Property litigation in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's 'first-rate' department is instructed by large institutional investors, high-profile tenants, developers and financial institutions on contentious and pre-contentious issues. The team is involved in retail, consumer, financial services and transport sector mandates. It has in-depth expertise in development work matters, and is involved in a number of cases involving rights of light and site clearance issues. Contentious landlord and tenant issues, professional negligence disputes and property-related insolvency cases are also a key component of the practice. Charles JaggerChris Perrin, legal director Andy Feehan and managing associate Patricia Love are key figures in the Manchester-based team.

Practice head(s):

Julie Middlemass (Leeds)

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Life

Bruntwood Group

Co-operative Group

Europa Capital

Mapeley Estates

Marks and Spencer

Property Alliance Group

Vue Cinemas

Manchester City Council


Work highlights

  • Acting for Angelgate Manchester Buyers and its beneficiaries (approximately 320 individuals predominantly based in the Far East) to attempt to recover £27m of deposits in a failed residential development in Central Manchester.
  • Advised Property Alliance Group on a claim for historic business rates where Property Alliance Group (and other landlords) utilised a business rates mitigation process.
  • Advised Mapeley Estates on a complex opposed lease renewal of key property in Central London.
  • Represented Standard Life Aberdeen in complex High Court proceedings against a retailer seeking damages for failure by the retailer to comply with its obligations to secure planning consent for a supermarket in Durham and thereafter to proceed to purchase the property.
  • Advised Sunninghill and Ascot Property Company on a matter concerning the various rights and obligations of the tenants in a historic property called Chaters (in Ascot), an art deco masterpiece which was converted some years ago to high-value and prestigious apartments.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is engaged on a full range of property litigation work and boasts expertise across cases involving lease terminations and renewals, breach of covenant, rent reviews, dilapidations, rights of light and insolvency. The team assists clients to de-risk property portfolios and it acts for clients across the transport, education, industrial, chemicals, financial services, telecoms, consumer, aviation, energy and utilities sectors. James Batham is engaged by retail occupiers and developers and is instructed on professional negligence claims relating to complex transactions. Department head David McGuirk handles a raft of contentious landlord and tenant portfolio management and property disputes. Senior associates Alex Wright and Joanne Mills are also key figures.  Gemma Staples has joined Pannone Corporate LLP.

Practice head(s):

David McGuirk

Other key lawyers:

James Batham; Alex Wright; Joanne Mills

Key clients

Manchester Airport Group

Aviva Investors

Co-Operative Bank

Homes England

Network Rail Infrastructure

BAE Systems

Associated British Ports

INOVYN Enterprises

European Metal Recycling

ETEL (Kwik Fit)

Work highlights

  • The team co-ordinated possession proceedings on Clydesdale Bank’s behalf after an individual defaulted on his repayments.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP handles property disputes for clients across the retail, utilities, energy, insurance, education, transport and logistics sectors. Department head Kevin Lee stands out for his rights of light, mines, minerals and restrictive covenants expertise. Ralph Bullivant is active across high-value dilapidation claims and contentious break options. Consultant Craig Walker has handled high-value claims concerning the compulsory acquisition of land and handles telecommunications disputes.  Legal director Phil Parker is instructed by retail and logistics clients and Julia Stansfield, who is also a legal director, acts for for title insurers on commercial and residential disputes and also handles property-related professional negligence cases. Senior associate Helen Evans is experienced in trespass injunction claims.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Lee

Key clients

Iceland Foods

Peel Group

First Group

Co-Operative Group



First Title Insurance


Lookers Group

UK Oil and Gas

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented UK Oil and Gas, who operate in the inshore oil and gas industry, on an application for an interim injunction to protect the claimant’s sites and operations from protesters.  
  • Acted for the claimant, Bridge Corporate Finance, in professional negligence proceedings against a firm of surveyors.  
  • Acting for C2C Rail in relation to issues concerning the redevelopment of Fenchurch Street and Barking stations.
  • Acting for Signature of St Albans (Property) Guernsey before the Upper Tribunal to modify or discharge restrictive covenants pursuant to s84 Law of Property Act 1925.  
  • Defending Jones Bros. Ruthin (Civil Engineering) Company in a multi-defendant claim for injunctive relief and/or damages for alleged interference with the claimant’s sporting rights over part of a 3,500 acre estate.  

DLA Piper

DLA Piper UK LLP stands out for its expertise in advising property investor clients, and is regularly instructed by pensions funds and institutional investors. Telecoms and complex dilapidations cases are a key area of expertise and the team also handles management work for clients with large property portfolios. Department head Martin Griffiths handles a range of complex landlord and tenant disputes, telecoms matters, rights to light issues, release of restrictive covenant cases and major development projects. Legal director Rachael Jones is also a key figure.

Practice head(s):

Martin Griffiths; Mark Beardwood (real estate team head)

Other key lawyers:

Rachael Jones


Martin Griffiths and Rachael Jones are very knowledgeable and give very balanced advice

The team is very commercial

Martin Griffiths provides consistently good and balanced advice

Rachael Jones is extremely good, knowledgeable and efficient

Key clients

Barclays Bank

Liverpool Football Club


Universities Superannuation Scheme

USF Nominees Limited (Unilever’s Pension Fund)



Akzo Nobel (Dulux)

FI Real Estate Management

Work highlights

  • Representing client in relation to obtaining relief from forfeiture of an ex-BHS retail unit.
  • Acted for a landlord client on a high-value dilapidations claim.
  • Acted for a city council on a CPO disturbance claim relating to a new road.
  • Acted for a  landlord client on a number of company voluntary arrangements in the retail sector.  
  • Acting for FI Real Estate Management on the removal of restrictive covenants preventing redevelopment.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is instructed by investors, developers and occupiers on a range of landlord and tenant disputes and development issues. Its sector expertise is wide, and it spans the financial services, agriculture, housing and development, utilities, infrastructure, leisure, energy, retail and education sectors. The team has specialist knowledge of rights to light, electronic communications, tresspass, professional negligence, judicial review and vacant possession cases. Michael Smith  has transferred from Leeds to Manchester to lead the local property disputes team. Senior associate Stuart McCann is experienced in the application of non-domestic business rates and agricultural law. Associate Patricia Mellody is also a key figure.

Practice head(s):

Michael Smith

Other key lawyers:

Stuart McCann; Patricia Mellody; Matthew Baker


Michael Smith is always available to advise and comment on strategic matters. He is an excellent litigator and provides clear and concise advice and guidance on all matters. Clients wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him‘.

Key clients

Balfour Beatty Group

The University of Manchester

Aviva Group

JD Williams & Company

St Modwen Properties Group

Homes England


Preston North End Football Club

Harworth Group

Asda Stores

Aldi Stores

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Morgan Sindall Group

United Utilities

Work highlights

  • Represented Leeds City Council on obtaining vacant possession of various agricultural interests in order to enable the development of a new East Leeds Orbital Road.
  • Advised Preston North End Football Club on various rights being asserted against it by neighbours in relation to the club’s development of a golf course to build a training ground for the club as well as a local housing development of 440 homes.
  • Assisted Makro Self Service Wholesalers in recovering possession of a wholesale warehouse in the North Acton area of London which had been occupied by HS2 protestors.
  • Advising Sunderland City Council in relation to recovering possession of land subject to agricultural tenancies in order to allow for the development of a 150 hectare, nationally significant, International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).
  • Advising Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council on the redevelopment of the Merseyway Shopping Centre

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP is engaged on portfolio management instructions, and handles a raft of landlord and tenant cases. The team also represents a number of developer clients on cases involving development projects. Department head Wayne Nash is instructed by property developers, investors and occupiers and stands out for his experience in rights of light mandates. Richard Symonds is 'exceptional'; senior associate Kirsty Black stands out for her retail sector expertise; and associate Sophie Tracey is experienced in telecoms cases.

Practice head(s):

Wayne Nash


Wayne Nash is a brilliant operator

Kirsty Black has in-depth experience

The team is very commercial and approachable

Key clients

Travelodge Hotels

Renaker Build

Allied London

Select Property Group


Watkin  Jones & Son Group

Sports Direct


Walgreen Boots Alliance (Boots UK/Boots Opticians/etc)

The Restaurant Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Marshall CDP on a rights of light risk assessment in connection with a proposed development scheme in central Manchester.
  • Represented IQ Student Accommodation on a high-profile case involving rights of light relating to two schemes in Leeds and Coventry.
  • Represented the landlord of a large retail park in the North West on the attempted break, by a household name retailer, of a large unit within the park.
  • Represented the tenant of a large golf course and leisure complex in Hertfordshire on a lease dispute.
  • Advised Renaker Build on the prevention of trespass by ‘urban explorers’ and the dangerous craze of ‘roof-topping’.

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP is instructed by retail, logistics, automotive and property developer clients across landlord and tenant disputes, property-related professional negligence claims, leasehold enfranchisement and agricultural matters, as well as Party Wall Act disputes, business rates and council tax disputes. Liverpool team head Andrew Rogers is instructed by developers, local authorities, landlords and tenants. Helena Davies, who recently joined from DWF, heads the team in Manchester and Stuart Irons heads the Preston-based team. Senior associate Hannah Carter is also a key figure in Liverpool.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Rogers; Helena Davies; Stuart Irons

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Carter


‘I used Brabners because of their particular expertise in relation to a dispute relating to business rates. They had acted in the lead case on this area of law so they were the obvious choice to represent us.’

‘The team service our needs with minimum fuss.’

‘Brabners do their best in a frustrating area of the law, heavily weighted in favour of the tenant.’

‘Helena Davies is passionate, personable and knowledgeable about her subject. Meets deadlines and is proactive in providing advice.’

‘Andrew Rogers was the partner who had conduct of our matter. He was extremely knowledgeable on the subject and efficient in all of his dealings with us. We were impressed with the counsel he instructed and the way the action was handled and eventually settled. He had a very practical and hands on approach and was easy to deal with and attentive throughout.’

‘Andrew Rogers is a very able and knowledgeable lawyer who provides solid advice.’

‘Swift response with full advice around complex parameters.’

Key clients

Associated British Foods

TJ Morris Limited (t/a Home Bargains)

NewRiver Retail

Merseyside Pension Fund

Martin McColl

Goldcrest Finance

Primark Stores

Matalan Retail

Warrington Borough Council

The Shaw Trust

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a property developer client in circumstances where it had sold a parcel of land for residential development.  
  • Represented Sinara Consultants on a boundary dispute between two major properties in London.  
  • Instructed by CCR Motor Co on a dispute with its former landlord.  
  • Represented a bridging lender client in relation to its claim for a shortfall of loan monies owed to it following repossession of the subject property (against which the lender’s charge had been secured).  
  • Represented a pension fund in a case relating to a mixed-use property comprising 14 residential apartments on long leases and three commercial units on the ground and first floor.  

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP stands out for its asset management and leasing expertise and the team acts for a range of institutional investors, shopping centre owners, property funds and REITs. It is also regularly instructed by commercial and public sector clients on high-value and strategic property disputes, and is often engaged on disputes involving development and regeneration projects, and rent reviews. Leeds-based consultant Lesley HughesClare Hartley, who is also based in Leeds; associate George Taylor; and legal director Rachael Reynolds, who heads the Manchester-based team, are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Clare Hartley (Northern lead – Leeds); Rachael Reynolds

Other key lawyers:

George Taylor

Key clients

Royal Mail Group

Lend Lease

Land Securities

Intu Shopping Centres

Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council for Greater Manchester Pension Fund


St Helens Borough Council

Bolton Council

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council

Oldham Borough Council


Property Alliance Group

Japan Centre Group

Safran Nacelles

Clas Ohlson

Bradford City Council

Criterion Capital

Loreal (UK)

Arthur J. Gallagher (U.K.)

Work highlights

  • Advised Royal London in connection with the implications of the House of Fraser CVA.
  • Advised Landsec in connection with proposals from Wandsworth Borough Council to carry out works affecting the Southside Shopping Centre, Wandsworth.
  • Advised Safran Nacelles in connection with the restructuring of its UK property interests.
  • Represented St Helens Borough Council in CPO compensation proceedings relating to a claim of approximately £1m.
  • Settled a retention dispute for Greenridge Property Investments.


DWF is instructed by developers, investors, retailers and local authorities on property litigation cases. Alan Walker leads the North West property litigation team and is noted for his telecoms sector expertise and  Jeremy Steele is instructed by retail and investor clients. Helena Davies has joined Brabners LLP.

Practice head(s):

Alan Walker

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Steele

Pannone Corporate LLP

Pannone Corporate LLP is regularly instructed in cases across the retail, development and telecoms sectors. It acts for local, national and high-net-worth individual clients on lease renewals and termination, residential and commercial possession, forfeiture lease covenants, dilapidations, service charges, rent review, rent arrears, insolvency, consents, development issues and telecoms disputes, and is also engaged on disputes involving termination procedures, trespass, professional negligence protest, boundary issues and CPOs. Department head David Brown is 'excellent' and director Gemma Staples, who recently joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, is also singled out for praise.

Practice head(s):

David Brown

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Staples


The team is an agile, well-regarded and fast-growing recent entrant in this market

Gemma Staples has masses of experience, especially on commercial property litigation matters

Gemma Staples brings real confidence, organisation and dynamism to large and difficult cases; and she is also very good at managing a legal team efficiently

David Brown is an outstanding partner with a wealth of property litigation experience; he is a good judge of character and uses this to good effect

Key clients

Diamond Resorts Group


Manchester Central Convention Centre

Manchester City Council

Peel Media

Revolution Bars

Slicker Recycling

Transport for Greater Manchester

Tradebe Management

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Represented Diamond Resorts Group on an easement dispute which resulted in a Supreme Court analysis of the character of an easement.
  • The team provides continuing trespass support to Transport for Greater Manchester.
  • Advised a high-net-worth family on the contentious sale of a business park.
  • Represented a high-net-worth individual in connection with occupation of the family home by a former partner.
  • Represented a client in a contentious possession claim of residential and commercial premises in central Manchester.


TLT is regularly engaged on property disputes across the leisure, retail, housing, energy, financial services and public sectors. The team handles a range of landlord and tenant cases involving rent reviews, lease renewals and contractual disputes. The team acts for commercial landlords, tenants, public sector bodies, housing associations, property developers, investors, financial institutions and insolvency practitioners. Portfolio management is also a key area of activity for the team. Matthew Forrest acts for clients across the retail, leisure, energy and development sectors, and James Chadwick is experienced in advising financial services sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Forrest; James Chadwick; Mark Routley


The team is quick to react and deals with complex and difficult matters

James Chadwick is very helpful and approachable.

Key clients

Pets at Home Limited/ Companion Care (Services) Limited / Vets4Pets

Manchester Airports Group

WH Smith

Well Pharmacy

Nationwide Building Society

Staples UK

Greene King

SUK Retail (Staples/Office Outlet)

Iceland Foods

Redstone Mortgages

Landwood Commercial (Manchester)

Lloyds Banking Group

Cosmo Restaurants

Work highlights

  • Represented Iceland Foods in an appeal to the Supreme Court relating to the determination of the scope of the expression ‘trade processes’ as it appears in the regulatory provisions governing the inclusion of plant and machinery in non-domestic rating valuations.  Iceland won on appeal to the Supreme Court, overturning the decisions of the Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal.    
  • Acting on behalf of developer EMD (Walthamstow) in relation to a contested lease renewal involving licensed premises in Walthamstow.
  • Advised Vets 4 Pets in relation to claims arising from the redevelopment of premises impacting upon the client’s rights under their lease and their ability to operate from the location.
  • Acted on behalf of Pets at Home in relation to a dispute arising from the deflection of the floor slab at their central distribution centre.
  • The team is instructed by a major high street building society on all property litigation and management matters relating to its high street branch portfolio.  Recent instructions have included lease renewals (contentious and non-contentious), dilapidations disputes, party wall issues, contested break options and general property management issues/disputes.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP regularly handles large and high-value property portfolio management mandates and is adept at landlord and tenant disputes. The team is engaged on a number of cases involving rent collection, arrears, tenant insolvency and dilapidation disputes. The retail, education and public sectors are key areas of focus. Sian Evans in Liverpool heads the social housing and real estate litigation department. Associate John Darnell, who is also based in Liverpool, manages the national property litigation team.

Practice head(s):

Sian Evans

Other key lawyers:

John Darnell; Peter Hall

Key clients

Halton Borough Council

Royal Mail Group

A S Watson Group

Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire Council Pension Fund


Metropolitan Police Authority

Camden Markets

London Metropolitan University

Bangor University

Work highlights

  • The team advises AS Watson Group (Superdrug Stores PLC, Savers Health and Beauty Limited, The Perfume Shop Limited) and Three Mobile on property litigation matters in England and Wales. Work includes lease renewals both opposed and unopposed, dilapidations and any other property-related disputes.  
  • The team successfully obtained an injunction order for Derbyshire County Council in the County Court against a neighbour who had unlawfully blocked an entrance to a primary school, claiming ownership of it.

gunnercooke LLP

gunnercooke LLP's 'responsive team' stands out for its 'combined knowledge, experience and professional judgement'.  Its property litigation department advises on disputes involving development sites, residential management company disputes, service charges, dilapidations, landlord and tenant issues, easements, restrictive covenants and other third-party interests.  The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of Jen Morris from Land Law LLP, who leads the team with Tom Seabrook, who is an 'excellent litigator, and is hardworking and knowledgeable'.

Practice head(s):

Jen Morris; Tom Seabrook


Jen Morris gives practical advice with clarity and has the ability to quickly assess the issues and get to the points in dispute

Tom Seabrook is professional, experienced  and determined, and his tenacity and attention to detail is second to none


Key clients

Haynes International


Simply Fresh


Aurient Management

Steamer Trading

Tesni Properties

RAM Properties

Henry Boot and associated companies

Work highlights

  • Acted for Styal Road Management Company on a claim by tenant at upmarket apartments for unreasonably withholding consent to alterations.
  • Advised Toaster in a claim against an offshore property developer and the local authority, concerning expected noise and nuisance from a proposed redevelopment in central London.
  • Defended well-known retail chain Steamer Trading on a claim brought against it as a former tenant, under authorised guarantee agreement for rent, rates and dilapidations.
  • Acted for Haynes International on a claim against a neighbouring occupier relating to excessive use of right of way across the client’s land.
  • Defended GK Investments in a claim brought by a local authority landlord.

J B Leitch Ltd

Specialist firm J B Leitch Ltd provides niche advice for residential freehold investment companies and residential block management companies; 'the team works tirelessly to achieve the outcome required in a friendly and professional manner, whilst managing expectations proportionally'. It represents institutional landlords of residential and mixed-use developments, and residential management companies of large blocks, on a range of volume matters and complex technical cases. Director Jonathan Leitch and legal director  Philip Parkinson head the property litigation team. Rob Denman heads the firm's real estate department.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Leitch; Philip Parkinson


Philip Parkinson has an unrivalled knowledge and understanding of how the sector operates and an almost photographic recall of past decisions and how they apply to a particular problem

The firm is a real leader in residential leasehold disputes

Philip Parkinson’s knowledge of the law in the area of residential leasehold work is enormous; he is hugely commercial, and is well accustomed to obtaining a solid settlement result for his clients, or fighting on if need be.

The firm’s service charge and forfeiture expertise is unparalleled


Key clients

Berkeley Group

Blenheims Estate & Asset Management

Crabtree PM

CSJ Residential

E & J Estates

Elmdon Real Estate

Encore Estate Management

Estates & Management

FirstPort Property Services

Forte Freehold Management

Freehold Managers

Grangeford Asset Management

HomeGround Management

Keppie Massie

Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward

Lamberts Chartered Surveyors

Leasehold Property Management

Long Harbour

Mainstay Residential

Premier Estates

Rendall & Rittner

Residential Management Group

Residents Quarter

Shenstone Properties

Simarc Property Management

Slough Borough Council

Trinity Estates

The Freehold Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented the freeholder in proceedings for the recovery of interim fire safety costs through service charge.  
  • Successfully represented the freeholder in proceedings for the recovery of ‘waking watch’ fire safety costs through service charge.  
  • Successfully represented the freeholder in proceedings for the recovery of replacement building cladding costs and interim and long-term fire safety measures through service charge.  
  • Represented the freeholder on a complex boundary dispute at a property in Central London, which is subject to valuable proposed redevelopment.  
  • Represented Abacus Land 1 in complex tripartite litigation concerning the powers inherited during the acquisition of right to manage and their effect on commercial premises.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP acts for a number of North West property developers, property agents, public and private companies, and high-net-worth individuals on property disputes,  and regularly supports the firm's commercial property department on real estate transactions. It handles landlord and tenant matters, and is active on easement disputes, development issues, right to light matters, boundary disputes, telecoms issues, nuisance claims and professional negligence cases. Residential property litigation is also a key area of expertise. Litigation head Andrew Weinberg  leads the department which features associates Rebecca Jones  and Phillip Warburton. David Jones has joined Glaisyers LLP.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Weinberg

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Jones; Phillip Warburton


Andrew Weinberg inspires confidence; he brings broader commercial expertise to his specialist property litigation practice to good effect

Rebecca Jones has an impressive command of her cases and the respect of her clients

The team is thorough and commercial at all times

The team has strong expertise and knowledge in the field of property litigation and is very client focused and effective

The team has strong attention to detail and an emphasis on achieving the client’s commercial or strategic objectives

Key clients

London & Scottish Investments

Circle Properties

Land Securities Group

Persimmon Homes

Property Alliance Group

David Samuel Properties

Beech Properties

Heaton Group (Manchester)

Cantt Pak

Morley Estates

Work highlights

  • Advised The Shack (Manchester) on an opposed lease renewal matter.
  • Represented Cantt Pak on a case involving a contract to sell land for £1.2m.
  • Advised the landlord of a property on a break notice served to a tenant.
  • The team advised Heaton Group (Manchester) on a vacant possession strategy.
  • The team advised a landlord client after a property owned in Manchester was occupied by persons unknown for the purposes of protest action, causing a significant delay in development.

Land Law LLP

Specialist firm Land Law LLP is experienced across a range of property litigation mandates. Its expertise spans property management, landlord and tenant matters, and the team is also adept at cases involving restrictive covenants, rights to light and other easements. Steven Jennings now heads the team after the departure of Jen Morris to gunnercooke LLP. Associate partner Karen Taylor and solicitor Siân Westby are also key figures.

Practice head(s):

Steven Jennings

Other key lawyers:

Karen Taylor; Siân Westby


Steven Jennings is an excellent lawyer, manager and litigator; he is always prepared and is always on top of the game

Key clients

Bruntwood Group

Travelodge Hotels

Watch This Space

GE Group and associated group companies

Peel Holdings and associated Peel group companies

Tata Chemicals Europe

Quorum Estates

Eric Wright Group

Rubix (formerly Brammer)

Innovation Birmingham

Beaconsfield Estates

Norbain Holdings

Righton & Blackburns

Work highlights

  • The team obtained an injunction to stop ‘free runners’ trespassing on the client’s portfolio of 130 commercial buildings.
  • Represented a major international hotel chain on a £1m claim by a restaurant for for water damage.
  • Provided expert determination of whether a £6m purchase of development land should proceed.
  • Advised on a water damage claim by fashion retailer Diesel against building owner.
  • Advised on trespass and related issues between a car dealership and an adjoining development site.

Myerson Solicitors LLP

Myerson Solicitors LLP acts for regional and national property developers on a range of matters including restrictive covenants, access rights, telecoms tenancies, rights of light and site clearance strategies. The team is also regularly instructed by landlords, management companies and managing agents of long leasehold residential portfolios and residential investment portfolios; and also acts for commercial landlords and tenants on portfolio management matters. Newly promoted partner Seán Hackett heads the team. Tim Norman and senior solicitor Laura Pile are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Seán Hackett

Other key lawyers:

Tim Norman; Laura Pile; Emma Dooley

Key clients

Akzo Nobel

Convergys Corporation

Tatton Estate

Philip J Davies (Holdings)

Atmore Investments

Renaker Build

Fortis Developments

Woden Court

M Developments

The Harvey Homes Group

The City of Liverpool Investment Company

Mr Peter Kashem

Brisbane House

Veriti & Co.


Mr Mark Davies

Original Brands

X1 Management

Landmark Inns

Abbasi & Salek Partnership



BS Group

Discounted Plastics

Oxford Park

Work highlights

  • Advised Philip J Davies (Holdings) on options post disclaimer of lease of whole by Carillion’s liquidators.
  • Advised Marnshaw following the tenant company entering into administration.
  • Advised Atmore Investments on a terminal dilapidations claim under old lease against M&S following the CVA of tenant.
  • Advised on a terminal dilapidations claim against the Ministry of Justice.
  • Advised client on third party rights over an access road.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs is often engaged on cases involving vacant possession of multi-tenanted redevelopment sites, and the chemicals and agricultural sectors are key areas of focus for the team. Director Helen Hoath is experienced on a range of real estate litigation cases and is noted for commercial landlord and tenant disputes. Cases involving  rent reviews, service charges, break clause issues, easement issues, opposed lease renewals and complex title rectification are key areas of activity. The team also handles cross-border instructions. Leeds-based David Holland heads the team.

Practice head(s):

David Holland (Leeds)

Other key lawyers:

Helen Hoath

Key clients

Co-operative Group

Royal British Legion

Manchester City Football Club

Findel Group of companies

Stewart Milne Group of companies

Luxfer Group of companies

Quintain (Wembley Retail Park)

Lubrizol Group of companies

Signet Group

Peel Group of companies

Work highlights

  • Acted for a developer client in opposing an application to succeed to an agricultural holding on death.
  • The team advised on an application to register title to part of a large site by adverse possession.
  • The team advised on a high-value landlord and tenant dispute for a large commercial entity.
  • The team provides ongoing advice in connection with original tenant liability under two leases of an industrial site.
  • Advised a Middle Eastern consulate in relation to the exercise of a break in its lease, following its relocation.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP stands out for its 'personal touch' and is instructed by a range of commercial clients, local authorities, government bodies and housing associations on disputes. Team head Guy Willetts is based across the firm's Manchester and Birmingham offices and handles rights of light, property management cases, landlord and tenant issues, and disputes concerning development agreements. Lynn James is also a key contact in Manchester, as is senior associate Sam Coward.

Practice head(s):

Guy Willetts

Other key lawyers:

Sam Coward; Lynn James


Sam Coward is very professional and answers queries in a timely manner; his written reports are comprehensive, and he is balanced in his approach to disputes


Key clients

The Riverside Group

Bromford Housing Group

One Vision Housing

Equity Housing Group

Great Places Housing Group

The Guinness Partnership


Cambian Group

Secretary of State for Education

Interserve (and all of its related and subsidiary companies)

St Helen’s Council as Landlords of commercial property

The West Midlands Local Authorities’ Pension Fund Property Portfolio

Homes England

South Lakes Housing

Accent Housing

Progress Housing

Work highlights

  • Represented Eclipse Property (HFX1) on its appeal against a notice served upon it by the Borough Council of Calderdale, pursuant to s215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Butcher & Barlow LLP

Butcher & Barlow LLP's property litigation team handles commercial landlord and tenant matters, and complex land disputes involving restrictive covenants, boundary disputes and registration issues. The team particularly stands out for its agricultural sector expertise and its clients include developers, investors, institutional lenders, professional services firms, landed estates and agricultural occupiers. Department head Alex Sandland is very 'supportive and very determined; he is a tough cookie, and is great to have on your side'. Associates James Holton, who is a landlord and tenant specialist, and Catherine Gregson are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Alex Sandland

Other key lawyers:

James Holton; Catherine Gregson


Alex Sandland and James Holton are commercial and easy to work with

The team is highly knowledgeable, approachable, friendly and commercially minded

The team operates pragmatically and in a way that always maintains focus on reaching an amicable resolution to the dispute wherever possible

James Holton is highly skilled in keeping the client regularly informed; he is approachable, yet assured in his administration

Key clients

The Trustees of the Booth Charities

Joseph Holt

Renew Land Developments

Black & White Developments

Land Recovery

GB Properties

Apex Construction and Design

Brighouse Farmers

Junction Property

Work highlights

  • Defended a property investor on a 1954 Act application for a renewal lease.
  • Acted for a tenant firm in multi-party dilapidations and rent arrears litigation concerning its former offices.
  • Represented a client in a dispute with receivers in relation to a £4m dispute.
  • Represented a property investor in a dilapidations claim against a national retailer which had occupied the premises as its head office for 26 years.
  • The team is retained by a substantial country estate to advise on a multitude of disputes and prospective litigation.


DTM Legal LLP is engaged by investment, retail, landed estates, construction and utilities clients on a range of contentious matters involving landlord and tenant relationships, which include business lease renewals, breach of covenants, forfeiture, rent reviews, insolvency, dilapidations, contentious break clauses, recovery of land from unlawful occupiers, rent and service recovery, lease surrenders, boundary disputes, and rights of light. The team offers portfolio management advice. Anna Duffy in Liverpool heads the team, and is ably supported by Richard Thomas in Chester.

Practice head(s):

Anna Duffy

Other key lawyers:

Richard Thomas

Key clients

David Currie & Co

AAH Pharmaceuticals

The Atmore Group


FI Real Estate /Pro-Investments Limited

Strutt & Parker (management of Peckforton Estate)

The Windmill Group

Scottish Power/Manweb


Quality Freight

Carpenter Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised on a dilapidations settlement and on the surrender of premises.    
  • Advised a group on its property portfolio and contentious property issues.
  • Advised on disposals relating to adverse possession in the land registry of First Tier Tribunal; handled disputes in relation to breach of covenant claims, and advised on management issues in relation to the property portfolio.
  • Actied for the receivers in respect of possession of property.
  • Advised on security against land; recoveries and transfers of land to connected parties.

Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors is instructed by a range of large businesses, housing associations and public organisations on property litigation and land disputes. The healthcare, construction, sport, education, pensions, charity and agricultural sectors are key focuses for the team. Associate Stephen McArdle, who joined in 2018 from KBL Solicitors LLP, is a property litigation specialist. Former team head Robin Stephens has retired.

Practice head(s):

Stephen McArdle; Michael Chambers

Work highlights

  • Advises a Premier League football club in relation to all its property-related matters and disputes.
  • Handled a construction dispute which involved professional negligence and insolvency.
  • Advised a client on a lease renewal and dilapidations.
  • Advised on a breach of covenant, potential injunction and damages claim.
  • Handled a claim in respect of a landslip against a local authority.

Gorvins Solicitors

Gorvins Solicitors handles commercial and residential property disputes for landlords, property owners and commercial tenants. Guy Lightowler, who stands out for his 'attention to detail', leads the team and is instructed by developers, management companies, entrepreneurs and local authority clients. Senior associate Danielle Clements handles a range of landlord and tenant issues, and is engaged on a number of boundary and neighbour disputes. Consultant Jonathon Crook is also a key figure.

Practice head(s):

Guy Lightowler

Other key lawyers:

Danielle Clements; Jonathon Crook


The team is very professional, well organised, very client focused, deals with correspondence very promptly and has the client’s interest as a top priority

Guy Lightowler is an intelligent, client focused and tactically astute operator; he takes a realistic line when required, but always fights the client’s corner to get the best commercial result

Work highlights

  • Represented a client on an application to the Land Registry to claim adverse possession of a parcel of land adjacent to land jointly owned by him and his brother.
  • Advised client on issues relating to a residential property, purchased from a house builder, with unsatisfactory conditions and proposed repairs within a two-year period.
  • Advised client in connection with its occupation of a warehouse at Groveport Docks in Scunthorpe.
  • Defended companies in public interest winding up proceedings brought by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in relation to the operation of a scheme for the mitigation of National Non-Domestic Rates (ie business rates) on unoccupied commercial property which it is alleged misuses the provisions of the Insolvency Act and and/or subverts the legitimate use of insolvency procedures.

KK Thompson Solicitors

Niche offering KK Thompson Solicitors is a 'small team that offers a bespoke, client-friendly service that is founded on excellent knowledge of the law'; and it is 'extremely pro-active in all transactions; it is well organised and communicates effectively'. It has a strong property litigation focus and is noted for its retail sector expertise; it is instructed by commercial landlords, offshore pension funds, investment companies and high-net-worth individuals on contentious matters. Directors Kate Thompson, who is 'adept at thinking outside the box', and Karl Thompson, who has a 'forensic approach but simplifies his advice to make it easy to digest', lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Kate Thompson; Karl Thompson


The team is responsive, commercial and straight-talking; it not only delivers legal advice, but the team problem solves and provides solutions

Kate Thompson is a problem solver and devises practical solutions to complex issues

Karl Thompson is very knowledgeable on landlord and tenant matters, gives considered and well-reasoned advice, and deals with matters efficiently and expediently

Key clients

Roubaix Group

Taylor Business Park

Taylor Estates (Cheshire)

LiveWire (Warrington) CIC

Barnfield Construction

Roger Hannah and Co

Lynton Lasers

Globe Enterprises

Munroe K Asset Management

Poplar Services Printers

Apollo Land and Buildings

Cheshire Telecom

Work highlights

  • The team acts for Roubaix Group in relation to its retail property portfolio throughout the UK.
  • The team provides portfolio management and legal advice to one of the largest management agents in the North West, Roger Hannah, which services thousands of commercial properties across all property sectors.
  • Acted for LiveWire (Warrington) CIC on a contentious proposed lease.
  • The team provides Barnfield Construction with general portfolio management advice, which involves a range of issues including rent recovery, service of various notices pursuant to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, considering and advising upon notices, break option advice and dilapidations disputes.

Nexus Solicitors Limited

Nexus Solicitors Limited acts for landlords, managing agents and tenants on a range of leasehold and property disputes. Claims for tenancy renewals, dilapidations, service charge disputes, and rectification are key areas of activity, as are claims concerning break notices, breaches of covenant and forfeiture. Director Debbie Whiteley heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Debbie Whiteley


The team is professional, qualified and efficient

Debbie Whiteley is thorough, technically superior and stands out for her tenacity

Work highlights

  • The team continues to act for a group of more than 30 leaseholders in relation to disrepair, misrepresentation and forfeiture issues relating to a large development in Barrow-in-Furness.
  • Successfully settled an Upper Tribunal reference for compensation arising out of the compulsory purchase of commercial premises as part of a large redevelopment scheme in Liverpool.
  • Represented four landlords, based outside the UK, whose managing agent has retained rents and has failed to maintain the rental properties in a claim for an account of rents and termination of the management agreement.
  • Advised the holder of an option notice over a property in a dispute as to whether the option is capable of being exercised at any time or is limited to a specific period.
  • Advised a technology company on a dispute over termination of a contract and the retention of data.

Slater Heelis LLP

Slater Heelis LLP  stands out for its ability to 'understand the client's business'. The team acts for UK and overseas clients on a range of residential and commercial property disputes.  It is regularly engaged on advisory work, high-value disputes and landlord and tenant disputes. Recently promoted partner Daniel Stern heads the team. Chris Bishop is also a key figure.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Stern

Other key lawyers:

Chris Bishop


The team has the determination to get to know the client’s expectations and requirements

The team has the ability to think outside the box, and has ‘terrier’-like determination to achieve a successful result for the client

Daniel Stern is a go-to person for his leasehold and contract law knowledge; his ability to grasp an issue quickly is quite outstanding, and he cuts to the chase effectively

Key clients

CERT Property

The Feltham Group

PJ Livesey Group


Work highlights

  • Represented CERT Properties in obtaining vacant possession of a large multi-let, mixed-use office and leisure building in Manchester City Centre for redevelopment.

Bridge Law Solicitors Ltd

Bridge Law Solicitors Ltd  handles a range of property litigation mandates and is regularly instructed by individuals. It handles disputes involving easements and boundaries, rights to light,  trespass and sale of land, and the team also handles landlord and tenant cases. Director Claire Stewart 'goes the extra mile' and is ably supported by Sophie Murgatroyd.

Practice head(s):

Claire Stewart; Sophie Murgatroyd


The care, sympathy and professionalism given to clients is exceptional


Kennedys handles a range of landlord and tenant disputes, and is regularly engaged by property developer clients on contentious cases. Cases involving repossession, trespass and enforcement proceedings are a key area of expertise, as are property-related professional negligence disputes. Senior associate Tom White leads the team in Manchester. .

Practice head(s):

Tom White


Tom White is hardworking and meticulous