Next Generation Partners

Property litigation in North

Muckle LLP

Fielding a team that is ‘honest and prepared to think outside the box rather than sticking with the usual responses’, Muckle LLP handles the full spectrum of commercial and residential property litigation claims for regional and national clients. The group is also a key name in the market for issues relating to cladding remediation works and social housing matters. The ‘superbCharlotte McMurchie leads the team, and is supported by senior associate Jennifer Pearson and associate Sarah Barratt.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte McMurchie

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Pearson; Sarah Barratt


‘Muckle are very thorough and work in partnership with clients, always get back to you on any queries you have, usually the same day.’

‘Our dedicated partner, Charlotte McMurchie is always on hand to provide prompt, strategic and commercial advice in difficult litigation cases with additional support provided by Sarah Barratt to ensure that case management is delivered effectively and successfully.’

‘This is a very strong team, with real experience and skill in handing complex property litigation work. Their collective expertise means that cases are well managed and well resourced at all levels.’

‘Jennifer Pearson is an exceptionally talented senior associate. She has a ferocious and forensic grip on detail, stays very calm under pressure, is able to manage and co-ordinate complex multi-party litigation with ease. A rising star.’

‘As a team, they are calm in their approach which offers reassurance to those using their services. I have always found them approachable and open to discussion about any question we bring them.’

‘Sarah Barrett is confident, amenable, approachable and without fail is always calm. She is robust in her approach and never makes me feel that any of my questions are unnecessary or irrelevant.’

‘They are approachable and very much understand our business as a registered provider of social housing.’

‘This is a genuinely excellent team led by the superb Charlotte McMurchie. The team really does listen and provides pragmatic advice that is easy to interpret. The Property Litigation team really understand the housing sector and share many of the values we hold as important.’

Key clients

Grainger plc

Karbon Homes

Bernicia Housing Limited

North Star Housing Group

Hays Travel Limited

MRI Software Limited

Empress Heights RTM Company Limited


McAleer & Rushe Group

Wildheart Residential Management Limited

Castles & Coasts Housing Association Limited

Retirement Bridge Management Limited



Newcastle College Group

Persimmon Homes

Prime Property Management Limited

Vertu Motors Plc

Newcastle College Group

Village Hotels

Work highlights

  • Providing property litigation support to Empress Heights RTM Company Limited as regards necessary cladding remediation works and a dispensation application in relation to both the remediation works and appointment of experts.
  • Acting on behalf of a premium UK hotelier in relation to a substantial claim for damages in multi-tenanted leisure and commercial premises in Central London.
  • Advising Falcon Housing Association on numerous applications involving vulnerable defendants, including to obtain possession of property and urgent anti-social behaviour injunctions.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Ward Hadaway LLP’s team of property litigation specialists is active across the commercial and public sectors, and is a go-to contact in the region for various NHS trusts and the Canal & River Trust, handling the full range of estate management work. Sharon Mathieson heads up the department and primarily assists public and third sector clients. At associate level, Jeremy Hardy is the primary contact and acts for a broad range of developers, local authorities and occupiers and also handles agricultural land issues.

Practice head(s):

Sharon Mathieson

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Hardy


Weightmans handles a varied caseload for a client base of national and multinational corporations encompassing covenant enforcements, possession claims, service charge disputes, dilapidation claims and contested lease renewals. The group is also notably active across the energy, construction, education and leisure sectors and counts Northern Powergrid, the University of Sunderland and Camerons Brewery as clients. Team head Christopher Graham regularly acts for energy clients and advises on injunctive relief, while, at principal associate level, Jill Dalkin has experience in lease covenant breaches and Mark Reeves acts for utilities companies.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Graham

Other key lawyers:

Jill Dalkin; Mark Reeves


‘Chris Graham has always made it clear that he is always available and oversees caseload and provided us with good easy means of contact.’

‘The individual Jill Dalkin who has undertaken (or managed) the several matters on our behalf and retained interest and involvement where another specialists involved. Her professionalism, abilities, determination and openness all inspire confidence.’

Key clients

Bellway Plc

Northern Powergrid (North East) Plc

Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) Plc

Camerons Brewery Limited

Northern Electric Plc

South Shore Developments Limited

AND Group Limited

University of Sunderland

Northern Trust Company Limited

Yorkshire Electricity Group Plc

Nucleus Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented an electricity distribution business in a successful application for rectification in the First-tier Property Tribunal.
  • Advised an electricity distribution business following receipt of various notices to remove apparatus, including potential cost liability quantified at circa £10m.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The property disputes team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is led by senior counsel Jen Smurthwaite, who clients praise as ‘simply outstanding’ and divides her time between Leeds and Newcastle. The group’s client base encompasses commercial landlords and tenants, developers, social landlords, investors and government departments, which the group advises on the full range of contentious property issues. Among the associates, Elizabeth Allen has notable experience in residential property litigation, and Elspeth Moncrieff handles lease renewals and break notices.

Practice head(s):

Jen Smurthwaite

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Allen; Elspeth Moncrieff


‘WBD is a great firm with enormous strength in depth, able to provide the client with a complete service combining technical legal knowledge with tactical ability and exceptional service.’

Jen Smurthwaite is simply outstanding: very impressive both technically and tactically.’

‘A good mix of fee earners that are able to provide focused advice.’

‘They are always available to provide high-quality advice.’

‘Specialist litigators who are approachable, good value for money and attentive to client needs.’

‘Elspeth Moncrieff is excellent. She is attentive to detail and very commercially minded.’

Key clients

Airwave Solutions Limited

Bernicia Group


Standard Life Trustee Company Ltd

Places for People Homes Limited

Karbon Homes

Work highlights

  • Dealing with all contentious matters for Airwave Solutions Limited including site terminations, lease renewals, and disputes regarding rent reviews among others.
  • Acting for Bernicia Group on a range of tenancy management issues including claims to possession, injunctions to tackle anti-social behaviour, committals for breach and defending housing disrepair claims.
  • Advising Swedish-owned residential property investor Akelius in relation to all aspects of tenancy management across its stock.

Clarke Mairs LLP

Clarke Mairs LLP’s practice leverages the firm’s wider insolvency strength in its property litigation work and property litigation practice head James Godden acts for a variety of landlords and national surveyors. Godden is active across the spectrum of property litigation including enfranchisement work and claims before the First-tier Tribunal. Associate Louise Ager also contributes.

Practice head(s):

James Godden

Other key lawyers:

Louise Ager


‘I work closely with James Godden who is my go to lawyer on all matters relating to commercial debt. He is thorough in all aspects of his work and achieves results. He provides strong, trustworthy, commercial advice.’


Led by Jonathan Smith, DWF’s real estate litigation team in Newcastle handles high-profile regional mandates and is particularly singled out for its rent review work and expertise in break notices alongside key housing litigation knowledge. The group is a key name for clients in the industrial, retail, public, telecoms and transport sectors and also assists social housing providers. The Newcastle team works closely with colleagues in the Leeds office to add to the firm’s national coverage.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Smith


‘DWF have a good, solid property litigation team. They are staffed by sensible, knowledgeable and commercial lawyers. Their advice is commercial and they are willing to be flexible and creative in relation to fee arrangements.’

‘Jonathan Smith’s expert knowledge of property law is combined with expertise in litigation procedure to give us a distinct advantage in our property disputes. Jonathan knows how we operate and is able to tailor his advice to ensure that we achieve our aims, which is often not about maximising our financial return. His turnaround times are reliably quick and he adheres to his costs estimates. He is a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Hanro Limited

Capital Park Leeds Plc

BT Plc

Grainger Plc

PD Teesport Limited

Northumberland Estates

Wigan Council


Custodian REIT

Advance Northumberland

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

With ‘friendly and professional individuals’ who are ‘exceptional in both their attitudes and abilities’, Mincoffs Solicitors LLP handles the full range of commercial and residential property claims including lease renewals, break notices, dilapidation claims, construction disputes and possession matters. Associate Susan Roberts heads up the group and is active in landlord and tenant work.

Practice head(s):

Susan Roberts

Other key lawyers:

Stewart Irvine


‘Friendly, professional staff, who were able to assist us legally and enable us to understand the legal processes and jargon.’

‘Helping and guiding us through the a complex legal process. Listening to concerns and advice on the next course of actions to be taken.’

‘When called upon they have, as I would expect from the team of solicitors that are employed by Mincoffs, been exceptional in both their attitude and abilities.’

Key clients

The Works Stores Limited

Lugano Group Limited

Cairn Hotel Group

A1 Industrial Trucks Limited

Steamforged Games Limited

High Street Group

The Station Hotel (Newcastle) Limited

Northern Bear plc

Sintons LLP

Sintons LLP is a key name in the local market and counts a variety of regional clients on its roster including the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust and Greggs; the group also acts for high-net-worth individuals and charitable trusts. Key individuals include the ‘extremely experiencedAngus Ashman, health sector specialist Graeme Ritzema, and dispute resolution team head Hilary Waters. Aimee Hubbard departed to DAC Beachcroft LLP in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Waters; Angus Ashman; Graeme Ritzema


‘Sintons represented us when we began the process of litigation related to a property we owned. The service provided was excellent. The approach used was tenacious and appropriately pitched to secure a positive outcome for us without huge costs. We were very pleased with the successful outcome.’

‘Angus Ashman represented us. He is extremely experienced and knowledgeable. He employed just the right strategy to ensure that we had a successful outcome. He was very generous with his time and available at all hours. We were very impressed by his professionalism.’

‘The team offers a full range of litigation support. I have used them in a number of transactions and have been impressed at their thoroughness and commerciality.’

‘My contact has been Angus Ashman. He is extremely knowledgeable and deals with complex matters in a practical and pragmatic way. His communication skills are excellent.’

Key clients

Greggs Plc

Cussins (North East) Limited

Tolent Group

JG Windows

Hadrian Estates

The Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes

API Limited

The Church Commissioners for England

The Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust

Metnor Group

Newcastle upon Tyne YMCA

JGW Patterson Foundation

Work highlights

  • Acted for a Student Accommodation developer in a Partnership and Proprietary Estoppel dispute over a £15m property portfolio.
  • Acted in an Expert Determination process for an Agricultural Partnership on the interpretation of what constituted “mutually satisfactory compliance” with the terms of an Agricultural tenancy for the purposes of the Partnership receiving compensation at the end of the tenancy.
  • Acted on behalf of a Commercial land development business in a £90m dispute over the interpretation of a lease user clause and the use of the leased land in breach of that clause by its Petro Chemical industry tenant.

Swinburne Maddison LLP

In Durham, Swinburne Maddison LLP is praised as going ‘above and beyond’ for clients, which range from large multinational corporates to local authorities and private individuals. The specialist department is led by David Low, who has notable expertise in mandates involving social housing registered providers, and handles issues for landlords and tenants spanning residential, commercial and agricultural properties and disputes.

Practice head(s):

David Low


‘The team has been excellent at communicating complex legal issues to a group of clients with varying degrees of legal knowledge. The accessibility of the team is good, the knowledge and breadth of experience that individuals are able to draw upon in the team is great.’

‘Swinburne Maddison are extremely experienced and have an excellent depth of knowledge and help us with a wide variety of queries and cases – this can be from an initial enquiry right through to court and possession. We primarily deal with David Low but have also worked with his colleagues who are all hardworking and provide the same excellent service.’

‘David Low is the stand out partner for us. David is always very patient and supports us throughout cases from inception right through to possession. He is always available to help with a quick email enquiry to.’

Key clients

Durham Cathedral

Beyond Housing Limited

The Esh Group

Believe Housing Limited

TJD Properties Limited

University of Law

MC Lettings

Gilesgate Properties Limited

Derwent Angling Association

St Cuthbert’s Walk Limited Partnership

The Empress Bar Limited

Livin Housing Limited

Leeds City Council

Claxton Estates Limited

Moving On (Durham) Limited

The Liquor & Restaurant Group Limited

Kiss the Moon Limited

H&H Land & Estates Ltd

My Space Housing Solutions

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a prolific landowner in connection with a mines and minerals dispute which threatens to delay a planned development valued at £20m.
  • Continuing to act for a large local authority in connection with ongoing housing disrepair claims.
  • Representing a group of leaseholders in connection with a service charge dispute with their Management Company relating to overcharged service charges.