Commercial Property - James Khakpour-Smith

James Khakpour-Smith


St Albans

01727 818513

  • About me
  • Experience
  • Memberships

I am a Partner in our Commercial Property Department, I act for overseas and UK clients in property finance and refinance, acquisitions, development, disposals, landlord and tenant, corporate support and leasehold enfranchisement matters.

One of my areas of specialism is in acting for overseas clients and in particular overseas investment trusts in connection with the whole ambit of property investment from finance and securitisation, acquisition, to management and sales. In so doing I act on acquisitions of large complex developments in equity share transactions with institutional lenders.

Closer to the region, I have set up and established a commercial real estate presence in St Albans which continues to grow. Alongside this I have formed an enfranchisement unit specialising in supporting solicitors, surveyors and clients with all aspects of leasehold reform work including lease extension, freehold purchase and rights of first refusal matters.

I have an abundant amount of energy and drive and will go above and beyond for my clients, as a result many of my clients have continued to work with me for a long time and on several matters.

I started my professional career at Taylor Walton and have progressed through from Trainee to becoming a Partner. This lead to me being involved in promoting the firm’s award winning approach whilst training our young talent.  I have mentored and developed trainees and paralegals in my team, some of whom have now gone on to take up training contracts and qualified positions within the firm.

Working in our Commercial Property department at Taylor Walton all of this time has meant that I have gained invaluable in depth experience in working in a varied and broad range of Commercial Property matters for a wide range of clients on both sides of transactions. This experience combined with a unique way of being able to tackle problems to deliver favourable commercial results has allowed me to build a large following of mutually successful relations with client and work referrers alike.

I have been actively involved in the local business community and sit on the local City of Expertise committee which is a membership group of professional service firms in St Albans dedicated to supporting one another and the local business community. I feel supporting the community is important and it is part of the culture at Taylor Walton, therefore I actively support the local initiatives and charities; such as attending the Heart Radio – Herts Hero Awards for special achievers in the local community. I have undertaken charity work for good causes including training for and taking part in a charity boxing match for MacMillan Cancer.

I have a real determined focus to deliver for my clients the best outcome based service, delivering what they and their business require in a cost effective open and friendly professional manner.

I joined Taylor Walton in 2005.

  • Acquisition of a historic building in London of architectural importance. Aside from the interesting title challenges, the building was subject to various occupational interests and had a complex tax structure that created problems concerning VAT and historic records regarding VAT options. A stalemate was reached as to the VAT treatment which of course stalled the deal as it involved 20% of the purchase price. I called an all parties and advisers meeting and suggested a solution that Counsel endorsed not only from a legal perspective but also worked for tax purposes which involved various re-gears of leases to enable the matter to be treated as a transfer of a going concern.
  • The matter required not only a sound understanding of the law, but creative thinking applied to a problem to release a jam that was threatening the transaction. The client is expecting to make upwards of £2m in profit from the building over the next year.
  • Led a team in the purchase of a central London Building from a government department in order to facilitate one of three potential development schemes facilitating an office development overlooking the Thames.
  • The matter involved reaching completion in an unusually short timescale in order to reach exchange before other competitive bids following on from which we had the testing situation of securing third party lender finance based on the due diligence that we had to conduct in these challenging circumstances and between exchange and completion. The matter was complicated by restrictive covenants which on the face of it could have affected the sky, roof top and internal development plans being identified and analysed and overcome.
  • The matter involved the continued challenges of overseas investment fund regulations and overseas transactional and funding challenges that were negotiated to bring about a successful funded completion to a complex deal, with a number of strands and parties.
  • Acting for a buyer client in a contract race when contract papers hit my desk early at the start of the day which then involved working all day on receipt of papers culminating in face-to-face document negotiations into early the following morning to ensure our client was first to exchange. There I had to work through a lot of material on an agile basis under a pressure of time and in person through off the cusp negotiations.
  • Worked on an extremely complicated large scale development matter where issues regarding restrictive covenants, multiple selling parties some of whom were in dispute, demolished buildings and geological and environmental difficulties all of which were overcome to secure funding build out and sales on. This demonstrated the need to draw together and co-ordinate a number of complicating factors that arose for my clients.



James Khakpour-Smith’s posts

22 May 2023

Legal pitfalls to avoid when surrendering a lease

One lingering consequence of the pandemic is that many tenants are locked into commercial leases of properties that they no… read more
08 September 2022

Overseas Entities and property transactions in the UK

The Register of Overseas Entities under the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 commenced on 1 August 2022, but… read more
05 April 2022

No change in VAT rules for dilapidation payments – but be careful

HMRC has always treated dilapidation payments as compensation from a tenant to the landlord, for not returning the property in the condition… read more

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