge of their own property to register exactly what they own.

The drive to complete the land register will bring greater transparency, clarity and security of ownership, benefitting both landowners and Scotland as a whole.

More information

Find out what the next steps are for you. Contact Registers of Scotland’s voluntary registration advisors on LRCompletion@ros.gov.uk or visit www.ros.gov.uk/lrc.

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