As technology continues to become more and more integrated into the real estate sphere, PropTech has emerged to become a stand-alone legal discipline with particular nuances, drivers and opportunities for businesses.
The ubiquitous term ‘smart cities’, a catch-all concept covering anything from darkness-sensing streetlamps to targeted advertising based on a person’s gender, height, weight or ethnicity, does not go nearly far enough to address the myriad factors involved in PropTech. Lewis Silkin has the expertise and market-leading knowledge needed to advise businesses how best to future-proof and react to - or pre-empt the demands made by - this rapidly changing world, and has worked with numerous tech start-ups to help their nascent business grow as market demands new and more sophisticated technologies to support and streamline operations.
Below are just some of the ways in which PropTech has already changed the way businesses and individuals interact with their surroundings. We will only see more innovation and progress in the coming years as technologies that cannot yet be contemplated become the norm. We can work with you to ensure that not only are you not left behind, but that you light the path for others to follow.
Within our technology sector are specialists in the field of cryptocurrencies whose expertise includes:
- the implementation of blockchain in creating increasingly secure property transactions
- bringing property transactions online through the use of smart contracts
- digitisation of property ownership, exchange and data
- the secure movement of assets through the blockchain
Through our shared wealth of resources and knowledge, our real estate lawyers are well-equipped to adapt to the latest PropTech and technological developments, including the use of ‘smart contracts’, which automate payments of service charges and other sums, as well as government-backed initiatives such as the creation of a blockchain Land Register by 2022.
Smart Cities and renewable energies
As a law firm dedicated to advising innovative and creative businesses, we are at the forefront of the smart cities revolution. We have the multi-disciplinary expertise to help you navigate the, often novel, legal challenges you will face in this emerging field. We can assist at every stage of the process: from safeguarding intellectual property; through raising financing; drafting and negotiating commercial contracts; building-out infrastructure; and regulating operation.
Autonomous and connected vehicles
Given the rate of technological advance in this arena, planners and scheme designers are already giving serious thought to incorporating autonomous vehicle parking into the design of their schemes that will not be completed for another five to ten years. Our development lawyers’ expertise in current planning policies and market trends enables us to advise how best to procure and subsequently implement schemes in such a way that they can be readily adapted to provide additional residential or retail use, or to convert buildings with built-in parking space into further accommodation, loading areas, storage or other building amenities depending on the prevailing conditions. Our planning specialists can explore with you, at the planning permission stage, options to engage on with the planning authority so as to ensure that the consenting process for any such evolution as frictionless as possible. In addition, our experts in corporate occupier transactions can assist landowners, from local authorities to supermarkets, with the disposal of car parks or other surplus land within their portfolios for development purposes.
Internet of Things
Connectivity is driving the creation of new products and features. Many developers and landlords are increasingly looking at ways in which they can incorporate ‘smart’ features into their property. We have been engaged on projects that include features allowing for more sensitive and personalised control of lighting and temperature, collecting data for monitoring passage of individuals through a building and connecting people more readily with physical devices and everyday objects. We can advise with all aspects of projects involving these technologies, from planning through to vendor contracts and data protection aspects.
Are Smart Buildings becoming trendy?19 January 2024
Before we dive into the trends surrounding Smart Buildings, we should take a step back and look at what the Smart Building market is doing, and it’s safe to say it’s growing. In fact, it’s predicted that the market for Smart Buildings is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.5% from 2023 to 2030. That’s an impressive rate – as a comparison - Netflix had a compound quarterly growth rate (CQGR) of 27.5% between 2016 and 2021.
Proptech – once a trend, now a necessity10 November 2022
The real estate sector has, for a long time, been reluctant to embrace technology. While the rise of property tech start-ups did go some way to open people’s eyes to the possibilities and fuel their imagination, it took something as monumental as a global pandemic to force many, who work within the sector, to move away from traditional (and often outdated) working practices into a more modern way of thinking and working.
Blockchain and the UK Property Industry29 October 2019
Since 2015 there has been a growing body of commentary extolling the virtues of blockchain and how it could, and in all likelihood will, revolutionise the property industry. The fact that I (a commercial real estate lawyer and not the most tech-savvy of individuals) am writing a piece about it demonstrates how blockchain is becoming more mainstream but, I wonder, is all this talk of “revolution” a little excessive?
Smart Cities – Lessons from Smart City Developments around the World09 October 2019
When we think of smart cities, images of skyscrapers, satellite dishes and high tech gadgetry often come to mind, coupled with large scale broadband infrastructure, wireless networks and mobile devices. But a smart city is much more than just a technological network; the concept encompasses also the way in which a city uses new technologies for the benefit of its citizens and becomes more efficient in the process.
Smart Floorspace Digitalising Retail Experience10 September 2019
Media coverage over the last year for the retail sector has been saturated with reports about the decline of the nation’s high streets.
How is the luxury and lifestyle sector adopting blockchain and other innovative technologies05 June 2019
The Collective by Lewis Silkin, in partnership with some of the most innovative technology businesses today, will be using real-life case studies and non-technical language to cut through the hype.