'Top-class property litigation firm' Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's broad client roster, including developers, investors, property management companies, landlords and tenants, is testimony to the team's wide-ranging expertise. Michael Metliss is a key contact for institutional landlords requiring assistance with asset management issues in the retail, office and industrial sectors, while much of his recent work has involved guiding landlords through tenants' CVAs and administrations. Handling disputes arising from development and regeneration projects constitutes another key element of the practice, which is led by Akhil Markanday. Regular matters in this space include vacant possession, breach of covenant and rights to light cases; Rashpal Soomal is the key contact for the last-mentioned segment. Senior counsel Roger Cohen has notable expertise in business rate disputes, which he shares with Rebecca Campbell, who was promoted to partner in January 2021. The team's strength in risk avoidance and strategic advice complements this offering.
Property litigation in London
Other key lawyers:
Roger Cohen; Michael Metliss; Rashpal Soomal; Rebecca Campbell
‘I really like the BCLP property litigation team. I find them obviously very knowledgeable, but also with a high degree of commercial awareness. Their advice is in the context of what it might mean for us in the bigger picture, for example.‘
‘Very professional and competent firm and they are interested in understanding your business needs and providing a tailored service.‘
‘The entire BCLP team worked tirelessly to understand all aspects of the case, providing a high degree of challenge and pulling together detailed reports on each aspect of the case as well as clear guidance on the risks, merits and potential costs as the case progressed.‘
‘All the way through the case we felt as though we were in safe hands and irrespective of a win or lose BCLP could not have done a better job articulating our case. I would have no hesitation using BCLP again if we had another property litigation issue.‘
‘A very personable team and therefore a pleasure to work with, given the complexity of our legal case. They provided clear, concise and pragmatic advice, whilst keeping the client up to date with expenditure and next steps to consider and take. Analytical in approach, with a strong sense of teamwork throughout.’
‘Top-class property litigation firm. Thoughtful, acute analysis of legal issues and good business sense.‘
‘Pragmatic approach and in-depth knowledge.‘
‘Akhil Markandany, Rebecca Campbell and Rashpal Soomal are are top-class partners.‘
Canary Wharf Group
Great Portland Estates
- Acted for Lodha Developers 1GSQ Ltd in successfully securing summary judgment confirming the termination of a £100m+ penthouse sale contract in its new luxury 1 Grosvenor Square development.
- Secured a win for Tesco in the long-running Supreme Court battle over whether ATMs at supermarket sites should be separately assessed for business rates.
- Advised Tikehau Capital and Areli Real Estate in connection with the redevelopment and regeneration of the Nicholson Quarter in Maidenhead, one of the first shopping centre-to-town centre regeneration initiatives in the UK.
Acting for a large number of institutional investors, FTSE 100 property owners and large commercial tenants, CMS has recently been particularly active in the landlord and tenant space, with much work pertaining to vacant possession and lease issues alongside CVAs and other insolvency-related matters. These matters are often led by 'highly regarded' team head Danielle Drummond-Brassington, who is also a key contact for disputes arising from the Electronic Communications Code, rent review expert Marcus Barclay and Julie Gattegno. Gattegno, who is 'a first choice for many of the leading real estate companies', is also known for her expertise in redevelopment-related matters concerning vacant possession, development constraints and rights to light. Other key individuals in the development space include rights to light specialists Nick Lloyd and senior associate Robin Biela. Anna Ralston-Crane, another notable member of the team, has particular strength in the student accommodation and hotel sectors, as well as in rent review disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Marcus Barclay; Julie Gattegno; Nick Lloyd; Nick Wood; Eleanor Murray; Anna Ralston-Crane; Robin Biela
‘Top-ranking real estate litigation department which stands out for its size and the strength and depth of its fee earners, particularly at partner level.‘
‘They offer concise quality advice, combining attention to detail with a focus on the commercial realities. Extremely good at resolving their clients’ disputes without needing to resort to litigation.‘
‘CMS are the big beasts of the property litigation world. They have a huge department of very able lawyers and can turn their hand to any dispute, of whatever nature. It is always a pleasure to work with CMS.‘
‘Nick Lloyd is extremely bright and latches onto key issues straight away to provide a top-class service to his clients. He has particular expertise in property development work, which he excels at. He has amazing attention to detail and leaves no stone unturned.‘
‘Julie Gattegno is a first choice for many of the leading real estate companies. She has particular experience in handling the fall out from tenant insolvencies and re-structuring and is often cited in the national press in respect of CVAs. She is probably one of the most experienced commercial landlord and tenant lawyers in the country.‘
‘Anna Ralston-Crane is one to watch at partner level. She is clever and full of energy.‘
‘Danielle Drummond-Brassington is a highly regarded head of department.‘
‘Eleanor Murray is a leading name in leasehold enfranchisement.‘
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited & Argos Limited
Lincoln Skegness Solar Farm Limited
A consortium of landlord creditors including Amsprop Investments Limited; Frep 3 (Notting Hill Gate 3) Ltd (Frogmore); 45 West Limited; Aidan Daly; Copedale Ltd; Farrar & Co Ltd and Lasted Ltd; Mountcharm Ltd; R.G. Young challenging the Caffe Nero CVA
The Crown Estate
M&G Real Estate
Aberdeen Standard Investments
- Assisted Argos Limited with the dispatch of notices to landlords following the closure of a large number of stores.
- Advising a consortium of creditor landlords in the Caffe Nero CVA, challenging the CVA on the grounds of unfair prejudice and material irregularity.
- Defending Lincoln Skegness Solar Farm Limited, the tenant of a solar farm, in relation to a claim from the landlord for unpaid reviewed rent.
Highlighted for its 'profound market knowledge', Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a strong profile for handling rent reviews, development disputes and telecoms sector work. Electronic Communications Code specialist Thekla Fellas leads on instructions in the last-mentioned segment and predominately acts for landowners, while team head Will Densham is 'the go-to rent review lawyer' and also well known for rights to light work, including arbitration. Elsewhere, the team is well versed in guiding institutional investors, development companies, tenants and high-net-worth individuals through dilapidation and service charge disputes and provides assistance with rent arrears matters. Stuart Wortley is best known for his niche in urban explorer injunction cases.
Other key lawyers:
Stuart Wortley; Thekla Fellas; Kate Poole; Karen Mitchell
‘I can confidently say there are no weaknesses.‘
‘They have huge strength in depth.‘
‘The London team has been building significantly over the last five years down to Will Densham’s drive and determination. They are incredibly good lawyers, first and foremost. They have an eagle eye for the detail but at the same time are so sector aware that they do not bore certain clients with lengthy notes of advice where they simply don’t want it nor will they pay for it.‘
‘I was hugely grateful for all the input they have given me over the years – they get the balance exactly right, depending on who they are advising.‘
‘The primary lawyer I have dealt with is Will Densham and I have worked with him for well over a decade. He is the go-to rent review lawyer in central London.‘
‘I have known Will Densham for many, many years and there is no one better for giving completely accurate legal advice but within a commercial context. I hugely rely on his support for me with other mutual clients and he often goes above and beyond, giving advice in the background or on a pro bono basis, which I find extremely helpful.‘
‘The experience is always first class. They have profound market knowledge and we rely on them hugely to give us good advice. They over deliver. Not only is the advice commercial and accurate but it is based on a deep understanding of the practice area that no one else comes close to having. They are super responsive.‘
‘Thekla Fellas and Karen Mitchell have been excellent, providing reassuring advice to clients and putting them at ease from the initial instruction.’
Aberdeen Asset Management (formerly Scottish Widows)
AP Wireless (II) UK Limited (APW)
Associated British Ports
Blackstone Property Group
Canary Wharf Group
Coventry City Council
Derwent London Plc
ED&F Man Group
Legal & General
London Bishopsgate BV
Longmartin Properties Limited
Point West GR Limited
River Doree Holdings Limited
Ruby Triangle Properties Limited
Sure Honest Limited
The Leathersellers Company
University of Arts London
University of London
Utopia A Limited
- Acted for AP Wireless II (UK) Limited, the successful party in one of the first precedent-setting cases before the Upper Tribunal arising out of the new Electronic Communications Code.
- Acted for Ruby Triangle Properties Limited in successfully defending a claim for conversion made against the client following possession by peaceable re-entry.
- Continuing to advise Annington Property Limited on the rent reviews of the whole of the Ministry of Defence married quarter estate.
With 'outstanding' real estate insolvency specialist Mathew Ditchburn heading the team at Hogan Lovells International LLP, it is well placed to advise institutional landlords on tenant insolvencies, retail CVAs and rent arrears, and insolvent tenants on restructurings. As another key strength, Ditchburn regularly handles development disputes - an area of expertise he shares with the 'first-rate' Paul Tonkin and senior associate Katie Dunn - such as those pertaining to rights to light and the implementation of vacant possession strategies. Together with senior counsel Nicholas Cheffings, Tonkin is also among the key contacts for rent review disputes, which the team undertakes for occupiers and landlords alike. This is rounded off with expertise in real estate portfolio litigation and telecoms sector issues faced by landowners. Clients, including real estate owners, fund managers and central London developers, also benefit from the firm's new transaction automation infrastructure, aimed at reducing administrative costs and enhancing data privacy.
Other key lawyers:
Nicholas Cheffings; Paul Tonkin; Katie Dunn; Tim Reid
‘The litigation team has always provided assured advice which inspires confidence in the business when deciding on a course of action.‘
‘One of the strongest property litigation teams in the market. The advice is always commercial and proportionate.‘
‘Nicholas Cheffings has set the ethos of this exceptional team and in my view is the best property litigation solicitor in London. I regularly recommend him for sensitive matters and he is one of the few solicitors I also recommend as an arbitrator.‘
‘Mathew Ditchburn is unstuffy, very able and very commercial.’
‘Paul Tonkin combines thoughtful legal creativity with a commercial head.‘
‘Excellent firm. Commercial and careful, thoughtful legal analysis.‘
‘Paul Tonkin is first rate.‘
‘Mathew Ditchburn and Paul Tonkin are outstanding.‘
The Crown Estate
Argent (King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership)
M&G Real Estate
HM Revenue and Customs
- Acting for M&G Real Estate, which is continuing to pursue EMI Group Limited under a guarantee of an authorised guarantee agreement (GAGA) and Forever21 Inc under its guarantee of a lease of flagship premises on Oxford Street, following the collapse of the Forever 21 group in 2019.
- Acting for sovereign wealth fund Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) and its subsidiaries in a claim against Beeson Property Investments Ltd (BPIL) and five other defendants.
- Advising the Crown Estate in relation to its proposed redevelopment of 33-35 Piccadilly.
Mishcon de Reya LLP's 'extremely collaborative' team handles a wide range of commercial and residential property disputes for PLCs, blue chips, investment funds and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Much of its work arises from the management of property assets and real estate portfolios, including service charge disputes, dilapidation claims, rent reviews and insolvency-related matters. In addition to its litigation capabilities, the team - and Joanna Lampert, who was appointed by the Lord Chancellor as a deputy master of the High Court assigned to the Chancery Division in November 2020, in particular - is also well placed to provide risk analysis and risk avoidance advice. Chhavie Kapoor is another key contact for dispute avoidance, but also has significant expertise in development-related litigation, which is another key strength of the practice, most notably in rights to light. 'Brilliant litigator and negotiator' Daniel Levy heads the practice and frequently handles landlord and tenant matters; he is supported by Emma Macintyre and legal director Mark Reading, who both cover a wide spectrum of commercial and residential property disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Joanna Lampert; Emma Macintyre; Chhavie Kapoor; Mark Reading
‘A very solid team led by an extremely capable partner who understands our business very well and time after time delivers excellent service.‘
‘Daniel Levy is a standout performer. He is very results focused and extremely responsive.‘
‘Mishcon is a top team with some very talented individuals.’
‘Mark Reading is very good.‘
‘An extremely collaborative team, brilliantly led by Daniel Levy. Strategic, commercial and always go the extra mile for the clients.‘
‘Dan Levy is a strategic thinker, goal-orientated, and incredibly incisive and commercial. He is a brilliant litigator and negotiator.‘
‘Emma Macintyre is detail-orientated, clever and an excellent lawyer, who is extremely good with clients.‘
‘Mark Reading is very bright and collaborative, with good attention to detail. He is a very good property lawyer.‘
Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco)
DV4 Ltd (advised by Delancey Real Estate Asset Management Limited)
Blackstone Property Management
IW Group Services (UK) Limited (formerly known as Regus)
Chelsfield Advisers LLP
Bank of Singapore
National Car Parks (NCP)
Shoreditch Property Holdings Limited
Berkeley Square Investments
Avison Young (formerly GVA)
Residential Land Management Limited
The Office Group
London and Hertfordshire Limited
- Advising Neasden Studios on a high-value claim brought against London film studios by Netflix concerning the production location of Netflix blockbuster Bridgerton.
- Continuing to act as Capital & Counties Properties PLC’s sole property litigation advisers on a variety of advisory and litigious matters pertaining to its portfolio in London’s shopping district Covent Garden, involving a number of high-profile tenants.
- Acting for IWG plc in complex and high-value real estate disputes.
Many of Ashurst's recent instructions have stemmed from commercial real estate portfolio transactions, including associated insolvency-related matters, on the one hand and from commercial landlord and tenant relationships on the other. In the latter space, the 'extremely knowledgeable' team led by Alison Hardy, who is highlighted for her 'analytical mind', frequently assists with service charge disputes and rent arrears matters, while other work includes assisting with break options, contractual disputes and dilapidation claims. The team's rights to light expertise is called upon in transactional settings and as part of development-related instructions. Clients include investors, developers and occupiers, and landowners instruct the team in Electronic Communications Code-related disputes.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ashurst has always proved extremely knowledgeable in dealings I have had with them over the years, particularly in the specialist industry in which I work. Their turnaround on providing advice makes them dependable and a safe pair of hands.‘
‘I worked very closely with Alison Hardy, a partner at the firm, and I found her to be incredibly supportive in my preparation for a hearing. Alison’s extreme dedication and commitment to ensuring that our team had the best chance possible at the hearing was extraordinary.’
‘Alison Hardy has a very analytical mind and understood and digested copious amounts of background technical information in a very timely manner with such close attention to detail.‘
‘The Ashurst property litigation team is extremely knowledgeable in all areas. The team provides strategic and commercially focused advice. They are very supportive and work to very tight deadlines. I would highly recommend them.‘
‘Well integrated with their real estate colleagues. Very down to earth and willing to go the extra mile to get an issue sorted. Clients receive extra value from their training and updates.‘
‘Communication and availability was exceptional, as was the advice given.‘
‘Alison Hardy is clear and clever, and very hands-on for a top-rated partner.‘
‘Led by Alison Hardy the team has found a new vigour. They are commercial, driven and highly polished, diverse and innovative.‘
The Official Receiver acting as liquidator of the Thomas Cook Group
IBM United Kingdom Limited
H&M Hennes & Mauritz Limited
The Berkeley Group
DWS Alternative Global Limited (formerly Deutsche Asset Management)
Hines UK Limited (the UK arm of the US property company)
Norges Bank Investment Management Limited (part of the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund)
Tritax Assets LLP
Bective Leslie Marsh
EP Kilroot Limited
Great Portland Estates plc
Transport for London and its subsidiary Docklands Light Railway Limited
- Advising the Official Receiver as liquidator of the Thomas Cook Group on the sale of the retail portfolio to Hays Travel Limited, which comprised 555 stores.
- Advising FRP Advisory as administrators of Carluccio’s in relation to the portfolio sale of the Carluccio’s restaurants to the Boparan Group and defending forfeiture actions in relation to three stores included within that sale.
- Acted for the Church Commissioners, the freeholder of the Metrocentre in Gateshead, on the administration of its tenant, Intu, which is the operator of the Metrocentre.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's 'very strong and able' team covers the gamut of residential and commercial property litigation, including leasehold enfranchisement, with its expertise in the residential space strengthened by close cooperation with the private client department. Landlord and tenant disputes, alongside contentious matters arising from developments and property portfolios, including rent arrears, service charge disputes and dilapidations matters, are regular drivers of activity. 'Star' Emma Humphreys is a key contact for these segments and also handles Electronic Telecommunications Code issues for landowners and infrastructure providers. David Haines leads the team; other core members include the 'vastly experienced' Robert Highmore, whose real estate litigation expertise extends to property-related professional negligence cases. This broad offering attracts an equally broad client base, including institutional investors, developers, commercial occupiers and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The firm partnered with the Carbon Trust to independently verify its carbon emissions, waste and water usage, as part of its mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions.
Other key lawyers:
Robert Highmore; Emma Humphreys; Louise Clark; James Souter; Jeremy Hudson
‘CRS offers an exceptional service to its clients. They are responsive, well prepared and collaborative.‘
‘CRS has a very collegial attitude to all things real estate and manages to provide holistic solutions to sometimes difficult situations, taking the stress out of the transaction.‘
‘There is excellence at both partner and associate level.‘
‘Robert Highmore is vastly experienced, extremely knowledgeable and a thoroughly charming individual. Clients love him.‘
‘Louise Clark is very open to alternative opinions which she is very happy to debate.‘
‘A very strong and able team with strength, depth and experience.‘
‘Emma Humphreys is a star. She is a good lawyer, with a commercial brain and a very reassuring manner.’
‘James Souter is able, enthusiastic and commercial.‘
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Bellway Homes Ltd
Church Commissioners for England
Derwent London Plc
Greenwich Millennium Village Ltd
Howard de Walden Estates Limited
London & Cambridge Properties Limited
Manhattan Loft Corporation
Stonegate Pub Company
The Merchant Taylors’ Company
- Acting for longstanding client Church Commissioners for England, including representing the Commissioners to successfully defend an application under section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925 by one of their long leasehold tenants.
- Represented the owners of Westfield London and Westfield Stratford shopping centres in relation to rent arrears owed to them by Clarks, a claim exceeding £1.1m.
- Assisted Proudreed Limited in obtaining vacant possession of a rooftop of a block of flats known as Alperton House, which was being demolished and sold for redevelopment purposes.
The ‘technically astute‘ team at Dentons is well versed in major property litigation and also provides alternative dispute resolution services to an impressive roster of blue-chip clients across various sectors. Its recent retail sector work includes ATM rating and rights to light disputes, while freehold owners in the hospitality and leisure sectors also instruct the firm on trespass and development-related issues, among others. Led by ‘master strategist‘ Bryan Johnston, the team is also well placed to handle landlord and tenant disputes, neighbourly matters and disputes arising out of tenant insolvencies. In addition, private clients retain the practice to assist with restrictive covenants.
‘Bryan Johnson is a very experienced leader of the team and really has an extremely thorough and very up-to-date knowledge of this area of law.‘
‘Dentons got to grips with the case immediately and I had all the contact I needed, both with the partner and his assistants.‘
‘They were very supportive right the way through and I would highly recommend the team.‘
‘The team is headed up by Bryan Johnston, who is a master strategist and an excellent all-round technical lawyer. The team he leads is built around his values and strengths, making the team technically astute and canny with it.‘
‘Having worked with a few large firms, we were particularly impressed with their professionalism, willingness to listen, approachability and attention to detail. They also adopted a very commercial approach and made us feel that no question was too stupid to ask. We would certainly use them again and would recommend them without hesitation.‘
‘We found the whole team to be very approachable, down-to-earth, personable, efficient and utterly professional. We were delighted to work with them.‘
‘A first-rate team with strength and depth. One of the go-to teams on rights of light disputes.‘
‘Dentons’ property litigation team has strength and depth at all levels of seniority. They think tactically and are intensely focused on the outcome for the client.‘
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd
The Official Receiver
London Borough of Southwark
Secure Income REIT
- Acted for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd, Sainsbury’s Bank Plc and the Co-operative Group in a case concerning the separate rateability of automatic teller machines in supermarkets (ATMs), including ATMs fixed both internally and externally to the store as well as free-standing ATMs located within stores.
- Acting for ATS Euromaster Limited in a claim for compensation following the compulsory purchase of one of its sites by the local council.
- Successfully represented Sainsbury’s in the High Court with regard to a claim that it had breached its contractual obligations to use reasonable endeavours to obtain satisfactory planning permission.
With the arrival of counsel Nichola Padget from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP in April 2020, Forsters LLP has added to its residential and commercial property litigation expertise, while the addition of senior consultant Damian Greenish, who joined from Cripps in September 2020, brings additional residential leasehold reform capabilities. ‘Hugely experienced and very talented‘ team head Natasha Rees is another key contact for leasehold enfranchisement and residential property disputes. The team of ‘first-class lawyers‘ acts for a large number of landowners, estates and funds alongside property companies, developers and occupier clients. Its workload is equally diverse and has recently included easement and service charge disputes, dilapidation claims, forfeitures and other issues arising from CVAs and insolvencies, in addition to development matters concerning rights to light, vacant possessions and an increasing number of cladding-related instructions. Jonathan Ross‘ commercial property litigation expertise extends to associated professional negligence claims, while senior associate Anna Mullins is a key contact for landlord and tenant matters.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Ross; Ben Barrison; Anna Mullins; Nichola Padget; Damian Greenish
‘Forsters are an extremely approachable and client-friendly property litigation practice. They combine expert knowledge of the law with an acute awareness of and sensitivity to the particular needs of their clients, particularly private individuals. I have encountered nothing but professionalism and charm at both partner and associate level.‘
‘Ben Barrison has the best strategic and commercial eye and instinct of any property litigation partner that I have encountered in my practice so far. He is also extremely fair but firm, and dogged in the pursuit of his clients’ interests whilst also being unfailingly calm, courteous and level-headed.‘
‘Real strength in depth and huge experience in the private wealth/landed estate field. Really top property litigation team.‘
‘Natasha Rees is hugely experienced, very talented and steely.‘
‘Filled with first-class lawyers who blend the high quality one would expect of a leading Mayfair outfit with a likeable, progressive approach.‘
‘Ben Barrison is a great technical lawyer, both in his knowledge of the substantive law and in his command of procedure. He is strong but flexible – astute enough never to lose sight of what his clients are really after.‘
‘They are specialists, particularly in leasehold enfranchisement.‘
‘I have worked with Forsters extensively over the last few years and have been hugely impressed with the way it has adapted to the pandemic. Not only has the quality of legal services not dipped at all, but the firm clearly has a strategy for the broader pastoral development of its staff and its relationships with related professionals within the real estate sector.‘
The Phillimore Estate
Lawrence Wharf Limited
Aldford House Freehold Limited
Giles Fearn and Others
The Crown Estate
British Airways Pension Fund
The Mercers Company
The Corporation of Trinity House
Aberdeen Standard Investments
LaSalle Investment Managers
Monckton Properties Limited
- Acting for a number of tenants of Neo Bankside, an architect-designed apartment complex, in a dispute with the Tate Gallery, its neighbour.
- Acted for the leaseholders of a large building in Park Lane known as Aldford House in relation to two significant disputes.
- Assisting the Phillimore Estate with the transition to the Estate’s new CEO, Tristan Phillimore, as well as advising on all aspects of management for the Central London Estate and liaising closely with the Estate’s asset managers, Savills.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Sitting at the intersection of the firm's dispute resolution and real estate practices, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's property litigation team stands out for its in-house advocacy capabilities; its 'high-quality, strategically minded litigation services' are routinely called upon by development companies, investment clients, funds, commercial tenants, and property and landowners. Much of its work arises from residential and mixed-use developments, redevelopments and regeneration schemes on one hand and from landlord and tenant relationships on the other. This includes disputes over leases, business rates and statutory wayleaves, alongside rent and service charge arrears. Handling disputes associated with tenant insolvencies constitutes another key area of expertise. Matthew Bonye, described as a 'doyen of the field', heads the team, which includes 'standout' senior associate Julia Tobbell, who is a solicitor advocate; their expertise reflects the team's key strengths.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Leech QC; John Chetwood; Julia Tobbell
‘HSF has a very broad practice with a very good property team, which is becoming unusual for a City firm. The property litigation practice is very good, with an offering ranging from the vastly experienced and urbane Matthew Bonye to the razor-sharp, cutting-edge Julia Tobbell.‘
‘It is regrettably rare among London solicitors to find such a critical mass of sheer talent in one place. The partners and associates work together closely, and share ideas effectively.‘
‘They have the ability to find a solution to any problem.‘
‘The team is able to offer very high-quality, strategically minded litigation services, with very high-quality members across all levels of seniority and with good synergy between the public and property teams for crossover cases.‘
‘Matthew Bonye is a doyen of the field. He is strongly supported by Julia Tobbell, who is a standout lawyer.‘
‘Very professional, encapsulating a sound knowledge of the law and able to capitalise on a strong relationship with the leading barristers in the niche field of litigation and rent reviews.‘
‘They demonstrate a thorough understanding of the law and its application and also make clear commercial recommendations, taking full account of our risk appetite and the circumstances of the case.‘
‘Matthew Bonye is a specialist real estate litigator leading a team dealing with high-value disputes in the commercial real estate sector.‘
British Land Plc
Aberdeen Standard Investments (formerly Standard Life)
Board of Trustees of The Tate Gallery
The Madison Square Garden Company
- Acted for the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery in successfully defending an action brought by nearby residents due to alleged nuisance and breach of human rights in the High Court and Court of Appeal, with the Supreme Court hearing to come in December 2021.
- Advised Almacantar on the completion of a conditional agreement for a 999-year lease of prime central London premises, pursuing the matter to a remote summary judgment application hearing in the High Court, and winning specific performance of the lease completion, and outstanding sums due to the client under the agreement for lease.
- Acted for Ludgate House Limited in a multi-faceted ratings action in respect of Ludgate House, 245 Blackfriars Road, London, which includes elements of judicial review of the Valuation Office Agency’s listing of the property and alleged state error, which has far-reaching consequences for Guardian business rates mitigation schemes across the UK.
Pinsent Masons LLP
While Pinsent Masons LLP puts significant emphasis on litigation avoidance alongside risk and dispute analysis, the 'exceptionally knowledgeable' team continues to receive a steady stream of contentious landlord and tenant instructions, including property portfolio litigation and litigation mandates arising from developments and energy and infrastructure projects. This broad skill set is greatly strengthened by the expertise of Siobhan Cross and 'truly excellent' team head Melissa Thompson in these areas. Recent mandates relate to vacant possessions, rights to light and other title constraints, and dilapidation claims, alongside mass protest and trespasser actions. Insolvency-related matters are another driver of activity. Clients include property developers, housebuilders, local authorities, investors, estates and energy companies.
Other key lawyers:
‘Top-class property litigation team with oodles of experience.‘
‘Siobhan Cross is partner with great experience in particular as regards rights to light.‘
‘Extremely precise legal work of highest professional standard regarding rights to light.‘
‘I have worked with the team over a number of years and can say that they are extremely well established. They appear to have a thorough knowledge of this area of the law and deliver a very good service indeed.‘
‘I would mention Melissa Thompson, who is a partner in the team and is truly excellent. I have known her to be an incredibly hard worker who has a very thorough understanding of the law. She combines this with a highly commercial approach and great affability.‘
‘A strong team with a national reputation.‘
‘Fantastic team. Innovative. Highly visible with excellent insight.‘
‘The team is exceptionally knowledgeable and can easily draw upon expertise from a wide range of other disciplines within the firm. The team is always up to date on the latest legislation and case law, providing regular commentary in layman’s terms. This has been particularly important over the last 12 months while we have had to navigate a complex legal framework in unprecedented circumstances.‘
Pavilion Property Trustees (a Tesco entity)
The Portman Estate
Legal & Contingency
London Borough of Hackney
Legal and General
Sara & Hossein Asset Holdings
- Acting for the Portman Estate and Grosvenor Liverpool Limited across their property portfolios on all property litigation matters, including lease renewals, vacant possession strategies, rent review, dilapidations, tenant breaches and Telecommunications Code matters.
- Acted for the successful appellant landlord Sara & Hossein Asset Holdings Limited at the Court of Appeal in a claim for service charge arrears claimed pursuant to a conclusive evidence clause in a commercial lease.
- Advising the Portman Estate on a vacant possession strategy of existing office, retail and residential buildings, which will involve various court proceedings against current occupiers.
Addleshaw Goddard has recently been particularly active handling vacant possession strategies and various matters pertaining to developments across London, such as option agreements, health and safety issues and rights to light, as well as tenant CVAs. The last-mentioned segment is an area of particular expertise for team head and solicitor advocate Frances Richardson, who is also known for her specialism in rent reviews; this expertise translates into regular instructions from landlords and tenants alike. Other landlord and tenant work includes lease agreements and terminations which are often led by legal director Gregory Simms, who is also regularly called upon in development and insolvency-related disputes and has particular rights to light expertise.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Blower; Gregory Simms
‘I was most impressed by the team’s ability to assimilate complex issues and to provide immediate and rationed advice.‘
‘Frances Richardson is confident, assured and definitive in her judgement. She inspired confidence in what was a significant chapter of our business.‘
‘A highly regarded team with an excellent reputation in real estate litigation. Great oversight of the law and the real estate industry enables them to give quality strategic and commercial advice. I was impressed with their attention to detail and hardworking, client-focused approach.‘
‘Frances Richardson is a rising star with her finger on the pulse of the market. Clever and effective.‘
‘They are a large firm who are capable of dealing with large deals, both in terms of resourcing and expertise.’
‘Greg Simms thinks about and offers solutions and always turns work around in a timely fashion.‘
‘Frances Richardson is a top-class property litigator. Her friendly manner (she has a very good sense of humour) belies truly excellent technical knowledge and a steely determination. She is very tuned into the commercial consequences for her clients.‘
‘Very through and correct advice. They understand our business model and process so are ideally suited.‘
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Travelodge Hotels Limited
Battersea Power Station Development Company
Cooley UK LLP
Peoples Republic of China
- Acted for HB Reavis in obtaining vacant possession of Elizabeth House from approximately 100 tenants in order to allow its 1.3m sq ft development to proceed.
- Acting for Aberdeen Standard Investments in its claim against its landlord, Transport for Greater Manchester, relating to to substantial water ingress affecting the client’s property at Deansgate Locks, Manchester.
- Advising a private equity house on a high-value dispute with its joint venture partner.
Clyde & Co LLP's close co-operation with the firm's transactional real estate team enables the practice to act for a broad client base, including property funds, landowners, developers, tenant occupiers and private clients. In a reflection of team head Keith Conway's expertise, much of its work pertains to developments and redevelopments - such as nuisance disputes, vacant possession strategies and building defects - and to landlord and tenant relationships. Typical instructions in the latter space include dilapidation claims, the recovery of rent arrears (including those arising from insolvency) and lease disputes. With legal director Jeremy Stephen, the team has an expert in rights of light insurance.
Other key lawyers:
‘Keith Conway is hugely experienced and his legal knowledge and commercial understanding is vast.‘
‘Led by the hugely experienced Keith Conway, the real estate litigation team is very in touch with the market and has a broad client base.‘
‘If you want a property litigator who has been around the block and really knows his stuff inside out, you want Keith Conway. There will be no aspect of property litigation which Keith has not dealt with before.‘
‘I always enjoy working with Keith Conway and his team.‘
‘Excellent client care. Highly responsive.‘
‘Jeremy Stephen is a strategic thinker and highly experienced litigator. Great client care. Always willing to go the extra mile. Knows how to get the result that clients are looking for. A pleasure to work with.‘
Cripps stands out for its estate management work, including leasehold enfranchisement, carried out for major London estates. Kerry Glanville is the key contact in this space; based in London, she co-heads the practice with Tunbridge Wells-based Miles Paffard, who handles a wide range of landlord and tenant disputes – another key strength of the team – and property-related insolvency. In the insolvency space, the team has acted for a number of estates requiring assistance with retailer CVAs, while, in other work, landowners instructed the team in Electronic Communications Code matters. Other clients include property investors, developers and high-net-worth individuals.
Miles Paffard; Kerry Glanville
Other key lawyers:
Mike Scott; Nitej Davda; Laura Southgate; Lesley Robinson
‘CPG provide me with a very tailored service to meet the specific demands of the asset they are involved in. They ensure all staff working on the asset have the appropriate level of experience to manage and advise us. They are responsive and always provide advice on top of the transactional detail and provide us with a cost-effective service.’
‘They are all first-rate lawyers with excellent client care skills who always, in my experience, go the extra mile.’
‘The team provide comprehensive advice framed in a commercial way that has regard to likely success of outcome and cost.’
‘We have worked with Mike Scott for over 15 years. He is an exceptional lawyer and leads an excellent team.’
The Cadogan Estate
The Crown Estate Commissioners
The Sloane Stanley Estate
The Portman Estate
The Eyre Estate
The John Lyon’s Chraity Estate
The Ilchester Estate
The Day Estate
The Dulwich Estate
- Acted for 82 Portland Place Investment LLP in a dispute over the circumstances in which it is appropriate to rectify the register at the Land Registry.
- Acted for Queen Court Freehold Company Limited in an appeal in which the team successfully argued that the leaseholders who had exercised the right to collective enfranchisement should be entitled to acquire leases of the airspace, subsoil and parts of the basement of the relevant premises.
- As solicitors for a number of London Estates as well as Federated Hermes, the team has advised on an increasing number of tenant retailer insolvencies.
DLA Piper is well placed to handle disputes across the residential, office, leisure and logistics sectors, with recent examples of its work including service charge disputes, Covid-19-related matters and lease disputes. Other regular work lies at the intersection with finance, corporate and commercial real estate. Solicitor advocate and fully accredited CEDR mediator Ian Brierley heads the practice and complements this offering with expertise in development-related work. This, in turn, is behind the team's strong track record in joint venture development-related disputes in particular. The group generates mandates from landlords, developers, private equity houses and investment management firms. Senior associate James MacDonald-Pearce is recommended for rights to light matters.
Other key lawyers:
James MacDonald-Pearce; Peter Fletcher
‘Great collegial attitude that makes the client feel like DLA is in your corner and part of the home team.‘
‘Ian Brierley has extensive subject matter knowledge and experience – he always provides a reassuring presence and has the enviable ability to up his game every time things appear to get tougher.‘
‘James McDonald-Pearce has good property knowledge and commercial sense.‘
‘Good general property litigation reputation.‘
‘Understanding and sympathetic team.‘
‘Know our business and jump straight into action when required.‘
‘Ian Brierley is right at the top of the tree for property litigation in the UK.‘
Farrer & Co handles various matters arising from property developments and the management of property portfolios, which has recently included a number of disputes associated with Covid-19 restrictions, most notably rent arrears and restructuring-related work. Elsewhere, landlord investor clients, developers, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and landed estates retain the group to assist with contract interpretation disputes and dilapidations matters. Siobhan Jones covers a wide range of commercial and residential property disputes and heads the team, which includes Jo Ord; she was promoted to partner in May 2021 and regularly acts for commercial and private clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team’s strengths are that they have a breadth of knowledge and skill in the full gamut of property litigation, as well as providing a bespoke personalised service for their client base.‘
‘On each occasion, the team’s technical knowledge has been unparalleled. That is combined with astute sensitivity to the practical needs and demands of each client.‘
‘Excellent understanding of the demands of the sector, coupled with superb skills.‘
‘Siobhan Jones ensures the best possible understanding of the client’s needs before identifying and achieving the best possible outcome. Her dedication to the needs of her clients is second to none.‘
‘I find them all exceptional and the ability of the practice head to place the right team member with the appropriate client is outstanding.‘
‘They have an excellent grasp on the issues involved and provide concise, pragmatic and sensible advice for which I am (usually) very grateful.‘
‘Siobhan Jones and Jo Ord are standout individuals – down to earth, focused and charming, with more than a touch of steel running through their advice. Just what we need.‘
‘Great firm, great people.‘
Charities Property Fund
AFTC Limited (Nobel Group)
S&P Farms (Beaumont Brook and Bradwell Power Station)
Duchy of Lancaster
Duchy of Cornwall
Diageo Pension Trust Limited
Royal College of Surgeons
All Souls College
C Hoare & Co
- Acting for JH Muirfield, a developer of mixed-use projects, in High Court proceedings regarding a failed completion and the treatment of the deposit paid by the buyer.
- Acting for Strutt & Parker Farms, a large agricultural company, following an Environment Agency investigation into alleged unlawful water abstraction on one of its farms and also (separately) in relation to High Court proceedings concerning access to its land pursuant to section 172 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, sought by the developers of a proposed major nuclear reactor.
- Acting for the appellant in a high-profile ongoing dispute with his former spouse regarding damages for the use and occupation of the former matrimonial home.
Embedded in Fieldfisher's wider real estate practice, the property litigation group is regularly called upon in disputes arising from real estate finance transactions, but also stands out for its expertise in assisting energy sector companies with injunctions against protestors and pipeline-related disputes. This is complemented by experience in commercial landlord and tenant litigation, including lease disputes, CVAs and rent reviews; consultant Lesley Webber is the key contact for the last-mentioned segment. She is a member of the team led by solicitor advocate Antony Phillips, who specialises in dilapidations and professional negligence cases. Owen Talfan Davies stands out for his expertise in obtaining pre-emptive injunctions protecting private land. The team's large blue-chip client base includes retailers, property investment companies, sports clubs and pension funds.
Other key lawyers:
Lesley Webber; Owen Talfan Davies
‘I regard Antony Philips, Lesley Webber and Owen Talfan Davies as excellent in all aspects of property litigation work.‘
‘Owen Talfan Davies has an incredibly analytical mind and makes sure that he has considered every last angle of his case before pleading and presenting it. He shows extraordinary strategic awareness in sensing the moment to extract the best settlement for his client.‘
‘The team is exceptionally strong across the board.‘
‘Owen Talfan Davies is exceptional and has an amazing client list.‘
INEOS Upstream Limited
West One Loan Limited / Aura Finance Limited (Enra Group Limited)
Fraser Hart Limited
British Pipeline Agency
Reaction Engines Limited
The Warwickshire County Cricket Club Limited
IWG Group Plc (operating as Regus)
- Acting for the IWG Group in successfully defending a forfeiture action relating to two landmark City office buildings at Bishopsgate and Citypoint, in proceedings brought about by the pandemic.
- Successfully acting for British aerospace engine developer Reaction Engines Limited in a multimillion-pound High Court dispute relating to an agreement for the lease of a testing facility for its space rocket engine technology.
- Acting for INEOS Upstream Limited and others in a first-of-its-kind injunction against named individuals and unnamed protestors in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Fladgate LLP covers the gamut of commercial landlord and tenant litigation, including property portfolio work such as squatter actions, service charge disputes and tenant CVAs. Disputes over option, lease and development management agreements alongside restrictive covenants are examples of recent development-related instructions. Led by Tim Foley, the team generates regular mandates from property investors, property owners, developers and development management companies. It also acts for a number of well-known commercial tenants in the retail, leisure and restaurant sectors, which is a key area of expertise for Alison Mould. In May 2021, Adam Gross joined the team from Memery Crystal LLP; he handles a wide range of commercial and residential property disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Alison Mould; Janet Keeley; Adam Gross; Janani Puvi
‘Very pragmatic, sensible and commercial.‘
‘Alison Mould is as good a commercial property litigator as you’ll find.‘
‘Throughout a very difficult year all of the partners and associates have been very accessible and ensured that it’s been very much business as usual for us. It has been a challenge but I’m happy to say that we have achieved all of our desired objectives and outcomes.‘
‘Alison Mould is very smart, provides practical advice and has a down-to-earth approach. We always welcome her input and her invaluable contributions when discussing our strategies.‘
‘Alison Mould is a good communicator who makes the difficult and complex easy to understand.‘
London Diocesan Fund
Beaverbrooks the Jewellers
- Advising the commercial fund generating arm of Origin Housing Association on the entire range of property litigation issues.
- Advising YO! Sushi on the property litigation implications of the company’s CVA.
- Advised a hotel developer on the terms of an agreement for lease granted to the client by Transport for London and a dispute as to whether the conditions had been fulfilled.
Gowling WLG counts developers, corporate occupiers, funds and public sector bodies among its clients, who regularly seek out the team to assist with various disputes associated with developments and the management of property portfolios. Recent work includes rent reviews, lease disputes and vacant possession strategies, but the team has also been increasingly active in the telecoms sector, where it advises operators on the renewal of agreements under the Electronic Communications Code. Aside from its litigation capabilities, the team co-led by solicitor advocate and CEDR accredited mediator Martin Thomas and Clive Chalkley also offers a wide range of ADR services. Consultant and rights to light expert Anne Waltham is another key member of the team.
Martin Thomas; Clive Chalkley
Other key lawyers:
‘Good and varied property litigation team.‘
‘The team is led by the clever and resourceful Clive Chalkley with great skill and verve. He is a force to be reckoned with.‘
‘Gowlings’ property litigation team stands out for the number of truly excellent women: diversity is not an issue here.‘
‘Everyone in the property litigation world knows Anne Waltham! She absolutely rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck in.‘
‘The team have a very strong reputation indeed and are extremely well-established in the field.‘
‘Clive Chalkley has a strong reputation. I have found him to be extremely experienced and knowledgeable. I also found him very pleasant to work with.‘
‘Impressive continued response to working in Covid times. Responsive and innovative.‘
The Arch Company
U&I (formerly Development Securities)
GVC (Ladbrokes Coral)
NFU Mutual Insurance Society
- Acts for Cornerstone in an appeal to the Supreme Court concerning how to identify the correct occupier of land where the actual occupier is already a telecoms operator.
- Acting for 89 Holland Park (Management) Limited in an ongoing case involving the building of a controversially designed home by architect Sophie Hicks in Holland Park.
- Appointed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to advise on all aspects of the arrangements relating to the MoD’s serviced family accommodation portfolio leading up to site rent reviews across circa 500 sites between 2021 and 2024.
Howard Kennedy LLP is sought out for its expertise in commercial and residential property landlord and tenant litigation, which attracts landlords and tenants alike, including many retail and leisure operators. Lease enfranchisement and building defects-related claims (most notably in the cladding space) constitute key elements of the residential practice. Development-related work is another key strength and has recently led to instructions from developers, landlords and high-net-worth individuals on restrictive convents and neighbourly rights matters, among other issues. Much of the team’s recent commercial property work is Covid-19-related and includes insolvency matters, rent arrears and contested contract completions. Amanda McNeil heads the team and covers commercial and residential property disputes, with particular strength in the retail and leisure sectors. By signing the Race Fairness Commitment Charter, the firm has demonstrated its commitment to fair and inclusive recruitment practices.
Other key lawyers:
Bhavini Patel; Robert Boucher; Edward Cooper
‘The HK team has been fantastic in guiding me through a very difficult time. They have shown a lot of understanding for my own emotional state, which I have hugely appreciated, and they have used a paralegal to do work that would usually be the domain of a solicitor to help me manage costs. They have offered regular strategy calls and have discussed the case with senior partners as it has become very complex due to the actions of the other side.‘
‘A diverse range of experience and large resources provides a large knowledge base for clients.‘
‘I value their careful and considered advice, which invariably is delivered promptly and in a client-friendly manner.‘
‘The team is resourceful and well connected.‘
‘Exceptional team, well respected in the real estate litigation market. Consistent quality across the board.‘
‘Robert Boucher is a star in property litigation. Any case involving him will have been prepared to the nth degree.‘
‘Bhavini Patel is a superb lawyer who never loses site of the bigger picture. Her cases are always prepared meticulously.‘
‘Bhavini Patel is very experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic. She is hardworking with great client service and high standards.‘
Ballymore Properties Limited
Richemont (Cartier, Mont Blanc, Watchfinder)
Battersea Power Station Development Company
Smith & Williamson LLP
Companies within the Galliard Group
- Advised a global fashion brand pre and during Covid-19 in negotiating an early surrender of its New Bond Street lease, and in the absence of any positive response from the landlord, making an application to the court to restrain the presentation of the winding up petition.
- Acting for a client applying for planning permission to develop a site into the large-scale mixed-use development Turnberry Quay, where the leaseholders on the remaining blocks have issued proceedings in the Central London County Court for a declaration that they are entitled to acquire the freehold.
- Acting for a client in a claim being brought in the Technology & Construction Court that involves issues of non-fire-resistant cladding and insulation, building regulations compliance, valuation, blight and individual special damages, including alleged distress and inconvenience.
With a significant emphasis on the commercial property sector, including mixed-use properties, Maples Teesdale LLP is best known for its expertise in management and development-related work. This focus translates into regular instructions from landlords and tenants on rent reviews and rights to light (team head Dellah Gilbert is a key contact for both), lease renewals, dilapidations and insolvency-related matters. It also acts for landowners in proceedings against operators seeking the removal of telecoms equipment.
Other key lawyers:
‘Dellah Gilbert is a very experienced litigator.‘
‘The team is horough, professional, commercially minded, experienced, hands-on, and instils client confidence.‘
‘A really good firm that provides strategic advice.‘
‘I know that I can rely on the property litigation team for quick and sensible advice.‘
‘Rosalind Cullis and her colleagues in the property litigation team have dealt with issues in a timely and commercial manner and have been a pleasure to work with.‘
‘Real estate-focused and highly respected, very good client base, very responsive.‘
‘Dellah Gilbert is a strong litigation partner.‘
Legal & General
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Royal & Sun Alliance
BMO Real Estate Partners
CLS Holdings Plc
City of London Corporation
The Cavendish Hotel (London) Limited (part of The Ascott Group and CapitaLand)
Throgmorton UK Limited
- Advising and acting for Cine-UK Limited in the defence of a claim for arrears of rent and other monies which have fallen due under its lease during Covid-19.
- Acting for The Cavendish in business lease renewal proceedings.
- Acting on behalf of Ssamzie Limited and its former director in defending proceedings seeking damages for alleged unlawful forfeiture of a lease.
Developers, investors, housebuilders and property owners frequently retain the team at Osborne Clarke LLP to assist with development-related and neighbourly disputes. Both areas are among the key strengths of team head and rights to light specialist Gary Lawrenson; he is also noted for his property management expertise, which includes the management of electronic communication apparatus portfolios and associated contentious issues. He is supported by Carl Roche, whose expertise in disputes arising from energy regeneration sites has translated into a growing renewable energy sector client base.
Other key lawyers:
The UNITE Group Plc
GLP (formerly Gazeley)
Eskmuir Properties Limited
CLS Holdings plc
U + I
Bioenergy Infrastructure Group
Global Student Accommodation
Dar Plus Ltd
Vistry formerly named Galliford Try
Greystar Europe Holdings Limited
- Defending Olympian Homes in two sets of proceedings for an injunction issued against the developer of the tallest building in Yorkshire.
- Represented MonSolar IQ Limited, a subsidiary of Encavis AG, in its successful claim against its landlord Woden Park Limited in the High Court, in which the court held that there was a mistake in the drafting of the rent review provision in its lease.
- Representing Redevco UK 2 BV in two sets of Property Tribunal applications which arise out of disputes with residential leaseholders over high-value service charge issues and the appointment of a property manager.
Russell-Cooke LLP has particular expertise in handling disputes arising out of the private rented and build-to-rent sectors, such as rent arrears, nuisance claims and possession matters, but it is also well versed in leasehold and service charge litigation for freehold owners and block management companies. Other work includes landlord and tenant and neighbourly matters, including CVAs, right to light and litigation pertaining to renovation projects. Jason Hunter heads the team and acts on matters across the commercial, residential and mixed-use property sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Greatholder; Edward Cracknell; Stephen Small
‘A well-respected team in the real estate sector.‘
‘The team have good breadth of knowledge whilst still seeming to know the ins and outs of everything too.‘
‘One of the things I really like is that we are not passed around the department to someone new. Each time we deal with two people, partner and associate, which means we have built a good relationship and understanding of the way we like to work. Both members of the team are happy to chat things through, which helps on the more complicated things rather than relying on emails, and they are very proactive.‘
‘This is a high-quality firm and I have always found their advice to be sound, timely and helpful in resolving situations.‘
‘We work mainly with Jason Hunter who is responsive and proactive.‘
‘Excellent knowledge of their subjects, clear and concise advice with the client’s best interests considered at all times.‘
‘They identify and understand the issues quickly and do not make a meal of the subject, which can give the impression of trying to generate fees rather than give the best advice.‘
‘Over the last year we have used Russell-Cooke for relatively small-scale disputes but they have shown a responsive approach, taking full account of what we are seeking to achieve while being commercial in terms of fees incurred and outcomes achievable.‘
Pret a Manger
Edward Gostling Foundation
Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust
- Acted for Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust in relation to a dispute involving a restrictive covenant in a Supreme Court appeal.
- Continuing to act for Grainger in all areas of dispute resolution in the private rented sector, including arrears and possession work, as well as assisting with all disputes relating to rented premises.
- Continuing to act for residential freehold client Woodlands Beulah Hill Limited in a wide range of residential long leasehold litigation.
With two solicitor advocates in the team, including team head Andrew Myers, Stephenson Harwood is noted for its advocacy skills, which are routinely called upon by property management and investment companies, as well as institutional landlords and tenants requiring assistance with contentious property portfolio and tenancy work. This includes service charge and rent arrears, forfeiture proceedings, dilapidations and contested lease renewals. Handling rights to light matters and claims arising from property developments constitutes another key element of the practice and is an area of particular expertise for Sophie Schultz; she is the second solicitor advocate in the team and frequently acts for developers as well as for neighbours in nuisance claims.
Other key lawyers:
‘Andrew Myers has a rare grasp of the underlying property matters and is relentlessly focused on getting his clients optimum results.‘
‘The team is super smart and just who you need on your side if you’re involved in a contentious matter. They provide a commercial view, not just a legal view, and are great strategists.‘
‘The practice is unique due to the driving force of Sophie Schultz.‘
‘Sophie Schultz is an amazing technical lawyer – the best I have ever come across. She marries this with a common sense, pragmatic approach, enabling her to give clear commercial advice to clients. Sophie is extremely diligent, turns things around quickly for our demanding clients and is always available and happy to chat something through.‘
‘Very rigorous on detail but understanding of the client’s context and overall objectives. Very helpful connections within the company to line up other experienced lawyers with the necessary skill sets and within a fee framework that had been agreed.‘
‘Andrew Myers is wickedly bright and resourceful. He is also unflappable, meeting crises with calmness and maturity. A person who should be in anybody’s emergency dial.‘
‘If you want someone to worry over a problem until a solution emerges, this is your team.‘
‘Each lawyer I have dealt with is deeply impressive and knows their stuff inside out. Case preparation is first class and their knowledge of the law is brilliant.‘
The Prudential Assurance Company Limited
HSBC Bank Pension Fund
Lothbury Property Trust Company
Mercia Real Estate
The Langham Estate
The Royal College of Art
London Metric plc
- Acting for the management company of Aldford House, a mansion block in Mayfair, in a claim for serious service charge arrears at the block, which was originally for over £1.1m of arrears.
- Acted for LondonMetric Saturn Limited in an action against Sportsdirect.com plc for rent arrears under its lease.
- Acting for two Mercia Real Estate companies in a substantial nuisance claim regarding an industrial site in the West Midlands that has caused them significant losses over many years due to dust pollution.
Taylor Wessing LLP has recently been particularly active in assisting landlords and institutional clients with various Covid 19-related matters such as lease renewals and terminations, alongside dilapidations. It is also experienced in advising landlords on tenant CVAs, as well as in development-related disputes, most notably rights to light and vacant possession matters. While most of its work concerns commercial properties, it also handles residential leasehold instructions. Team head Saleem Fazal divides his time between London and Liverpool and handles the full range of commercial real estate disputes. He is also the founder and co-chair of Freehold, a networking forum for LGBT real estate professionals.
‘They are very well established and led by the excellent Saleem Fazal.‘
‘I would mention Saleem Fazal, who has led this team for a number of years now. He is extremely experienced as a property litigator and very highly regarded.‘
‘TW are a very good mix of responsive and well informed. Speed of replies to enquires are key to building up confidence, and this has been even more impressive during Covid-influenced times. IT access to storage of files is highly efficient, and I have personally benefitted from help being given to guide me through the process.‘
‘Saleem Fazal demonstrates excellent response times and deep speciality knowledge.‘
‘Taylor Wessing have become a real heavyweight in the property litigation field, thanks to the deft touch of Saleem Fazal.’
‘Saleem Fazal is totally engaged, Saleem is a lovely person to deal with and a great leader of his team.‘
‘A strong, able team.‘
Secure Income REIT
Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Limited
Knotel UK / Knotel Inc
Canada Life Limited
InfraRed Capital Partners
Camden Property Holdings Limited
The Westbury Hotel Limited
Trustees of the JMPH Evelyn 1997 Settlement
Henry & Angela Broughton
- Representing Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Limited, the landlord of commercial premises occupied by Paperchase, which was subject to a CVA, in seeking to obtain vacant possession of the unit by following the relevant procedures set out in the CVA.
- Assisted Hollister with matters pertaining to its UK lease portfolio, including lease renewals, lease terminations and dilapidations.
- Advising Canada Life Limited on matters concerning the impact of Covid-19 on its UK property portfolio, including the coronavirus legislation, CVAs entered into by tenants and the negotiation of concessions agreed with certain tenants.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP covers a broad spectrum of property litigation with particular strength in development-related claims, including rights to light, restrictive covenants, adverse possession and party wall disputes. Regular clients in this space include housebuilders, registered providers and developers. Title indemnity underwriters and insurers also benefit from this set of expertise and regularly call upon Nick Levy's rights to light insurance claims practice. This offering is rounded off by in-depth expertise in commercial landlord and tenant disputes, which includes matters relating to tenant insolvencies (the team acts for landlords and insolvency practitioners), leasehold enfranchisement and the Electronic Communications Code. Managing partner and dispute resolution department head Paul Marco co-heads the team with Levy and covers a wide range of development and landlord and tenant work.
Nicholas Levy; Paul Marco
Other key lawyers:
Rachel Kerr; Emma Barnfield; Douglas Rhodes
‘The team has a broad range of knowledge and skill at all levels.‘
‘They are responsive, commercial and thoughtful in their approach to litigation and dispute resolution, and open to collaboration.‘
‘Nick Levy and Rachel Kerr are both very responsive, proactive, quick to act and calm in a crisis.‘
‘Trowers’ strengths and key capabilities lie in understanding the new legislation and having a practical understanding of how to apply it to a various property classes in a way that achieves the owners’ specific objectives.’
‘Unlike other firms of property litigation solicitors, their knowledge of the new Electronic Communications Code enables them to handle complex cases in a simple and efficient manner.‘
‘There is a huge collegial spirit amongst the team. They are busy and have a very diverse cross-section of work. They also have a very diverse team and attract talent who are not only very good lawyers, but who are also team players and easy to deal with.‘
‘Paul Marco and Nick Levy are heavyweight property litigation partners with superb reputations.‘
‘Emma Barnfield already is a star who is making an impact, especially in telecoms.‘
CLS Risk Solutions Limited
National Bank of Kuwait
J D Wetherspoon plc
First Abu Dhabi Bank
Delph Property Group
Westminster City Council
Trinova Real Estate
- Advised an insurance company on claims arising out of numerous title indemnity policies providing coverage against rights to light for significant developments in London and throughout England and Wales.
- Retained as sole legal adviser on Westminster City Council’s rooftop telecoms portfolio; this includes advice on the renewal of existing telecoms agreements and on requests by operators to acquire new Code rights.
Winckworth Sherwood LLP handles a wide range of commercial and residential property disputes arising out of development sites and the management of property assets. This has recently included tenancy breaches, contested lease renewals, service charge disputes, vacant possession strategies and party wall disputes, among others. The team led by solicitor advocate and former barrister Emma Chadwick is also well placed to handle disrepair and cladding issues affecting residential and commercial buildings. Its expertise is frequently called upon by housebuilders in particular, but its client roster also includes investors, developers and private individuals.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Dunbar; Tim Fogarty
‘Very client-focused, clear, concise advice.‘
‘The property litigation team works across the whole range of property litigation issues. They are adept at working with large retailers, landlords, social housing providers and individuals.‘
‘They are immensely down to earth and I always enjoy working with them.‘
‘Emma Chadwick is very good indeed: determined and experienced.‘
‘Paul Dunbar is excellent: very commercially driven and determined always to get the best result for the client.‘
‘Unlike any other law firm, the team is responsive, responsible, accountable, and committed. The team is not looking at the cases as a source of income/ fees but considering cost-effectiveness for the client.‘
‘A seriously well-balanced team of cracking real estate lawyers. They have talent at all levels and the team combines street-smart tactics with hard-headed commercialism.‘
‘The team is headed up by the highly commercial and super-smart Emma Chadwick. Emma fights her clients’ corners with verve tempered with great pragmatism.‘
Canary Wharf Group
Notting Hill Genesis
Agudas Israel Housing Association
- Undertaking a wide range of commercial and residential property disputes for Catalyst Group, including advising on land issues concerning its development sites and its asset management.
- Acting for Fidelity UK Real Estate Fund in relation to its commercial property portfolio; recently this included the renewal of a lease of a freight warehouse located in the Midlands.
- Acting as principal legal adviser to Greenwich Hospital for real estate and real estate litigation, which has included handling a number of court disputes regarding forfeiture and contested lease renewals in commercial premises.
Boodle Hatfield LLP has a strong profile for lease enfranchisement and disputes associated with opposed lease renewals in particular, where the team acts for landlords and tenants including private individuals. The practice led by Colin Young focuses on the residential real estate sector, but it also handles commercial property disputes, including those over unpaid rent. Young is supported by Kellie Jones, who was promoted to partner in May 2020, and is well versed in commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent knowledge of our company and its background to inform on the strategy.‘
‘Real strength and experience in the private wealth/landed estate residential field.‘
‘Colin Young is very calm and hugely experienced.‘
‘Kellie Jones is bright and approachable but steely.‘
‘The property litigation department at Boodle Hatfield has considerable breadth of experience in all matters of property disputes.‘
‘Their measured and pragmatic approach to solutions and their approachable and open style, together with their in-depth knowledge of complex issues, especially with leasehold property in London, give them an edge over their competitors.‘
‘Kellie Jones is an outstanding property litigation practitioner, with in-depth knowledge of case law and property disputes.‘
IBM UK Pension Fund
Clifford Chance LLP provides assistance with vacant possession strategies, rights to light settlements and other development-related disputes. Its other key strength lies in property contract disputes, which is also where Ben Hatton's focus lies. He heads up the team and has recently handled squatters and trespass actions for an energy sector client and eviction proceedings for a charity. Other regular instructions are generated from property development companies, real estate investment managers, landowners and financial institutions. Expertise in boundary and business rate disputes complements this offering. The firm has set itself the inclusion target to reach at least 40% female partners globally by 2030.
‘Clifford Chance provide their clients with total commitment and a Rolls-Royce service in property litigation. Clients can be assured that no stone will be left unturned. The team is small but often works on large-scale matters which, because of their sensitivity, do not receive public attention.‘
‘I regard Ben Hatton highly. He is very responsive to clients and his cases are always very thoroughly prepared.‘
‘They are uniquely able to combine the excellence and resources of a Magic Circle firm with the personal touch of a boutique one. They are particularly good on commercial property disputes, but able to turn their hand to anything.‘
‘It goes without saying that Ben Hatton is an excellent lawyer with an extremely wide knowledge of property law, but he’s also fantastic with clients and barristers. Very easy to deal with, great at finding pragmatic solutions and experienced at running cases of all shapes and sizes.‘
‘Great at strategising through a complex situation, leading to a successful consensual resolution to everyone’s satisfaction.‘
‘Ben Hatton has a calm and measured approach to every problem which often yields positive results.‘
Canary Wharf Group plc
(Official Receiver of) British Steel
(Official Receiver of) Cardwool Limited
American International Group
Asphaltic Land Limited
Elliott Management Corporation
General Electric International
GIC Private Limited
Horizon Nuclear Power Wylfa Limited
Mitsubishi Estate London Limited
Nuveen Real Estate
Permira Advisers LLP
Incorporated Holdings Limited
Helical Bar plc
- Acted for Mitsubishi Estate London Limited in a contentious landlord and tenant matter which involved obtaining full vacant possession of prime central London fully let premises from all of the tenants (which included office space, a gym and two restaurants), in order for the client’s comprehensive redevelopment plans to take place.
- Acted for the Official Receiver and Special Managers of British Steel on the sale of the business and assets to Jingye Steel and Iron, a privately owned enterprise from Hebei province in China.
- Acted for Horizon Nuclear Power on the removal of squatters and trespass actions at or near to its nuclear power station sites.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
DAC Beachcroft LLP's property litigation practice is led by Guy Knight, who has particular expertise in disputes associated with the residential development of land and, as a result of this, acts for many major housebuilders.
Specialist real estate firm Davitt Jones Bould stands out for its local authority and landowner work, which frequently translates into instructions relating to famous London landmarks. Other clients include corporate occupiers and investment companies, which instruct the team led by senior partner and co-founder Madeleine Davitt to assist with disputes over business occupancies, unpaid rent, lease exits and dilapidations, among other matters. Handling issues at the intersection with planning constitutes another key strength. Besides its wide-ranging real estate expertise, the firm is also noted for its 55% share of female partners across its five UK offices thanks to its flexible working conditions.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Warner-Reed; Maeve Bonner
‘DJB has always been successful by having a small-firm mentality whilst also bringing a blue-chip level of service.‘
‘They are superb at managing big projects, especially driven by the public sector.‘
‘True property/planning litigation experts that you seldom find in large firms.‘
‘Jonathan Warner-Reed is a very experienced property litigator with an excellent rapport with clients.‘
Public Health England
Department for Health and Social Care
The Royal Parks
Rick Stein’s Restaurants
Ministry of Defence
Surrey County Council
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Merchant Land Investments
Brighton and Hove Council
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Spelthorne Borough Council
Woking Borough Council
- Advised the Royal Parks on all of the property litigation cases to arise out of its famous parkland.
- Advised a central government client on a judicial review hearing.
- Advised a property investment company on recovering insurance pay-outs for loss of rental income due to Covid-19.
Edwin Coe LLP's property litigation team works alongside the firm's property practice and other departments, translating into solid capabilities in various areas, which makes for an attractive offering for landlords, tenants, developers and private individuals. While its litigation expertise is regularly called upon in landlord and tenant disputes, dilapidations and building defect cases alongside vacant possession, restrictive covenant and easement actions, the team puts significant emphasis on settlement through mediation. Team head Joanna Osborne handles all types of property litigation.
Other key lawyers:
Shams Rahman; Katherine Simpson
‘Very personable and conscientious individuals.‘
‘Extremely effective collaborative working as a team – I felt heavily engaged and involved as the client.‘
‘They constantly went above the call of duty and were contactable at all hours via phone or email.‘
‘Excellent attention to detail. They left me feeling like I was in a pair of safe hands, which was extremely reassuring during a difficult legal process.‘
‘Joanna Osborne has been tireless in her pursuit of the truth and ensuring that our voice is heard in this process. She has been our guardian angel throughout and protected us from trapdoors that we may have fallen into.‘
‘Industry leading experts in niche fields such as dilapidations and leasehold enfranchisement.‘
‘Shams Rahman took the lead in presenting the client’s case persuasively and he negotiated hard on their behalf to achieve a good outcome.‘
Newrest Servair LCY UK Limited
Provincial Equity Finance Limited
Connie Investments Limited
Heathrow Developments Limited
Henley Homes Plc
West Heath Place Leaseholders (20 individuals)
Skyport Enterprise UK Limited
Lebronze Alloys UK Limited
- Acted for the defendant in a substantial claim for breach of trust and the return of various properties in the UK brought by two former partners in a well-known South African cash and carry business.
- Advised the tenant Newrest Servair LCY UK Limited on the enforcement notice received by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham alleging that the installation of roller shutter doors in the client’s premises was without planning permission.
- Acting for the landlord Connie Investments Limited in a dispute with its tenant, Avni Kensington Hotel Limited, concerning the interpretation of the rent review provisions and the security of tenure exclusion provisions in the tenant’s lease.
Glovers Solicitors LLP is a specialist property law firm and best known for its hospitality and leisure sector expertise, which is regularly sought out by restaurants in a cross-section of matters arising from their real estate portfolios. This includes lease renewals and break notices, dilapidation claims, boundary and covenant disputes, forfeitures, neighbourly issues and tenant insolvency. Handling insolvency-related work is an area of particular expertise for team head Edward Vaughan, which also leads to regular instructions from banks and insolvency practitioners. Expertise in development and redevelopment-related matters and residential leasehold enfranchisement rounds off this offering.
Other key lawyers:
‘Glovers provides an excellent, client-oriented service, which is attentive and adaptable to the client’s needs and requirements.‘
‘Skilled in their areas of expertise and provide sound and reliable advice.‘
‘The team have the necessary expertise, are receptive to the client’s approach, and provide strategic, practical and sound legal advice.‘
‘Edward Vaughan is highly experienced, knows the law back to front, and is excellent with clients and very commercially focused.‘
‘Kenny Friday is a superb lawyer with commercial nous and is excellent with clients.‘
‘You can always speak directly to a senior partner. Their knowledge in the restaurant market is vast.‘
‘Glovers’ litigation team provides us with excellent commercial advice. Their pragmatic approach is valued.‘
‘Kenny Friday is hugely supportive and his advice on complex issues is delivered with clarity and with due regard for the impact on the client’s business.‘
Azzurri Restaurants Limited (ASK, Zizzi, Coco di Mama)
Nando’s Chickenland Limited
Gourmet Burger Kitchen Limited
Richoux Group Limited
McMullen & Sons Limited
Everyman Media Limited
Investec Bank Plc
United Trust Bank Limited
Hampshire Trust Bank plc
Close Brothers Limited
Strata Residential Finance plc
Shawbrook Bank Limited
Deep Blue Restaurants Limited
- Acting as principal property litigation advisers to Azzurri Restaurants (ASK and Zizzi), Prezzo, Nando’s, GBK and Wagamama across a diverse range of property matters affecting their extensive estate portfolios, particularly property issues arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic and protection from enforcement actions by landlords for non-payment of rent.
- Acting as property litigation advisers to Investec, Close Brothers, Hampshire Trust Bank, United Trust Bank and various insolvency practitioners concerning different property-related matters, including the enforcement of mortgages and other security, professional negligence disputes and insolvency options.
- Acted for a restaurant client in the defence of forfeiture proceedings brought against it by a landlord for various alleged breaches of covenant.
Hamlins LLP handles a broad spectrum of commercial and residential property disputes, with team head Kate Andrews being the key contact for the former. Much of this work concerns break notices, rent reviews, dilapidation claims and CVAs, while development-related disputes have been another driver of recent activity. Instructions in this space include easements, rights to light and boundary matters alongside vacant possession actions. Landlords and tenants, developers, property managers, investors and residential leaseholders also benefit from the team's mediation expertise.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Hamlins team is dynamic and very client-focused. They aim to get the right result for you in the most cost-effective and timely manner.‘
‘Kate Andrews is an exceptional litigation solicitor, always able to help however short notice and provides an honest and speedy opinion. A first-class negotiator and always puts her clients first.‘
‘The property litigation team at Hamlins is a real powerhouse led by the formidable Kate Andrews. The service is second to none and I can rely on the team no matter what time of day or night, seven days a week.‘
‘Kate Andrews has impeccable knowledge across all areas of property litigation and has a real talent for getting deals done in short timescales under great pressure. She doesn’t hide behind emails or letters and really gets stuck in. She grasps the issues and commercial concerns quickly and tailors her advice accordingly. She has great relationships with top barristers which also helps at short notice.‘
‘The team led by Kate Andrews is exemplary – committed, professional, efficient and available more or less at any time.‘
‘I have worked exclusively with Kate Andrews, and have always found her energy and commitment to be extraordinary.‘
‘Sarah Finch has a wonderful combination of knowledge of her area but also common-sense solutions to problems and an understanding of our priorities and issues as clients.‘
Allvest Company Limited
Abbey Commercial Ltd
Avida (London) Limited
Antipodean (UK) Limited
Acemark Properties Limited
Azure Services Ltd & Azure Resorts Ltd
Ashtead Estates Limited
Ace Rent a Van Ltd
Bahagia Investments Limited
Bromley Park Garden Estates Limited
The Bampton Property Group Limited
Bedford Arcade Properties Limited
Beavor Lane LLP
Blenheim Estates Limited
Bass Orthodontics Limited
Berger Crest Investments Limited
CDR Nomineeco 1 Limited & CDR Nomineeco 2 Limited
Centrick Commercial Limited
Castle Lane Securities Limited
Cyan Properties Limited
Cabot Investments Limited
Citylake Investments Limited
CRED Investments Holdings Limited
Centrick Property Sales Limited
Crown View Estates Ltd.
Cooley (UK) LLP
Cedarhope Properties Limited
Crownpark Investments Limited
Civic Centre Ltd
Cheshire Street Limited
Club La Costa (UK) Plc
Carlton Real Estates Developments Limited
Camberwell Developments Limited
Chas Newens Marine Co Limited
Cumberland Court Investments Ltd
Chiswick Quay Freeholds Limited
Container Space Limited
Design Warehouse Limited
Diamond Resorts (Europe) Limited
Daejan Investments Limited
Drone Major Group Limited
Dollis Avenue LLP
Englefield Estate Trust Corporation Limited
Basura Restaurants Limited
Eighteen Broadlands Road (Management) Limited
Ebury Greencrest LLP
Eros Properties Limited
ES Whitefield Limited
Epwin Group Plc
Epwin Logistics Limited
First London Investments Limited
Finegold Assets Limited
Finsbury Square Property Company Limited
Fine & Country Limited
Firgate Estates Limited
Grainmarket Properties Ltd
Greencap IV Ltd
Gloster MEP Ltd.
Godwit Haven LLP
Gradient Developments Limited
Gillespie Manners Limited
Hampstead Residential Limited
The Heart of Limited
Hatton Garden Properties Limited
Honeyacre Estates Ltd
Hamilton House RTM Company Limited
Hartsbourne Properties Limited
Highgrade Properties Limited
Holly Park Retail Limited
Hamilton House Maintenance Limited
Hetton Properties Limited
Investin Sheldon Falmouth Developments Limited
Indra Prastha Limited
Investin Bournville Limited
Investin Ashford Properties Limited
Julia RE (U.K.) Limited
James Taylor Homes (Kingston) Limited
J. Leon & Company Limited
Kolup Investments Limited
Landmark Mortgages Ltd (LM XXXX)
The Light Cinema Limited
Lunar Holding SARL
Lunar Office SARL
Lunar Retail SARL
Lunar Altrincham SARL
Lunar Hereford SARL
Lunar Stretford SARL
Lunar Stockton SARL
Lightstone Chatham LLP
Lightstone Neatscourt Phase 3 LLP
Lightstone Gillingham LLP
Le Congress Limited
London Road Lichfield Limited
Lunar JV Finance Limited
Crocus Home Loans Limited
M&M Portfolio Limited
MPG Quantity Surveyors Ltd
Moon A Limited
Marilla Properties Limited
Melva Apartments Ltd
Makepeace Investments Limited
Myhome Solutions Limited
MTD Coln Industrial Limited
Marble ARCH Abode Ltd
M S Webb & Company Limited
Marwin Securities Limited
Meritdream Limited & Acorn2Oak Property Advisors Limited
Milesaway Property Limited
No Ordinary Designer Label
National Car Parks Manchester Limited
North Hill Freeholds Limited
Newport Holdings Ltd
New London Markets Ltd
Nuneaton Shopping Centre SARL
Nottingham Place Properties Limited
Northbay Global Holdings Limited
National Car Parks Limited
Old Kent Road Regeneration Limited
One Dot World Limited
Ormazabal France S.A.S.U
P Khal Properties (Leeds) Limited
Property Investment Holdings
Pco 199 Limited
Pine Investments Limited
Palace Capital (Northampton) Limited
Parkchoice Limited and Crownview Estates Limited
Palace Capital (Halifax) Limited
Park Plaza Hotels Europe B.V.
Palace Capital (Properties) Limited
Pearlman, D & S, as trustees of the Wanderslore Pension Scheme
Prime Global Limited
Palace Capital (Signal) Limited
Pizza Union Limited
Peter Estates Limited
Palace Capital (Liverpool) Limited
RTR Property Developments Limited
R. E. H. Property Investment Co. Ltd.
Reef (Sevenoaks 2) Limited
Relx (UK) Limited
Renaissance 3964 Limited
Rosa’s London Limited
Romulus Shortlands Limited
The Rose Lane Limited Partnership
Roehampton Housing Association Limited
RTR Developments Limited
Sidney Smith Enterprises Limited
Stas Partnership Ltd (The)
Slindon Street Portsmouth Limited
Saffron Building Society
Hilton Worldwide Limited
Sateria Investments Ltd
Shanghai Land (London) Ltd
St Ermins Property Co Limited
SABA Management Limited
St Pauls RTM Company Limited
Leon Restaurants Limited
Searchgrade Ltd & Portmount Property Ltd
Ssl Burnham Limited
Shulem B Association Limited
Stirling Assets Limited
Shorts Gardens LLP
3Sixty Restaurants Limited
St Philips Homes (Burton Joyce) Limited
St Pauls Square RTM Company Limited
Trustees of Stancottage Pension Scheme
South West Investment Properties Ltd
Ms P Saini, Mr M Deol & Claremont Capital SPV9 Ltd
Sparkstone (Ascot) Ltd
Southern Grove Lancaster Street Limited
Shaviram Bracknell Limited And Shaviram Century LTD
Southern Grove Hackney Wick Limited
Southern Grove Lancaster Street Limited
Secure Chorus Limited
Southern Grove Hr Limited
Southern Grove Real Estate Limited
Specialist Building Products Ltd & Epwin Group Plc
Tower Bridge Yacht & Boat Company Ltd
Trillium (Prime) Property GP Limited
Trustees of The Sugarstep Pension Scheme
Telereal Investment Properties Limited
Touch (Brewood) Limited
Tripod Partners Limited
Utopia Real Estate Limited
Vacation Finance Limited
Ramboll Uk Limited
78 Wigmore Street Funding Co. Limited
WX Investments Limited
West India Quay (Warehouse Property) Limited
Witton Properties Limited
Worthing Football Centre Limited
Work.Life London Fields Limited
Work.Life Bermondsey Limited
Work.Life Brown Limited
Work.Life Fitzrovia Limited
Work.Life Hammersmith Limited
Work,Life Holborn Limited
Work.Life Reading Limited
Work.Life Farringdon Limited
Work.Life Soho Limited
Wiseman Opticians (Hampstead) Limited
Yorkshire Escapes LLP
Zeena Ventures Limited
- Assisted the claimant Epwin Logistics Limited with a claim for specific performance which was defended, and a counterclaim issued in relation to specific performance of a development agreement, and the requirement for an easement to be granted or a declaration made in relation to a right of way.
- Acted for National Car Parks Limited in a dispute over the development of a car park in accordance with a specification in an option agreement.
- Acted for Triplark Limited in a dispute over the interpretation of the right to manage legislation where tenants make applications for consent to assign.
Lewis Silkin LLP has recently been particularly active in disputes arising from landlord and tenant relationships - including those in the social housing arena - and the management of commercial portfolios. Rent, lease and business rates disputes alongside nuisance claims and CVAs are among typical instructions in this space. Elsewhere, high-net-worth individuals and their family offices instruct the team on enfranchisement, neighbourly and party wall disputes, while handling trespass and protester actions and development-related matters are other areas of expertise. Team head Brian Kilcoyne has a specialism in dilapidations and other development-related work.
Other key lawyers:
‘Fantastic, strategic, client-focused firm. Very professional.‘
‘Paul Hayes is an outstanding, dedicated and strategic lawyer.‘
‘Brian Kilcoyne is so good that he tends to eclipse all lawyers around him. His quick but deep mind penetrates the essence of a problem and spots solutions that lesser mortals cannot.‘
‘Sheer brightness, together with a calmness that is quite exceptional. Nothing escapes these guys!‘
‘Very knowledgeable individuals who not only know the law but have a very practical and commercial approach.‘
‘The team at Lewis Silkin is really focused on commercial realities and achieving positive outcomes for clients. They have a striking ability to think outside the box, to work around problems and to find innovative ways to get a satisfactory result.‘
‘Great legal knowledge and experience. I would go to Lewis Silkin for my property litigation and I always recommend them to others.‘
‘Brian Kilcoyne is technically extremely strong and a savvy litigator.‘
PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Limited
Rio Tinto Plc
Howden Joinery Group Plc
Interpublic Group of Companies Inc.
McCann-Erickson EMEA Ltd
Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited
- Acting for PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Limited (PERL) in relation to a preliminary issue under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 that was heard at a two-day trial at Exeter County Court in December 2020.
- Advising Howdens Joinery Plc as to its liability to pay business rates across its portfolio of properties and specifically whether its specific use/occupation meant that it qualified for rates relief in light of the guidance issued to rating authorities by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on 25 March 2020 in response to the effects of Covid-19 on retail businesses.
- Advising the IPG Group in disputes with landlords relating to whether the Covid-19 pandemic enables them to trigger rent suspension clauses in their leases and terms of the building insurance policies.
Memery Crystal LLP is well equipped to guide property companies, investors and corporate occupiers through landlord and tenant disputes (particularly Covid 19-related matters) across the commercial and residential property sectors, such as payment disputes, dilapidations and opposed lease renewals, as well as through retail CVAs. Handling development work makes up the second cornerstone of the practice and regularly includes rights to light, restrictive covenant and contractual issues. Richard Evans heads the team and routinely acts for property developers, retailers, investors and high-net-worth individuals.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is very responsive and sensitive to the client’s commercial objectives.‘
‘They have an unparalleled breadth of expertise in property litigation which unlike some competitor firms includes familiarity with both residential and commercial property.‘
‘Memery Crystal is well placed to adapt to the challenges posed by Covid as they already made extensive use of IT and have seamlessly adapted to remote working.‘
‘Richard Evans is clever and commercially astute, backed up with cutting-edge industry awareness. An absolute pleasure to work with.‘
‘Great client management and fantastic commercial awareness.‘
‘Richard Evans is great with clients and very responsive.‘
‘I regard them as a high-flying collection of individuals.‘
‘Memory Crystal is particularly efficient and and responds quickly to any questions, especially compared to other firms. I find that the team works well with each other.‘
Freshwater Group of Companies
St. Modwen Properties
The Mall Limited Partnership
Travis Perkins Plc
Samba London Limited (SushiSamba)
Blue Diamond UK
British Garden Centres
The Wooldridge Partnership
ASDA Stores Limited
West End Investments
The Bourne Capital Group
Probitas Trust Company
The Sapcote Group
London Relay Limited
- Acting for Freshwater Group of Companies in a wide range of property disputes across its substantial residential and commercial portfolio.
- Acting for Bourne Capital on rights to light and rights of first refusal concerned with two substantial developments of the group’s assets in Waterloo and Queensway.
- Acting for the Mall Limited Partnership in relation to claims for unpaid Covid-19 rents valued at over £1.5m against tenants including some prominent retailers.
Norton Rose Fulbright acts for a diverse client roster including investors, developers, landlords, financial institutions, joint venture partners and corporate occupiers. Solicitor advocate David Stevens heads the team and is the main contact for property management and development-related work, both of which form the practice's key areas of expertise; the latter regularly involves development constraints.
‘David Stevens offered practical and pragmatic advice in testing circumstances, delivered in line with our required timescales.’
‘Knowledgeable and responsive.’
‘David Stevens is friendly and eager to help.’
57 Whitehall S.A.R.L.
Banco Nacional de Angola
BMO Asset Management
BMW (UK) Limited
BNP Paribas Real Estate
Canada Pension Plan Investment
Civitas Social Housing plc
Dagenham Docks Limited
Ivanhoe Cambridge/Residential Land
Palace Capital plc
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Schroder Real Estate
Shell UK plc
Thales Properties Limited
WELPUT (a Schroders property fund managed by BentallGreenOak)
- Continuing to act for Circus Apartments Limited, a joint venture between Ivanhoe Cambridge and Residential Land, the long leaseholder of a residential apartment building in Canary Wharf, in proceedings with the freeholder involving alleged breaches of tenant covenants as a preliminary to forfeiture proceedings, as well as a counterclaim seeking a declaration that the landlord had unreasonably delayed and refused consent to applications for consent to assign and underlet the premises.
- Advising Olympus Property Holding on the development constraints and potentially contentious aspects of the mixed-use redevelopment of the Olympia Exhibition Centre.
- Advising 57 Whitehall S.A.R.L. on the development constraints and potentially contentious aspects of the redevelopment of the Old War Office in Whitehall, including rights to light aspects.
Reed Smith LLP
Many of Reed Smith LLP's recent instructions have stemmed from the energy and commercial property sectors, and to a lesser extent from the residential property sector, and have included various development-related matters and issues at the intersection with insolvency; the latter is a key area of expertise for team head and counsel Katherine Campbell. Regular instructions in the landlord and tenant space include dilapidations and lease renewals, while neighbourly and boundary disputes are other key elements of the practice.
‘It is a pleasure working with Katherine Campbell. She is very knowledgeable and professional and she understands our business.‘
‘Katherine Campbell has been a reliable partner in some difficult and complicated cases.‘
‘The Reed Smith team is our go-to practice for litigation, especially where there are grey areas and nuances in the case that require experience and thinking outside the box as well as knowledge of the relevant law.‘
‘We find them very quick to respond with informed, commercially grounded advice delivered in clear language.‘
‘They are pragmatic and compared with other practices they don’t sit on the fence when advising on our position and the likelihood of success.‘
‘Katherine Campbell is outstanding. In a very wide variety of situations, her knowledge and experience are invaluable. Most of all she is a pleasure to deal with – straight-talking, quick to grasp all areas of potential dispute, personable and with a great sense of humour that is much needed on occasions.‘
‘Their advice is always clear, concise, trustworthy and fair with an excellent response rate.‘
‘They are always very approachable, personable and friendly, no matter how big or small the issue, and it is a pleasure to work with them.‘
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP increased its partner bench with the promotions of Jonathan Chan and accredited mediator Ben Frost at the end of 2020; both handle a wide range of commercial property litigation, which constitutes the practice's key focus. Much work in this space arises from developments and redevelopments, such as vacant possession strategies, boundary issues and forfeiture proceedings, while property portfolio work is another key element of the practice. The team is jointly led by accredited mediator Rudi Ramdarshan and lease enfranchisement expert David Burns. Its client base is testimony to its particular expertise across the hotel, leisure and asset management sectors.
Rudi Ramdarshan; David Burns
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Chan; Ben Frost
‘The team’s biggest strength is the ability to tackle any situation, no matter how diverse or complex.‘
‘David Burns is professional, approachable and has a commercial understanding of the ground realities.‘
‘Rudi Ramdarshan is a practical negotiator with in-depth knowledge and experience.‘
‘Ronald Fletcher Baker is highly skilled in property litigation. The team are very collegial and tight knit, which enables them to be agile in fast-paced matters.‘
‘Rudi Ramdarshan is an excellent strategic thinker, who is able to anticipate pitfalls well in advance of them materialising. He is also strong on the optics of his cases. He is results-driven and has high expectations of himself and others.‘
‘David Burns has great technical knowledge but wears it very lightly so that the client feels they are just having a friendly chat but in fact are being expertly navigated through complex and dangerous waters.‘
‘A dynamic, energetic, committed and able team – always prepared to go the extra mile for clients.‘
‘We received extraordinary service, especially with respect to communication, which was immediate and on the point even out of office hours.‘
Glasshouse Asset Management
Al Sraiya Group Limited (Qatar)
Habib Bank AG Zurich
Cranfield Investments Limited
London Stretch Ltd
Keystone Holdings Limited (Isle of Man)
Don’t Look Back Holding’s Limited
Altin Homes Limited
Delphinus Developments Limited
- Acted for Fort Properties, Keystone Holdings, Toplain Limited, Status Reality Limited and Propeller Limited in obtaining possession over a portfolio of 56 properties.
- Acting for Glasshouse Asset Management in its vacant possession and development strategy across its portfolio of mixed-use properties located in prime London locations.
- Acting for Drakesfield Management Limited in its enfranchisement and lease extension work involving prime London property.
Wallace LLP's two areas of focus are commercial - and to a lesser extent residential - landlord and tenant disputes, which are routinely led by Meera Patel, and leasehold enfranchisement work, led by Samantha Bone. Instructions in the former area routinely stem from landlords and involve the recovery of monies, including possession orders following non-payment, alongside tenant CVAs and lease forfeiture proceedings, while the latter area spans right to manage and right of first refusal matters.
Meera Patel; Samantha Bone
‘Personal attention from the partner directly, who has exceptional leasehold and litigation expertise.‘
‘The key individuals within the firm are available to discuss complex scenarios and situations with vigour and enthusiasm.‘
‘They adapt to a variety of subject matters and their support mechanisms are second to none.‘
‘The department I deal with at Wallace has incredible depth of knowledge.‘
‘They are very reliable and I never hesitate to recommend them to clients.‘
‘Samantha Bone understands the valuation aspects of our particular sector. She is one of the best at explaining legal intricacies to clients and valuers. She is very efficient and manages her team very well.‘
‘Meera Patel is a very able lawyer.‘
‘A very commercially minded team.‘
Freshwater Group of Companies
Soho Estates Limited
Henry Schein UK Holdings Limited
Giraffe Concepts Limited
Dolphin Square Limited
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Harry Ramsden’s Limited
- Obtained a decision in favour of the client Deritend Investments (Birkdale) Ltd on appeal at the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) concerning the premium to be paid for a new lease under the 1993 Act.
- Achieved a beneficial settlement for Amestown Ltd following a long-standing dispute with its instructed managing agents regarding the recovery of outstanding ground rent, which they had failed to collect and account for, relating to high-value properties at Hyde Park Mansions, London.
- Assisted 35 Kings Avenue Ltd with obtaining the freehold title to 35 Kings Avenue at a heavily discounted price on the basis that the counter-notice served by the landlord in response to the collective enfranchisement claim was invalid and of no effect.
Following John Muncey's retirement in March 2021, Adam Colenso took over the lead of Wedlake Bell LLP's property litigation team, which recently expanded its charity offering with the hiring of commercial disputes partner Jonathan Hibberts from Fladgate LLP in February 2021. Both Colonso and Hibberts specialise in commercial landlord and tenant litigation and act for property investors and landlords, developers and occupiers, while development-related work also accounts for a significant portion of their workload. Expertise in telecoms sector work, where the team acts for developers, and cladding-related issues faced by lessees complement this offering.
Other key lawyers:
‘Extremely knowledgeable. Good on both legal arguments and practical issues.‘
‘Willing to go the extra mile for clients. Very focused on obtaining the best outcome for clients by reaching practical solutions and giving realistic advice from the outset.‘
‘Unlike some firms, they do not seek to litigate for the sake of it or seek to run up costs by being overly aggressive or unrealistic and rushing to trial.‘
‘Adam Colenso is extremely impressive in both his knowledge of the law and his ability to apply it to the facts of any given case and, based on that, to give sound, sensible advice.‘
‘Adam Colenso is incredibly thorough and leaves no stone unturned in attempting to obtain the best possible outcome for his clients.‘
‘They combine sound legal knowledge with carefully thought-out strategy to achieve the best outcome for their clients. They leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of a favourable resolution of a dispute from their clients’ point of view, whether in court/arbitration, in mediation or in negotiation.‘
London Diocesan Fund
London Baptist Property Board
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
Devonshire Metro Limited
London City Mission
- Advised Dragon Investment Management Limited in a dispute over the contracts for the construction and purchase of a large block of flats in London.
- Advised a private property portfolio company in relation to an application under section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925 to modify a restrictive covenant so as to permit the erection of a five-house terraced development in Tunbridge Wells valued at a number of millions of pounds.
- Advised an international property investment and development company on a dispute over the lease obligations in respect of two leases of the headquarters building of one of the UK’s largest professional services firms.
Allen & Overy LLP's property litigation team works in close co-operation with the non-contentious real estate practice, as well as other departments, which translates into multi-disciplinary capabilities, most notably in the transactional and insolvency space. Following the departure of former team head Imogen Moss in April 2020 for an in-house role, Christopher Woolf took over as head of the firm's global real estate practice, while consultant Jane Fox-Edwards is the primary contact for property litigation. Her recent work includes dilapidations matters, vacant possession strategies and right to light issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘In-depth expertise and a wealth of experience.‘
‘Jane Fox-Edwards is a fantastic lawyer who is incredibly knowledgeable and very client-focused. It is a complete pleasure to be lucky enough to work with Jane.‘
‘I enjoyed working with the Allen & Overy team pro bono and found them incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. Their support greatly enhanced the quality of my work and the resources I took part in producing. It is very hard to access pro bono support, even harder to maintain long-term collaboration. Working with Allen & Overy is a complete exception in this sense. I cannot stress enough how important and valuable their support has been throughout the years, especially after legal aid cuts and the impact of pandemic on access to legal support and advice.‘
‘They are thorough, able and a strong property litigation team.’
‘Jane Fox-Edwards is a good lawyer, with a good commercial head and very balanced judgement.‘
‘Jane Fox-Edwards is always very pragmatic and gives us fantastic advice. Options are always presented with her recommendation. She thoughtfully analyses the situation and is effective in putting her views and advice forward.‘
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Arax Properties Limited
Liberty Global plc
- Advising a number of landlords on retail CVAs.
Axiom DWFM acts for commercial and residential landlords and tenants, lenders, property management companies and property owners. Much of its recent work concerns development-related and residential property matters, such as trespass, neighbourly and title disputes. Team head Demetris Dionissiou also heads up the insolvency group, which is testimony to his strength in insolvency-related matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Great set of partners and associates.‘
‘Very professional, very knowledgeable and very discerning.‘
‘Demetris Dionissiou is bright, extremely hardworking, and fights doggedly for his clients. He is organised and always well-prepared. He is collaborative and good fun to work with.‘
‘Demetris Dionissiou’s meticulous attention to the detail and the timeline of events at the outset of the case ensured a triumphant court victory with all costs awarded. But what most impressed was his commercial approach to enforcing judgement, which resulted in a full settlement, including all costs, in the shortest possible timescale.‘
‘Communication throughout the process was always extremely efficient, both orally and in plain English writing. I felt I was in good hands throughout the process and the outcome could not have been better.‘
BDB Pitmans has particular strength in high-end residential property work, which has recently involved a number of noise nuisance cases led by team head Simon Painter, but the group is also well versed in commercial property disputes. These typically arise out of lease agreements and contract terminations. Telecommunications Code-related instructions typically stem from landowners.
Other key lawyers:
‘The solicitors are responsive and have an in-depth knowledge of their area. They demonstrate a keen understanding of the underlying law and the dynamics of the case, and they have a good feel for the commercial realities of the dispute. They are a pleasure to deal with.‘
‘Simon Painter is hardworking and available both during and outside normal office hours when a matter is urgent. He knows the case in detail. He is a good tactician and uses his wide knowledge of the law to provide sound strategic advice to the client.‘
‘An excellent firm to deal with and very client responsive in dealing with matters.‘
‘I have worked with Simon Painter for more than 12 years. He has excellent knowledge and a great interpersonal/customer-focused approach which I value.‘
Clarion Housing Group Limited
The Ministry of Defence
Fred Perry Limited
Able Humber Ports Limited
Smurfit Kappa UK Companies in England and Wales
The National Grid
City & Country Group Plc
Bank of Ireland
Peel Holdings Ltd / The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd
The National Landlords Association
- Acted for a private client who brought an action against the long lessee and the landlord of a high-value flat in Central London, seeking an injunction to prevent noise nuisance from the flat above the claimant’s flat following an extensive refurbishment undertaken by the flat above.
- Acted for the Secretary of State for Defence in an action against a tenant who failed to pay rent.
- Acted for Able Humber Ports Limited in defence of a claim brought in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) by the former occupier of commercial land that had been compulsorily acquired by the client under the terms of a development consent order.
Colman Coyle receives regular instructions from property developers, property managers and property investors requiring assistance with dilapidation claims, easements, forfeiture proceedings and various other matters pertaining to commercial and residential landlord and tenant relationships. Handling development disputes constitutes another key element of Neil Curbison's practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘I have worked with a number of the team members at Colman Coyle and the attention to detail as well as very practical advice to the client has always impressed me. They are not afraid to provide clear advice to resolve a particular matter as quickly and favourably as possible for the client, thereby keeping the client’s costs to a minimum. Over the pandemic, they have been very quick to adapt to video conferencing. I have found other firms much more willing to draw matters out and less willing to adapt to new ways of working.‘
‘A good firm that punches above its weight and is great with clients at the same time.‘
‘Howard Colman is a legend in the industry who you always want on your side.‘
‘Neil Curbison is a great negotiator and brilliant with clients.‘
‘A brilliant firm to have on your side if you face a difficult legal problem. Its small size, great skill set and personal approach are real assets.‘
‘Colman Coyle have a substantial presence in the London market for property litigation.‘
‘Neil Curbison is very knowledgeable on all aspects of property litigation. He combines his well-rounded legal knowledge with a practical, business-minded brain.‘
‘I have been impressed by the team’s diligence and engagement, particularly during the pandemic period where they have made the adjustment to remote litigation seamlessly. I would have no hesitation recommending the firm to others and have done so on numerous occasions.‘
Main Allen Property Consultancy Limited
Glenkerry Co-Operative Housing Association Limited
AS&K Commercial Properties Limited
Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA)
- Acting for Triplerose Limited, the claimant landlord of commercial premises, in respect of dilapidations and breaches of covenant and in respect of a counterclaim involving a claim in restitution (unjust enrichment) in the Central London County Court Business and Property Courts List.
Following Charles Spragge 's departure from private practice in January 2021, Druces LLP's property litigation team is now led by commercial disputes partner Neil Hayter, forming part of the firm's wider dispute resolution offering. Its focus lies on commercial landlord and tenant work - while also covering residential sector disputes - and has recently handled a number of rent recovery and insolvency-related matters alongside occupier clearance actions.
Other key lawyers:
Benjamin Lomer; Michael Pidge
‘An ability to combine strong technical legal advice in an accessible manner with commercial common sense and practicalities.‘
‘I have consistently been impressed with Benjamin Lomer’s ability to identify the key issues in a legally and factually complicated dispute and provide practical commercial solutions.‘
‘My standout experience with this department was the forensic attention to detail, coupled with hard-headed commercial advice.‘
‘Michael Pidge was definitely the star of the show – he was very up front and clear from the off with his fee agreements and this set the tone for the whole project. Whilst providing for all the possible outcomes, his advice allowed the client to pick the best and most commercial outcome, which we successfully concluded together.’
‘Druces have always acted promptly and managed matters effectively on our behalf.‘
‘Michael Pidge has advised our business on a number of occasions on legal issues in respect of our property portfolio, in each instance providing prompt and effective advice to address matters arising, with clearly outlined options available to us where applicable.‘
‘A friendly, responsive and professional service was provided by Druces at all levels.‘
‘The team dealing with our matter made themselves available to assist throughout the period of the assignment.‘
Conde Nast Publications Limited
Henderson Global Investors
Opus Trust Group
Nippon Express UK Ltd
WJ&M Mash Ltd
- Acting for Urbanest, a provider of student accommodation in London, in connection with the termination and clearance of a number of occupiers from a newly acquired site in Battersea prior to redevelopment and on an urgent basis involving possession proceedings and other strategic options.
- Acting for Yours Clothing in connection with its extensive property portfolio and the rationalisation of that portfolio in recent months, including breaking leases, re-gearing existing leases, and negotiations on those due for renewal.
- Acting for Maison Kayser in collapsing its UK operation and exiting two commercial leases of property in Marylebone.
Goodman Derrick LLP specialises in commercial property disputes, particularly those arising from the management of property portfolios, but the team is also experienced in development-related work. Its practice covers a wide range of landlord and tenant matters, such as lease renewal claims, dilapidations and rent arrears, alongside boundary disputes, restrictive covenants and easements. Commercial disputes partner Craig Walker heads the practice.
‘Craig Walker leads a highly effective property litigation team which is particularly experienced in dealing with construction disputes. The team is pragmatic and easy to work with from top to bottom.‘
‘Craig Walker is an excellent lawyer and a brilliant communicator who keeps clients on-side throughout the inevitable ups-and-downs of litigation.‘
‘Good at adapting legal advice to the circumstances (budget and knowledge) of the client. A two-way process where they listened as well as advised.‘
‘Straight talking and readily accessible with great depth of knowledge.‘
‘Goodman Derrick, as a firm, are reliable, responsive and knowledgeable. Whenever I have worked with them they have dealt with the case promptly and professionally and have provided accurate, concise and clear advice.‘
‘Goodman Derrick builds long-term client relationships. Cross-functional work is of the highest quality and customer service second to none.‘
‘They have the highest level of professional integrity and understand the quality expectations of clients.‘
‘Honest advice that’s readily given in an uncomplicated and yet to-the-point and professional manner.‘
FBN Bank (UK) Limited
Kingsway Homes Limited
Raytheon UK Limited
Sableknight Fleet Limited
South Quay Plaza Estates (Freehold)
- Advised Deluxe Media on contentious and non-contentious property portfolio management in the UK, dealing with matters such as 1954 Act contested renewals, options to renew, dilapidation claims, service charge issues and other general landlord and tenant issues.
- Providing QA Ltd with litigation support for the entirety of its commercial property portfolio, such as advising on 1954 Act matters to include the conduct of lease renewal claims, advising and assisting with disputes and dilapidations claims/settlements.
- Continuing to act for FBN Bank (UK) Limited on transactional property matters and property litigation.
Major hotels, estate agents and property investment firms regularly retain the team at Keystone Law to assist with lease renewals and portfolio management matters – qualified arbitrator and mediator Andrew Tugwell is a key contact for the latter – as well as with various development-related issues, including those at the intersection with construction and planning. Tugwell forms part of the core team together with casual dining sector expert Greg Barnbrook, who has recently assisted a number of landlords with tenant CVAs and also handles residential property disputes, and commercial property specialist Chris Hill. Other clients include developers, retailers and high-net-worth individuals.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Tugwell; Greg Barnbrook; Chris Hill; Alison Moore; Ed John
‘I have worked with Andrew Tugwell and found him to be a very capable lawyer dedicated to getting the best for his clients.‘
‘Chris Hill is always available to discuss cases and provides in-depth yet clear guidance on the options.‘
‘Thorough knowledge of planning and development law in what is an increasingly complex planning process.‘
‘Strongly committed to achieving a successful result.‘
‘Experts in property litigation.‘
‘The team has specialist knowledge and deals with such matters promptly, efficiently and discreetly where necessary. They know the industry well and are established professionals in their field.‘
‘Greg Barnbrook and his colleagues are a pleasure to work with. His ability to clearly articulate the law to his clients is highly valued and we appreciate his counsel. He is always very prompt and professional – we look forward to continuing working with Greg.‘
Cola Holdings / Cola Hotels Group
Your-move.co.uk (and LSL Property Services PLC Group)
Reeds Rains Limited
Personal Touch Financial Services Ltd
The Westbury Hotel, Mayfair
National Home Move Limited
Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Limited
Coventry Gliding Club
BrightHouse Group (in administration)
Conran Holdings Limited
- Assisted Cola Holdings with planning challenges and appeals and high-value contractor claims dealt with in the High Court.
- Advised a group of 14 property holding companies and a related charitable trust on the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic regarding their retail and leisure clients across a portfolio of approximately 45 prime casual dining restaurants, coffee shop and pub/bar sites, all of which are tenanted by well-known national chains.
- Acting for the Westbury Hotel Limited on a number of property matters, including planning law regarding the proposed major remodelling and extension over two new floors and in respect of construction matters arising from a major refurbishment.
Linklaters LLP's contentious real estate work sits at the intersection with finance and insolvency matters, which is a reflection of Chris Stevenson's key areas of expertise. He is the primary contact and also handles landlord and tenant issues.
Other key lawyers:
Payne Hicks Beach LLP has a strong track record in residential leasehold disputes, where the team acts for landlords, right to manage companies and leaseholders, although it has also increased its share in restaurant and hospitality sector work. These instructions are typically led by team head and solicitor advocate Matthew Spring, whose experience covers a wide range of landlord and tenant matters and extends to development-related disputes.
Other key lawyers:
‘Scott Goldstein is a partner with extensive experience in property litigation, who is able to handle disputes across a wide range of property topics.‘
‘I have been with Payne Hicks Beach for many years and without doubt they have always delivered a superb service. I always knew where I was with expenses. Very, very efficient in all areas.‘
‘Scott Goldstein has an incredibly sharp brain.‘
‘What I like so much is the kindness and compassion they have shown me on a difficult case which was made unavoidable.‘
‘Thorough background understanding.‘
‘Scott Goldstein has an excellent brain and is forward-thinking. He drills down to the details, is not afraid to overturn every stone to find a relevant fact or comment, and is hardworking and dedicated.‘
‘An impressive medium-sized firm with a strong property and private client and litigation practice.‘
‘Matthew Spring is intellectually impressive and extremely hardworking – no corner of the case is left uncovered. A robust and experienced litigator.‘
Morshead Mansions Limited
- Acting for each of the seller and buyer of a leasehold flat interest, defending a claim of alleged breach of covenant.
- Representing two groups of leaseholders in relation to the implementation of a new multimillion-pound heating and hot water system in breach of a lease with significant cost overruns claimed in the service charge.
- Assisting a commercial restaurant leaseholder with obtaining urgent interim injunctions for readmission to the restaurant and residential premises and restraining posting of notices after the landlord carried out illegal forfeiture by peaceable re-entry, and unlawful eviction from residential parts by putting locks on internal doors.
The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is led by Donald Lambert, who is experienced in portfolio management but has in recent years focused on development-related work. These two elements form the cornerstones of the practice and include tenant insolvency and telecoms sector matters as well as disputes at the intersection with construction (most notably in the fire safety space). Clients include investors, developers, institutional landlords and tenants. The firm is committed to reducing its carbon footprint through its accreditation with Planet Mark.
Other key lawyers:
David Masters; Ben Robinson; Laura West
‘They have sufficient strong individuals with specialist knowledge at every level within the team that they can comfortably handle larger matters and clients.‘
‘Ben Robinson is outstanding – he appears very relaxed on the surface, but has a real eye for detail. He is extremely thorough and very good at seeing the end game – he always keeps everything on track.‘
‘Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is adept at property litigation.‘
‘What stands out about PMC is their particular sensitivity to their clients’ commercial concerns, strategies and objectives. PMC anticipate when a decision in litigation will present particular challenges for their client.‘
‘Laura West is a standout associate. She is tenacious, organised and committed to achieving results at every stage of litigation. She is very able with technical detail.‘
‘Donald Lambert is impressively clever and a lateral thinker, with a remarkable ability to find new angles in law to apply to a case’s facts.‘
‘Across the team they have the expertise to deal with any kind of property dispute.’
‘I am reassured that when I contact PMC for support and advice, I will be able to speak to someone who understands our business and what our needs are, so plan their advice accordingly. They have a broad spectrum of expertise and can connect you to other parts of their business for relevant advice.‘
CGW Snooker LLP
Munroe K Luxembourg SA
Alpha Real Capital
Southern Housing Group
Metropolitan Thames Valley
Sellar Property Group
- Acting for the appellant in the Court of Appeal case of Aviva Investors Ground Rent Limited v Williams, concerning leases which set out a fixed percentage of the service charge payable for each flat, with wording ‘or such part as the Landlord may otherwise reasonably determine’ included after each percentage.
- Advised Aviva Investors Ground Rent GP Limited and Aviva Ground Rent Holdco Limited on the merits of a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of warranty and in due course issued and litigated proceedings which featured close to 100 defects arising over a period of four years.
- Issuing and running heavily contested 1954 Act lease renewal proceedings for CGW Snooker LLP.
RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP handles commercial and residential property disputes but has recently been particularly active in the latter. Regular instructions include leasehold enfranchisement, service charge disputes, rent reviews and repair claims. This offering is complemented by Simon Hartley's expertise in dilapidations and terminal dilapidations insurance.
Other key lawyers:
‘The property litigation team at RadcliffesLeBrasseur are top notch – they really understand what is practically and commercially important to their clients. They have a really solid grasp of the litigation process and understand how to manage it in the most efficient and effective manner.‘
‘Simon Hartley is excellent. He is simultaneously able to keep an eye on the bigger picture while also keeping on top of the finer details. He has particularly strong negotiation skills and can often find a practical solution where others might not.‘
‘My main contact here is Simon Hartley who is a very experienced property litigation solicitor.‘
‘Simon Hartley is very calm and easy to deal with but has a firm grasp on the issues and law and, importantly, the commercial drivers in a case. He is heavily involved in the dilapidations sector, especially through his founding membership of the Dilapidations Association, of which he is treasurer.‘
‘Simon Hartley is their standout. Very knowledgeable and very commercial.‘
‘Clear and precise knowledge of the property rental business.‘
‘Simon Hartley is patient, knowledgeable and sympathetic to clients.‘
‘They have been our trusted property lawyers for years. The team offer a wide range of services with in-depth experience.‘
Newflex Leases Limited
Sir Robert Ogden Estates Limited
MacIntyre Hudson LLP
CW+ – Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity
Pankhurst Family Trust
MDDUS Property Limited
Four Seasons Health Care Limited
Knightsbridge Residents Management Company Ltd
P J Care Limited
Simit Sarayi UK Holding Limited
- Advised Newflex Leases Limited on an opposed lease renewal, which led to statutory compensation of £446,000 and the successful settlement of a subsequent terminal dilapidations dispute.
- Acted for J.H. & R.R. Mundy (Roofing Supplies) Limited in relation to an attempt to review a purported lease of its premises, which led to the defence of a claim by its landlord for a declaration that the lease is valid.
- Advised Maypole Dole Limited in relation to an overage claim for over £750,000 against the developer who purchased its development site.
Simmons & Simmons
With a focus on commercial property disputes, Simmons & Simmons is well placed to handle a wide range of landlord and tenant disputes, lease matters and development-related litigation. Carol Hewson heads the team; her expertise extends to property insolvency. Real estate funds and investors make up a large share of the team's client base, but it also includes corporate occupiers.
‘They bring a huge amount of professional experience to any of our commercial real estate dealings.‘
‘The team is extremely flexible and personable, with a strong grasp of our business fundamentals.‘
‘Dealing with Simmons & Simmons feels like working with an extension of our own organisation. They go to great lengths to ensure they have understood the specific transaction requirements and that everything is explained clearly and thoroughly.‘
‘Simmons & Simmons have been especially good at adapting to remote working and using all the tools that we do. They are easily contactable by mobile, text and Teams whenever we need them and host very effective collaborative video calls with third parties.‘
‘Everyone is down to earth and genuine. They really care about doing the best job for us and providing honest advice on the best way forward at all stages of a case.‘
‘Outstanding legal knowledge, excellent commercial insight, and a real drive to provide top-end service to demanding clients.‘
‘Carol Hewson got to grips with the case swiftly and had really thought through the implications for her client and the most commercially astute means of achieving their goals.‘
Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH
Legal & General Assurance Society Limited
Covington & Burling LLP
Valor Real Estate Partners LLP
Old Park Lane Management Limited
Telefonica UK Limited
Palace Group Limited
- Acted for Threadneedle Pensions Limited on an application heard by the court for a vesting order in relation to freehold land which had become escheat to the Crown.
- Advising Covington & Burling LLP on its exit strategy from its current premises following the relocation and expansion of its London headquarters.
TLT covers a wide range of property-related disputes, including transactional, contractual and professional negligence matters. Led by Jason Juden, the team mainly acts for landlords and has a particular expertise in the retail and leisure sectors.
‘A good firm for general property litigation.‘
‘Always going above and beyond for clients.‘
‘Excellent advice and a pleasure to work with.‘
‘Jason Juden provides shrewd and experienced commercial leadership to a talented team of promising young property litigators. He has a special expertise in difficult rent review cases. It may be a cliché, but he and his team punch well above their weight when compared to similar sized firms.‘
London Borough of Ealing
Medholdings Company Limited
Salter Property Investments Limited
GC Campden Hill LLP
- Advising the London Borough of Ealing on redevelopment proceedings under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
- Advised WHSmith on a high-value rent review arbitration.
- Acting for Royal Bank of Scotland as the lender in a borrower dispute with a landlord over a development site involving insolvency considerations.
VWV's property litigation offering is an integral part of the firm's real estate department and is led by Bristol-based Michelle Bendall, while Katie Hickman is the key contact in the London office. Her expertise in freehold and leasehold disputes, landlord and tenant matters and insolvency-related issues translates into regular instructions from developers, property investment companies, charities and private clients. The team has also noted an increase in rights of way mandates.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team was very proactive and their billing was flexible in that I felt I was getting value for money rather than being billed for every second spent discussing the matter. The advice was also very balanced and fair and enabled me to make the decisions that ultimately led to the resolution of the issue.‘
‘The property team provides a competent service to our commercial property companies. Turnaround times are good as well as access to staff.‘
‘Katie Hickman covers our property litigation and is a standout partner for us in terms of advice and involvement.‘
‘Katie Hickman is clever, quick, accurate and ethical and her costs are reasonable.’
‘In my experience the litigation team is highly accessible. They provide advice on a level which is understandable to the client and with commercial acumen.‘
‘The litigation team is very quick to respond to enquiries whether by phone or in written form. If a member of the team is unavailable there is always someone else to approach.‘
‘This is simply a great team, with the perfect balance of knowledge, experience and commercial outlook. They work superbly well to achieve the best results for their client. They are always a pleasure to work with.‘
‘I find Katie Hickman to be particularly helpful. She is thorough, level-headed and up to date with sector developments.‘
University of the Arts London
Sheffield and Regional group including Acer Regional Properties Limited, SR Properties Manchester Limited and SR Properties Nationwide Limited
Richemont Group including Richemont International Limited, Alfred Dunhill Limited, James Purdey & Sons Limited and Watchfinder.co.uk Limited
The Governing Body of Rugby School
Royal Academy of Music
National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux
University of Derby
Birmingham Royal Ballet
- Acted for a property developer in a dispute with the client’s co-freeholder over a licence for alterations, including demanding a penalty payment from the client.
- Advised a property investment company on a disclaimed lease by the tenant company’s liquidator.
- Instructed by an engineering supplier whose land was being compulsorily acquired by the council.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP is well placed to handle a wide range of landlord and tenant matters - recent work includes lease disputes, dilapidations and property insolvency, including CVAs - as well as development-related rights to light issues, vacant possession strategies and overage agreements. Practice head Dev Desai predominately acts for landlords.
Other key lawyers:
‘I have been very impressed with the response time as queries are always dealt with swiftly.‘
‘Alexander Mulroney is super – he grasps any problem very quickly and is able to get to the nub of the issue.‘
‘The team are very approachable and knowledgeable. They liaise well with other professionals within the firm to provide comprehensive advice.‘
‘Dev Desai and Alexander Mulroney are highly experienced and knowledgeable individuals. They both impart their expertise well to clients.‘
‘Dev Desai is responsive, experienced, straightforward and great to work with.‘
‘Dev Desai is very accomplished, quick thinking and driven by details. An excellent man to have on your side.‘
‘I would describe WFW as a slick modern law firm with a sharp eye for talent. The firm caters for clients seeking discretion and the highest degree of advice backed by a smooth service. The trainees are as adept as associates elsewhere and the associates I have engaged with are partner level.‘
‘The individuals take responsibility for their client’s assets as if they owned them themselves. This is displayed in how they provide professional advice that goes the extra mile.‘
BP Investment Management Limited/Ropemaker Properties Limited
The Advertising Association
Optimus Wind Limited (a subsidiary of Ørsted)
Collier Contracts Limited
De Villiers South West Ltd
- Acted for Eastern Pyramid Group in a right to manage claim brought by leaseholders of luxury apartments in the landmark building in Lancaster Gate, to be heard in the Court of Appeal in October 2021.
- Advised the property arm of BP’s pension fund, Ropemaker Properties Limited, on a number of CVAs by its tenants in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, including the Restaurant Group, Travelodge, Caffé Nero, New Look, Clarks Shoes and the Arcadia Group (prior to its administration).
- Acted for the Advertising Association on a contentious statutory lease renewal, a lease termination on short notice in response to the dramatic change in the client’s operational needs and on a high-value dilapidations dispute.