Property litigation in East Midlands

Flint Bishop LLP

Flint Bishop LLP handles technical commercial property litigation claims predominantly for commercial property clients which include landowners, developers, commercial landlords and has a niche specialisation in acting for the licensed trade industry, meaning that the firm has many pubs, pub chains and alcoholic beverage companies as clients. Types of matters that the team are frequently involved in relate to restrictions, overage, options to purchase and misrepresentation, among others. 'Very diligent and very commercial' Nick Wells heads the practice and specialises in commercial landlord and tenant property-related insolvency disputes. Chief executive Qamer Ghafoor continues to take on property litigation disputes for landlords, tenants and property developers.

Practice head(s):

Nick Wells

Other key lawyers:

Qamer Ghafoor; Ian Beardmore


‘Speed of response and attention to detail is excellent.’

‘Nick Wells – very diligent and very commercial.’

‘Nick Wells and Ian Beardmore go out of their way to understand clients requirements.’

Key clients

Bowmer & Kirkland

Marston’s Plc

Peveril Securities

National Trust

Food Standards Agency

Haven Insurance Company

Costcutter Supermarkets Group

Henry Boot Developments

Ward Recycling

Methodist Homes

Work highlights

  • Acted for the development arm of a major PLC in a multi-million pound TCC claim for losses deriving from a huge grade A office development.
  • Acted for the National Trust on numerous property litigation matters arising out of the substantial National Trust estate across the UK.
  • Acted for a huge national developer in High Court declaration proceedings concerning expert determination jurisdiction and a £2m+ overage claim.

Freeths LLP

Top-class firm' Freeths LLP has the ‘best team in the East Midlands' for property litigation, acting for ‘an impressive client base of household names'. The practice is ‘very strong in commercial landlord and tenant matters‘, with particular strengths in the retail sector, and further has ‘a very strong position in the niche area of minerals extraction'. ‘Great team leader' Paul Tomkins is the head of the practice, who ‘excels at 1954 Act cases, dilapidations, and contentious property acquisitions‘ and is noted for his ‘exquisite legal judgement'. Managing associate Beth Jenkins is particularly experienced in contentious landlord and tenant matters, including adverse possession claims, contested lease renewals and covenant disputes. Corporate clients state that the firm's property disputes team is 'a seamless extension' to their own in-house legal department.

Practice head(s):

Paul Tomkins

Other key lawyers:

Beth Jenkins


‘A top-class firm. Best team in the East Midlands. Gives clients Waitrose service and Lidl prices. Very strong in commercial Landlord and Tenant matters and has a very strong position in the niche area of minerals extraction.’

‘The team is led by Paul Tomkins. Another great team leader who remains at the top of his game. A very skilled lawyer who gets his sleeves rolled-up when running the file himself. He has exquisite legal judgement.’

‘Expertise in the full range of real estate litigation areas. Very strong in the retail sector – an impressive client base of household names. Practical and creative approach to solving their clients’ problems, through collaboration between different lawyers departments.’

‘Paul Tomkins: he is known for being a commercial, pragmatic, and creative problem-solver. He excels at 1954 Act cases, dilapidations, and contentious property acquisitions. Paul is ably assisted by a strong team of associates.’

‘I have worked primarily with Paul Tomkins. He leads his team by example and gives clear uncomplicated advice. He has a great skill in being able to drill down to the main issue of complex matters and is clear at explaining the matter without technical jargon enabling those not familiar with property litigation on property law to be able to understand their position very clearly. I have always felt a valued client to Freeths property litigation team.’

‘The Freeths property team is a seamless extension to our in-house property legal team and provides pragmatic commercial advice.’

Key clients

Chancerygate Asset Management and Development

City Plumbing


Euro Garages





Travis Pekrins Group including Toolstation


Work highlights

  • Advised Poundstretcher on all property litigation issues arising following its Company Voluntary Arrangement, which compromised claims with a value of £396m.
  • Advised the Travis Perkins Group on the property litigation aspects of a project to separate City Plumbing from the group so that it could be sold.
  • Advised one of the UK’s leading discount supermarkets on a successful claim to recover possession of land facilitating a £4m redevelopment.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP acts predominantly for a variety of corporate clients, including large companies, owner-managed businesses, institutional landlords, developers and investment funds, as well as private individuals on both the landlord and tenant side. The 'very diverse team' provides 'a Rolls-Royce service at a regional cost' and is particularly experienced in dealing with insolvency related property work and has specialisms in handling contentious break clauses and dilapidation claims while being able to boast an 'excellent track record of commercial settlements in litigation'. Practice head Geraint Davies advises on a variety of complex and high-value disputes, such as development disputes. Head of the East Midlands property litigation team Satnam Chayra 'never shies away from a fight' and is someone who clients 'recommend unreservedly'.

Practice head(s):

Geraint Davies

Other key lawyers:

Satnam Chayra


‘The team provides a Rolls-Royce service at a regional cost; batting well above its weight. The client service is second to none and very, very commercial. Very diverse team; good use of technology; and sound commercial judgement characterise this team. Excellent track record of commercial settlements in litigation but when necessary they are well-placed to take the matter through to trial. Compares very favourably with all of the other firms in the region and also to many London firms.’

‘Satnam Chayra is fantastic. Commercially minded, approachable, accessible and leads from the front. A partner I would recommend unreservedly to clients.’

‘They are just very good all-rounders; they know the law, they are easy to work with, and they never lose sight of what their clients want from litigation. Their facilities are also excellent, and they have been particularly responsive in the era of remote working.’

‘Satnam Chayra is a punchy, direct solicitor who never shies away from a fight. I can imagine that she is a real handful for her opponents. With counsel, she has always been polite, honest, and straightforward. With clients, she is an intuitive and effective communicator – in which respect, her linguistic skills are an obvious asset.’

Key clients

C Brewer & Sons Limited

Kettle Interiors UK Limited

O Donovan Waste Disposal Limited

Nampak Plastics Europe Limited

Renewi UK Services Limited

Gravity Media UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a tenant in defending a landlord’s dilapidations claim in its entirety on the basis of no diminution.
  • Advised a tenant in relation to the landlord’s unlawful termination of an implied periodic business tenancy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Defended and settled a claim for the defendant in relation to a damages claim of over £2m for alleged breach of various collaboration agreements.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP acts for a range of clients from various sectors, including central government, local authorities, healthcare bodies, insurance providers, landowners and developers, on all types of real estate related litigation. The team acts in both commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, development and land disputes, and further property claims, such as those relating to boundaries, rights of way and lights, rights of access and restrictive covenants. Birmingham-based James Coles is the national head of the real estate disputes team and provides ‘very good, clear and practical advice‘ to large national and international clients from the retail, logistics and healthcare sectors, among others.

Practice head(s):

James Coles

Other key lawyers:

Claire Burns


‘The understanding of our business requirements and the proactive approach we receive daily is second to none. The attention to detail, explanations and summaries are on point and very relevant and saves me such a lot of time as I fully understand everything.’

‘Claire Burns is my main contact in the Nottingham office and she is excellent in every transaction we instruct her upon. I cannot fault in any way her work ethic, her knowledge base is outstanding and her dedication to us as a client to ensure we get the best possible service and outcome is amazing. I could not envisage dealing with anyone better as her counterparts on the transactions always seem to be failing in my opinion.’

‘As expected – efficient.’

‘James Coles has proved easily contactable and provided very good, clear and practical advice with regards to our litigation matter. James has been clear and upfront with costs, also minimising costs where appropriate and possible. I personally appreciate the high level of communication and his ability to offer good, sound based opinion that is proving to be successful for our outcome.’

Key clients

Co-operative Bank plc

Vision Express Ltd

Benchmark Drinks Ltd

Pure Gym Limited

Paperchase Products Limited

Walgreens Boots Alliance

DPD Group UK Limited

Aggregate Industries UK Limited

AGCO Limited

Scrivens Limited

Cheshire East Borough Council

Select Service Partner (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Boots on contentious issues with their new flagship London store.
  • Provided strategic advising to Pure Gym on covid related issues impacting the business.
  • Advised Harlow District Council on complex restrictive covenant dispute.

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP is known in particular for its commercial landlord and tenant disputes, acting for clients from the automotive, utilities, telecoms and retail sectors. The team also acts for private clients on a variety of matters, including easements, service charge, title and adverse possession disputes, as well as for local authorities on freehold and leasehold issues. Practice head Mark Hacking advises developers and portfolio holders on a variety of claims, including title disputes, right of way disputes and boundary issues, and is noted for his 'exceptional technical understanding of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954, and of the court's approach to issues arising from it'. Catherine Gritt is a further key practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hacking

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Gritt


‘This team combine a strong technical knowledge with a commercial understanding of a client’s needs and limits, ensuring an excellent foundation from which to project a strong negotiation stance that supports negotiated settlements.’

‘Geldards know our business and are very responsive.’

‘Mark Hacking is particularly good where we have contentious issues with suppliers and landlords.’

‘We have unique issues and they’ve always helped us.’

‘Mark Hacking – always has an idea of something we can do, other firms we have worked with just told us there was no answer.’

‘Catherine Gritt – always available and helpful.’

Key clients

Western Power Distribution

Pendragon Group



Work highlights

  • Advised Western Power Distribution (across East Midlands, West Midlands, South West and South Wales) regarding asset protection of electricity distribution network, and contentious property management issues.
  • Advised Boots (including optician and hearing practices) regarding lease renewal and protection of portfolio of stores across the country.
  • Advised South Staffordshire District Council on complex project to redevelop substantial light industrial premises for retail use, including termination of substantial number of leases and securing vacant possession of site.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited

Nelsons Solicitors Limited‘s property litigation team covers the full spectrum of contentious property matters, acting in both commercial and residential landlord and tenant claims. Further, the practice assists clients in planning and compulsory purchase matters and restrictive covenant issues as well as general property disputes, such as boundary disputes. Practice head Simon Waterfield acts for high-net worth individuals as well as developers and commercial and residential landlords and tenants and is ‘standout in his field‘ with a niche specialism in public rights of way claims. Cathryn Selby heads the general dispute resolution team. Clients say the team’s practitioners are ‘all excellent‘.

Practice head(s):

Cathryn Selby; Simon Waterfield

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Maxwell


‘The depth of both specialist and broader knowledge, is one of the strong points of the partners at Nelsons – in particular Simon Waterfield.’

‘Excellent problem-solving and an ability to quickly get to the nub of an issue. Quickly able to offer solutions even when involving third parties to allow issues to be dealt with resulting in minimal fuss and allowing us to get on with our jobs.’

‘Simon Waterfield has again proven to be a standout in his field. Knowledgeable with a keen eye for detail, great problem-solving and a no fuss way of dealing with matters. Simon is also brave enough to tell clients the right solution even if that might be a difficult conversation. All done in a professional and friendly way.’

‘A law firm stands or falls on the quality of its people and, in this regard, the Nelson’s Property Litigation Team are, in my experience, all excellent.’

‘The standout individual, in my experience, is Simon Waterfield. In the past I have worked alongside him and I now appoint him to look after my businesses interests. In particular, I am impressed that the advice he provides is right for my business, not his and that’s why I would not look anywhere else on litigation matters.’

‘Excellent knowledge and proactive communication.’

‘Excellent communication skills and depth of knowledge.’

Key clients

Shapeform Limited

Chevin Homes (Ashbourne) Limited

Nucleus Finance Limited

W Westerman Limited

A.F Hunt Builders Limited

Ashfield Homes limited

Godkin Holdings

NPPL Limited

Intelligent Money Limited

Wilkin Chapman LLP

'Excellent regional law firm' Wilkin Chapman LLP provides a 'full and personal service with a wide-ranging number of services and capabilities' relating to property litigation. The 'modern, well-equipped practice' acts in cooperation with the firm's renowned agriculture and estates team and has developed niche expertise in the area of agricultural property disputes, such as those relating to agricultural and farm business tenancies, trusts of land or development of agricultural land, as well as in advising internal drainage boards. 'Thorough and fair lawyer' Joshua Briggs heads the team in Grimsby and is experienced in commercial property disputes.

Practice head(s):

Joshua Briggs

Other key lawyers:

Siobahn Sylvester; Tom Hickingbottom


‘Wilkin Chapman is unrivalled in the East Midlands for its strength and depth of the commercial litigation and property litigation teams. They have more individuals than any other firm, by some margin, and the ability to deal with work crossing over sectors. Few firms in this area can offer the resources to handle litigation on this scale. They are a modern, well-equipped practice operating from the best offices in the area. Reputationally they are strong and will fight for the clients’ best interests.’

‘We had a very good experience with Wilkin Chapmam. From the first telephone call with Tom Hickingbottom we felt we were in the hands of a professional, personal and competent firm. We had every confidence in the advice given and efficient work carried out. We would certainly use & recommend Wilkin Chapman again.’

‘Siobahn Sylvester has been excellent in her approach, efficiency, knowledge, communication and understanding of our situation. Very approachable and open, yet always professional.

‘I find the team exceptional in all matters.’

‘Joshua Briggs is a thorough and fair lawyer. He can broker deals and settle difficult cases with a calm and approachable manner. He is robust when he needs to be, but always provides a top quality service.’

‘An excellent regional law firm providing a full range of litigation advice and representation on Property issues. A full and personal service with a wide-ranging number of services and capabilities.’

‘A very personal, bespoke service has been received from the excellent, Lincoln-based team.’

Key clients

T W Logistics Ltd

Beal Developments Limited

Burton Waters Management Company Limited

Canal & River Trust

Ongo Partnership Ltd

Lincolnshire Housing Partnership Ltd

Court Enforcement Services Ltd

National Farmers Union

MSL Legal Expenses Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the appellant, T W Logistics Limited, in an appeal to the Supreme Court concerning an application under the Commons Registration Act.


Actons represents businesses, charities and individuals alike with the 'efficient, effective and personable' team advising clients across a variety of contentious property issues, ranging from boundary and overage disputes to contentious lease renewals. 'Very professional but approachable and friendly' associate Daniel Harley advises on commercial landlord and tenant disputes with 'exceptional competence'.

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Harley; Zoe Romain


‘Efficient, effective and personable. Wouldn’t go anywhere else!’

‘It sometimes feels like we have a hotline to Daniel Harley as we call him so frequently, if he is not able to take the call he will always ring back the same day. He does not use legalese when advising us and his written responses are always well thought out, offering a variety of options for us to consider. He is always very professional but approachable and friendly which makes a significant difference if we are dealing with complex and difficult situations. He deals with all matters with a calm and considered approach. We have the greatest confidence in him and know that his advice will always be the best course of action for the company.’

‘Zoe Romain has recently done quite a lot of contract work for me. She is excellent, her prompt competent professionalism was a pleasure to work with. Any questions I had were explained perfectly to understand my clear legal position.’

‘Daniel Harley’s competence is exceptional. Daniel has worked on many differing matters for me and given on each matter, excellent, clear and comprehensive advice. I can’t recommend him highly enough.’

‘Actons have a diverse range of skills within the practice and are able to direct our queries to the person who is best qualified to assist with our main contact maintaining a cohesive overview. We consider Actons as an extension of our team.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on contested lease renewal including a complex valuation point.
  • Advised on a £6.5m overage dispute.

Smith Partnership

Smith Partnership acts on all types of claims, from lease renewal disputes to rent arrears claims and residential tenancy possessions. Practice head Russell Davies has a niche specialism in disputes relating to leases and tenancies of pubs and is lauded by clients for his 'very proactive approach'. Associate Liam Kreibich 'provides excellent support and legal advice' to residential landlords and is particularly experienced in relation to possession claims.

Practice head(s):

Russell Davies

Other key lawyers:

Liam Kreibich


‘We have been very satisfied with all aspects of The Smith Partnership and we intend to remain with them going forward.’

‘Russell Davies has a very proactive approach with our business relationship and regularly offers advice to our company without being prompted. This demonstrates that our partnership is long term and we feel very valued as a client. We intend to strengthen this relationship by working on many more legal cases moving forward.’

‘We are very satisfied with all the individuals we have dealt with over the years.’

‘Smith Partnership are an excellent firm providing very comprehensive legal advice and are incredibly responsive to enquiries. I have worked with several of the staff over the years and have always had a great service.’

‘Liam Kreibich provides excellent support and legal advice to us and to our landlords. He is always very professional, calm and extremely approachable and knowledgeable and makes what can be a complicated process easy to understand. Liam is always willing to offer help and advice where he can whenever he can and I very much appreciate his knowledge and assistance over the years.’

‘The Smith Partnership have always provided us with the most professional guidance and advice. We continue to request legal representation and their services following many years within the industry.’

‘Liam Kreibich has always provided solid, straightforward advice and representation to our company. We have recommended Liam to a number of our clients who in turn, have expressed their positive comments as a result of a positive outcome.’

‘We rely on Smith Partnership on a day-to-day basis and seek their legal council for a number of different scenarios. This demonstrates how diverse they are with expertise that we utilise to make informed decisions. Without their collaboration with our company we would not have achieved the success and results we have to date.’

Key clients

Stonegate Group (formerly Enterprise Inns PLC)

Littler Investments Limited

Ingleby Investments (UK) Limited

Scargill Mann Lettings

Little Mansions

Sure Sales and Lettings

John German

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in claim against 26 landlords relating to an alleged failure of the client to let properties belonging to the landlords. The claim involved allegations of breach of contract, negligence, and a failure to manage the lettings process effectively.