Swinburne Maddison LLP (Swinburne Maddison), Durham City’s leading law firm, has assisted a Hong Kong-based children’s footwear company to take a big step forward in its business development by establishing a North East base at Meadowfield Industrial Estate.
Sea Way Footwear International (Sea Way) sells children’s footwear to major retailers including Next, Very and Sainsbury under the brand name Toezone. The firm has signed a 999-year lease for 1500 sq ft of warehousing and office space, enabling it to operate its office and admin function upstairs while at ground floor level, its pick and pack warehouse and storage has been relocated to Meadowfield from a rented warehouse in London.
Sea Way was keen to fit out the new premises and begin trading as soon as possible so Swinburne Maddison pulled out the stops to conclude the legal work in only seven weeks.
Commenting on the transaction, Gillian Moir, newly-appointed partner in Swinburne Maddison’s commercial property team, said: “Swinburne Maddison was instructed in this matter due to a longstanding personal contact and it is the first transaction we have handled for Sea Way, so we are pleased to have completed the work so swiftly and to our client’s satisfaction.
“Bearing in mind this is a long lease of 999 years, we had to ensure that all aspects of it were going to address Sea Way’s interests over the longer term.
“We are delighted to help Sea Way’s director, Sharon Anderson, to establish the company in County Durham. It is a family firm with a solid reputation, and in time, I am sure it will make a significant contribution to the economy. By taking on such a long lease, this demonstrates the family’s commitment to the region. We hope this is just the first of many successful transactions that we undertake for the family and we will have other opportunities to earn our place as its trusted legal partner as the company develops further.”
Ms Anderson, added: “We decided to relocate to Meadowfield after undertaking our own research about commercial premises in the County Durham area. We have a UK registered business as well as our Hong Kong business, both of which operate under the name of Sea Way Footwear International and will continue to do so, but as we are from Durham originally, we are thrilled to have moved back again.
“We have been impressed and delighted by the speed and quality of service that Swinburne Maddison provided and we look forward to working with the team again in the future.
“We are currently in the process of renovating our new premises, but we are already successfully working with our major retailing customers as well as transacting direct sales via our website – an aspect of our business which we hope to expand in the future and which will allow us to create new jobs. As this is our only UK site, we are focused on growing the business beyond its current four family members. In the meantime, we are excited about what the future holds for us and pleased to see our children’s footwear brand, Toezone, stocked by some key accounts.”