Property litigation in London
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP handles all types of property litigation for a client roster including investors, developers and tenants. The team’s expertise comes to the fore in development projects, rights of light disputes, dilapidation cases and insolvency-related matters. In addition to being active in litigation, the group also assists clients with litigation avoidance and strategic risk analysis. Developer clients turn to the firm for advice on defective cladding matters, including liability issues and the recovery of costs. Elsewhere, the team advises clients on matters connected with the Electronic Communications Code. Akhil Markanday heads up the team, which includes rating law expert Roger Cohen, Michael Metliss (who principally advises institutional landlords) and Rashpal Soomal. Telecoms sector specialist Wendy Miller retired in December 2019, while Jeremy Stephen moved to Clyde & Co LLP in January 2020.
‘The property litigation team compares well to other firms. They have a good range of expertise across different types of property litigation.‘
‘A close-knit and highly experienced team. Led with seemingly effortless calm and focus by Roger Cohen. Very clear collective sense of clients’ commercial objectives and needs, aligned to a strong emphasis on rooting the case strategy in legal principle. Very supportive of the advocate, attentive to detail and alert to the need for forward-thinking when giving instructions. Ensures that the clients are embedded in case development and have the freedom to contribute to tactical and strategic questions.‘
‘I have mainly dealt with the BCLP team in the context of business rates disputes, and in that area it is without doubt the gold standard for solicitors. The team combines a good spread of experience and expertise, is incredibly responsive, and has impeccable litigation sense. For the highest value and most factually and legally complex rating disputes, BCLP is the first port of call.
Roger Cohen is the partner who leads on rating matters, and he is widely recognised as one of the leading legal figures in the rating community. He combines a high level of subject matter knowledge and expertise with a highly developed commercial sense, and has a great understanding of how to manage litigation against intransigent and often difficult government departments. His team has managed at least two rating disputes at Supreme Court level.
Jessica Hopewell also deserves special mention. Jessica is the standout sub-partner level solicitor in rating practice. She has excellent client skills, great subject knowledge, and is a first-rate litigator. I have no doubt that she will be one of the leading partners in the field in a few years’ time.’
‘Top of the tree for complex real estate development and investment work.
Akhil Markanday – strong reassuring calm presence. Rashpal Soomal – the go-to person on rights of light. Jessica Hopewell and Rebecca Campbell – excellent associates with good all rounds abilities and great work ethic.’
Great Portland Estates
St Martins Property Corporation Ltd
The Crown Estate
Canary Wharf Group
Way of Life
University College London
- Continues to act for Tesco in its appeal against assessments for rating made by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in respect of ATM machines at its food stores.
- Defending Aviva fund (CIP Property (AIPT) Limited) against a £6m damages claim brought by Clockfair Limited t/a Broadway Casino, a tenant of Broadway Plaza, Birmingham, which Aviva sold to Legal & General in March 2018 for £46.9m. One week prior to exchange, Broadway Casino notified Aviva of a claim for loss of business profits arising from works that Aviva had undertaken to modernise and repair the car park and common parts of the Plaza.
- Successfully defended Canary Wharf in a multi-million pound ratings case. The case concerned the valuation for rating purposes of a number of floors in One Canada Square, a tower at the centre of the Canary Wharf estate, that had been stripped back to shell condition pending the identification of a new tenant.
CMS has seen an uptick in contentious telecoms sector work, which is an area of particular expertise for Electronic Communications Code expert and team head Danielle Drummond-Brassington, who is well versed in representing site providers. Elsewhere, institutional investors, developers, hotel operators and corporates regularly retain the group to assist with contentious rent reviews, rights of light litigation and redevelopment-related vacant possession actions. Together with Marcus Barclay, Anna Ralston-Crane (who made partner in 2020) is among the key contacts for rent reviews; she has a particular focus on the student accommodation and hotel sectors. The wider team’s expertise also covers energy and leisure sector-related disputes. Property insolvency expert Julie Gattegno is particularly adept at advising landlord clients on retail CVAs, while Nick Lloyd and senior associate Robin Biela are best known for their rights of light expertise. Residential property litigation expert Eleanor Murray made partner in May 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘We have found the partners, in particular, to be highly accessible, responsive and knowledgeable. Their pricing is sensible and the level of service and expertise received is of a consistently high standard. Whilst a large organisation, backed by a wealth of resources, CMS maintains a personal feel and the direct interaction with partners is most welcome.
We have had most interaction with Marcus Barclay, a partner in the Real Estate – Property Litigation practice. Marcus has proven to be an invaluable source of advice and wisdom for us. Whilst he has a wealth of legal knowledge, he is pragmatic and commercial in outlook and his advice has invariably secured the best outcomes for us. Marcus also has the ability to explain complex legal issues in a manner which is easy to access for those of us not involved in litigation on a regular basis.’
‘The team at CMS is excellent and provides good, strong advice and resource at the appropriate level.’
‘One of the largest and best teams of property litigation solicitors in the country with an excellent culture of teamwork and co-operation.’
‘They really work as a team – they just don’t pretend to. They walk the walk. They are technically excellent. I never doubt that they will find the right answer. They anticipate and solve problems rather than create and leave the client to try and solve them alone. They are ahead of the curve on a day to day basis on a deal – they do not need to be chased or badgered. Finally and crucially they take responsibility. Not many lawyers truly do.
‘The size and quality of the property litigation team and their client base makes CMS the number 1 firm, certainly for institutional clients. Their combined client base is unrivalled and their partners are first class. The team is well led by Danielle Drummond Brassington and is cohesive. Their lawyers are bright and very commercially focussed. No stone will be left unturned and they really know their stuff. Their advisory work is clear and precise. They have a number of up and coming associates who show exceptional promise, such as Anna Ralston-Crane and Robin Biela.’
‘Very commercial and practical in their approach. Good depth of team.‘
‘CMS are absolutely at the top of the tree when it comes to property litigation. They have a very large, very able team excellently led by Danielle Drummond-Brassington and genuine strength in depth at all levels of seniority.’
M&G Real Estate
Aberdeen Standard Investments
CBRE Global Investors (mandates across many funds)
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited
Nuveen Real Estate
- Advised Central St Giles on an Electronic Communications Operator’s request to survey the roof of the Central St Giles complex to ascertain whether it would be suitable for electronic communications apparatus, and on an associated indemnity dispute with the operator.
- Acted for Global Radio Services Ltd in a dispute with its landlord over vacant possession condition compliance.
- Advising Segro (Heathrow Cargo Area) Limited on complex and high-value lease renewal proceedings.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP significantly increased its bench strength in the telecoms sector, where it predominantly acts for landowners, by hiring Thekla Fellas from Fladgate LLP in March 2019. Its team's many areas of experience include rent review disputes and development-related rights of light instructions, both of which are regularly handled by team head Will Densham. In addition, the practice is strong in service charge disputes, vacant possession cases, lease disputes and dilapidations. Tenant insolvency matters are also another area of activity. Clients of the firm include institutional investors, such as pension funds and banks, and property developers. Stuart Wortley has a niche capability in obtaining injunctions to protect high-profile properties against the risk of trespass by urban explorers.
‘The litigation team at Eversheds Sutherland and passionate about advancing their clients best interests at all stages and provide good commercial advice alongside excellent litigation advice at each stage of the process. The whole team are dedicated, professional, always available with depth in the department which means they can deliver a first-class service.
William Densham – Litigation Lead Client Partner – First class litigator. Bright, smart, intelligent, understands his client and ensures advice is tailored to client needs. Always available and manages his team to ensure excellent delivery of service Kate Poole – Principal Associate – Incredibly dedicated and passionate about her about her work for her client. Has a great knowledge of her field and uses it to great effect to provide first-rate advice. Kanchan – Senior Associate – Dedicated to providing great client service and advice. Always available to support her client and the team.’
‘Will Densham, who heads up the team, is known to me and has been my preferred real estate litigator for over 10 years. He has taken the Eversheds practice to a different level and has recently brought in Thekla Fellas to strengthen the team even further. He carries out very high-value and complex litigation and is very much in demand. I also deal with Stuart Wortley and John Kemkers.‘
‘The team’s great strength is its pragmatism. Every avenue and potential argument or interpretation is explored, but the process is result-driven.
Stuart Wortley has an excellent ability to consider all legal arguments but adopt a laser focus on the pragmatic way to resolve issues.’
‘Approachable, pragmatic and breadth of knowledge across all property sectors makes them unique in delivering litigation advice in relation to electronic communications and understanding the impacts on any property sector.
Leading experts in the telecoms field. Quick to grasp complex scenarios Always helpful.‘
‘The Eversheds Sutherland London real estate litigation team is my go-to firm in this area by a country mile. They have a very large number of truly excellent practitioners.’
Aberdeen Asset Management (formerly Scottish Widows)
AP Wireless (II) UK Limited (APW)
Associated British Ports
Blackstone Property Group
Canary Wharf Group
ED&F Man Group
Grosvenor London Office Fund
Legal & General
London Borough of Islington
Longmartin Properties Limited
The Trustees of the Meyrick 1968 Combined Trust of Meyrick Estate Management (Trustees)
Point West GR Limited
Qatar National Bank
River Court (part of Chinese Estates)
River Doree Holdings Limited
Ruby Triangle Properties Limited
Shell UK Limited
Sunny Oasis Global Limited
The Leathersellers Company
University of London
Utopia A Limited (an Elizabeth Murdoch company)
- Acted for the Trustees of the Meyrick 1968 Combined Trust of Meyrick Estate Management in Upper Tribunal proceedings pertaining to the redevelopment under the new Electronic Communications Code.
- Instructed by Point West GR Limited, the owner of a large multi-let complex in Kensington, to assist with several property disputes arising out of the complex, including a long-standing service charge dispute.
- Acting for the property owner Sunny Oasis Global Limited in vacant possession proceedings pertaining to the client’s redevelopment in 109 New Bond Street.
Hogan Lovells International LLP's client roster includes UK REITs, fund managers, developers, occupiers and institutional landlords. Landlords notably benefit from the team's - and particularly Mathew Ditchburn's - substantial expertise in real estate-led insolvencies and retail CVAs. Ditchburn is also a key contact for development schemes and real estate portfolio work, as is Paul Tonkin. Also notable is that Tonkin and senior counsel Nicholas Cheffings regularly handle rent review disputes for occupiers and landlords. Senior associate Katie Dunn has wide-ranging commercial property litigation expertise, with a focus on the hotel and leisure sectors.
‘A very well-oiled organisation that runs impeccably – vastly superior in every way. High calibre people; responsive; insightful; commercial outlook.’
‘One of the strongest in the country – genuinely a top tier firm’
‘Superior practice with best-in-class people. Unlike other firms we have worked with in the past, Hogan Lovells seems to have much better internal organisation, management, and hierarchy that enables them to provide quality service, results, and client satisfaction. They seem to truly care about their clients and know how to ensure their satisfaction’
‘Paul Tonkin – combines excellent strategic thinking with exceptional attention to detail. Formidable legal knowledge and a rare ability to think creatively.’
‘Nicholas Cheffings – the grand old man of property litigation whose grasp of detail and judgment are unsurpassed‘
Argent (King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership)
HM Revenue and Customs
M&G Real Estate
The Crown Estate
The University of Oxford
- Acting for M&G Real Estate, British Land, Hammerson and Aberdeen Standard in a potentially market-changing test case about the lawfulness of retailer CVAs which impose wide-ranging rent cuts and store closures on property owners.
- Acting for HM Revenue & Customs in High Court proceedings pertaining to the interpretation of an indemnity in a property outsourcing contract relating to hundreds of properties.
- Acting for the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) (through BDO as court-appointed receivers) in a long-running £20m fraud case against the owners of the Stoke Park estate over a failed hotel and retail development scheme in Maple Cross, Hertfordshire.
Mishcon de Reya LLP is strong in development disputes, rights of light matters, rent disputes and judicial reviews, among other areas. Its diverse client base includes high-net-worth individuals, Plc boards, investment funds and blue-chip companies. Noted for his focus on commercial and high-value residential property work, team head Daniel Levy is recognised for his expertise in complex landlord and tenant matters. Joanna Lampert provides associated risk analysis and risk avoidance advice. Another key individual is Emma Macintyre, who has recently been particularly active in contractual and joint venture disputes arising from significant London developments. She also has expertise in dilapidation matters and lease renewals, and is the main contact for telecoms sector work. Managing associate Mark Reading is praised for his extensive commercial and residential property expertise.
‘Our go-to firm for property litigation matters – streets ahead of other firms in terms of quality of advice and outcomes.
Chhavie Kapoor is an outstanding lawyer – technically excellent, innovative and solution-driven. Cannot be faulted.
Similarly, Joanna Lampert is another stand out partner.’
‘Simply the best property litigation department in London.’
‘Excellent all-round real estate litigation practice.
Daniel Levy – strong reassuring presence for clients. Great on tactical issues Chhavie Kapoor – excellent rights of light experience. Joanna Lampert – a great street fighter.’
‘MDR must be top property litigation practice now. Inspirational leadership by Daniel Levy. Aggressive growth in numbers, all quality hires, and all rushed off their feet with work despite their numbers. Quality of work they have is breathtaking, real spread of clients from blue-chip to wealthy individuals.’
‘Joanna Lampert and Daniel Levy are the most effective property litigation duo in town. Joanna has grit, determination and a fantastic brain. Daniel has charm, energy and shrewdness without peer. Top of the pile.’
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)
Bank of Singapore
Chelsfield Advisers LLP
National Car Parks (NCP)
Shoreditch Property Holdings Limited
Berkeley Square Investments
Avison Young (formerly GVA)
- Acted for the Bank of Singapore and Ros Goode and Nathan Pask of Avison Young (formerly GVA) as fixed charge receivers appointed by the Bank in a claim for possession of a £5m house provided as third party security for a £3m commercial loan.
- Advising Meadow Partners on issues at Tolworth Tower. This included a dispute in relation to a right to use a service yard, taking action to remove telecoms equipment, serving break notices and general advice on site clearance and other development issues.
- Continues to act for the architect Sophie Hicks in restrictive covenant and consent to development matters pertaining to a development in Holland Park.
Ashurst is a regular fixture in high-value litigation and arbitration. Its varied work portfolio includes matters involving rights of light issues, break options, restrictive covenants, dilapidations and insolvency-related matters, as well as disputes arising from the interpretation of contractual agreements and agreement terminations. Alison Hardy heads up the practice, which generates mandates from technology companies, corporate occupiers and property companies. Recent work also includes acting for a landlord developer in tenancy renewal court proceedings against telecoms operators.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very professional, knowledgeable and approachable.
Alison Hardy and Mark Race provide an exceptionally good real estate dispute resolution practice and are particularly strong in the field of dilapidations.
Kim Clifford is also excellent.’
‘The team at Ashurst provides prompt, accurate and reliable advice. They go above and beyond to make sure the client has all of the information to make key decisions and instruct as necessary.’
‘A real in-depth knowledge of our business, our portfolio, and the key players with whom we interface, together with a commercial awareness that allows them to tailor their legal advice in a practical and pragmatic way.
Mark Race – an excellent operator.’
‘A new team who are vibrant and dealing with good quality work from in-house referrals to gaining high-profile new clients. The team is dealing with work across the spectrum of the industry and is establishing itself within a firm of the prestige of Ashurst, thus giving the capability to compete for the best work within the city and beyond.
Alison Hardy is a standout lead partner of the team and will be one the leading partners within the industry for years to come. Kim Clifford (who has recently been promoted to Senior Associate) is a partner of the future with an ability to juggle a large and varied caseload. Chloe Meredith (Associate) is one to watch and is a pleasure to deal with.’
Transport for London
IBM United Kingdom Limited
The Berkeley Group Plc
H & M Hennes & Mauritz UK Limited
Deutsche Bank AG
Thomas Cook Group plc, Official Receiver of and Special Managers of
Tritax Assets LLP
DAC Beachcroft LLP
- Representing the Official Receiver and Special Managers in all aspects of the compulsory liquidation of Thomas Cook Group and certain subsidiaries. The team is managing multiple disclaimers, forfeitures and renewals of the leases in the context of the sale of the retail portfolio to Hays Travel.
- Representing Mapeley STEPS Limited in High Court proceedings on behalf of HMRC concerning the interpretation of a break option in a lease of premises at Bradford Centenary Court.
- Represented IBM United Kingdom Limited in a rent review arbitration to determine the rent payable under the lease of the IBM Headquarters Building Southbank.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's practice has a particular emphasis in commercial and residential property litigation. It remains a popular choice for commercial investors, portfolio companies, developer clients and high-net-worth individuals, as well as commercial, retail and leisure occupiers. Much of its work pertains to leasehold enfranchisement and landlord and tenant litigation; both of which are among Robert Highmore's key areas of expertise. Emma Humphreys has a focus on break rights, insolvency matters, arrears, forfeiture, dilapidations and business tenancy renewals. Team head David Haines is experienced in covenant and easement disputes, as well as compulsory purchase work. Also notable is that property owners assist with Electronic Communications Code matters, such as the removal of telecoms masts.
‘Knowledgeable team with excellent support from the partners to ensure the best advice is provided at all times.
Robert Highmore – an excellent lawyer who communicates at the highest level and understands the client’s needs in the provision of legal advice. Really brings that human touch in this very corporate world.’
‘They are a team with strength in depth.
Emma Humphreys – knowledgable, good with clients and engaged in the industry. James Souter – enthusiastic and able – carving out a niche for himself in rights of light work. Lauren Fraser – very able and hard working‘
‘Some stand out partners and good quality associates. Thorough and commercial approach. Highly organised and able to mobilise a large team at short notice to jump on a new urgent series of instructions from us.
Emma Humphreys is super smart, engaging with clients, organised and highly professional. Extremely dedicated to delivering the highest standards for her clients.’
‘The team is very attentive and seek to find solutions within sometimes difficult circumstances
Louise Clark is very attentive and available. She is willing to take on board the clients opinions and be flexible in her approach to suit the situation‘
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Bellway Homes Ltd
Church Commissioners for England
David Lloyd Leisure Limited
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
- Continues to act for the Church Commissioners in various issues pertaining to the client’s Hyde Park estate. This includes regular actions to deal with various breach situations such as unlawful alterations and arrears.
- Increased work for long-standing client Ballymore, including regular advice on a range of real estate disputes.
- Acting for Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (UK) Limited in the management of its properties across the UK; recent work includes business tenancy renewals, insolvency-related issues and various applications for lease extensions.
Dentons' property litigation team sits within the firm's wider property department and is noted for its knowledge of various sectors, including retail, commercial, industrial, hotels and leisure, transport and energy. Recent work included advice to clients on business rate matters, property disputes arising from insolvency and liquidation, landlord and tenant issues and dilapidations. Practice head Bryan Johnston is experienced in acting for telecommunications operators and landowners in Electronic Communications Code disputes. Construction-related cladding matters are another driver of activity.
‘My experience of this team is that the senior solicitors dealing with the matter I was involved in were quietly efficient and effective. They ‘carried the ball’ well throughout this matter, which has run on for several years. They acted with polite professionalism both to ourselves as clients and to their opposite number. They were a pleasure to work with.’
‘They are a heavyweight property litigation team with both strength and depth.’
‘The team is exceptionally cohesive and integrated and there is exceptionally good legal ‘know-how’ within the team.
Bryan Johnston is a very experienced partner and head of the team. He in incisive and has exceptionally good technical ability, which is matched by commercial acumen.
Kirstin Dunn and Charlotte Phippen are also extremely talented individuals within the team and are delightful to work with.’
‘Great knowledge, expertise and pragmatism.
Bryan Johnston leads a knowledgeable and expert team. Always approachable, helpful and not diffident in the advice offered. Can always rely on him to come through with firm and sensible advice.’
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd
Dorchester Group Limited
The Official Receiver
- Advising Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd, Sainsbury’s Bank Plc and the Co-operative Group on the first instance of valuing ATMs as a separate hereditament for rating purposes in front of the Supreme Court.
- Advised the Official Receiver in its capacity as the liquidator of Carillion Energy Services Limited on all property issues arising from the Carillion liquidation.
- Advising Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd on a high-value claim brought against the client, alleging Sainsbury’s had breached its contractual obligations to use reasonable endeavours to obtain satisfactory planning permission.
Forsters LLP covers all aspects of commercial and residential property litigation. Its team is led by Natasha Rees, who is particularly active in residential property disputes and leasehold enfranchisement matters. Other key individuals include commercial property expert Jonathan Ross and senior associate Anna Mullins, who is regularly called upon in landlord and tenant disputes.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is a regular fixture in high-value litigation arising from large developments and redevelopments, including a number of high-profile public projects. Its team's expertise includes rights of light, site assembly, trespassing and title issues. It also handles CVAs and assists landowners with the termination of telecommunications leases. Team head Matthew Bonye works with senior associate Julia Tobbell, who has substantial experience of handling commercial landlord and tenant issues, and also acts for major developers.
Other key lawyers:
‘They understand clients’ requirements and provide commercial advice that we can act on.‘
‘Herbert Smith Freehills has great strength in depth in their real estate litigation department. They usually bring two minds to bear on any particular problem, with an associate in charge of the file, but with close supervision by a partner, who takes a very active interest in the file. The result is that discussions on the telephone (which are frequent) normally involve both the partner and the associate. I find that three minds are generally better than two, and the result is better all round for the client.’
‘Matthew Bonye is the head of the real estate team and is one of the leading real estate lawyers in England. Complete mastery of the law and also a great strategist.
I have worked with Matthew Bonye and Julia Tobbell, a senior associate, who are both excellent; hard-working and demonstrate great attention to detail.’
‘One of the leading property litigation outfits in London. Involved in high-profile and the most important cases.’
‘The team understands our business and have proved that they can quickly obtain a handle on key issues and provide sound strategic and practical commercial advice to move forward. They have markedly outperformed other real estate disputes teams who we have used in the past in this regard.
Matthew Bonye has an exceptional ability to identify the core issues within (often complex) circumstances and provide clear strategic advice to move forward
Matthew Weal is a highly capable senior associate‘
British Land Plc
Hermes Pension Fund
URW – Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (formerly Westfield)
The Madison Square Garden Company
Aberdeen Standard Investments (formerly Standard Life)
Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery
- Successfully represented the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal in its defence of a claim in private nuisance and human rights brought by several residents of the Neo Bankside development.
- Representing Westfield in its dispute with its key anchor tenant, Aspers Casino, over its multimillion pound redevelopment plans for Westfield Stratford City.
- Representing Ludgate House Limited in its appeal at the Upper Tribunal to alter the 2010 Rating List to remove its substantial liability for non-domestic business rates following the use of a guardianship scheme at Ludgate House, 245 Blackfriars Street, London.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP provides wide-ranging property litigation assistance and associated risk and litigation avoidance advice. It acts for a broad base of clients, such as property developers, housebuilders, institutional property investors, investment funds and banks. Team head Melissa Thompson specialises in high-value development disputes - including those pertaining to energy and infrastructure projects - and she also handles landlord and tenant matters for large institutional and blue-chip clients. Siobhan Cross is experienced in disputes arising from property developments, such as rights of light and rights of light insurance, and she also handles landlord and tenant portfolio management work, vacant possession strategies and telecoms-related matters. Other capabilities of the team include dealing with urban explorer, mass protest and trespasser actions alongside tenant insolvency matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘I find that there is a consistency of service here with solid internal procedures to reinforce this.
Easy advice. I ask a question and get an answer. So many solicitors can’t do this and its painful ‘prizing’ their view from them‘
‘The team is very well-established in the market place.
Melissa Thompson, a partner in the London office, is really outstanding in her commitment and dedication. She has excellent legal knowledge and commercial perspective.
Matthew Baker, a partner in the Leeds office, is also very experienced and has excellent all-round abilities in the handling of cases.’
‘Excellent in all types of real estate litigation work
Melissa Thompson – excellent, measured advice. Good with clients Siobhan Cross – vast experience especially in rights of light.‘
‘They have one of the most capable property litigation teams around, with strength in depth and a very impressive roster of clients in the commercial property field, from large multinationals to boutique property businesses. One of their most notable virtues is that they are highly agile; they handle cases that are complex or urgent (or both) smoothly and efficiently, without fuss or flap.‘
The Portman Estate
Legal & General Property
- Acting for Royal London, the Portman Estate and Grosvenor across their property portfolios in all property litigation matters, including lease renewals, vacant possession strategies, rent reviews, dilapidations, tenant breaches and telecommunications code issues.
- Acted for Chalegrove Properties in successfully securing an injunction to prevent ongoing trespass to a residential tower in Canary Wharf by urban explorers.
- Advising Ineos on a successful application under the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act 1966 to obtain ancillary rights to allow the client to prospect for shale gas.
In January 2020, Frances Richardson joined Addleshaw Goddard from Linklaters LLP and took over the as the team head from Andrew Blower, who remains an active practitioner across a wide range of real estate disputes. Richardson is experienced in rent reviews, insolvency-related matters and property crisis mandates; this complements the group's strength in development work. Elsewhere, the team advises on vacant possession and rights of light matters; legal director Gregory Simms, in particular, has expertise in the latter area. Its institutional investor, tenant, landlord and developer clients also receive assistance with lease disputes and contentious Electronic Communications Code issues.
‘Understand the commercial pressures on a landlord client and offer clear, concise advice that can be practically implemented. The teamwork with us being part of the solution and articulating pros and cons, without hiding behind passing the choice to the client. Dealing with AG does not feel corporate in any way.
Knowledgeable and professional, as well as practical and approachable individuals. Irrespective of seniority, they are always readily available and willing to discuss options and solutions.’
‘The team gives sound, practical commercially-focused advice and assistance. They have a pragmatic can-do attitude and are always very pleasant to work with, approachable, friendly, proactive and professional.’
The People’s Republic of China
Marks and Spencer
Standard Life Aberdeen
- Advising HB Reavis on its vacant possession strategy for Elizabeth House to allow is development of 1.3 million sq ft of new workspace to proceed in accordance with its timetable.
- Acting for Scottish Widows in High Court proceedings relating to serious and substantial water ingress at a grade II listed railway viaduct, occupied by its commercial tenants.
- Advising a developer on and implementing its rights of light strategy for its substantial development to allow the development to proceed.
Boodle Hatfield LLP acts for landlords, tenants, freeholders, developers and high-net-worth clients. It has a strong capability in matters such as leasehold enfranchisement, access and restrictive covenant disputes, business lease renewal claims, and commercial and residential tenancy disputes. Also notable is that the group advises clients on arrears, service charges and disputes pertaining to leases of storage and parking spaces, as well as costs and damages claims arising from refurbishments. Team head Colin Young handles a broad spectrum of property litigation.
‘A good commercial and residential property litigation team with a breadth of experience and very solid knowledge of the West End property market.
Kellie Jones – recently appointed to partner. Good analytical skills and a tactical approach to litigation.’
‘They’re really on the ball, and great at giving sensible, practical advice to clients in a form which enables them to understand the implications of their decisions properly.‘
‘Very practical, realistic and pragmatic advice with clear commercial reality.’.
‘Kellie Jones and Colin Young form a small but very effective team
Kellie and Colin are both experienced wise and efficient. They are particularly excellent in respect of residential property and leasehold enfranchisement.’
‘The team works seamlessly together and clearly get on well – you have a real sense of dealing with a team, rather than individuals who cover for each other as needed but aren’t particularly clued in on what’s going on.’
‘Superb breadth of experience; always a pleasure to work with. Peerless in their field.’
IBM UK Pension Fund
- Acting for Grosvenor (Mayfair) Estate and Grosvenor West End Properties in an enfranchisement claim for Aldford House, a large block of flats on Park Lane, by a group of residents. The claim was opposed by the clients and the intermediate landlord on a number of grounds, in particular on the basis that substantial construction works were under way on two floors of the building transforming one flat into two in each case.
- Acted for Grosvenor Estate Belgravia in a business lease renewal, referred to trial before the First-tier Tribunal under the Pilot Scheme for Unopposed Business Lease Renewals.
Clifford Chance LLP has a particular strength in property-related contract disputes, which are a notable area of specialism for team head Ben Hatton. In addition to representing clients in court proceedings, he is also a key contact for advice on litigation avoidance. Elsewhere, the firm's other noteworthy work covers vacant possessions, trespass actions, title disputes, easement disputes, covenant disputes and property-related insolvency matters. Clients include management companies, high-net-worth individuals, property developers, investors and creditors.
‘Good resource and easily accessible. Sensible advice which got the right result.
Ben Hatton very approachable and calm advice under pressure.’
‘Ben Hatton – vast experience in all areas of property litigation.’
‘Clifford Chance has top-notch, blue-chip clients, many of whom do not want publicity, so much of their property litigation is kept under the radar. But the team provide an excellent high-quality service and are capable of dealing with the most complex and cross-disciplinary problems.
Ben Hatton – Ben manages his team incredibly well and always brings out the best in them. He is an absolute pleasure to work with.’
‘Ben Hatton leads a dynamic young team which combines strong technical knowledge with a ferocious work ethic and excellent client care. Equally comfortable acting for large corporate entities or individuals, they are that rarest of things: a magic circle team with the personal touch of a high-end boutique.’
‘There is no doubt that Clifford Chance is one of the leading City firms for property litigation.
Ben Hatton is superb, and leads a team of expert individuals.’
Canary Wharf Group plc
General Electric International
Mitsubishi Estate London Limited
Asphaltic Land Limited
Horizon Nuclear Power Wylfa Limited
(Official Receiver of) British Steel
(Receivers of) Cardwool Ltd
London & Continental Railway Ltd
- Led Canary Wharf Group plc to victory in a high-profile Brexit commercial lease dispute, which has widely been recognised as the most significant judgment handed down in 2019.
- Successfully acted for General Electric Energy UK Limited (GE) in a dispute seeking possession of a site in Stafford from its tenant Landon Engineering.
- Acts for Horizon Nuclear Power in squatters/ trespass actions at or near to the client’s nuclear power station sites.
Working with the firm's transactional property department, Clyde & Co LLP's property litigation team handles the full range of contentious real estate work for investors, developers, occupiers and retailers. Team head Keith Conway distinguishes himself in matters arising from property developments, such as rights of light, covenant issues, vacant possession strategies and associated telecommunications code matters. The firm's capabilities in insolvency-related real estate work were bolstered by the arrival of legal director Jeremy Stephen, who joined from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in January 2020. Also notable is that he is experienced in rights of light matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Keith Conway is very easy to work with. Understands complex matters and deals with them in a way which has regard for the commercial side of the business‘
‘Clyde & Co LLP’s real estate property litigation team is always available to discuss issues which arise whether they be small or large. Their advice is well-considered, given the objective of the client, and it enables us as a client to make decisions as to the course of action given the circumstances.
The overwhelming strength the team has is understanding the objective of the client and formulating a strategy whilst understanding and presenting the commercial realities of their advice.
Our main contact is Keith Conway, who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to any litigation matter. He also brings a level of enthusiasm and energy which instills confidence in the agreed course of action.’
‘The team has been strengthened with the arrival of Jeremy Stephen from BCLP giving greater balance and depth to their offering. Excellent profile in the industry with a team noted for really understanding client demands.
Keith Conway is tremendous at engaging with clients and they know they are being well cared for by him. Also, there isn’t anybody in the industry he doesn’t know, so he understands his opponents on a different level. He works hard and is always available and has a skill of making tough decisions seem easy.’
‘Headed by the extremely experienced Keith Conway, Clyde and Co really know their clients’ market and are there to offer practical solutions to difficult problems.
Keith Conway – has been around the property litigation world forever and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to bear. Keith is not afraid of a fight – but knows how to build a sensible settlement strategy too.’
Ae Portsoken Asset Management Ltd
C & J Clark International Limited
Daejan Investments Limited and Freshwater Group
Dairy Crest Limited
Diamantis Lemos, Kyriakoula Lemos, Maritsa Lemos and Polydoros Lemos
Financial Ombudsman Service
Greenfields Community Housing Ltd
Henley Ark LLP and Hencap Property Partners LLP
John Wardlaw Hanbury Tenison
Kingswood Wealth Group
La Salle Investment Managers
Lawrie Green (Dubai)
Metropolitan Properties (City) Limited (part of the Freshwater Group)
Molyneux Investments Limited
Mountview Estates plc
Muller UK & Ireland Group
One 55 Fenchurch
Pembury Hotels Limited
Privilege Project Finance Limited
Spelthorne Borough Council
SQPE – St Katherine’s Dock
Wagner Developments Limited
- Acting for Diamantis Markos Lemos, Kyriakoula Markos Lemos, Maritsa Markos Lemos and Polydoros Markos Lemos in litigation in respect of shareholder and other disputes pertaining to two Liberian Corporations which own two London office blocks.
- Advising Daejan Investments Limited/Freshwater Group and sister companies on two major Central London and City redevelopment sites adjacent to Crossrail terminals. The work involves all neighbour matters, rights of light and covenant issues as well as vacant possession strategies and connected telecommunications code right issues.
- Acted for Heartland A/S, the investment company owned by Bestseller A/S, in matters pertaining to its intention to redevelop a large site in central London during the term of the proposed new lease so as to secure a development break to enable to carry out its plans in due course.
Cripps Pemberton Greenish is best known for its residential property capabilities, with its London team being led by Kerry Glanville. It has significant expertise in handling leasehold reform work for major London estates; Glanville is also a key contact for disputes pertaining to the recovery of service charges. She co-heads the practice with Tunbridge Wells-based Miles Paffard, who specialises in landlord and tenant claims with property insolvency issues. The team's other areas of expertise include restrictive covenants, rights of light matters and dilapidations. It generates mandates from clients such as developers, businesses, private individuals and property investors. Consultant Lesley Robinson joined from Bates Wells in June 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong real estate practice. Strong specialisation in enfranchisement – Although they have lost Damian Greenish who is the leading figure in this field. Overall great team.’
‘The firm has provided very proactive advice and assistance, which has been excellently tailored to our needs.’
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
Hermes Real Estate
- Advised 82 Portland Place Limited on proceedings regarding a challenge as to whether a lease extension claim, which was not protected by an entry on the land register at the time when the freehold interest changed hands, is binding.
- Acted for Queen Court Freehold Limited, as nominee purchaser, in proceedings to establish its entitlement to acquire, as part of its claim, leases of the airspace above premises, the subsoil below them, and parts of the basement accommodating boiler and other service installations.
- Assisting developers such as Wates, and title indemnity insurers such as Legal and Contingency, with claims concerning restrictive covenants, rights to light, other easements, adverse possession and the absence of planning permission or building regulations.
A significant portion of DLA Piper's workload involves handling contentious property development and neighbourly matters. In addition, the team assists funds and real estate investors with the full range of contentious property portfolio issues, including those that interface with planning law. Elsewhere, the group provides support to real estate companies, institutional owners and corporate occupiers on leases, dilapidations and other landlord and tenant disputes in both the commercial and residential property sectors. Solicitor advocate and fully accredited CEDR mediator Ian Brierley is the head of the practice. Senior associate Alasdair Thomas has a specialism in rights of light matters.
‘DLA’s real estate team are an excellent unit with many decades of accumulated experience and insight. I worked with them on a very large dispute and their understanding of the sector was second to none.
I would recommend both Ian Brierley and Peter Fletcher. Ian is an extremely experienced property lawyer and brought all that experience to bear in our case. Peter is determined, great with clients and an astute litigator.’
‘Very deep and broad. I’d trust them with anything.
Alasdair Thomas – a man with a real eye for detail and a damn fine brain‘
‘This is one of the slickest property litigation teams I have worked with. They really have it all – excellent strategic thinking and lots of bright, engaged people who are organised and drive cases forward.
Ian Brierley is really great. He is strategic and good at looking at the case in overview, but is also well able and willing to grapple with points of substantial technicality. In addition, he is a joy to work with – friendly and efficient.
Peter Fletcher is another great member of the team. He is hard-working and organised, as well as personable and easy to work with.’
The European Medicines Agency
The Pollen Estate
Insite Poster Properties
Axa Investment Fund Management
- Advised the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in its dispute with Canary Wharf Group Limited about Brexit and lease frustration. It was about whether the event of Brexit would frustrate the EMA’s lease of its headquarters in Canary Wharf.
- Acted for Insite Poster Properties in a High Court claim against the London Borough of Ealing for vicarious liability for fraud and negligent misstatement in relation to a forged planning consent.
Farrer & Co's diverse client base includes multiple landed estates (such as the Duchy of Cornwall and the Duchy of Lancaster), national museums, charities, high-net-worth individuals, investors and hotel groups. Siobhan Jones heads up the team, whose workload includes development disputes, contract interpretation matters, disputes over land use and high-value dilapidation claims. Graham Anderson, who made counsel in May 2020, is best known for his expertise in dilapidations and property rights.
Other key lawyers:
‘Attentive, careful, collaborative and knowledgeable.’
‘Peerless in their litigation preparation.’
‘Effortless regardless of what’s required.‘
‘I think the property litigation team is first class. The team is both immensely knowledgeable yet practical.’
‘Efficient, wise, calm and considered – a revelation to work with.
‘Siobhan Jones is quite simply the best litigator I have worked with (and there have been a few!)‘
‘The Farrer property team is second to none. The service they deliver for clients is unparalleled in that they are both highly responsive and incredibly knowledgeable about their field.’
Emirates NBD Bank
Citibank Europe PLC
Duchy of Lancaster
Duchy of Cornwall
Charities Property Fund
Holy Cross Sisters Trustees Incorporated
Royal College of Surgeons
All Souls College
Altitude Prime Finance
- Appearing for the Sisters of the Holy Cross in a trial in the High Court over allegations that the client conspired to defraud a Parish Council by making fraudulent statements in a planning application for permission to build a residential development on land owned by the Order – the decision held that the clients were entirely without fault and the team is currently appealing the decision on costs.
- Providing litigation and strategic support to the Duchy of Lancaster in connection with its widely publicised development of the Norman House site on the Strand, along with other contentious matters across its wider property portfolio, with a notable highlight being the successful referral of a complex and high-value rent review interpretation dispute to an independent expert.
- Advising the Charities Property Fund, a flagship fund of Savills Investment Management, on a range of matters affecting its portfolio, in particular trespass issues and advice in relation to rights of light connected with the CPF’s flagship Central London development as well as with a planned development adjacent to the client’s property.
Fieldfisher has a strong profile acting for energy sector companies in actions brought by protesters. It also generates various other types of contentious property work from clients operating in the retail, leisure, finance and public sectors. The team is sought out to handle landlord and tenant disputes, contentious property portfolio management matters (involving lease forfeitures and lease renewals) and tenancy terminations. Rent reviews are a particular area of strength for consultant Lesley Webber. Solicitor advocate Antony Phillips has notable expertise in dilapidations.
H&M Hennes & Mauritz UK Limited
Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate plc
Belstaff International Limited
Imperial College London
Shell Pension Funds
Vastint UK BV
- Acting for INEOS Upstream Limited in High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings pertaining to a pre-emptive injunctions obtained in the High Court, protecting INEOS’ property from unlawful activity posed by activists opposed to hydraulic fracturing.
- Acting for Warwickshire County Cricket Club in a dispute concerning the redevelopment of the Edgbaston International Cricket Ground.
- Acting for Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in a landlord and tenant dispute which has culminated in lease forfeiture proceedings relating to restaurant premises in West London.
Fladgate LLP is adept at serving a wide range of commercial clients, including developers, freehold owners, funds and corporate occupiers, as well as high-net-worth individuals. It provides assistance with commercial and residential property litigation, and also advice on litigation avoidance. Most of its work stems from the commercial real estate sector and involves disputes over leases; this is an area team head Tim Foley has been particularly active in recently. In addition, he has also handled various disputes concerning development land. Elsewhere, the team's other work includes landlord and tenant disputes, covenants, development disputes and transactional issues. In the residential sphere, private clients receive assistance with enfranchisement matters and possession proceedings, among other matters. Thekla Fellas moved to Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in March 2019.
‘Alison Mould is brilliant. Pragmatic. Calm effective. Commercial.’
‘Very knowledgeable and vigorous team.’
‘Jonathan Hibberts – very bright and engaged. Tim Foley – very easy to work with. Client focused.’
‘Always helpful and clearly have a wide range of knowledge relating to the items we required advice on. Advice is received promptly and is well written, which has promoted our cause successfully.’
‘Janet Keeley. Always available for consultation and is forthright with her advice, pointing out what we can and what we can’t do, backed up by a wide-ranging knowledge of the law and case law.‘
‘The team works well on our commercial portfolio of properties.’
‘Alison Mould is brilliant in her role and has always given us the best possible legal advice.’
‘Janet Keeley is an experienced and pragmatic litigator who has a keen eye for details and adopts a persuasive but robust approach in her dealings with opponents. She is a great lawyer who can spot a point of law or principle and knows how to deploy it to her client’s maximum benefit.’
Trustees of Brocket Estate
London Diocesan Fund
Beaverbrooks the Jewellers
- Acting for the freehold owners of Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, in obtaining judgment against its tenant on all claims, with costs on an indemnity basis, in the High Court following a lengthy trial in relation to serious and substantial issues of disrepair and other breaches of tenant covenant on this Grade I listed estate.
- Covering the entire range of property litigation issues for the commercial fund generating arm of Origin Housing Limited. This includes debt collection, squatters actions, 1954 Act lease renewals and the clearance of development sites.
- Acting for a high-net-worth individual in proceedings for possession of a Central London penthouse on discovering that the sub-tenant was permitting the premises to be used as a brothel.
Gowling WLG acts for real estate businesses, developers, corporate occupiers and public sector bodies. Its work covers contract, property ownership and lease disputes. It also provides regular assistance with asset management and portfolio issues, such as rent reviews, and advises on vacant possessions to permit development and redevelopment projects. Team head and solicitor advocate Martin Thomas, who is also a CEDR accredited mediator, has a specialism in negligence and contract claims, business rates and CPO compensation. His team includes consultant and rights of light expert Anne Waltham, who is also a key contact for rent reviews.
‘Clive Chalkley is always impressive. He is a truly innovative thinker, full of creative ideas. He’s not afraid of giving hard advice in challenging situations with authority and charisma. Clive is what a senior partner in a law firm looks like: a skilful lawyer and a natural leader who knows his stuff inside out and upside down.’
The Arch Company
LaSalle Investment Management
U & I (formerly Development Securities)
NFU Mutual Insurance Society
- Acting for 89 Holland Park (Management) Limited in its appeal against the first instance decision of HHJ Pelling QC pertaining to the building of a controversially designed home by the architect Sophie Hicks.
- Acting for HMRC in a high-value adjudication under the STEPS PFI contract; the contract was entered into in 2001 and involved the sale and leaseback of most of HMRC’s office facilities to Mapeley.
- Acting for TfL in the successful appeal to the Supreme Court, against Southwark and the City, regarding the meaning of “highway” in the GLA Act, and the Highways Act 1980.
Howard Kennedy LLP handles a broad spectrum of contentious commercial and residential property work and provides a full range of alternative dispute resolution services. Its practice covers disputes arising from redevelopments, contractual agreements and leasehold enfranchisements. In addition, it assists retail and commercial clients with strategic issues arising from their property portfolios. Team head Amanda McNeil is a key contact for insolvency-related matters. Consultant Michele Freyne acts for several blue-chip clients. Lara Nyman joined Seddons in May 2019.
‘Very strong understanding of the technical details but applied with common sense and a practical approach that allows deals to be done on time and budget.
Amanda McNeil is our primary contact. She is a valued member of our team and works collaboratively with us to produce the best possible results for our clients. She is not afraid to offer advice without counsel’s opinion, but when required will do so without hesitation. As an expert in her field, she has a strong understanding of the law and the drive and determination to get the best possible results for her clients.’
Pragma Hampstead Limited
Ballymore Properties Limited
Aaron & Joanne Balfour
Battersea Power Station Development Company
Smith & Williamson LLP
Companies within the Galliard Group
- Following the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster, the team is advising the developer Roamquest as the First Defendant on the claims by 136 residents of 82 flats, who are alleging that they have a claim under the Defective Premises Act 1972 because the apartments are unfit for human habitation.
- Successfully acted for the joint administrators of London Bridge Entertainment Partners LLP (in administration), defending a claim brought by the landlord of the London Trocadero in Piccadilly Circus.
- Retained by Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) to have conduct of the dispensation proceedings pertaining to the development’s heating and cooling plant. Dispensation needs to be sought from the First Tier Tribunal to avoid the landlord being limited to the recovery of £100 per annum.
Noted for its specialist expertise in commercial and mixed-use properties, Maples Teesdale LLP's team is regularly called upon to assist with management and development work, including associated risk management. Team head Dellah Gilbert has expertise in rights of light, lease disputes, dilapidations, rent reviews, restrictive covenants and retail sector insolvency matters. The practice has also been increasingly active in the telecoms sector and has increased its bench strength in the landlord and tenant space by hiring Rosalind Cullis from Kingsley Napley LLP in July 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘Eye for detail and encourages teamwork.
Dellah Gilbert. partner.‘
‘Maples Teesdale punches above its weight. It has a deep and broad knowledge of real estate litigation.
Dellah Gilbert is wise, clever, and terribly nice.’
‘We have worked with Ros Cullis. Ros is technically very good, commercial in her approach and a pleasure to deal with.’
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)
- Acting for the Cavendish Hotel (London) Limited, the landlord, in contested lease renewal proceedings following the client opposing the grant of a new tenancy to its tenant, S Franses Limited, on the grounds of redevelopment.
- Instructed by Hawksworth Holdings Limited to assist with the forfeiture of a lease to SD Lease Limited of commercial premises at 97-113 Curtain Road London.
- Acting for City, University of London in proceedings against Vodafone Limited under the Old Telecommunications Code seeking removal of telecoms equipment from the roof of the client’s buildings to allow for development.
Osborne Clarke LLP's client base includes developers, investors and commercial lessors. In addition, the team's specialism in the energy sector makes it a first port of call for power and utility companies. The group includes Carl Roche, who made partner in April 2020, and is led by rights of light expert Gary Lawrenson. The team has a broad neighbourly disputes offering, which leads to regular instructions on party walls. Other key elements of the firm's work include commercial tenancy and lease disputes, and telecoms-related matters. Recent residential property work included disputes over overage payments and portfolio management issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘Broad knowledge base across the various sectors. Good access to associates and partners. Speed of delivery and response to enquiries.’
‘The OC property litigation team have been simply fantastic – calm, assured and always keeping our ultimate commercial goal in sight, enabling us to make the right decisions based on a proper understanding of all the facts.’
‘Approachable and proactive team.’
‘Good communication and a clearly strong level of experience and expertise. Well informed and able to see around the issues to provide actionable advice rooted in the legal profession but with an eye on the wider commercial implications.
Always available, confident in their understanding of their profession but also grasped us as a company and directors, meaning the communication is directed and advice is most useful. Passionate and willing to commit to their views.’
‘Strong team which has depths in many fields of property litigation from residential to commercial to infrastructure and development and landlord and tenant.’
The UNITE Group Plc
Eskmuir Properties Limited
CLS Holdings plc
Virgin Media Limited
- Acting for Summit Developments Limited in a Supreme Court appeal relating to a precedent-setting clarification of a fundamental aspect of the law of easements.
- Representing Technicolor Limited in a case of first impression concerning a dispute with a neighbouring business concerning security for expenses and compensation for business loss as a result of renovation.
- Acting for MonSolar IQ Limited in a dispute with Woden Park Limited, concerning whether a lease contract had compound annual rent reviews deliberately or accidentally included.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP handles a wide range of commercial real estate litigation, and to a lesser extent, contentious residential property work. It is active in a wide range of matters, including landlord and tenant, development-related, commercial and investment portfolio disputes. Counsel Katherine Campbell, who leads the team, is experienced in proceedings involving an intersection with insolvency and environmental law.
‘Great communication and no-nonsense approach. Not all about earning fees but understanding the problem and coming up with the appropriate solution.’
‘The team manages large-scale litigation with a thoroughness and skill that is admirable. They are past masters at teamwork and are not phased by opponents who are aggressive or play tactical games. The service continues regardless of other demands. They understand the legal and commercial components in every case and are always check, double-check and question assumptions to ensure the best decision for the client is made with the client.
Katherine Campbell has an approachable, unstuffy manner that may lead some to underestimate the depth and breadth of her knowledge – opponents underestimate her at their peril. She knows how a case comes together and how it could fall apart, she never loses sight of the aim and how to travel the road to the success for the client. Lynsey Ellard’s capacity to handle vast quantities of detailed information is extraordinary. Lynsey brings order to seemly insurmountable volumes of detail or documents and is a solicitor who can always see both the wood and the trees.’
Russell-Cooke LLP's broad expertise translates into a steady flow of residential and commercial property dispute work for high-net-worth individuals, freehold owners, management companies and tenant associations. It is particularly strong in neighbourly matters, disputes arising from developments and landlord and tenant disputes, where clients benefit from the team's expertise in the private rented and build-to-rent sectors. Although Graham French retired from the partnership in October 2019 (but remains with the firm as consultant), the practice has been on a growth trajectory, with four associates joining in spring 2020. In addition, Edward Cracknell (key contact for the renewal and termination of telecoms leases) and Stephen Small (private rented sector expert) made partner. Practice head Jason Hunter regularly handles neighbourly matters (most notably those pertaining to party walls), as well as disputes between landlords and tenants.
Pret a Manger
Tipi (Quintain’s PRS subsidiary at Wembley Park)
Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust
Clipstone Investment Management
- Acting for Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust in a Supreme Court appeal pertaining to a restrictive covenant claim.
- Acted for the developer Goldcrest Land Limited in a possession claim against a telecoms operator to unlock development.
- Acting for Quebec Wharf Freehold Limited, a group of leaseholders, in a high-value enfranchisement dispute.
Stephenson Harwood's property litigation team, which is a part of the firm's wider commercial litigation department, has recently been particularly active in disputes over leases, service charges and rent arrears. In addition, the practice is also noted for its capabilities in development-related disputes, including rights of light matters, which are regularly handled by Sophie Schultz. Team head Andrew Myers covers the full spectrum of property litigation for several leaseholders, landlords, asset management companies and developers.
Other key lawyers:
‘The instructions I get from Stephenson Harwood are among the very best. They are well-prepared, and it is evident that a huge amount of work and high-level thinking is going on before anything comes over to counsel. Everyone is absolutely on point in understanding what they are doing and thinking right through the legal and costs consequences before putting pen to paper, which really pays off when you get further down the line. They are seriously impressive.
Sophie Schultz is one of the most hard-working partners I have come across. Her depth of knowledge of the area is second-to-none and she is always on top of new developments. She is charmingly unassuming but a force to be reckoned with intellectually and tactically. She is also absolutely unflappable and prepared for every eventuality. Working with her is a real pleasure.’
‘A very effective team‘
First Tower Trustees Limited and Intertrust Trustees Limited (part of the Intertrust Group).
K Group Holdings Inc.
Lothbury Property Trust
Mercia Real Estate
Mount Eden Land Limited
LaSalle Property Management
Schroder UK Property Fund
Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust
Royal College of Art
- Advising K Group, the head leaseholder of a mansion block in Mayfair, on a collective enfranchisement claim under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban and Development Act 1993.
- Advising Mercia One Holdings Limited on a multi-party forfeiture of a row of shops in the Midlands for breaches of repair covenants in the head lease.
- Advising a large London landlord on a long-running forfeiture claim of a valuable lease of commercial property.
Taylor Wessing LLP has a strong reputation for enfranchisement and landlord and tenant work. It also assists with major development schemes and portfolio management issues. The firm's roster of clients includes site and property owners, landlords, investors and commercial tenants. Team head Saleem Fazal, who divides his time between the firm's London and Liverpool offices, handles the full range of commercial real estate litigation and also acts as co-chair of Freehold (a networking forum for LGBT real estate professionals). Edward Cooper, who is experienced in rights of light, contentious lease renewals, dilapidations and easements, was promoted to senior counsel in November 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are an able team who can hold their own against the best.
Saleem Fazal – experienced, able and has a very good manner with clients.’
‘Saleem Fazal is an excellent partner, with considerable experience in this sector.’
‘Extremely careful and professional regarding the details of my case
Extremely attentive and very particular knowledge regarding my concerns and case with excellent results.’
Great Portland Estate
Hermes Investment Management
Secure Income REIT (Prestbury Investments)
Trustees of the JMPH Evelyn 1997 Settlement
InfraRed Capital Partners
Cadogan Square Project Limtied
Maureen Paley Limited
- Advising the owner of the site of The Tulip, a proposed concrete and glass skyscraper in London’s financial district, on various contentious real estate matters.
- Acted for Great Portland Estates plc in a cladding dispute with the tenant, Bloomberg, advising on Bloomberg’s obligations during its lease and also when it terminated in 2020.
- Advising Société Générale on its exit from two leases of City offices at Exchange House and Bishop’s Square, ahead of its move to its new building in Canary Wharf.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP is strong in acting for title indemnity underwriters and insurers in rights of light and other title indemnity insurance claims. It also has a strong profile among developers and occupiers. These instructions demonstrate the team's strength - further boosted by Rachel Kerr's promotion to partner in July 2019 - in development-related work, which is regularly undertaken for housebuilders, registered providers, commercial property institutions and developers. Other notable work covers residential leasehold rights and insolvency-related property disputes, as well as various landlord and tenant issues such as service charge obligations, which are all part of team head Michael Donnellan's broad set of expertise.
‘Their property litigation team stood out in the quick way they identified potential new threats to a client’s enjoyment and use of their property and the way they then swiftly assembled a team of lawyers and other advisers to lessen or remove that threat.
Emma Barnfield stands out not only for her knowledge of new and complex legislation (particularly, The Electronic Communications Code) but also her understanding of how the other party is likely to react on a particular point. The combination of these two attributes puts Emma in a powerful position in providing clients with sound practical advice and seeing jobs through to a successful outcome.’
‘A large national team who cover the entire spectrum of property litigation. They are able to deal with all litigation from complex and high-value to smaller residential issues. They are also a pleasure to work with and have the ability to attract likeable and very able individuals.’
‘As a firm, we find them to be very proactive, clear and responsive to their clients. I like the culture of this team which perhaps is an organisational approach of seeking and maintaining good working relations with us as clients. I am working with this team on a fairly complicated leasehold matter and have found that we not only get the benefit of the best advice but that it is also presented in a manner that is easy for us as clients to understand.
Emma Barnfield and her team – Knowledgeable, easily contactable and very responsive. Pulls together other third party experts/consultants and manages the case/project team well. Also like the fact that she is very personable. The billing is clear and fully annotated.’
‘Very organised, collaborative and very approachable. A pleasure to deal with
Again, the people I have dealt with are very positive with excellent people skills. It is refreshing to be involved with solicitors who are down to earth and very professional at the same time.‘
Administrators of D H Waterloo Limited and LPA receivers of Days Hotel, Waterloo
Montpeliano Holdings Limited
Administrators of Edesia Limited
Administrators of Spaces London Bridge Limited
Delph Property Group
J D Wetherspoon plc
CLS Risk Solutions Limited
Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council
- Advised Mark Ford, Finbarr O’Connell and Henry Shinners of Smith & Williamson as administrators and LPA receivers on their duties in respect of the sale of the Days Hotel, Waterloo, London. This included assistance with all aspects of the deal, including the sale of the assets and business and the transfer of the freehold interest in the hotel.
- Advised an insurance company on claims arising from numerous titles indemnity policies providing coverage against rights to light risks for significant developments in London and throughout England and Wales.
- Acting for Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, the freehold owner of a ten-storey office building, on disrepair and trespass matters.
Winckworth Sherwood LLP's commercial and residential property litigation expertise is routinely brought to bear in property portfolio management instructions and disputes arising from developments. where it is called upon by housebuilders, housing associations, property companies and large pension funds. The team advises on a broad cross-section of issues, such as tenancy breaches, lease renewals, overage obligations, dilapidations, service charges, insolvency and rights of light matters, including rights of light insurance, among others. Solicitor advocate Emma Chadwick, who leads the team, is noted for her experience of telecoms sector disputes. Paul Dunbar joined from Ashfords LLP in September 2019.
‘This is a very strong team made stronger by the recent addition of partner Paul Dunbar.
Emma Chadwick is a formidable operator. Paul Dunbar is one of the most savvy and commercially-minded property litigators in London. Charlotte Coleman is bright personable and very determined on behalf of her clients.’
‘This is a big team which is consistently underrated. WS do a fabulous job – very cost-effective and very hard working – and have a much better offer to the market than some other forms which are much more astute at self-promotion. The team and WS doesn’t waste time talking the talk: they’re far too busy walking the walk.
Key strength: two very high-quality partners who have oversight of and engagement with most cases. Clients get fabulous value for money as a result.
Team leader Emma Chadwick doesn’t just walk the walk: she struts her stuff. A very good lawyer with an ability to empathise with the client and then steer them to the right solution so gently, they don’t know they’re being steered: a class act.
Partner Paul Dunbar is a great contrast: a bit of a wheeler-dealer, and that’s a compliment.
Senior Associate Katy Humphrey – one-woman whirlwind who does the job of at least three men. Clever, super-energetic and super-savvy, but at the same time cheerful and charming.
Senior Associate Charlotte Coleman is just who you want at your side when things get weird: calm, collected and hard-working, she’ll get the client where it wants to go most of the time.‘
Canary Wharf Group
Notting Hill Genesis
Capital City College Group
Cote Restaurant group
- Undertakes a wide range of commercial and residential property disputes for Catalyst Housing Group; issues include advice on commercial tenancy breaches, property management issues concerning gym procurement, parking disputes and tenant breaches.
- Acts for Fidelity UK Real Estate Fund in matters pertaining to its commercial property portfolio. Recently, this included the renewal of a lease of a freight warehouse located in the Midlands; the lease renewal was subject to an unopposed lease renewal claim pursuant to Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
- Instructed to advise a major UK house builder on its defence to a claim threatened by the vendor of a development site alleging breach of overage obligations.
Allen & Overy LLP's strong combination of real estate and finance expertise attracts mandates from several banks and financial institutions, property investment funds, private equity houses and large corporates. The team regularly advises on contentious property investment and valuation matters, disputes arising from property developments, the Electronic Communications Code, cladding issues and retail tenant CVAs. Imogen Moss is the overall head of the real estate practice and has a transactional focus. Consultant Jane Fox-Edwards, who is the key contact for property litigation, handles landlord and tenant disputes, use of land issues and development-related litigation.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are a very able team and can hold their own against any other.
Jane Fox-Edwards. She is a very knowledgeable and experienced property litigator. Very thorough, very able and very commercial.’
‘Great depth of experience and expertise handling major commercial property disputes and deals.
Jane Fox-Edwards – Consultant – a consummate professional. It is a fortunate client who has Jane in their corner. Clever, practical and a great lawyer.
Lucy Grey – Senior Associate – hugely experienced and a very safe pair of hands.’
‘The team is differentiated by their deep knowledge of all RE aspects. The team is highly attentive and available to manage fast-moving situations. The team is well tied into different constituencies of London’s RE market.
Jane Fox-Edwards – A highly intelligent lawyer in every respect, able to manage the business dynamics and support with her legal intuition in a way that “get’s deals done” whilst protecting her clients. We have the highest confidence in Jane.’
‘Commercial and responsive.’
- Provided advice to various landlords on the CVAs of Debenhams, Arcadia Group, Evans Cycles and Clinton Cards, and dealt with the continued fall-out from the House of Fraser insolvency.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
DAC Beachcroft LLP stands out for its residential development expertise, leading to instructions on title issues, restrictive covenants, easements, rights of light and various other matters. Other significant work includes disputes pertaining to health and educational sector development and redevelopment projects, including telecoms matters. Clients of the firm include developers, property management companies and private individuals. Team head Guy Knight has particular expertise in disputes related to residential development of land.
‘They are a dedicated and resourceful team, with a longstanding reputation in the field.
Guy Knight is an insightful and experienced litigator.’
‘The team links well with other elements of the firm (in my case the private client network), and thus has a good overview of clients’ requirements and needs. They provide a good, pro-active service, always hands-on.
I work with a number of different individuals in the firm, across different departments, and without exception, they provide ready access to good, informed advice.‘
Taylor Wimpey UK Limited
Crest Nicholson plc
Vistry (Bovis & Linden)
South Western Trains
Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Trust
Notting Hill Housing Trust
Go Ahead plc
Lloyd’s of London
Great Arthur House Leaseholders
- Providing advice to a national house builder client as to whether they were in breach of their obligations to use all reasonable endeavours to obtain a satisfactory planning permission in relation to an historic 2007 development agreement.
- Acted for a residents property management company in breach of lease and lease covenants disputes with a leasehold owner of one flat within a residential block of flats.
- Advising the defendant individual on a boundary dispute pertaining to a very high-value residential property in Cobham.
Davitt Jones Bould acts for an extensive roster of landowner clients, public sector bodies and commercial tenants. The scope of its work covers contentious lease renewals and tenancy agreements, dilapidation claims, service charge disputes and matters pertaining to planning permissions, among others. Senior partner Madeleine Davitt leads the team, which includes Jonathan Warner-Reed. He joined the firm from Lupton Fawcett in September 2019 and specialises in adverse possession and rights of light work.
‘They are highly regarded in the interface between property and planning law.
Jonathan Warner-Reed – he is an excellent litigator with a faultless grasp of procedural law and tactics.’
‘DJB are a provincial firm with the quality of personnel which many bigger City firms would envy.
They are approachable and easy to deal with but that belies ferocious ability in advising both the private and public sector.
I have worked with DJB since their founding and their growth has been impressive
Peter Allinson – the chief exec brings the dynamist of industry to a law firm.
Madeleine Davitt is superb in relation to client care Robin de Wreede is one of the best in the business at advising the public sector in relation to CPO matters.’
The Royal Parks
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Department for Education (DfE)
Attorney General’s Office
Department of Health
Office for National Statistics
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
Public Health England
Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurants
Exeter Science Park
Bath and North East Somerset Council
Devon County Council
Minerva Smart Cities
One Housing Group
- Advised the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in both a defendant and claimant capacity on matters ranging from contentious lease renewals, and dilapidations negotiations to advisory work relating to statutory compensation.
- Advising the Royal Parks on all of the contentious issues to arise out of Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park and others.
- Advising Well Pharmacy on numerous contentious property issues to arise out of its estate.
Working with various other practices, Edwin Coe LLP's team is well-equipped to act for landlords and tenants, national retailers, developers, trusts, investors and private individuals. Its experience spans commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, dilapidation claims, disputes arising from property defects, leases and easements. Its recent workload also includes various transactional property disputes, including those with fraud elements, development-related possession claims and Electronic Communications Code matters. Joanna Osborne is the head of the team.
‘There was typically one port of call throughout the whole process who was aware of where we were at each stage of the case. All of the staff were very knowledgeable both legally and also on our particular case.
The lead person Joanna Osborne was unbelievably knowledgeable and competent. Not only was each stage of the case dealt with competently but also Joanna was able to pre-empt each move that the other side was likely to make next, which helped considerably when figuring out our next steps. I valued Joanna’s expertise immensely.’
‘Excellent practice with a good loyal client base, with a strength in property litigation.
Joanna Osborne is an excellent property litigator, able to handle complex issues with ease and keeping clients well-informed throughout the process.’
‘The lawyers here are completely on-side, fighting cases as if they were their own. They are tenacious and very responsive. The team is highly experienced and has continued to grow over the years, with the addition of a number of very talented associates. At the same time, they continue to offer all the advantages of instructing a WC2 firm, delivering a very personal service.
Partner Joanna Osborne is superb and stands out for her tenacity, her commitment to the case, her instincts, and ability to see things clearly from a client’s perspective. She is very ably assisted by a team of bright and capable solicitors.’
‘I deal regularly with property litigation teams of all sizes and in city, national and provincial firms. The Edwin Coe team have a particularly impressive and effective team which is small enough to offer personalised and friendly service, but is large and skilled enough to more than hold its own against any other firm in the country
Joanna Osborne is the undoubted star of this excellent team. An impressive blend of people skills, legal knowledge, commercial sense and powerful advocacy impresses clients, professional advisers and opponents alike.’
Smiths Pension Trustees Limited
Newrest Servair LCY UK Limited
Skyport Enterprise UK Limited
Connie Investments Limited
The Hawksford Trust Group
Heathrow Developments Limited
Henley Homes Plc
West Heath Place Leaseholders (20 individuals) and West Heath Place (Freehold) Limited
Salvation Army International Trustee Company
- Advising Smiths Pension Trustees Limited on a wide range of issues arising from the client’s property portfolio. This includes lease renewal and dilapidations matters.
- Defending two individuals against a claim of fraud, misrepresentation and deceit pertaining to the sale of a property.
- Acted for Skyport Enterprise UK Limited in high-value possession and claim for possession over development land based in East London.
Glovers Solicitors LLP's practice primarily has an emphasis on matters connected with the commercial real estate space, particularly the restaurant and leisure sectors, although its team is also experienced in the residential real estate arena. The group regularly handles commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, including contentious lease renewals, dilapidation claims and restrictive covenants. In the commercial property space, insolvency-related issues are another driver of work. Edward Vaughan is the head of the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘Small team of extremely competent lawyers, with an outstanding aptitude in their field.
Kenny Friday is diligent and unafraid to provide a strong robust legal opinion.’
‘Edward Vaughan and Kenny Friday are the lead figures in the property litigation team. They are both partners and both vastly experienced. They are steady litigators, taking any and all developments in their stride, and reassuring clients with their calm expertise.’
‘A small team, partner-led, but highly experienced and technically excellent. Very friendly and responsive.
They have particular experience in mortgage and LPA receiver work. Glovers have a large number of major restaurant chain clients.
Edward Vaughan is brilliant. Technically and strategically astute. Kenny Friday is excellent.
Both have an excellent manner with their clients.
They give very good commercial advice.’
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
The Mortgage Works (UK) Plc (subsidiary of Nationwide Building Society)
Derbyshire Home Loans Limited (subsidiary of Nationwide Building Society)
- Principal property litigation advisers to leading names in the UK casual dining sector, including Azzurri Restaurants, Prezzo, Nando’s, GBK and Wagamama, handling a diverse range of property matters affecting their extensive estate portfolios. This includes 1954 Act lease renewals, dilapidations, boundary disputes, breach of covenant disputes, arrears recovery, forfeiture, nuisance neighbours and tenant insolvency.
- Property litigation advisers to a number of leading lenders and insolvency practitioners, including Investec, Close Brothers, HTB and UTB. The team handles various property-related matters, including the enforcement of mortgages and other security, professional negligence disputes and insolvency options.
- Advised a corporate landlord client on various issues following the discovery of unsafe cladding materials on the exterior of its residential tower block in East London comprising 71 flats.
Hamlins LLP is best known for representing landlords and tenants in disputes over option agreements, repair duties, rent reviews and leases, among other issues. The team is led by Kate Andrews, whose own expertise covers contractual, development and boundary disputes. Also notable is that she has recently handled various car park-related instructions. In addition to being active in litigation, Andrews is also well-versed in alternative dispute resolution.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team at Hamlins LLP has gone above and beyond every step of the way in a lengthy and difficult case. I have not been through this type of litigation with any other firms, but should a similar case arise again, I would happily return.
Sarah Finch has guided us expertly through all the way. She has been able to put very complex legal process and language into understandable terms and also acted swiftly and decisively, and with strategic foresight that was impressive.’
‘Every single person I come across is fully engaged, pro-active and positive. The energy that is put into clients and their needs is extraordinary. If ever there was a firm that was “on it 24/7”, this is the firm. I do not know whether the fact they appear to all like each other and to enjoy working together is a cause or effect but the positivity, energy and commitment of the Hamlins’ prop lit team make them an absolute joy to work with as counsel. I am sure their clients do not realise just how much they work for them.
Kate Andrews is an exceptional litigator. She leaves no stone unturned, is positive, energetic and is fearless. Working alongside Kate is always an enjoyable and full-throttle experience. Kate’s clients always know they have a very skilful warrior on their side.
Sarah Finch has an extraordinary knowledge of all things leasehold and she combines that with an excellent and tactical instinct. She is a consummate team player able to manage up and down. Sarah is a robust, skilled litigator with a sense of humour.’
‘The firm has a small but dynamic team of experienced property litigators. It punches well above its weight.
Kate Andrews is one of the top property litigators in London. She is hugely experienced and her approachable manner belies her quiet determination to do the best for her clients at all times.’
National Car Park Limited
M&M Asset Management / Apollo Global Real Estate Management
Grainmarket Asset Management
Kolup Investments Limited
MTD Coln Industrial Limited
Englefield Estate Trust Corporation Limited
Sateria Investments Limited
Harringay Meat Traders Limited
Cabot Investments Limited
Indra Prastha Limited
Le Congress Ltd
Investin Bournville Limited
Investin Ashford Properties Limited
Chas Newens Marine Co Limited
Ivebury W10 Limited
M S Webb & Company Limited
MEC Security Limited
Thompsons Servicetech Ltd
Morden Ceilings Limited
Romulus Holdings Limited
KTB Properties Limited
Countywide Property Holdings Limited
Meridan Design & Build Ltd
Thompsons Servicetech Ltd
Morden Ceilings Limited
Criterion Buildings Limited
Serebryanaya Lisa Holdings Limited
Social Statement Media Entertainment Group Limited
Social Station Media Entertainment Services Limited
Ms P Saini, Mr M Deol & Claremont Capital SPV9 Ltd
St Paul’s RTM Company Limited
Knightsbridge Green Estate (2015) Limited
Bellstan Properties Limited
Chiswick Quay Freeholds Limited
Telereal Investment Properties Limited
London Trocadero (2015) LLP
Work.Life Bermondsey Limited
Work.Life Brown Limited
Work.Life London Fields Limited
Work.Life Fitzrovia Limited
Work.Life Hammersmith Limited
Work.Life Soho Limited
Work.Life Reading Limited
Work.Life LS Limited
Work.Life Farringdon Limited
Work.Life Blackfriars Limited
Work.Life Camden Limited
Work.Life Holborn Limited
Work.Life Passage Limited
- Advising Triplark Limited on a case involving two untested legal issues, relating to the interpretation of the right to manage legislation where tenants make applications for consent to assign, and the meaning of parting with possession, as well as on related forfeiture proceedings.
- Advising National Car Parks Limited on a dispute pertaining to the failure of the local authority developer to develop a fully functioning fit-for-purpose car park.
- Acting for St Paul’s RTM Company Limited in relation to a claim that the company has failed to carry out its statutory duties by repairing the structure of a commercial unit within a mixed-use scheme.
Lewis Silkin LLP's property litigation practice is led by Brian Kilcoyne, whose specialisms include dilapidations, development disputes, valuation and contract litigation. He is also experienced in protester actions and commercial portfolio management. Clients include retail and leisure sector entities, property developers, management and investment companies, and high-net-worth individuals.
African National Congress
Christie’s (Auction House)
Havas Media Group
Howdens Joinery Group Plc
London Legacy Development Corporation (Olympic Park)
Notting Hill Genesis Group
Pizza Express Group
Rio Tinto plc (and group companies)
Sackville Property Developments Ltd
Walker Books Limited
- Advised Canada Goose on High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings pertaining to the restraint of protester action targeted at commercial retail premises.
- Advised Howden’s Joinery Group Plc on strategic issues and the contentious aspects of the exit from their distribution centre (NDC) in the Midlands prior to a move to a newly developed NDC.
- Advised Interpublic Group of Companies on various property litigation issues, including the exercise of break options, managing compliance with break clause conditions, the termination of various subleases and dilapidations claims with the former landlords.
Much of Linklaters LLP's work sits at the intersection with M&A, tax, construction (which includes cladding-related matters), and restructuring and insolvency. Chris Stevenson is a key contact for distressed real estate disputes. He has also taken the lead in various disputes connected with property portfolios. Other recent work includes disputes over leases and rent reviews. Former team co-head Frances Richardson joined Addleshaw Goddard in January 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Global Restructuring Advisors LLC
Barclays Bank Plc
- Represented the receivers of Tuscola Capital Limited in the successful setting-aside of a freezing and receivership order obtained over a multi-million pound secured property portfolio.
- Acted for Bloomberg L.P. in a dispute regarding cladding repair at its former London HQ.
- Advising the Infrastructure and Projects Authority on its rights and interests (in particular the property-related risks) in two major PPI projects relating to the development of a major hospital and eight new schools affected by the collapse of Carillion.
Memery Crystal LLP covers a broad spectrum of residential and commercial property disputes for property management and investment companies, retailers and landlords. Many of its clients receive regular assistance with property insolvency matters and the management of their portfolios, including issues such as dilapidation claims, commercial leases and service charges. In addition, the team also handles development-related matters and various landlord and tenant disputes. Practice head Richard Evans is knowledgeable about all the contentious aspects of the purchase, development and subsequent management of commercial real estate.
‘Approachable and highly commercial, but also on top of the law and recent developments. Understand the clients’ objectives and have the expertise to take the most cost-effective steps to achieve them.
Richard Evans – diligent, savvy and a pleasure to work with
Liam Bell – keeps on top of recent developments and detailed specialist knowledge of property litigation.’
‘I find that this firm is unique because the members of the team work together and there is always a member of the team available to help at any given time.’
‘Top-notch London property litigation firm. I always recommend them when clients approach me directly.
Richard Evans is great with clients. Adam Gross is a brilliant lawyer.’
‘Wide knowledge of all sectors of the property industry, punches well above its weight in the sector owing to high quality of lawyers throughout the team
Richard Evans – leads an excellent team. Brilliant strategist. Adam Gross – great technical lawyer, thoughtful and measured. Liam Bell – great client skills and superb understanding of the law.‘
Freshwater Group of Companies
St Modwen Properties
Wyevale Garden Centres
Travis Perkins Plc
Samba London Limited (SushiSamba)
Blue Diamond UK/British Garden Centres/The Wooldridge Partnership
ASDA Stores Limited
- Continues to act for longstanding client Freshwater Group of Companies in a wide range of property disputes across its substantial residential and commercial portfolio. Recently, this included various dilapidations claims, possession recoveries and service charge disputes.
- Acting for St Modwen Properties in a range of property litigation matters pertaining to the client’s large portfolio of property holdings in the Midlands region. This includes the forfeiture of commercial leases, insolvency disputes, dilapidations claims and arrears recovery.
- Advising Wyevale Garden Centres on all aspects of its nationwide property holding – with a particular emphasis on landlord and tenant disputes.
Norton Rose Fulbright works with various other departments to act for a diverse client roster, including investors, developers, landlords, financial institutions, joint venture partners and corporate occupiers. Its practice has two main areas of focus; portfolio management (including landlord and tenant issues) and development disputes, with particular emphasis on development constraints. Team head and solicitor advocate David Stevens is active in both areas.
‘An international firm with the substantial resources needed for heavyweight litigation.’
‘David Stevens has been handling some very difficult litigation. Knowledge of the documents is astonishing sometimes‘
‘David Stevens – highly experienced in all property litigation matters. Excellent strategic thinker.’
57 Whitehall S.A.R.L.
BMO Asset Management
BNP Paribas Real Estate
Civitas Social Housing plc
Park Plaza Hotel Group
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Schroder Real Estate
Shell UK plc
Thales Properties Limited
WELPUT (a Schroders property fund)
- Continues to defend Circus Apartments in High Court proceedings issued by its landlord pertaining to alleged breaches of tenant covenants as a preliminary to forfeiture proceedings.
- 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.
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP demonstrates notable expertise in the commercial development and redevelopment space, and has a particular strength in the hotels sector. It regularly assists financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals and freehold corporate investors with rights of light matters, wayleave rights and vacant possessions, among other issues; accredited mediator Rudi Ramdarshan is a key contact. David Burns handles high-value residential lease extensions, enfranchisement and right of first refusal issues. Senior partner Jonathan Roberts is another key member of the team.
‘Ronald Fletcher Baker provides extremely determined and driven property litigation services with a client-driven attitude. The litigation team is well-motivated and structured and superbly supervised.
Rudi Ramdarshan revels in technical, high-pressure real estate litigation. His knowledge of both the law and the industry is formidable. He leads his team from the front with drive and verve.
David Burns is a skilled litigator who combines strong commercial awareness with a natural insight into how to achieve his clients’ goals.’
‘RFB have a very competent litigation team. They deal with many high-net-worth individuals who require the most competent solicitors. Time and time again you see those individuals returning back to RBF which proves that how highly regarded they are as high net worth clients demand the best service and solicitors with a winning mentality.
David Burns fights until he is the last man standing and that approach makes him very highly valued with his clients.’
‘Client support in terms of real understanding of the issues of concern, responsiveness and proactivity.
Our first point of contact with this team and the main reason of their appointment was their partner Rudi Ramdarshan. He demonstrated a great technical understanding as well as the ability to come up with creative and helpful solutions. We were also highly impressed with one of the team assistants.’
‘The team at RFB are exceptionally talented at all levels from their Partners to the more Junior associate. David Burns and Rudi Ramdarshan have created a team which is seamlessly integrated producing outstanding results. The team is particularly known for litigation matters involving hotels, development and for its expertise in landlord and tenant matters.’
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
- Acting for Keystone Holdings and others in a dispute arising from 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 stands out for its dedicated leasehold enfranchisement practice, which is led by Samantha Bone, and is complemented by thewider commercial and residential property litigation offering led by landlord and tenant disputes expert Meera Patel. The firm has recently generated mandates from commercial landlords, tenants and landowners in relation to leases, property-related insolvencies, compulsory purchases and service charges, among other issues.
‘We have used Wallace for more than twelve years now and their strengths and capabilities remain the same as they have always been, their attention to detail is exemplary and they don’t make mistakes, all avenues are explored and nothing is left to chance.’
‘The Wallace LLP litigation team is one of the most experienced in leasehold enfranchisement. They really are one of the best in the field. They have dealt with complicated cases with consummate ease whilst fighting their client’s corner with the most favourable outcomes.
Samantha Bone heads the department and she is one of the most fearsome in the field. Always makes the client feel at ease and keeps the burden of stress on her so the client feels the process went ever so smoothly!‘
‘Two very good individuals that make the firm’s property litigation dept one to recommended.
Meera Patel, partner. Extensive knowledge of commercial tenancies. Calm under pressure. A go-to person.
Simon Serota. partner. legal guru of residential property litigation.’
‘When I recommend Wallace LLP to clients I know that they will always provide accurate, informative and user-friendly advice. This is essential for my own reputation.’
‘A fantastic firm with a deservedly good client list, which includes a number of the largest and most important estates in London. Professional and resourceful, they run cases exceptionally well and are a pleasure to work with. A brilliant team who know real estate inside and out.‘
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
- Acts on behalf of the Freshwater Group in more than 400 cases annually in respect of all aspects of leasehold enfranchisement, including claims to acquire freehold titles, the extension of leases and the acquisition of right to manage.
- Acting for Amestown Ltd in a number of claims made by lessees at various blocks of flats seeking new leases pursuant to the LRHUD Act 1993.
Ashfords LLP handles commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, which frequently arise from lease interpretations and terminations. In addition, the practice also assists with telecoms and development-related issues. Sian Gibbon is a key contact for commercial landlord and tenant litigation. Gibbon jointly leads the practice with Rob Nicholson, who predominantly handles dilapidations, partnership disputes and injunction claims. Clients include councils, freehold and commercial property owners, property investment firms and tenants. Paul Dunbar joined Winckworth Sherwood LLP in 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘Robust decisive advise delivered in an easy to understand way.
Robert Nicholson has been great to work with, providing firm and direct advise in a manner that is understandable and gives confidence.’
‘Thorough and unshowy, they have shown themselves to be capable of managing litigation at the highest level.
Alison Oates – very good at managing complex relationships.’
11-13 Randolph Crescent Limited
Trustees of the Boropex Holdings Pension Scheme
London Borough of Wandsworth and Richmond
London Borough of Southwark
Courtenay Investments Limited
London Borough of Newham
- Acted for 11-13 Randolph Crescent Limited in a dispute over the interpretation of a covenants’ clause in a lease.
- Advised the freehold owner of a multimillion pound property in Notting Hill, PML Limited, on its rights to redevelop the property under the lease and advised the client on its negotiations with a commercial tenant.
- Acted for the London Borough of Southwark in opposing proceedings brought by a telecoms operator in relation to an application to carry out alterations under a lease.
BDB Pitmans has a strong track record in high-end residential property litigation. It regularly advises high-net-worth individuals and landlords on noise nuisance, enfranchisement claims and lease renewals, among other issues. The team is also experienced in commercial landlord and tenant litigation. Team head Simon Painter handles both segments, including matters involving fraud.
‘Responsive to their customer and capable across a wide spectrum of law.
Reliability and proven track record.’
‘Competent partners with excellent commercial sense.
Simon Painter, litigation partner, has provided first-class advice and careful consideration of both commercial and legal aspects.’
‘In-depth knowledge of this area, a willingness to work hard for clients and to make themselves available even outside office hours to advise and work on the case, a sound tactical approach to cases (above and beyond the solid legal knowledge) and an ability to explain matters clearly to the client.‘
Clarion Housing Group Limited
The Ministry of Defence
Fred Perry 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
The National Landlords Association
- Acted for the claimant (an individual) in a noise nuisance dispute in a high-value block of apartments located in Kensington.
- Acted for the owners of two high-value flats in Knightsbridge, Cacique Investments Limited and Damor Investments Limited, in a dispute with the landlord and the other two flat owners in the building as to who could acquire the freehold by collective enfranchisement under the leasehold reform legislation.
- Acting for the claimant, Peel Holdings Limited, in a long-running dispute over whether United Utilities is entitled to empty sewers from existing outflows into the canal and if so whether any compensation should be payable.
Colman Coyle, which is active in both the commercial and residential property arenas, acts for property developers and managers in development disputes and landlord and tenant litigation. It increasingly generates work from international clients and advises on matters involving multijurisdictional issues. Team head Neil Curbison's recent work included dilapidation and rights of light claims alongside neighbourly and lease matters.
‘Trustworthy and reliable.
Michael Large is both practical and efficient.’
‘Very easy to deal with and excellent results.
Howard Colman, Neil Curbison and Michael Large. All excellent lawyers and very client-friendly.’
‘A very hard working and highly accomplished team. They handle top-notch work.
Neil Curbison is excellent – a very practical thinker with a superb understanding of real property and landlord and tenant law and commercial disputes.’
‘This practice is a closely-knit team whose efforts are well-coordinated and effective. The result is an excellent service.
Neil Curbison and his team go right to the heart of the matter. They are efficient, effective and very good to deal with.’
Main Allen Property Consultancy Limited
Glenkerry Co-Operative Housing Association Limited
- Advising the claimant landlord of commercial premises, Triplerose Limited, on a high-value dilapidations claim in the Technology and Construction Court.
- Advising the claimant landlord of a commercial premises, AHGR Limited, on a multi-party dispute regarding breaches of covenant, damages, forfeiture and waiver.
- Advising the landowner, Avon Ground Rents Limited, on a dispute with adjoining owners as to boundary, trespass and damage issues.
Solicitor advocate and accredited mediator Charles Spragge became the head of Druces LLP's property litigation team in October 2019, with former head Julian Johnstone departing for Freedman + Hilmi in January 2020. The practice is strong in handling commercial and residential property disputes for commercial tenants, property investors, freehold owners and high-net-worth individuals. Recent instructions included contentious lease terminations and extensions, building defect disputes and vacant possession proceedings, as well as other landlord and tenant matters.
‘Ben Lomer – pragmatic commercially minded advice.’
‘We used Druces on the recommendation of another law firm to handle an unlawful occupation of premises we had acquired, because of their expertise in handling such matters. We found them really excellent to deal with and their expertise in this particular area of the law meant that the occupation was dealt with very quickly and successfully. The team at Druces were really great to deal with and held our hands through every stage of what was a daunting and new experience for our organisation.
Total commitment to resolving the problem in the simplest and speediest way possible. The partner we dealt with was always available to discuss developments, completely reassuring and supportive every step of the way, kept us informed at all times and took a genuine interest in us and what we do.’
‘I have dealt with Ben Lomer on a number of occasions and would not hesitate to recommend him. He is extremely personable and approachable, thorough, tenacious with an acute eye for detail and is an absolute pleasure to work with. He is also extremely knowledgeable about the complex world of landlord and tenant, both commercial and residential.’
‘For a smaller practice they punch well above their weight in property litigation. They have an impressive client list and deal with some heavyweight enfranchisement work, as well as general commercial landlord and tenant.
Ben Lomer is a very capable lawyer, offering pragmatic and commercial advice to clients.’
‘Benjamin Lomer in particular stands out for his commercial and client-focused approach.’
‘Happily, we only need to use the Druces property litigation team relatively infrequently, but on those occasions that we need to instruct them, we have found them to be responsive, very focused, realistic in managing expectations (in terms of both merits of our position and costs) and very aware of our need to contain costs and find solutions. As you would expect with experienced litigators, they can take robust and aggressive positions when required to do so to protect our position but not at the expense of seeking to find workable and cost-effective outcomes. Very happy to recommend.’
Conde Nast Publications Limited
Henderson Global Investors
House of Illustration (Charity)
Opus Trust Group
Nippon Express UK Ltd
WJ&M Mash Ltd
- Advised a well-known national retailer to successfully break from their existing lease, £15m of rent at stake, to allow for the relocation of its national headquarters.
- Advised the syndicate of property investors, D&A Syndicate, on recovering possession of its property from a well-known retail tenant to allow for redevelopment and refurbishment.
- Advised an ultra-high-net-worth individual on securing a lease extension of one of their residences in prime central London, secured for a premium of £1.37m.
DWFM Beckman covers a broad range of property litigation, with a notable focus on commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes. It acts for a mix of corporate and individual commercial and residential landlords and tenants, lenders, property management companies and property owners. Recent work included matters involving vacant possession proceedings, cladding, trespassing issues and leases. Practice head Demetris Dionissiou is knowledgeable about matters involving an interplay between property and insolvency.
Other key lawyers:
‘This particular firm is prepared and willing to think on a commercial basis and not just look at everything from a black and white legal perspective.‘
‘Working with the DWFM Beckman team has been an important element to our business’ success. Their team works well together, accomplishing great feats. If we fail to overcome obstacles, the results can be devastating however knowing that team members have well-defined roles within the group, who have common goals in place and whose members know how to successfully communicate to be successful.‘
‘DWFM Beckman is a West End firm which covers a whole spectrum of services. The firm is not too large and, equally, not too small. The firm is approachable and responsive and specialised. Therefore, should a matter require advice outside of the original instruction, there will generally be the specialism and expertise within the firm to advise. Clients feel valued and “known” and are not just one of many. The firm (and particularly my contact) has built up a rapport with us such that we can pick up the phone and receive instant response and advice.‘
‘They stood out from their competitors by being responsive and empathetic through a difficult case with a troublesome ex-client. I valued their ability to empathise with us while also pointing us toward the best possible outcome.‘
‘Claire Lyon and her team have been instrumental in assisting us at a difficult time with a vexatious litigant in a landlord and tenant matter.‘
‘Claire Lyon is extremely tenacious in whatever task may be given to her and has a very balanced approach in reviewing all matters. A particularly good quality, in my opinion, is her ability to listen and then dissect each and every part and either agree or disagree with your position. This collaborative approach has worked extremely well as it has made me as the client being part of the decision-making process and not just left on the periphery.‘
‘I have a firm belief in Claire Lyon’s reliability, a trust. This makes our relationship personable and believable. Her advice is therefore more grounded, the companies fee structure fair and the work done is more considered. This is why I am happy to give an exceptional rating.’
‘Claire Lyon’s turn-around for work is both fast and precise. She has a quick mind and has a specialist and thorough knowledge of landlord and tenant law. She has always been approachable and is available for advice on the telephone and often on the spot advice. She is my litigator of choice. She is different from other competitors because she is always available, nothing is too much trouble, no job too large or too small. She has a solid commitment to us as a client which we have not found elsewhere.‘
Alternative Bridging (Cheval) Corporation Ltd
Goodman Derrick LLP's property litigation offering is led by commercial disputes partner Craig Walker. The firm handles a wide range of contentious matters, covering leasehold enfranchisement cases, landlord and tenant disputes and dilapidations claims. Clients are drawn from a range of sectors, including hospitality and leisure, media and banking; the City firm also has well-established relationships with a number of managing agents.
FBN Bank (UK) Limited
Kingsway Homes Limited
Raytheon UK Limited
- Advising Deluxe Media on all contentious aspects of its UK property portfolio, including 1954 Act renewals, dilapidation claims and service charge issues.
- Providing litigation support to QA, a UK provider of business and technical training courses, on its commercial property portfolio, including advising on 1954 Act matters to include the conduct of lease renewal claims, and assisting with disputes and dilapidations claims/settlements.
- Advising FBN Bank (UK) Limited – the wholly owned subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Limited – on all contentious matters relating to loans secured by charges on residential property in the UK.
The team at Ince is jointly led by commercial and residential property specialist Justin Neal and property and construction litigator Ian Chappell. It handles a wide range of real estate disputes relating to the acquisition, ownership, development and management of commercial and residential properties. Clients include landowners, landlords and developers.
Other key lawyers:
In November 2020 Keystone Law recruited Chris Hill and Greg Barnbrook from Fletcher Day; the duo have a strong track record in commercial real estate litigation and residential disputes, including landlord and tenant matters and development-related litigation.
Macfarlanes LLP acts for developers, housebuilders, investors and asset managers in various contentious real estate issues arising from commercial and residential property projects. Practice head Douglas Wass covers associated construction and engineering disputes, as well as related professional negligence claims.
Payne Hicks Beach receives regular instructions from high-net-worth individuals, but also acts for landed estates and commercial entities in high-value residential and commercial real estate disputes; both of which are handled by team head and solicitor advocate Matthew Spring, and include enfranchisement and lease extensions alongside easement and other freehold rights disputes, among other issues. Landlord and tenant disputes expert Scott Goldstein made partner in December 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘Meeting Payne Hicks Beach (PHB) is a business relationship that exceeds expectations. PHB presents the courteous “we will commit all the time to get full value” qualities that one hopes to find in professionals.
Scott Goldstein is an exceptional lawyer and one benefits from his wide practical experience and legal insight. A high degree of trust and confidence is established that a resolution of the property dispute being considered is likely to be positively resolved. In my case the advice received resulted in a potential solution mechanism being identified that had not been envisaged.’
‘Excellent thoughtful team ready to get to the bottom of issues.
Scott Goldstein was excellent all round.’
‘I have worked with the property litigation team at PHB for about 10 years, and have never ceased to be impressed by the immensely high quality of the team. A talented bunch of razor-sharp legal minds and tactical thinkers.
Matthew Spring – Matthew is great to work with. He has excellent legal knowledge and a tactical brain several moves ahead of his opponents. He has impressive attention to detail, analysing every decision and crafting every document to maximum strategic effect. A formidable lawyer.’
‘This team have a good range of personalities among its fee earners to cover a range of cases.
Matthew Spring – an excellent lawyer and ‘details man’ who also has a good grasp of litigation tactics and great client relationships. A thorough and diligent lawyer with the courage of his convictions.’
- 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 a lease and service charge dispute pertaining to the implementation of a multi-million pound new heating and hot water system.
- Defending Laurie House Residence Management RTM Company Limited against a County Court claim brought by a leaseholder of a central London residential block over a leasehold repairing covenant.
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is strong in handling development disputes, including telecoms sector matters, and disputes at the intersection with construction (most notably in the fire safety space), as well as landlord and tenant work. Clients include investors, developers and landlords, including social housing providers. Portfolio management expert Donald Lambert is the head of the practice.
‘Clear concise advice. Responses are always swift and to the point. Good to deal with. First class service. Compares favourably with other firms we have dealt with.’
‘A strong team providing excellent and commercial advice; especially in the development context.
Growing sub-specialism in telecommunications work on behalf of landowners/developers.
David Masters – an old hand who inspires confidence in both the professional and lay client alike. Very calm and collected in the heat of trial.
Laura West – largely responsible for the branching out into telecommunications work; an important facet to any team advising developers these days. She has a cool head and provides clear and concise advice.’
‘The team has strength in depth across various levels of experience and across most aspects of property litigation.
Partners Donald Lambert and David Masters are approachable, commercially astute and very good lawyers.’
‘Very good and hardworking team.’
Alpha Real Capital
Curzon Asset Management
Elvaston Investment Limited
Metropolitan Thames Valley
Munroe K Luxembourg SA
Pinnacle Places Ltd
Sellar Property Group
Southern Housing Group
University College School
Wandle Housing Association
- Acting for CGW Snooker LLP in litigation involving issues of validity of a lease termination, and an opposed 1954 Act lease renewal.
- Acting for a variety of landlord clients in large dilapidations claims, often involving disputed reinstatement obligations with claims running into several millions of pounds.
- Acting for a social housing provider in a service charge challenge brought against the superior landlord, and in tenant claims arising from a major reinstatement programme following serious damage to the asset in 2016.
Equally strong in both commercial and residential real estate disputes, RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP's workload includes insolvency and restructuring-related matters, boundary disputes, lease renewals and forfeiture cases. It is also active in landlord and tenant work, as well as property portfolio matters. Team head Simon Hartley covers a wide range of property disputes and has a niche in dilapidations insurance.
Other key lawyers:
‘Simon Hartley is astonishingly responsive. For client service, he cannot be faulted.’
‘Apart from excellent legal advice, the most important aspect is the 24/7 availability of the lead partner. This has been a stand out aspect of the firm.
Stand out partner is Simon Hartley. Good practical advice available at any and all times.’
‘They are a client-focused, results-driven team. Attention to detail and excellence is at the core of their business.
Jane Emberton is a class act. An excellent litigator with real depth of experience.’
‘Their attention to detail and the willingness to assist clients (both lay and professional) in whatever way necessary makes this a go-to firm.
They go above and beyond what is asked of them to ensure that the client is taken care of and they understand the litigation process. Counsel is provided with everything they need in a clear fashion so that they can seamlessly pick up a case and proceed to the hearing. The individuals also work as a team, which means assistance is always on hand from someone in the firm should it be needed. Stand-out individuals are Jane Emberton (Partner) and Nadine Tappouni (Associate)‘
‘Good strength in depth and timely response to queries for advice. Clear, concise advice delivered efficiently‘
AG Plaza De Carlos 4BV
Baden Prop Limited
CW+ – Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity
European Springs & Pressings Limited
Freshwater Property Management
Four Seasons Health Care Limited
Kings House Developments Limited
Knightsbridge Residents Management Company Ltd
Lawrence Barnes Limited
MacIntyre Hudson LLP
MDDUS Property Limited
Pankhurst Family Trust
P J Care Limited
Simit Sarayi UK Holding Limited
Sir Robert Ogden Estates Limited
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
- Acted for a tenant in a commercial dispute involving a claimed constructive trust of the lease of the commercial premises.
- Representing a property developer at trial in a boundary dispute.
- Representing CBLH Limited in relation to the opposed lease renewal of its head office at Lonsdale House, Birmingham.
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons is experienced in commercial landlord and tenant disputes, property insolvency work and disputes concerning development-related rights of light and neighbourly matters. The team, which is led by Carol Hewson, acts for landlords, occupiers, developers, lenders and borrowers, among others.
Jason Juden heads up the team at TLT, which acts for property companies, institutional owners, occupiers, developers, retailers and financial institutions in a wide range of property litigation. The group's offering includes rent reviews, dilapidations, rights of light and tenant-related insolvency, among other issues.
Much of VWV's commercial and residential property litigation work concerns property portfolio and development-related matters, as well as leases and contentious issues arising from land ownership. The team is led overall by Bristol-based Michelle Bendall. Katie Hickman, who is the main contact in London, has expertise in freehold and leasehold disputes, restrictive covenants and insolvency-related property litigation. Clients include individuals, developers, landowners and third sector entities.
Other key lawyers:
‘Responsive supportive team. They listen and advise appropriately, ensuring the client is aware of the situation they are in and how to move matters forward in the client.
Katie Hickman stands out for us. Katie understood my difficult circumstances and acted compassionately and fairly. She was reliable and always got back to us promptly in our times of needs. She listened to our situation patiently. She handled the lease transfer negotiation with the landlord professionally. I would not have come through my crisis without her help and guidance. My practice is now thriving and I am happy. Until the lease runs out soon and we might have to ask her for help again!‘
‘The team are extremely approachable and listen. They are innovative in their solutions and sympathetic to individuals
Empathetic listeners, extremely approachable.’
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
The Governing Body of Rugby School
Crest of London
National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux
Leacroft Services Limited
Birmingham Royal Ballet
- Instructed by ten individual defendants in a 20-party High Court litigation involving the validity of the claimant’s unilateral notices registered against the clients’ properties and the claimant’s claim for specific performance of 14 contracts for the grant of long leases.
- Instructed by a developer client to defend High Court proceedings seeking an injunction preventing the client from entering an agreement with a third party, damages and specific performance of an agreement that the claimant alleges it has the benefit of.
- Advising an independent school with a large property portfolio on its options following a tenant’s persistent failure to pay rent.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP's practice, including team head Dev Desai, has been particularly active in commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, including those with an insolvency element. Other recent work included disputes over property management and lease renewals.
Other key lawyers:
‘The strength in depth of the team and its responsiveness marks it out as exceptional. The team obviously functions collectively and communicates well, which is reflected in the level of service you receive, irrespective of who you talk to.’
‘Invariably provides astute and timely advice centred upon commercial common sense. Always prepared to offer a point of view. Hands-on partner-level leadership.
Team led by Dev Desai with assistance from Alexander Mulroney. Always available at short notice. Strategic level advice with timely implementation.’
‘Great ability to cover all cases in the broad range of property litigation, with specialist expertise in telecommunications cases. Very user-friendly for clients and provide a bespoke service for each client. Provide careful and thoughtful strategic and technical advice.
Dev Desai – highly responsive, excellent legal and industry-relevant knowledge, overlaid with a very practical and commercial perspective and approach to cases.’
‘We have dealt mainly with Dev Desai, who was always efficient, knowledgeable and communicative. When partners from other disciplines within the firm were required to provide input, they were readily available and provided clear and valuable advice.’
‘Broad expertise across the whole range of property disputes, led by Dev Desai.
Dev Desai – very experienced and very hands-on. Looks at a case from every angle. Alexander Mulroney is a very impressive associate.’
Investec Bank Plc
Debenhams Retail Ltd
Wellesley Finance Plc
The Advertising Association
British American Tobacco
De Villiers South West Ltd
Ropemaker Properties Limited
- Acting for Ropemaker, the BP pension fund, in a claim against the restaurant chain Bella Italia regarding a lease of a new restaurant.
- Successfully acted for Debenhams Retail Ltd in fighting (and then settling) a claim against its former landlord arising out of its current tenant, Mothercare, entering into a company voluntary arrangements (CVA).
- Acting for the owners of Spire House, Eastern Pyramid Group, in a right to manage matter, which has been appealed and is currently being considered by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).
Wedlake Bell LLP's client base includes landlords, investors, occupiers, developers and insolvency practitioners. iThe team covers a wide variety of work, such as commercial landlord and tenant disputes, contentious development-related cases and insolvency-related matters. John Muncey leads the group.
Other key lawyers:
‘John Muncey (partner) is exceptionally good – one of the best property litigators I have worked with.’
‘The property litigation team is first-rate and undertakes high-quality work.
Adam Colenso is an outstanding lawyer. His commercial/strategic judgement is superb. He is calm and easy to work with. If he is running a case, you know that everything will go smoothly.’
‘The team as a whole is extremely solid, with a range of levels of seniority. They are always very well prepared, give extremely good client care and show good tactical judgment.
I work particularly with Adam Colenso. He is one of my best instructing solicitors. He is extremely thorough and always well-prepared. He is also extremely responsive and quick to deal with any queries I raise. His knowledge of the law is superb and so he always asks me insightful questions. He also has very good tactical judgments.’
‘The firm is client-oriented whilst also providing a proactive service which gets to the core of the issues at hand and addresses those issues in an authoritative manner.
We deal in the main with Adam Colenso. Adam displays a highly competent and specialist knowledge in his field and will often apply innovative and brilliant strategy to further his clients’ objectives.’
‘There is significant strength in depth, knowledge of property law and experience in this team.’
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
Devonshire Metro Limited
London City Mission
- Acted for a carpenters’ company in a rights of light dispute pertaining to the proposed development of 60 London Wall.
- Acted for Melvale Holding Limited in a trespasser claim against persons unknown, and in an interim possession order.
- Acted for Chatsworth Court Freehold Company Limited in proceedings pertaining to service charge judgment debt, possession order and an order for sale challenged by an individual opponent.