Legal opinions—property transactions
Legal opinions—property transactions

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Legal opinions—property transactions
  • What is a legal opinion?
  • Why is a legal opinion required?
  • Who can rely on the legal opinion?
  • What should the opinion cover?
  • Execution by an overseas company

A legal opinion should be obtained in respect of any property transaction in England and Wales entered into with an overseas company; for example, the sale or purchase of land, the grant of a lease, the provision of a guarantee or the taking or granting of any security.

For the purposes of this Practice Note, an ‘overseas company’ is one incorporated outside the United Kingdom (ie outside England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). However, companies incorporated in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are classed as overseas companies.

This is consistent with the application of the Companies Act 2006 and the Land Registration Rules, SI 2003/1417.

Note that advice may be required from solicitors qualified in Scotland or Northern Ireland where the property is situated in Scotland or Northern Ireland or where the contracting party is a separate legal entity not governed by the Companies Act 2006.

What is a legal opinion?

A legal opinion sets out opinions as to matters of law. It does not cover factual matters. If one party to a transaction is an overseas company, the other party will need to obtain a legal opinion from an independent firm of solicitors qualified in the relevant overseas jurisdiction which will confirm the capacity of the overseas company to enter into a binding agreement in England and Wales.