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  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘strong’ team ‘houses savvy commercial lawyers’, whose workload spans land and leasehold disputes, dilapidation claims and property debt recovery work. Practice head Mark Aldrich has ‘great judgement’ and ‘gets under the skin of every dispute to achieve the best outcome for the client’. The group is acting for a retailer in several high-value disputes relating to development agreements, assisting an industrial client with litigation arising from a renewable energy project, and representing a household-name client in a dilapidation dispute.

The team at Freeths LLP stands out for its ‘excellent technical skills and deep understanding of clients’ businesses’. The group handles dilapidation disputes, easement claims, and issues arising from the termination and renewal of business leases, among other matters. ‘Experienced and intelligent’ practice head Paul Tomkins, who has an ‘open, down-to-earth commercial approach’, successfully defended Aldi Stores against an injunction sought by Iceland (as a subtenant) to prevent extension works carried out on site. Tomkins is also handling a dilapidation claim for a commercial landlord and pursuing contested tenancy renewal for a national retailer. In another work highlights, the group secured an order for possession to remove squatters from a site acquired by a commercial client.

Geldards LLP’s team is renowned for its expertise in disputes between commercial landlords and tenants in sectors such as motor trade, retail and utilities. For example, recent work includes advising a commercial landlord with lease forfeiture and acting for a commercial landlord in a substantial break notice case. Mark Hacking has experience in tenancy-related matters such as dilapidation, break notice and lease renewal claims, and assists developers and portfolio holders with disputes arising from covenants and easements.

Geraint Davies’s team at Howes Percival LLP provides ‘commercial, pragmatic advice’ to clients such as institutional landlords, developers and private individuals. It specialises in tenant and landlord relations, managing property portfolios and handling break clauses and dilapidation claims. Satnam Chayra is challenging a landlord’s refusal of consent to alter and repair, and is handling nuisance abatement proceedings arising from water egress for a client in the automotive sector. Jane Bloomer is pursuing an eviction order for a landowner client, following breaches of alienation and user covenants by the client’s commercial tenant. The group is also representing a developer in a protracted boundary dispute. Clients have also included C Brewer & Sons, Henderson UK Property Fund, Darby Properties and Shoe Zone.

Flint Bishop LLP acts for landowners, commercial landlords and developers in a range of cases involving options to purchase, adverse possession claims and easement disputes. Qamer Ghafoor is assisting an institutional landlord with a claim for unpaid rent, service charge and dilapidations following a dispute related to the variation of terms in the leasehold agreement and the tenant subsequently vacating the premises. Andrew Cochrane and Nick Wells provide ongoing support to Marston’s regarding disputes involving commercial leasehold issues. The group acted for the owner of a large retail park in a claim arising from the tenant’s refusal to complete a lease, handled a joint venture agreement between two developers, and assisted a property portfolio holder with a substantial dilapidations claim. Lorna Trueman is also recommended.

Don Peel leads the practice at Fraser Brown and specialises in dilapidations claims before the Technology and Construction Court. Other areas of expertise include tenancy disputes, contested commercial and residential lease renewals, restrictive covenant claims, rent and service charge recovery and commercial possession. The group acted for a commercial tenant in a challenge to restrictions imposed by a local authority and assisted holders of a property portfolio with a mismanagement claim. It is also handling several dilapidations claims for a property management company, managing break notices for a charity, and acting for a client in various property cases including a dispute over empty property rates and rate exemptions.

At Nelsons Solicitors Limited, Simon Waterfield represented Radleigh Group in a dispute concerning trespassing on a development site for over 500 housing units. Simon Trees, who specialises in dilapidation claims, break options and possession-related matters, acted for a developer in a dispute arising from the purchase of an unregistered property subject to the right of way burdening the adjacent registered land. The team also assisted clients with restrictive covenant and easement disputes as well as handling eviction of Travellers.

Spearing Waite LLP represents property developers, investors, corporate occupiers, waste operators and high-net-worth individuals in property litigation. It specialises in managing leasehold-related matters, including lease renewals, dilapidations claims and service charge disputes, for companies in the retail sector. The group is advising a retailer with a claim against the landlord concerning the release of asbestos at the premises. It is also handling a multimillion-pound claim against a building contractor pertaining to a failed luxury private residential development. Michael Lawrence has ‘extensive knowledge’ and gives ‘excellent pragmatic advice’, and Jonathan Wheeler is also recommended. Clients include Travis Perkins, Dunelm, Bonmarche, Dreams, Optical Express and Glenstone Property.

Brady Solicitors handles disputes in the property management sector with a particular focus on the recovery of service charge and ground rent arrears. The team handled a first-tier tribunal application for determination of reasonableness of a service charge for a leaseholder administering a grade II-listed property. It also assisted a freeholder with collection of longstanding service charge arrears. Clare Brady is recommended. Carmela Inguanta joined the team following Amy Hope-Smith’s departure to Gateley Plc.

Providing an ‘exceptionally good’ service, Smith Partnership’s team acts for clients in repossession proceedings, boundary claims, tenancy cases, collection of rent arrears and neighbour disputes. Russell Davies is particularly well known for representing breweries in property-related matters. In other work, the firm assisted a company with possession claims following an early termination of tenancy, handled a dilapidation claim against a former subtenant, and managed a family dispute arising from the planned recovery of a plot of agricultural land. Bally Atwal is also recommended.


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Legal Developments in East Midlands for Property litigation

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 


    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

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