DWD act for Kering Group in relation to business rates matters. Kering owns brands such as Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Venetta, Brioni, Boucheron and Balenciaga.
Balenciaga planned to open a new shop in New Bond Street. They faced a significant empty rate liability during the construction and fit out period prior to opening.
Balenciaga’s new premises was previously occupied as a shop on the basement and ground floors and a separately occupied office on the first floor.
On appeal, DWD argued that a hereditament could not be identified during the construction period because the old hereditaments ceased to exist and the new one had yet to be created. During the works the property was not capable of beneficial occupation and, at law, the VO could not assume repair.
The assessments were deleted from the Rate List. The result for our client was a zero liability throughout the construction period and right up to the day the new shop opened for trade.
Balenciaga benefited from a very significant reduction in overhead prior to the opening of their new asset and at the same time were able to focus on their project knowing the business rates side of things was in good hands.