Property litigation in North

Ward Hadaway

Ward Hadaway's dedicated property litigation team has longstanding experience representing commercial landlords and tenants in disputes relating to service charges, dilapidations, lease renewals and business tenancies, among others. The department also has a strong track record in disputes involving the interpretation of property contracts. Sharon Mathieson leads the department and splits her time between the firm's offices in Newcastle and Leeds.

Practice head(s):

Sharon Mathieson

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Hardy


Weightmans acts on a wide range of real estate disputes, focusing on boundary disputes, adverse possession claims, dilapidation claims, and the enforcement of section 106 agreements against developers. Christopher Graham leads the department, which has extensive experience across the construction, education, energy and leisure sectors. Associate Jill Dalkin is a key contact for disputes arising out of serious breaches of lease covenants. Associate Mark Reeves acts for utility companies in disputes concerning rights of access, trespass, adverse possession and injunctive relief.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Graham

Other key lawyers:

Jill Dalkin; Mark Reeves

Key clients



Northern Powergrid

Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire)

Camerons Brewery

University of Sunderland

Northern Trust Company

Northern Retail Consortium

Story Homes

Storage & Handling

Victor Products

Ubisoft Reflections

Yorkshire Electricity Group

McCarrick Construction Company

Northern Electric

South Shore Developments

Northumberland & Durham Property

Punch Pubs & Co

Greene King

Admiral Taverns

Leeds City Council


AS Watson Group


Fullers, Smith &Turner

Work highlights

  • Representing a property developer in a statutory appeal under Civil Procedure Rule 52.25 brought by way of an appellant’s notice against a Party Wall etc. Act 1996 award.
  • Acting for a Yorkshire-based electricity distribution business in a trespassing dispute with a housebuilder.
  • Assisting a property developer with a dispute with a local authority.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The Newcastle-based office of Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP draws upon the firm’s capabilities nationwide and its international presence, with experience assisting US clients operating in the UK. The team has a strong reputation for handling complex commercial, residential and agricultural property claims and also stands out for its use of legal technology for document reviews, case management and data analysis. Jen Smurthwaite heads up the department and splits her time between Newcastle and Leeds. Managing associate David Hambler departed to embark on a career as a district judge.

Practice head(s):

Jen Smurthwaite


The team is proactive, knowledgeable, responsive and easy to deal with.

Key clients

Airwave Solutions

Bernicia Group


Standard Life Trustee Company

Work highlights

  • Acting as a sole adviser to Airwave Solutions in relation to site terminations, lease renewals, disputes regarding rent reviews, site upgrades, site shares with other providers, and further matters regarding the implementation and effect of the new Electronic Communications Code.  
  • 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.
  • Representing Standard Life Trustee Company in a range of property disputes across its self-invested personal pension (SIPP) portfolio.

Archers Law LLP

Stockton-based Kenton Bazeley leads Archers Law LLP’s litigation department, where clients also recommend recently promoted executive associate Helen Lyne. The group is regularly instructed in relation to contentious issues such as dilapidations, boundary disputes, adverse possession claims, and rent and service charges, among others. The team is also noted for its use of advanced case management technology. Angela Torrance retired in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

Kenton Bazeley

Other key lawyers:

Helen Lyne


Very friendly and understanding team

Within minutes of meeting this team, I felt confident that I was with the right people, which is what helped relax the tight shoulders and instil a complete confidence in their ability to do the best for me. There was no more need for me to concern myself with the detail, they were taking care of it all, and understood to the millimetre what I needed and where I was coming from.

The time taken to explain how things would take a certain course were excellent. I was kept up to date at all times, so when things progressed, I was already fully aware of everything.

Helen Lyne has a sharp mind. A clear understanding of my needs was established very quickly through her well-honed questions and understanding of the uniqueness of each one of her clients.

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP acts for a varied client base consisting of property investors, developers, national retailers, licensed establishments and estate agents. The team is routinely involved in contentious issues such as lease renewals, dilapidations and repairs, service of break notices, and boundary disputes. Associate Susan Roberts leads the property litigation group and acts on the side of both landlords and tenants in commercial and residential property disputes.

Practice head(s):

Susan Roberts

Other key lawyers:

Stewart Irvine; Ryan Bannon

Key clients

The Station Hotel (Newcastle)

Cairn Hotel Group

Finalcertain Property Management

The Works Stores

Lugano Group

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP’s dedicated real estate litigation practice is an attractive proposition for landlord and tenant clients in the commercial and residential property fields, as well as for clients seeking assistance with general land-related disputes. The team has a strong reputation in the housing sector, which is an area of specialist expertise for department head Charlotte McMurchie, who has over two decades of litigation experience under her belt. Associates Jennifer Pearson and Sarah Barratt are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte McMurchie

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Pearson; Sarah Barratt


From the point of first contact, I felt important to the team, both on the telephone and during office visits.

Positive, friendly and professional, the team feels like an extension of your own team.

Often, the action we need to take is fast and requires attention immediately, which can often run over night and over weekends. My contact with the team never falters, on a weekday or over the weekend. If we need a response, we get it and we get to court quickly. The team also offers strong knowledge of housing-related matters and antisocial behaviour issues.

Charlotte McMurchie is personable, hardworking and approachable.

Associate Jennifer Pearson is efficient and clearly knows her stuff.

Charlotte McMurchie is the star of this department. She is pragmatic, steady, insightful and wise.

I always feel confident that associate Sarah Barratt will give me the best possible advice. Sarah is passionate, always shows enthusiasm for her role and is well-motivated. I feel confident whilst Sarah is presenting my case to the judge, as she is always respectful of our views, presents herself well and knows the case inside out.

Key clients


Karbon Homes

Bernicia Housing

Castles & Coasts Housing Association

North Star Housing Group

Hays Travel

Welbeck Estates

Residential Management Group

Tyne Housing Association

Wildheart Residential Management

Luxury Leisure

The Football Association

McAleer & Rushe

Retirement Bridge Management


Number 33 (Newcastle)


Work highlights

  • Acting for Hays Travel as part of the team dealing with the acquisition of 550 stores from the liquidators of Thomas Cook.
  • Assisting the Port of Tyne with the removal of a large residential oil rig module which was subject to a licence agreement, with the ownership and the responsibility for removal being subject to disagreement between three parties.
  • Successfully assisted Endeavour Housing Association with a tenancy dispute.

Sintons LLP

Led by Angus Ashman, Sintons LLP’s team places an emphasis on contentious issues relating to commercial lease renewals, dilapidation claims, breaches of covenant, break clauses, and the interpretation of leasehold and freehold covenants. Graeme Ritzema has extensive experience acting in all types of commercial property disputes. Associate Aimee Hubbard is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Angus Ashman

Other key lawyers:

Graeme Ritzema; Aimee Hubbard


Associate Aimee Hubbard is clear, concise and knowledgeable.

Key clients

Metnor Group

Cussins (North East)

The Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes

The Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust

JGW Patterson Foundation

The Church Commissioners for England

Newcastle upon Tyne YMCA

Hadrian Estates

JG Windows


Work highlights

  • Advised a client on a dispute with the shareholders of a company which had sold the client a prestige mid-nineteenth century building in Newcastle.
  • Advised Stephen and Catherine Aldridge in a dispute with their neighbours over the ownership of a private unadopted roadway onto which their properties faced.
  • Advised a limited company in relation to the rent review of the lease of large care home premises.

Swinburne Maddison

At Swinburne Maddison, 'excellent litigator' David Low heads the Durham-based property litigation practice, which often acts in conjunction with the firm’s wider dispute resolution group on commercial and residential property-related cases. The team traditionally works closely with the commercial property department, but is also experiencing a recent growth in the number of referrals from the firm’s private client practice in relation to contentious probate work concerning property. Another area of focus for the practice is acting for registered providers in contentious matters involving their housing stock.

Practice head(s):

David Low

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Stapleton


I have used Swinburne Maddison LLP for many years now. The team focuses entirely on my specific needs, gets to the heart of the matter quickly and has a complete grasp of all relevant details — this has delivered great success over the years. Further, the lawyers keep me updated throughout the entire legal process, which serves to mitigate much of the stress often associated with litigation.

The team is very approachable, friendly and offers excellent services. Honesty, transparency and great client service are clearly very important to the team. The practice combines having significant capabilities with a ‘local feel’ to its services, which I believe to be outstanding among its peers.

David Low is an excellent litigator. He has a forensic grasp of the facts and provides very substantive responses. David is also a very personable solicitor who puts you at ease quickly and provides honest and frank assessments regarding each matter. So often with litigation, you can feel under attack, even if you are the one who has instigated proceedings. David provides sound and sage advice, which gives confidence during these very stressful times.

We have worked with David Low for years on many different cases regarding anti-social behaviour and tenancy management; he has always been very reliable, professional and non-judgmental in giving guidance and advice. We sometimes ask for advice on matters unrelated to ongoing cases and he always provides timely responses and assists where he can. We hold quarterly catch-up meetings which is a great opportunity to discuss ongoing cases, potential cases and any updates in legislation or case law. We have always dealt with David which means myself and colleagues have built up a good relationship with him.

I have regularly instructed David Low since 2016. It is always a pleasure to work with him, as he is very knowledgeable and easy to work with. David can turn work around quickly when needed and he is always willing to give something a go. I would highly recommend him to anyone. His skills just outweigh the rest!

Key clients

Durham Cathedral

Beyond Housing

The Esh Group

Believe Housing

TJD Properties

University of Law

Gilesgate Properties

Leamside Equestrian

St Cuthbert’s Walk

The Empress Bar

Livin Housing

Woven Retail

Moving On (Durham)

Leeds City Council

Work highlights

  • Continuing to act on behalf of a large local authority in connection with various disrepair claims, having already successfully defended and/ or settled the vast majority of 860 cases.
  • Continuing to act for a property development and commercial landlord client in connection with any disputes or potential disputes arising in relation to its sizeable commercial property and agricultural portfolio.
  • Acting in connection with a dispute relating to the terms of an overage agreement where completion monies exceeded £2m.