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  • PTF

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

To be clear, those are not our words. (PTF does not advocate violence.) Some people may be familiar with this well known quote from Shakespeare's Henry VI.

We are not here to talk Shakespeare, (there are numerous interpretations of that quote by people who are much more scholarly than us*,) but in doing what we do, we tend to deal with solicitors quite a lot. It is often a necessary part of the process, but there are times where it makes us want to pull out the remaining hair we still have!

One of our most common dealings with solicitors is to finalise our working arrangements with landowners. When we work with landowners, we often offer to pay for two sets of solicitors - one for us and one for the landowner (up to a reasonable amount). Per our agreement, we want the landowners interests to be covered and believe they should have fair legal representation. Most of the time this works out fine. But every now and then you come across a solicitor who is unable to see the bigger picture. For us, that big picture is a healthy working relationship between both parties. If you are a landowner reading this you might think we are primarily complaining about the landowner's solicitor - but in fact a lot of the time it is actually our own! There have been many a case where we had to insist to our OWN solicitor to back down and cooperate - they are NOT helping matters by being recalcitrant. On one particular instance one of our solicitors told us, "You guys are the nicest developers I've ever come across." Ummm... makes you wonder what else goes on out there...

We generally take the view that solicitors are supposed to be a service business. (Even if sometimes things get twisted around to make it feel like we are serving them.) The legal agreement is important, (we never said it is not,) but for us our working relationship with others is even more important.

* For those intellectual types out there, here are some interpretations on that famous Shakespearian quote - Wikipedia, The Wall Street Journal, The Social Historian. As with anything, context is important. It is not necessarily anti-lawyer by the way and neither are we.


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