TC Smith has a long history of providing a quality service in the area of commercial property transactions, and has a very experienced team comprising two partners an associate solicitor and a para-legal.

We have a strong local presence with an extensive knowledge of property transactions in North Northumberland – and can offer a practical and cost-effective service in the following areas:

  • Purchase and sale of freehold and leasehold properties
  • Acquisition of development sites and subsequent sales off (both commercial and domestic)
  • Preparation of leases and advice on leasehold transactions
  • Provision of advice concerning security over property on behalf of lenders and borrowers
  • Creation of deeds of pre-emption, options and conditional contracts
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax advice and savings schemes
  • Acquisition and sale of agricultural land and buildings (see Agriculture)
  • Advice and action concerning breach of lease covenants
  • Purchase and sale of licensed property (see Alcohol Licensing) and associated transactions


Commercial Property

Commercial Property Team

Mark Butson


Mark qualified as a solicitor in 1985 and has been a partner since 1990. He is now our senior partner.

He has expertise in the preparation of wills, and has considerable experience in the administration of estates, deeds of family arrangement and related inheritance tax issues. He can provide advice where there is no will, and also where a will becomes contested.

He regularly advises upon the creation and tailoring of Lasting Powers of Attorney, and in relation to Court of Protection applications where the person concerned no longer has the ability to manage their own affairs.

Mark advises in all aspects of conveyancing (both commercial and residential), including development and with commercial landlord & tenant transactions. He has experience of dealing with contested issues before the First-tier Tribunal of the Property Chamber, and in relation to boundary and rights disputes concerning property and ownership claims – including those by adverse possession.

He also regularly assists small businesses in the practical resolution of employment issues.

Tel: 01289 301284

Frances Cowan


Frances joined the firm in 2000, completed her training with TC Smith and qualified as a solicitor in 2002. She became a partner in August 2014.

Her interests are in all aspects of commercial conveyancing, including residential developments. She also has considerable experience in assisting with residential conveyancing.

Her family are actively involved with farming, and she has a keen interest in agricultural matters – heading up the firm’s agricultural section with assistance from John Marshall. In 2014 Frances qualified as a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, and this has enhanced her expertise in all areas of rural practice – including agricultural holdings, farm sales and purchases, estate planning & taxation, town & country planning and the common agricultural policy.

Frances also advises as to the preparation of lasting powers of attorney and wills – and the administration of estates.

Tel: 01289 301294

Janice Thompson


Janice joined the firm in 1985 and has remained with us ever since. She is our conveyancing para-legal, specialising in domestic conveyancing.

Janice has years of experience in the procedural aspects of buying, selling and re-mortgaging of property – and she has a very practical and thorough approach to getting the job done. Appreciating that conveyancing can be a stressful experience – Janice will always do her level best to provide an informed and helpful update about the transaction in hand.

Tel: 01289 301292