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Property litigation in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard is particularly active in the retail sector, representing clients with large property portfolios on a variety of major disputes. Charles Jagger and Chris Perrin are the key partners operating out of Manchester; Jagger acts on a range of property litigation matters, including disputes relating to dilapidations and professional negligence. Perrin is 'an excellent litigator' who handles disputes in relation to development issues. Legal director Andy Freehan is described as 'bright and proactive.' 

Practice head(s):

Julie Middlemass (Leeds)

Testimonials

‘Probably the leading property litigation team in the North West.’

‘The team is based in the North West of England. However its quality matches, if not exceeds, that of any other part of England, including London.’

‘They work for very significant clients whether they are retailers, developers or landlords.’

‘Chris Perrin is a real star of the property litigation world. He has made a real name for himself particularly in Manchester. Julie Middlemass is a very experienced property litigator who is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Chris Perrin is an excellent litigator. He is knowledgeable, pleasant to deal with and efficient. I know I can rely on him.’

‘Chris Perrin has further strengthened the team. Andy Feehan and Patricia Love are both very bright and proactive and are prepared to go the extra mile for their clients.’

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles property litigation for clients across a broad range of sectors, including telecoms, financial services, chemicals and transport, covering matters relating to lease renewals, dilapidations and insolvency. David McGuirk leads the team; he has expertise in acting on disputes arising out of residential and commercial property development. James Batham is active on landlord and tenant disputes while senior associate Alex Wright has a record of work on development and investment disputes.

Practice head(s):

David McGuirk

Testimonials

‘The Manchester Office has a superbly good team . very good on cross-disciplinary work particularly in the energy and related sectors where property litigation issues very often arise.’

‘David McGuirk excels as team leader, an excellent strategist and tough litigator Joanne Mills has the best judgment, bar none. Very good tactician and excellent forensic skills’

 

Key clients

Manchester Airports Group

Aviva Investors

The Co-Operative Bank PLC

Homes England

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Toni&Guy

Associated British Ports

London Pension Fund Authority

European Metal Recycling Limited

ETEL (Kwik Fit)

Hill Dickinson LLP

The team at Hill Dickinson LLP possess 'superior knowledge, depth of experience and a common sense attitude.' Kevin Lee leads the team and is an expert on rights of light, mines and minerals and restrictive covenant disputes. Another key figure in the team is Ralph Bullivant, who represents clients on dilapidation claims as well as contested lease renewals. Julia Stansfield and Phil Parker are recommended for professional negligence work in relation to property and litigation for retail and logistics clients. Legal director Helen Evans has notable experience of disputes concerning trespass and protester actions.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Lee

Testimonials

‘Superior knowledge, depth of experience and common sense attitude. Arguably the leading lights in how to deal with protesters, trespass, related injunctions and general common law evictions. It is no exaggeration to say that the partners and associates we’ve used are at the leading edge of law in relation to the balance between the right to go about one’s lawful business and the right to protest.’

‘They are so engaged and on our side that they feel part of our close inner team, behaving like in-house counsel rather than external. Kevin Lee has been outstanding in this respect and surely must be one of the leading lights. He is also very commercially minded, which is great to see given that the bottom line is always of key importance to any commercial organisation.’

Key clients

UK Oil & Gas Plc

First Group Plc

National Express Group

Stobart Group

Lookers Group

Iceland Group

Kuehne + Nagel

First Title Insurance

Co Operative Group

Aviva Group

Work highlights

  • Advising UK Oil & Gas Plc on anti-protest injunction proceedings.
  • Defending London Southend Airport against 245 claims for compensation under Land Compensation Act for loss in value due to runway extension.
  • Acting for Jones Bros Ruthin (Civil Engineering) Company Limited in a claim for injunction and damages for interference to shooting rights cause by wind turbine development in Wales.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's 'very competent and knowledgeable' property litigation team is spread across the international firm's Manchester and Liverpool offices, advising a wide range of both local and national clients. Martin Griffiths heads up the team, with particular experience in relation to landlord disputes and litigation arising out of development projects. Director Rachael Jones is active on insurance matters and dilapidations claims.

Practice head(s):

Martin Griffiths

Other key lawyers:

Rachael Jones

Testimonials

‘Very competent and knowledgeable.’

‘Martin Griffiths and Rachael Jones stand out.’

Key clients

Schroders

Liverpool Football Club

Picton

Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited

USF Nominees Limited (Unilever’s Pension Fund)

Heineken

Pilkington

Cheshire West and Chester Council

FI Real Estate Management

St James’s Place

Work highlights

  • Advised St James’s Place UK Plc in relation to opposing a business lease renewal in respect of a £7m redevelopment in London.
  • Acted for an international asset finance company in obtaining relief from forfeiture in respect of a 125 year lease of a department store in Cribbs Causeway Shopping Centre, Bristol.
  • Advised Pilkington Automotive Limited in relation to re-locating numerous telecommunications interests in order to allow a multi-million pound mixed use development to take place.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's practice advises a range of public and private sector clients on property litigation matters with sector expertise covering education, agriculture and financial services. Michael Smith began leading the team in March 2019, after transferring from the Leeds office. He works with high profile clients on cases all the way up the Supreme Court, handling matters relating to restrictive covenants and insolvency. Stuart McCann represents clients relating to student accommodation management matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Smith

Other key lawyers:

Stuart McCann

Testimonials

‘Firm leadership. On top of procedure, and efficient at managing short deadlines.’

‘Michael Smith has provided in-depth and considered advice on a couple of challenging litigation issues. In the face of some awkward challenges, he has consistently provided well considered advice and endeavoured to protect our position at all times.’

‘Mike Smith is a pleasure to deal with, but firm when needed. He particularly impressed me when he (and his team) took over conduct of an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court shortly before the deadline for filing (as well as a number of other matters) he pulled together an efficient team and made what might otherwise have been an intolerable situation, manageable.’

Key clients

Balfour Beatty Group plc

United Utilities

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

The University of Manchester

Aviva Group

Credit Suisse

St Modwen Properties Group

Homes England

Barclays Bank Plc

Preston North End Football Club

Harworth Group PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising United Utilities on all aspects of the ongoing litigation in connection with the Manchester Ship Canal.
  • Acting as lead advisors to Cornerstone on all its strategic litigation under the Electronic Communications Code including two high profile cases in which Cornerstone is seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
  • Acting for Linnaeus, providers of veterinary practices, on property litigation advice in a corporate restructuring project regarding the assignment of approximately 150 leases.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP has a 'very strong, consistent and capable' team which 'provides plenty of reassurance' to their clients. The practice is active on a range of contentious matters relating to lease renewals, dilapidations and rent reviews. Team head Wayne Nash is well-regarded for giving 'excellent and reliable advice' - he leads on development disputes, while newly promoted partner Kirsty Black has a focus on landlord and tenant work.

Practice head(s):

Wayne Nash

Other key lawyers:

Kirsty Black

Testimonials

‘Very strong, consistent and capable, providing plenty of reassurance behind making some significant decisions.’

‘Wayne Nash excels; he is firmly on top of all the issues and provides excellent and reliable advice.’

Key clients

Travelodge Hotels Limited

Student Castle

Renaker Build

Allied London LLP

Select Property Group

London & Scottish Property Investment Management Limited

Marston’s Plc

Watkin Jones & Son Group Limited

Sports Direct

DeTrafford

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

The Restaurant Group

Work highlights

  • Provided Renaker Build Limited with a rights of light risk analysis and solution in relation to the development of two high rise city centre developments, bringing over 600 apartments to Manchester city centre worth £130m.
  • Ongoing advice to Allied London and implementation of agreed actions/solutions in connection with the regeneration of a Manchester neighbourhood with a total investment value of £1.25bn.
  • Advising Student Castle on a rights of light and rights of way dispute regarding two high-rise student accommodation developments in central Manchester with a value of over £150m, enabling the schemes to be delivered.

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP's property litigation practice - which is praised for its 'positive energy' and 'personal interest in the client' - is co-led out of Liverpool by Andrew Rogers; he has an active litigation practice representing developers, local authorities and landlords. He works in tandem with Helena Davies and Jeff Lewis, who are based in Manchester. Davies handles work on adverse possession and party wall conflicts while Lewis has a track record of work on landlord and tenant disputes.

Testimonials

‘The team manage the volume of work well and ensure timetables are maintained and work anticipated in advance.’

‘The practice offers in depth expertise rarely found outside of London. The partners have a winning mentality and a desire to achieve a positive result for their client. Their objective is to conclude the litigation at the earliest opportunity, using mediation between the parties to great effect. There is a positive energy at the practice where all team members demonstrate a personal interest in the client.’

‘Jeff Lewis is very capable and knowledgeable. We contacted and engaged the services of Brabners based on a personal recommendation in the area of boundary disputes. The unique feature we felt was the business minded/common sense approach to the issue rather than escalating immediately to take legal action.’

‘Helena Davies offers a balanced view of the strengths and weakness of your case. She has a genuine interest in the client and their legal position is at the forefront throughout the engagement. Helena’s strengths are her clarity of communication, availability and speed of response. She has a strong desire to achieve a successful outcome for her client and uses her skill of mediation to maximum benefit. There is a strong team to maintain service levels in Helena’s absence from the office.’

‘The individuals we engage with are down to earth and offer practical advice.’

Key clients

Associated British Foods

TJ Morris Limited (t/a Home Bargains)

Hope Capital

Merseyside Pension fund

Martin McColl Limited

Goldcrest Finance

Primark Stores Limited

Peel Ports Group

Warrington Borough Council

Jolivet Group/JLT Properties Ltd

Matalan Retail Limited

The Shaw Trust Limited

J W Lees

The Liver Building Co Ltd

Coal Industry Social Welfare Org

Leverhulme Estate

Work highlights

  • Handling property litigation matters for Martin McColl Limited in England and Wales, acting on all of its lease renewals and other property-related disputes relating to over 1,500 stores.
  • Advised Peel Ports Group on several high value matters.
  • Advisers for the estates management team at Warrington Borough Council, providing ongoing support and advice.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP's practice, which is described as 'straightforward and easy to work with', is particularly active for clients in the health and insurance sectors. The team is led by Rachael Reynolds, who undertakes a broad swathe of work in the field. This includes risk assessment and development assistance to local authorities and developers. Landlord and tenant work is also a key part of her practice.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Reynolds

Testimonials

‘Attention to detail and strategy.’

‘Straight forward and easy to work with. Look to think outside the box and recognise limitations.’

 

‘The practice is excellent, the entire team is very approachable, and all are keen on building strong relationships with clients. Highly recommended.’

‘Communication is excellent.’

 

Key clients

Royal Mail Group

Lendlease

Land Securities

Intu Shopping Centres plc

Royal London Mutual Insurance Society

Limited

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council for Greater Manchester Pension Fund

Quintain Limited

St Helens Borough Council

Bolton Council

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council

Oldham Borough Council

Laduree

Property Alliance Group Limited

Japan Centre Group Limited

Safran Nacelles Limited

Clas Ohlson Limited

Bradford City Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for Royal London in securing vacant possession of a development site in London via a contested ground (f) claim. Managed litigation for Royal London and negotiated a settlement deal pursuant to which the tenant permitted Royal London to undertake preparatory works at the premises prior to possession being given.
  • Defending a relief from forfeiture application brought by an unlawful occupier of the client’s Central London restaurant premises, who claimed standing on the basis that it was a subtenant.
  • Acted for Arthur J Gallagher (U.K.) Limited in relation to a dilapidations claim totalling circa £3.5m brought by its former landlord of premises in Central London.

J B Leitch Ltd

J B Leitch Ltd's practice 'provides a unique offering for service charge and residential leasehold related work.' Director Jonathan Leitch, who founded the firm over 20 years ago, expertly handles a wide range of matters relating to long leasehold residential and mixed-use properties. Legal director Philip Parkinson has more than a decade of experience acting on landlord and tenant disputes, including landlord obligations in relation to fire safety. He is also noted for his 'incredible knowledge of the market.'

Other key lawyers:

Camilla Waszek; Kirsten Blower

Testimonials

‘J B Leitch provide a unique offering in the North West – and nationally – for service charge and residential leasehold related work. They have unrivalled knowledge of the market and are incredibly well connected. They have a good understanding of their clients’ needs and go above and beyond to service that in comparison to their competitor firms.’

‘The team are experts in their field and always available to assist.’

‘The firm’s understanding of the sector is excellent. They are aware of the issues facing us, and react appropriately. Additionally, their knowledge on fire safety matters is first-rate.’

‘Phil Parkinson, Kirsten Blower, and Camilla Waszek are all individually excellent. They are communicative, have incredible knowledge of the client market, and are very skilled lawyers. They are always pleasant in their dealings with counsel.’

‘Philip Parkinson and Camilla Waszek are both very talented. They are commercially aware and have a great grasp of the law.’

Key clients

Ballymore Asset Management

Berkeley Group plc

Blenheims Estate & Asset Management Ltd

Crabtree PM Ltd

E & J Estates

Encore Estate Management

Estates & Management Ltd

FirstPort Property Services Limited

Foster Maddison Property Consultants

Freehold Managers plc

HomeGround Management Limited

Keppie Massie Ltd

Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward

Lamberts Chartered Surveyors Ltd

Long Harbour Ltd

Mainstay Residential Ltd

Premier Estates

Rendall & Rittner Ltd

Residential Management Group

Residents Quarter Ltd

Shenstone Properties Ltd

Slough Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Holding & Management in a service charge dispute.
  • Advised Holding & Management in reported Upper Tribunal appeal to determine the jurisdiction of the First-tier Tribunal.
  • Advised Adriatic Land in reported case to determine whether service charges were reasonable where a landlord assumes responsibility for the delivery of services.

Land Law LLP

Land Law LLP's team of 'very experienced, specialist property lawyers' are regarded as 'experts in their field.' The firm acts on the full range of litigious matters, with Steven Jennings heading up the practice. Jennings is a 'very experienced practitioner' who handles a wide range of matters, covering dilapidation claims and service charges in relation to landlord and tenant clients,  as well as rent reviews for surveyors. Associate partner Karen Taylor has a range of expertise and experience, including professional negligence claims involving developers.

Practice head(s):

Steven Jennings

Other key lawyers:

Karen Taylor

Testimonials

‘Land Law has an established team of very experienced, specialist property lawyers – they are rightly regarded as experts in their field.’

‘I have found Land Law to be very responsive in any requests and focused on client communication. In my experience they have been efficient, flexible and always able to add value to the strategy element of any conversations we have had, be it on litigation or traditional real estate matters.’

‘Very well respected specialist property lawyers.’

‘Steven Jennings has provided some excellent, no-nonsense, commercial , advice on thorny litigation matters.’

‘Steven Jennings is a very experienced practitioner and is able to take charge of a situation without being overbearing or autocratic. His attention to detail is excellent and he has been very good at explaining situations in plain English with a clear plan of attack.’

Key clients

Bruntwood Group

Peel Holdings and group companies

Tata Chemicals Europe Limited

Trafford Bruntwood (Stretford Mall) LLP

Trafford Bruntwood (Stamford Quarter) LLP

Righton & Blackburns Limited

Smiths Metal Centres Limited

Crown Paints Limited

Watch This Space Limited

Beaconsfield Estates LLP

Work highlights

  • Acting for the trustees of the site of a Cheshire golf course in a £1m negligence claim against a large Manchester city centre firm arising out of the acquisition of part of the site for a new relief road.
  • Acting for a consortium in respect of a public house chain which had a lease of a key part of the site but was in breach of a “keep open” clause in its lease.
  • Acting for the owners of an industrial estate in Rotherham in a dilapidations claim for £1m against former tenant.

Myerson Solicitors LLP

Myerson Solicitors LLP's team are seen as 'knowledgeable, practical and effective', acting for local and national developer clients on matters such as rights of light, restrictive covenants and access rights. Head of team Sean Hackett is a 'first-class property litigator with extensive knowledge of the law.' He has experience in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court; he works with senior partner Tim Norman who has strong experience of acting on the real estate aspects of professional negligence disputes. The 'practical and effective' Laura Pile is active on landlord and tenant disputes.

Practice head(s):

Seán Hackett

Other key lawyers:

Tim Norman; Laura Pile

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable, practical and effective. No showboating, just straight-forward action for all their clients.’

‘Not afraid to give their advice in a clear and easily understandable way, however complex the problem.’

‘Sean Hackett is a first-class property litigator with an extensive knowledge of the law and litigation tactics.’

‘Laura Pile is a practical and effective lawyer. Gets the detail right but doesn’t get lost in it.’

‘Sean Hackett is immensely knowledgeable and delivers his advice clearly. He is responsive when needed and flexible in his approach.’

Key clients

Hall & Co Property Funding Limited

Havenview Limited

O’Gara Developments

Gladman Developments Limited

Diamond Resorts

Hall Brown Limited

Brunswick Investor Group Limited

Styles and Wood

Akzo Nobel NV

Imperial Chemical Industries Limited

Tatton Estate

Philip J Davies (Holdings) PLC

Atmore Investments Limited

Renaker Build Limited

Fortis Developments Limited

The City of Liverpool Investment Company Ltd

NHR Limited Directors Pension Scheme

Mr Mark Davies

Oxford Park Limited

Veriti & Co Limited

Abbasi & Salek Partnership

Monckton Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Atmore Investments Limited in respect of its dilapidations claim against M&S.
  • Advising Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd in respect of its UK based time share portfolio.
  • Advising Akzo Nobel in respect of its multimillion-pound rental portfolio.

Pannone Corporate LLP

Pannone Corporate LLP is regarded as having 'the resources and technical skills to handle all sorts of cases, up to large and complex High Court trials.' The team is led by David Brown, who has nearly two decades of experience of disputes such as nuisance and contaminated land claims, contested lease renewals and dilapidation claims. Director Gemma Staples, a 'true expert in the field', has a record of work on guarantee claims and matters relating to breach of covenant.

Practice head(s):

David Brown

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Staples

Testimonials

‘Strongly recommended. They have the resources and technical skills to handle all sorts of cases, up to large and complex High Court trials. They provide excellent, commercial and cost-effective problem-solving. They are a go-to firm for all kinds of commercial and residential property disputes; a major advantage of their structure is that a case gets plenty of hands-on partner-level involvement, which is highly reassuring.’ 

‘Gemma Staples is a true expert in the field, Gemma has masses of litigation experience, in particular with a wide range of national-level commercial clients. She has taken very heavy and technically demanding property cases through the High Court. She stands out as being completely unflappable even in the most demanding cases.’

Key clients

Diamond Resorts Group

Emerson Group

Manchester Central Convention Centre

Manchester City Council

Peel Media

Revolution Bars Limited

Slicker Recycling Limited

Transport for Greater Manchester

Tradebe Management Limited

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising Diamond Resorts Group in connection with the grant of recreational rights over land and whether the claim to such rights can be properly described as easements.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs works with an international client base, with the chemical sector a particular focus for international firm's Manchester office. David Holland, who leads the national team, handles a broad range of litigation, including high value landlord and tenant matters, rights to light and dilapidations disputes, while also specialising in land compensation matters. Experienced director Helen Hoath has a long track record of work on landlord and tenant disputes such as rent reviews and opposed lease renewals.

Practice head(s):

David Holland (Leeds)

Other key lawyers:

Helen Hoath

Key clients

Co-operative Group Ltd

Studio Retail Group of Companies

HB Villages

Mawasem Ltd

Signet Group Ltd

Load-Lock Ltd

Building Design Partnership

Kemira Chemicals (UK) Ltd

Cummins Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for the tenant, a national food retailer, on a lease renewal in relation to a flagship store where the landlord is opposing renewal on the redevelopment ground and where several concessions within the store must be managed.
  • Advising an international chemical company in a rent review dispute concerning the possibility of setting aside an independent expert determination on the grounds of fraud and undue influence.
  • Acting for a Biffin in opposing an application to succeed to an agricultural holding on death.

TLT

TLT's property litigation practice acts for a broad range of clients, including landlords and tenants, public sector bodies and property developers. Matthew Forest is active in the retail, leisure, clean energy and development sectors. He has also litigated on matters relating to business rates in the Supreme Court. James Chadwick's principal clients are financial institutions, while legal director Tom White joined the team from Kennedys in November 2019, bringing expertise in professional negligence claims in relation to property matters.

Other key lawyers:

Tom White

Testimonials

‘Danielle Ferguson is extremely hardworking with grasp of detail.’

‘Matthew Forrest is excellent. He is knowledgeable and gets results.’

 

 

Key clients

Pets at Home Limited and Vets4Pets

Covent Garden Market Association

Manchester Airport Group

Nationwide Building Society

Iceland Foods Limited

Punch Pubs

WH Smith

Lookers plc

Lloyds Bank plc

Santander UK plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for Covent Garden Market Authority in High Court proceedings commenced by its tenants in relation to alleged interference with their rights under leases as a result of the redevelopment of the market.
  • Acting on behalf of Manchester Airports Group in connection with pursuing possession of a key redevelopment site on the estate which has been occupied by a number of parties on informal terms for an extended period of time.
  • Acting for Pets at Home in relation to a dispute arising from alleged settlement of rent review where the figures proposed by the client’s surveyor contained an error.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP possesses' a 'strong, well-established and very well-respected property team', which acts for clients across the healthcare, retail and local government sectors on the full remit of property litigation matters. The 'experienced' and 'unflappable' Sian Evans leads the team. She acts for clients in both the public and private sectors. John Darnell is 'very strong' on business lease renewals and lease termination matters.

Practice head(s):

Sian Evans

Other key lawyers:

John Darnell

Testimonials

‘Very strong well-established and very well-respected property team, with strong legal knowledge.’

‘John Darnell is very strong in commercial leasehold disputes. Well-organised and efficient and good with clients.’

‘Sian Evans is strong leader of the team. Very experienced, unflappable and very good with clients.’

Key clients

BDW Trading Limited (Barratts David Wilson Homes)

Bruntwood

Clarion Housing Group

Emerson Group

Transport for Greater Manchester

Derbyshire County Council

AS Watson Group

Work highlights

  • Advised a UK housebuilder on the interpretation of an Option Agreement giving the client the right to purchase a plot of land with planning permission for a substantial residential development and represented the client successfully in an expert determination, refuting allegations by the landowner that the Option Agreement was wrong and subject to rectification and that the expert should not act.
  • Advised Habro on the recovery of disputed service charge arrears from Asda, including issues relating to the interpretation of the lease and the application of the new RICS professional statement on service charges in commercial property.
  • Advised Osmond Capital Limited (Strada Restaurants) on claims and counterclaims against a landlord under a lease of licensed premises in circumstances where the landlord alleged serious breaches of the lease and a third party had made an application for a premises licence.

Forbes Solicitors

The 'highly specialised' practice at Forbes Solicitors advises regional surveyors, valuers, land agents in sectors such as education and retail. Michael Chambers co-leads the team, working alongside the newly promoted Stephen McArdle, who 'stands apart from many of his competitors' in the market, working for both public and private sector clients. Senior associate Laura Hallett Lea has a record of work on boundary as well as landlord and tenant disputes.

Testimonials

‘The team, headed by Stephen McArdle has certainly impressed with its client focus and, in particular, Stephen’s ability to find swift and pragmatic solutions to client problems. The quality of clients is also indicative of the firm’s position.’

‘The team is highly specialised in working with housing associations and other property clients. High level of expertise.’ 

‘Stephen McArdle stands apart from many of his competitors. His ability to get to the root of a problem belies his years in practice. Stephen is a formidable opponent who leaves no stone unturned.’

Key clients

Zurich Insurance

Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service

Senator Group

gunnercooke LLP

gunnercooke LLP's property litigation practice provides 'excellent knowledge, service and communication at all times.' Jointly led by Tom Seabrook and Jen Morris, the team represents developers, occupiers and management companies. Seabrook is 'an excellent solicitor' who is also qualified as a chartered surveyor and handles commercial and residential property disputes. Morris gives, 'concise answers to complex problems', with noted expertise providing advice on unlocking development sites. Environmental criminal defence specialist Anna Willetts joined from Clyde & Co LLP in summer 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jen Morris; Tom Seabrook

Other key lawyers:

Anna Willetts

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge, service and communication at all times.’

‘There are very strong individuals in the firm, Jen Morris gives accessible, practical advice of the best professional quality.’

‘Tom Seabrook is an excellent solicitor – his knowledge, advice and speed of communication is amongst the very best that I have experienced.’

‘Jen Morris listens and gets it. She responds promptly with advice that means you can get on with your day. No waiting, no having to interpret technical jargon into practical advice. What Jen provides is what the busy in-house lawyer needs – concise answers to complex problems.’

‘Anna Willetts is dual qualified as environmental consultant and solicitor. Absolutely no-nonsense, and with a rigorous approach to analysing notices, warrants etc – identifying good points which others have not spotted. Her experience of the waste industry, and litigation arising in it, is second to none. Very hard-working. Truly unique.’

Key clients

Haynes International Limited

Cheshire Homes Group

Polyseam Limited

Canarycrown Limited

Aurient Management Limited

Tesni Properties Limited

RAM Properties Limited

Henry Boot PLC and associated companies

Watkin Jones PLC and associated companies

Work highlights

  • Acting for a freehold property owner. Tenanted property let to tenant on Assured Shorthold Tenancy for use as a single dwelling. Property then used for ‘scam’ by tenant in that it had sublet to multiple parties for use as an illegal House in Multiple Occupation.
  • Advised David Porter Limited on a dispute over deposit on failed pharmacy share sale. Terms could not be agreed and proposed seller refused to return deposit accusing proposed buyer of acting in bad faith.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP's practice - which offers 'a very human touch rather than just bland professionalism' - acts on a range of property litigation matters including dilapidations claims, repair disputes and service charge issues. Andrew Weinberg, who leads the team, draws on his broader experience of commercial litigation. Senior associate Rebecca Jones, described as an 'impressive practitioner', has acted on a range of development disputes.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Weinberg

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Jones

Testimonials

‘Rebecca Jones continues to offer an excellent and swift service to her clients. Her determination sets her aside from her peers.’

‘Rebecca Jones is very easy to work with and is an impressive practitioner.’

‘Andrew Weinberg has a wealth of knowledge and always has an eye on client care.’

‘The team has in-depth knowledge and are a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Practical knowledge of the key issues and very sensible and timely advice. Greater focus on quality service delivery – a very human touch rather than just bland professionalism.’

Key clients

Beech Properties Limited

David Samuel Properties

IO Oil and Gas

Linmari Group Limited

Living Hope Church (Kemi Ilori Ministries) Limited

London & Scottish Property Investments Limited

Persimmon Homes Limited

Property Alliance Group Limited

Robert Walters plc

University of Salford

Work highlights

  • Advised IO Oil and Gas on its own break notice at The Shard in London and a subsequent dilapidations dispute to unlawful occupation and subsequent forfeiture of part of the property for which it was an intermediate landlord.
  • Advised University of Salford on vacant possession strategy to facilitate a multi-million pound redevelopment to create a world-leading robotics facility.
  • Provide day-to-day asset management assistance to London and Scottish Property Investment Management on a variety of matters, relating to assets held by the Real Estate Investment Trust in respect of £750m worth of regional office and light industrial property space.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP's team, which is well-regarded for its 'specialist knowledge' of the social housing sectoracts on disputes relating lease renewals, rights of light, dilapidations and forfeiture. Lynn James and Guy Willetts co-lead the team. James's 'breadth of experience is invaluable in providing both technical and practical advice.' She advises in relation to leasehold management, with landlords and leaseholders among her clients. Willetts acts on development agreements disputes as well as landlord and tenant matters.

Practice head(s):

Lynn James; Guy Willetts

Testimonials

‘The team’s specialist knowledge of property litigation, particularly with regard to social housing providers, is second to none and is difficult to find within the sector. They are particularly good at being able to adapt from smaller scale queries to large scale technical matters with the same degree of urgency.’

‘I have worked closely with Lynn James on numerous matters, both small and large scale. There is no limit to Lynn’s knowledge in this area of law and her breadth of experience is invaluable in providing both technical and practical advice. Lynn is very down to earth and very easy to work with.’

Key clients

Bromford Housing Group

Interserve Group Limited

Accent Housing Limited

The West Midlands Pension Fund

The Riverside Group Limited

Great Places Housing Group

Regenda Limited

Cambian Group

Secretary of State for Education

Homes England

HH No 1 Limited

London and Quadrant Housing Trust

One Manchester Limited

One Housing Group

St Helens Council

Bradley Investments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Bradley Investments on a large dilapidations claim relating to a large central London office building.
  • Sole adviser on all property and property litigation matters for the whole of the Interserve Group.
  • Provided advice to Wolverhampton City Council as Administering Authority for the West Midlands Pension Fund on a number of management issues including Landlord and Tenant Act lease renewals and disputed issues to do with the granting of consent to assign.

Butcher & Barlow LLP

Butcher & Barlow LLP is praised for providing 'timely, efficient and clear professional advice.' The team is led by Alexander Sandland and James Holton. Sandland  has experience in agricultural and land and title disputes. Holton is noted for his 'substantial experience beyond his years' acting on a range of property litigation matters including lease renewals and terminations, landlord and tenant notices, forfeiture and dilapidations.

Testimonials

‘We have found Butcher & Barlow to be professional and caring. They are attentive and understand our needs.’

‘Timely, efficient and clear professional advice.’

‘Extremely client and solutions focused. Commercially minded. Outcome driven. Approachable and friendly.’

‘James Holton  has substantial experience, beyond his years. He is a commercially minded specialist property litigator.’

‘James Holton was exceptional in his attention to detail and efficiency – he advised us at all times and kept us in the loop with everything always.’

‘Jonathan Aldersley; Zoe Paton-Crockett are stand out advisers who know their stuff and give great service.’

‘Andy MacKenzie is an exceptional, client-focused lawyer.’

Key clients

The Trustees of the Booth Charities

Joseph Holt Limited

Renew Land Developments Limited

Black & White Developments

Land Recovery Limited

GB Properties

Apex Construction and Design

Brighouse Farmers

Junction Property Limited

Glashen Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for a landlord in proceedings concerning a contested break notice of leisure premises including a damages claim.
  • Acting in contested proceedings concerning an easement servicing a development site.

DTM Legal LLP

DTM Legal LLP's property litigation practice represents retail and investment clients on matters such as business lease renewals, breach of covenants, forfeiture and rent reviews. Anna  Duffy, a specialist with over a decade's worth of experience in the field, leads the team. She assists with contentious lease renewals and dilapidation claims. Richard Thomas is also recommended for his property disputes work which sits within his wider litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

Anna Duffy

Other key lawyers:

Richard Thomas

Work highlights

  • Advising Willian Investments in relation to dilapidation and recovery of disputed service charges and contentious lease renewals and forfeiture.
  • Advising Henrob Group in relation to dilapidations settlement and surrender of premises.

Gorvins Solicitors

Gorvins Solicitors's practice covers a broad array of work including boundary disputes, contested lease renewals and disrepair and dilapidations claims. Guy Lightowler leads the team and is particularly active on landlord and tenant disputes. His broader practice involves acting for developers, management companies and local authorities. Highly experienced consultant Jonathan Crook is a key figure, with experience of acting in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

Practice head(s):

Guy Lightowler

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Crook

Harrison Drury & Co

Harrison Drury & Co's team are 'excellent professionals, dedicated to clients, friendly and pleasant to work with on all levels.' They act on landlord and tenant disputes, negligence claims and the enforcement of property rights. Colin Fenny leads the team and is known for providing an 'exceptional service.' He principally acts on contentious development matters, including disputes over property contracts and professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Colin Fenny

Testimonials

‘We engaged Harrison Drury as an unknown team of solicitors. We were desperate to find someone to fight our difficult case. We loved the fact that Colin Fenny was always available immediately or if busy soon got back to us. He was candid but we appreciated his honesty which gave the correct balance. We were supported through a very long and stressful chapter and can only speak very highly of our experience with Harrison Drury.’

‘Harrison Drury take a refreshingly modern approach to property litigation. They are both engaging and professional, friendly but firm and provide a high quality of professional service. Their approach makes them much easier to deal with than similar firms.’

‘The team is very much a team with an excellent working relationship therefore providing clients with a comprehensive service. Even when another member of the team is dealing with another matter each professional is aware of the case details so it can be picked up if anything was to happen. They have a wide range of knowledge of the whole sector, and also abreast with the latest developments. Each individual take time to understand the client’s requirements and end goal before advising on the matter. Most importantly it’s a joy to meet with them, as they are always so polite, professional, cheery and communicate to a standard which other professionals don’t.’

‘I find the team at Harrison Drury to be particularly responsive to their clients’ needs, and commercially astute. In the work I did with them, there were multiple factors need to taken into account, and they were careful to ensure that the client was aware of all its options and had clear, sensible advice which prioritised outcomes over processes, whilst keeping costs at a competitive level. All in all, they offer a great service.’

‘Excellent professionals, dedicated to clients, friendly and pleasant to work with on all levels.’

Colin Fenny provides an exceptional service. He finds innovative solutions to the many challenges which litigation brings, the ability to blend legal and practical knowledge together to bring a solution which exceeds the client’s aims. He always seems to be one step ahead of the other side allowing us to be proactive not counteracting. The communication and ability to commute with clients is second to none, all have complete faith in him.’

‘Colin Fenny is particularly responsive and diligent in understanding the issue around particular problems rather than simply looking at the pure legal elements. This allows pragmatic decision making and faster, commercially advantageous solutions to be reached.’

Key clients

M&M Acquisitions Ltd

Eric Wright Group Limited and Eric Wright Pension Trustees

Sir Simon Towneley (Worsthorne Estate, Cliviger and Burnley)

Tustin Developments Limited

MAC Roofing and Contracting Limited

MH Stainton Limited

Trustees of the Legh Estate

Trustees of the Dunkenhalgh Estate

Wishcare Limited

Cronin Properties Limited

Robert Silverwood (Lowther Café)

John Weld-Blundell

David Reginald Hatch, Alison Hatch, Zygmunt Kulbacki

Glendale Liverpool

Glendale Managed Services Limited

Parkwood Leisure Limited

Carter & Carter Photography Limited

The Log House Restaurant Limited

Classic Lodges Limited

Collinson Construction Plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for Robert Silverwood in relation to a three-day multi track trial of complex opposed lease renewal proceedings under ground (f) and ground (g) of Section 30 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 involving the application of recent case law in this area and various issues relating to the powers and obligations of Trustees/Charities and occupation/use of the property as well as expert evidence on funding/fundraising.
  • Acting for John Weld-Blundell in a two-day multi-track trial involving the interpretation of a positive freehold covenant to improve an access road following purchase and the application of expert evidence as to the purchaser’s compliance with those obligations having regard to the requirements for tarmac and/or cement stabilisation
  • Defended Tustin Developments Limited in proceedings in the Lands Tribunal brought by a third party for right of way/parking over our client’s land involving arguments of fact and law. Successfully settled at mediation on grant of a formal right of way on agreed terms in consideration for payment of capital sum.

KK Thompson Solicitors

KK Thompson Solicitors' 'boutique practice' is exclusively partner-led by practitioners Kate Thompson and Karl Thompson. The duo are able to 'attract excellent quality work from substantial clients' including landlords, investment companies and pension funds. Karl has expertise in the retail sector and has advises clients on portfolio management and property disputes. Kate principally acts on landlord and tenant matters, including contested and uncontested matters and dilapidations claims.

Practice head(s):

Kate Thompson; Karl Thompson

Testimonials

‘KK Thompson are a small boutique practice that punches well above its weight. The two partners attract excellent quality work from substantial clients and have a knowledge of property law and matters relating to both small and very large scale developments that is excellent.’

‘A small practice, but highly knowledgeable in their areas of expertise. In particular they provide advice at partner level which is always clear and concise and always very well explained, something which is not always the case with larger practices.’

‘They are extremely empathetic, they instinctively know what the customer needs, they are flexible in their approach, thorough and extremely professional. They explain to the customer what’s happening at every step of the process, in accessible language, enabling the customer to make truly informed decisions based on the options available. This is much appreciated and fairly unique when I compare it to my experience with other legal firms.’

‘Karl Thompson is simply excellent. Knows his law, looks after his clients and provides a great service. It sounds simple but so many can’t do it all but Karl can.’

‘Kate Thompson is always professional and really cares about our business.’

‘Karl Thompson provides an excellent service, with joined-up thinking on all property matters. He also keeps all parties informed, and his knowledge of case law is very good.’

‘Kate and Karl are highly knowledgeable, professional, demonstrate strong work ethics and provide well researched and valued advice.’ 

Key clients

LiveWire (Warrington) CIC

Roubaix Group

Taylor Estates (Cheshire) Limited

Barnfield Construction Limited

Roger Hannah and Co

Lynton Lasers Ltd

Saturn Land and Building Ltd

Munroe K Asset Management

Culture Warrington

Titan Land and Building Ltd

Work highlights

  • Providing Taylor Estates (Cheshire) Limited property litigation advice across the entire portfolio.
  • Continuing to act for Roubaix group across their retail portfolio in the UK. Instructions span property litigation including lease renewal proceedings, break option advice, serving of notices, rent and service charge recovery, interpretation of lease terms, tenant insolvency, dilapidations.
  • Providing property advice to  Livewire Warrington CIC. Advice is continuous and relates to their entire portfolio which consists leisure centres, gyms and sports facilities. Many of these facilities are sub-let to food outlets, pharmacies and NHS services.

Nexus Solicitors Limited

Nexus Solicitors Limited's property litigation team is headed up by Debbie Whiteley, who represents tenants, landlords and managing agents. The team acts on dilapidations claims, service charge disputes and breaches of covenant.

Practice head(s):

Debbie Whiteley

Work highlights

  • Acting for four landlords based outside the UK, whose managing agent retained rents and failed to maintain the rental properties in a claim for an account of rents and termination of the management agreement.
  • Continuing to act for a group of 30 leaseholders in relation to disrepair, misrepresentation, and forfeiture issues relating to a large development in Barrow-in-Furness.
  • Acting for 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.

Slater Heelis

Slater Heelis is known for its team's 'decisive, accurate advice with practical value.' The practice is led by Daniel Stern, an expert in residential property litigation. He advises landlords, investors and SMEs. Managing partner Chris Bishop is also an experienced litigator in this field.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Stern

Other key lawyers:

Chris Bishop

Testimonials

‘Decisive, accurate advice with practical value. The team takes action on time and provides detailed explanations to clients.’

Key clients

Inspired Equity Limited

FM Investment Limited

Stavros Neocleous

Hampshire Property Investments

Work highlights

  • Successfully recovered £160,000 of unpaid commissions for FM Investment Limited.
  • Acted for Inspired Equity Limited seeking to recover a substantial loan in relation to their size. Guided them through the process and explained their options and how to manage their risk.
  • Acting for Stavros Neocleous in a claim for specific performance of a contract of compromise involving a disposition of an interest in land.

Kennedys

Kennedys' property litigation practice is led by associate Daniel Rainsford, who joined the firm in August 2019. He primarily acts on landlord and tenant disputes in both commercial and residential property. He also acts on boundary disputes.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Rainsford