Property litigation in South East

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s practice is jointly led by nationally-renowned property insolvency specialist Peter Levaggi and David Haines. It has a first-rate reputation handling high-value and high-profile disputes for numerous blue-chip corporate and leading regional entities. The team’s varied portfolio of work includes tenant default matters, dilapidation claims and insolvency matters. In addition, it is increasingly active in property finance disputes, with Levaggi undertaking work in this space. Senior associate Joe Edwards focuses on a range of contentious property securities and tax matters. In addition to his CPO work, Haines manages a litany of instructions related to commercial landlord and tenant relations, as well as leasehold enfranchisement. Senior associates Richard Flenley and Natalie Deuchar are also names to note. All named lawyers are based in Guildford.

Practice head(s):

Peter Levaggi; David Haines

Other key lawyers:

Joe Edwards; Richard Flenley; Natalie Deuchar


‘David Haines is the best of the best. He is super-bright and is an excellent lawyer and strategic thinker. He gets fabulous results for his clients. He is also totally unflappable. Very well-liked and respected by colleagues and clients alike.’

‘They respond quickly, no prompting is required. Their expertise is excellent and cannot I cannot fault them.’

‘They are a cohesive and affable bunch, who obviously enjoy working together and bring the advantages of teamwork to their clients. They are efficient and shrewd litigators who correctly identify the strengths and vulnerabilities of their client’s case and manage the case from pre-issue negotiation to judgment and beyond.’

‘The team has strength in breadth from partner to associate. David Haines is the head of property litigation for the whole firm (including the London office) and is an excellent lawyer whose light touch with clients keeps them happy and who is able to plan and manage difficult and long-running litigation. Natalie Deuchar brings intellectual rigour to difficult landlord and tenant issues, has a very sharp eye for details and has a niche practise in leasehold enfranchisement. Richard Flenley is a tough commercial property litigator who makes the right calls early in the case and then relentlessly presses the client’s advantage in the home straight.’

‘David Haines is very easy to work with and a calming and relaxed influence on clients. Very willing and keen to help.’

‘David Haines is an exceptional litigation solicitor who leads his team with experience and dedication. Nothing is ever a problem for David.’

Key clients

Wagamama Limited

The Save the Children Fund

Air Products Plc

Nellsar Limited

Milton Ashbury Limited

The Ernest Cook Trust

Citysprint (UK) Limited

Warrant Investments Plc

Prince Abbas Hilmi/Mohamed Ali Foundation


Work highlights

  • Acting for Wagamama in High Court litigation concerning the interpretation of an agreement for lease and completion of a lease of restaurant premises in a new retail development.
  • Acting for Milton Ashbury Limited in the settlement of a property finance dispute with Clydesdale Plc.
  • Advising trustees of the Meyrick Estate in relation to the forfeiture of a lease of hotel premises following substantial damage caused by a fire, including rent arrears and other breach of covenant claims.


Cripps fields one of the largest property litigation departments in the South East and it is well placed to handle mandates from public and private sector clients at regional, national and international level. The team has been engaged in a growing number of COVID-induced retailer insolvencies, where seasoned practice head Miles Paffard is a key contact. The equally experienced Nitej Davda concentrates on leasehold enfranchisement and residential landlord and tenant disputes, including property-based professional negligence claims. Mike Scott splits his time between management duties and a wide-ranging disputes practice. Also recommended are Richard Housley, who focuses on leaseholder rights, and Adam Osieke. Senior associate Anna Toynton joined the team from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

Practice head(s):

Miles Paffard

Other key lawyers:

Nitej Davda; Mike Scott; Laura Southgate; Richard Housley; Adam Osieke; Anna Toynton


‘This is the stand out firm in property litigation in the South East, and stands head and shoulders above the rest. The whole team acts as a team, and though they have exceptionally good individual lawyers, they work together extremely well.’

‘Mike Scott, who is stepping up from head of team to senior partner of the firm is one of the best lawyers of his generation. He combines a keen legal analytical mind with an affability that clients love and is a pleasure to be instructed by. When you work with Mike, you are part of a team. Miles Paffard is also excellent and is similar to Mike in terms of being fiendishly clever, but extremely clever to work for.’

Key clients

M&G Real Estate (Prudential Assurance Company)

Federated Hermes

Kennedy Wilson Europe

Wates Group

AEW Europe

Park Holidays UK Limited

South East Water

The Dulwich Estate

Legal & Contingency

SRG Group

Work highlights

  • Providing advice, assistance and support to Federated Hermes, M&G Real Estate, Kennedy Wilson Europe and AEW Europe on an ever-increasing number of retailer insolvencies.
  • Conducting a variety of claims for Legal & Contingency, ranging from absence of easement claims to restrictive covenant claims and absence of planning permission or building regulations claims.
  • Defending an ultra-high net worth individual in a circa £3m damages action arising from the redevelopment of a large property in Chelsea.


Dentons’ renowned property litigation practice is regularly sought after by numerous high-profile retailers, financial institutions, infrastructure groups and developers. It frequently appears in proceedings at the Supreme Court, High Court and First-Tier Tribunals. The team covers the gamut of contentious property work, including cases relating to landlord and tenant disputes, rights of light, nuisance, negligence, adverse possession and property insolvencies. It is also increasingly sought after for advice on rating disputes. Bryan Johnston‘s work spans a number of segments, including offices, retail, industrial and hotels. He works with David Payton and senior associate Gemma Hunter-Barnes. Another key individual is senior associate Thomas Nolan, who is noted for his residential property litigation focus.

Practice head(s):

Bryan Johnston

Other key lawyers:

David Payton; Gemma Hunter-Barnes; Thomas Nolan


‘The team are approachable, available, dedicated and experts in their fields. We have had a number of difficult and complex cases. The real strength is the individuals, no problem or case is too trivial, they dedicate their time fully to us and feel like true clients not just a number or a fee. This is very different to other firms.’

‘I have worked with a number of individuals at the firm and each individual is approachable and available. Nothing is ever too much trouble, they react proactively to the cases we have and sometimes have very short timescales and turnaround.’

They are all outstanding and I have confidence in the advice being given at all times, there is never a point that as a client we feel exposed or unsupported.’

‘Dentons has a very good and effective property litigation team offering high quality advice.’

‘Bryan Johnston is an exceptionally intelligent and strategic partner.’

‘Great all round performance, expertise and very good to deal with.’

‘Standout team members are Gemma Hunter-Barnes and Thomas Nolan. Bryan Johnston is also an excellent partner, good to deal with and technically excellent.’

Key clients

Network Rail


Sports Direct

Taylor Wimpey



Thomson Reuters

Knight Frank

John Lewis


Work highlights

  • Defending Sainsbury’s against a seven-figure claim, where it was alleged that Sainsbury’s had breached its contractual obligations to use reasonable endeavours to obtain a satisfactory planning permission.
  • Acting for Sports Direct in a £6m High Court claim against Tesco, their former tenant of a retail department store in Liverpool. The claim is about the extent of disrepair at the property when Tesco’s lease ended.
  • Advising Network Rail Infrastructure Limited on injunction proceedings against trespassers.

DMH Stallard LLP

DMH Stallard LLP is equally highly regarded for its strengths in residential and commercial property litigation. The real estate dispute resolution practice is led by Emily Wood, whose client roster includes property investors, developers, retail occupiers, charities and energy companies. The team is particularly noted for its expertise in collective enfranchisement and complex business ratings cases. Also notable is that Wood’s group includes Vanessa Joll, who is experienced in multi-party disputes, most notably pertaining to contested developments and property-related professional negligence claims. Complex easement and restrictive covenant disputes are a core competency for Kristine Ng, while Cheraine Williams is recommended for her expertise in landlord and tenant work.

Practice head(s):

Emily Wood

Other key lawyers:

Vanessa Joll; Tina George; Kristine Ng; Cheraine Williams; Lauren Kirby; James Picknell


‘Personal attention at partner level and fees significantly below those of London practices.’

‘Emily Wood is knowledgeable and gives personal attention to property litigation matters. I have recommended her to clients in this field and have not been disappointed.’

‘Emily Wood is very knowledgeable and calm. She manages the case extremely efficiently and has excellent communication with the clients. Always on top of everything.’

‘This is a very good team with a lot of very experienced lawyers. They are all very easy to deal with but really know their stuff and are very commercial in their attitude to disputes.’

‘Vanessa runs a very good team and is very very good with clients. She is understanding, but also firm where necessary. She is an excellent advocate for her clients but well aware of commercial realties.’

‘Kristine Ng continues to go from strength to strength. Again very good with clients but also realistic and commercial. I would have no hesitation in recommending her.’

‘Vanessa Joll is an absolutely top-class practitioner. She provides first-rate advice across the whole spectrum of property litigation. Her client-care skills are second to none.’

Key clients

Brighton YMCA

Cadogan Estates

Cardtronics UK Limited

Cats Protection Trustees Limited

Crawley Borough Council

Liverpool and Victoria

St Catherine’s Hospice

Wealden & Rother District Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for a high profile residential development company funded through an informal loan arrangement to determine any ongoing funding obligations following the sudden death of the lender; settling the matter involved complex tax advice, agreeing the structure of loan agreements and the transfer of a number of properties.
  • Acting for a national provider of social housing to defend its position in relation to a significant development project nearing completion against potential claims for loss of rights of light.
  • Acting for Cardtronics in its successful appeal to the Supreme Court (March 2020) concerning the separate assessment for business rates of external-facing ATMs. A landmark case referred to as setting a precedent in subsequent cases, it has also resulted in updates to the rating manuals.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's practice in the South East is jointly led by Mark Brown and Clare Bellis, who are based in Milton Keynes and Oxford respectively. Brown has deep knowledge of the licensed leisure sector, which makes the firm a first port of call among national and regional pub owners, operators, brewers, nightclubs, and hotel owners. Also based in Milton Keynes is Adam Boyd, who was promoted to legal director in October 2020, and whose experience includes dilapidation cases, rent review arbitrations and commercial rent arrears matters. Bellis has over 25 years of property litigation experience, with particular expertise in agricultural disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mark Brown; Clare Bellis  

Other key lawyers:

Adam Boyd


‘The team is very commercial and knowledgeable.’

‘Adam Boyd is pragmatic with a good eye for detail. Always offers both excellent commercial and legal advice.’

‘Always available and helpful, with unique solutions to issues that we raise.’

‘The team handles a variety of work very well, from large development work to smaller matters.’

‘A good mix of expertise and experience in property disputes.’

‘Clare Bellis knows her stuff; very sensible and pragmatic, conscious of the right balance when it comes to costs; goes the extra mile.’

‘The firm’s property litigation practice is known for its combination of technical expertise and thoroughness.’

Key clients

Punch Taverns

Green King plc

Twickenham Studios London Limited

Far East Consortium International Limited

N3 Living Limited

TNT Express

London Luton Airport

M&A Knightsbridge Properties

Konica Minolta

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

Oxford University Press (OUP)

Tarmac Group of Companies

Work highlights

  • Acted for N3 Living Limited in a vendor-purchaser summons in the High Court, Chancery Division, to force the sale of a commercial property to N3 Living, who had a sub-sale of the property arranged.
  • Acting for two private landowners in the successful termination of two separate AHA tenancies on Case B (redevelopment Grounds).
  • Acted for a property investment company , the freehold owner of a valuable pub in Camden, in the contested forfeiture of the tenant’s lease. The matter went to a 3 day trial in Central London County Court days before lockdown in April 2020.

Stevens & Bolton LLP

The Guildford-based team at Stevens & Bolton LLP attracts a strong flow of work from blue-chip corporates, financial services providers and developers. It handles high-profile contentious matters for both owners and occupiers with equal fluency. The group has had an uptick in mandates as a result of Covid-19, particularly commercial landlord and tenant matters, such as property contract reviews and advice on multi-site exit strategies. Practice head Helen Wheddon maintains a broad landlord and tenant practice that encompasses lease renewal disputes, breach of covenant claims and easement settlements. Markus Klempa, who focuses on freehold and leasehold matters – notably pertaining to land-use and owner-side vacant possession strategies – is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Helen Wheddon

Other key lawyers:

Markus Klempa


‘The team has innovated to present quarterly webinars to clients, during which the issues surrounding the pandemic on the commercial real estate market are discussed. I am not aware of other firms offering this.’

‘I work with Markus Klempa who stands out for being highly knowledgeable, commercially astute and friendly. I have the confidence to know that Markus is also well organised and proactive, unlike many of his competitors, so our clients’ backs will be covered from the basics up to the highest level of every instruction.’

‘Markus Klempa went the extra mile and gave an excellent level of service which ultimately saved our client hundreds of thousands of pounds. He was very detailed and ensured the correct advice was provided at all times but in simple and understandable layman terms.’

‘Very strong in the field.’

‘Helen Wheddon has been consistently helpful and proactive.’

‘The property litigation team at Stevens & Bolton provides us with an excellent level of service for various situations.’

‘The extremely friendly and hands-on approach in dealing with commercial counterparts who are often not expert in the area in question is very valuable. The ability to translate complexity to simplicity is a great asset.’

Key clients


Bluebell Railway

Structadene Group/Pearl & Coutts

Store Property Investments Ltd


TGI Fridays Ltd

Samsung UK Ltd


Day Group Ltd

Stockbourne Group

Work highlights

  • Advising a leading financial services client on issues relating to their City head office premises which has included advice in relation to alterations, service charge claims as well as COVID related rent advice.
  • Advising Philpot House Ltd on easements, party wall, encroachment and boundary issues arising as a result of proposals for the adjacent development of a new 30 storey office led development within the square mile.
  • Advising the administrator of an overseas trust on claims to rights over, and strategies for possession of, its sole asset being a high end residential Central London property.

Boyes Turner

The property litigation team at Boyes Turner undertakes advisory work and litigation for housing associations, developers and major commercial entities. In addition to its capabilities in lease provisions, collective enfranchisements, and private land law advisory work, the team fields a dedicated landlord and tenant service charge recovery team, where practice head Russell May and associate Katie Rampton are key figures. Associate Darryn Harris is experienced in an array of real estate disputes, most notably on possession claims.

Practice head(s):

Russell May

Other key lawyers:

Katie Rampton; Darryn Harris


‘The firm has a broad commercial savvy which informs the strategies that they offer their clients. They are able to identify cost-effective solutions or directions even when litigation is the only option.’

‘Russell May has a very clear way of explaining things which helps get to the heart of things efficiently. He brings a very sharp mind to his clients’ cases but in a pragmatic, not academic, way, which is appreciated by clients and counsel. He attends to the nuts and bolts, as well as the big picture.’

‘Boyes Turner were extremely helpful and explained the process very clearly.’

‘The Boyes Tuner team were very capable. Russell May (our designated partner) was exceptional and a class act throughout.’

Key clients

Colt Group Limited

Affinity Reading Limited

Thomas Homes Limited

Trustees of the Reading District Odd Fellows

Work highlights

  • Acting for a commercial tenant in court proceedings for a declaration on the insurance clauses in a head lease which was widely reported.
  • Successful defending court proceedings brought by a commercial tenant against a developer. The tenant challenged the client’s notice seeking possession based on an intention to redevelop. The tenant argued that the developer did not have the requisite intention to redevelop.
  • Acted for an individual co-owner of property following a relationship breakdown in connection with a dispute over the terms of a trust deed, the division of proceeds of sale and how the property was to be marketed and sold. Proceedings for an order for sale and to determine how the proceeds of sale are to be split concluded with a favourable settlement for the client.

Blake Morgan LLP

With offices in Oxford, Reading, and Southampton, Blake Morgan LLP has a sizeable presence in the South East. Its property litigation practice is seen as a go-to among well-known developers and occupiers in the telecoms, retail and social housing industries, as well as the third sector. Reading-based partner Zoe Wright is experienced in matters such as dilapidations claims, lease renewals and exits, tenant defaults and insolvencies. She is particularly noted for her telecoms sector expertise, as is Southampton-based legal director Simon Pestell. Claire Lamkin, who splits her time between the firm’s London and Oxford offices, handles a wide range of contentious land development and asset management matters. Also based in Oxford is senior associate Thomas Djan-Krofa, who is a key contact for property disputes in the social housing sector.

Practice head(s):

Zoe Wright; Claire Lamkin; Simon Pestell

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Djan-Krofa


‘The important strength of this practice is the seamless link between the departments which is very reassuring from the clients point of view. Communications by telephone and email ensures rapid transfer of information and significantly speeds up the process.’

‘The property litigation was carried out by Simon Pestell, the legal director. His answers to queries were concise and promptly received and his response to left messages was always timely.’

‘Blake Morgan has worked with us for more than 20 years and understands our business. It offers expert advice and assistance proactively and in a timely manner.’

‘Prompt, professional pragmatic service. Claire understands our business and provides excellent guidance.’

‘Sound knowledge combined with obvious experience of property litigation matters.’

‘Simon Pestell was very responsive and proactive when the matter we were dealing with was stalling.’

Key clients

Sorbon Estates Limited

Global Knowledge Network Training Limited

DX Network Services Limited

Wireless Infrastructure Group

Marine & Coastguard Agency

David Lloyd Leisure

The Southern Co-Operative Limited

IW Group Services (UK) Limited

Canal & River Trust

Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust

Oxfam GB

The British Red Cross

Hilltop Medical Practice

EW Pinchbeck & Sons Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for an intermediate tenant in a complicated possession action against an occupier of rooms in a medical practice where the freehold owners were seeking vacant possession. Settlement reached with occupiers agreeing to vacate.
  • Issued proceedings in the High Court on behalf of a tenant seeking an order for specific performance requiring the Defendant Landlord to complete a reversionary lease pursuant to the terms of an agreement. Case settled with new lease being granted.
  • Obtaining possession of a public house on behalf of the landlord which had been tenanted to a company which had been dissolved. This involved obtaining a Notice of Disclaimer from the Bona Vacantia department and dealing with the director’s claims that he had become the tenant in place of the former company. Case settled with the director vacating and a deal was agreed for the landlord to retain the fixtures and fittings.


Led by Michael Oatham, Brachers' team acts for public sector clients across Kent, including NHS trusts and local councils. In addition, it generates work from colleges, large trusts and charitable organisations. The firm has seen a significant uptick in contentious work connected with easements and breaches of covenants, as well as dilapidation claims, boundary disputes and rights of way. Allis Beasley handles many of the firm’s most complex property disputes, often acting against major civic bodies and in contested land registry proceedings. James Millis maintains a broad contentious practice that encompasses commercial lease disputes and repossessions, while also providing COVID-related advice to various commercial landlords.

Practice head(s):

Michael Oatham

Other key lawyers:

Allis Beasley; James Millis


‘I have been impressed from the start by the professionalism of the whole team.’

‘Allis Beasley has supported me throughout and has given me excellent advice which has enabled me to succeed in my objectives. She has been very helpful in suggesting ways forward when there seemed to be an impasse.’

‘I feel Brachers are a forward-thinking firm with a diverse range of specialisms, they have an excellent team who are responsive and friendly. They collaborate well if a piece of work requires a multi- disciplined approach. ’

‘Allis Beasley cares about her clients interests and concerns. Always wants to deliver a quality service at a cost effective price.’

‘Brachers has a streamlined effective property litigation practice that provides high quality advice at high street prices.’

‘Allis Beasley is a first-class lawyer. She is responsive, intelligent and client-driven.’

‘Knowledgeable and effective property litigation department, good client liaison, pleasant good humoured approach but very tough and aggressive when needed.’

Key clients

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Alan Firmin Limited

Sevenoaks District Council

Benenden Hospital

East Malling Trust

James Baird (Home Farm) Limited

East Kent Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

Kent County Agricultural Society

Dover District Council

Brethertons LLP

Led by Debbie Phillips, the team at Brethertons LLP acts for landlords and tenants in residential leasehold litigation, as well as mixed-use litigation involving service charge disputes, forfeiture and breaches of covenants. Roger Hardwick, who is an expert in the field of residential leasehold property, often acts for clients in First Tier and Upper Tribunal proceedings. David Richards is another key individual in the team, which was bolstered by the return of senior associate Dani Green from Bolt Burdon,

Practice head(s):

Debbie Phillips

Other key lawyers:

Roger Hardwick; David Richards; Dani Green


‘Brethertons are a great firm to work alongside. They are responsive, accurate and easy to deal with. Their leasehold enfranchisement team work incredibly well together and communicate effectively with their peers and clients.’

‘Dani Green and Roger Hardwick all have an excellent knowledge of the sector and work quickly and accurately with all of our ongoing matters. They are leaps ahead of other law firms I have dealt within during my career as a valuer and I cannot fault them in any area.’

‘Dani Green is our primary point of contact with Brethertons and is the reason we deal with them. She is exceptionally knowledgeable, professional, dedicated and swift in her delivery of services and responses to other stakeholders.’

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP provides a full range of dispute resolution services to clients, with its team being experienced in litigation, arbitration, mediation, adjudication and conciliation. The practice covers a broad cross-section of contentious real estate issues, such as rent reviews, lease renewals, dilapidations, rent arrears and service charge disputes. Splitting his time between London and Guildford, practice head Keith Conway chiefly handles contentious development work and easement disputes. Jeremy Stephen acts for clients in insolvencies and has been involved in Covid-induced lease reviews for retailers. Senior associate Margaret Batts joined from Osborne Clarke.

Practice head(s):

Keith Conway

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Stephen; Margaret Batts


‘Accessibility to specific expert advice is unrivalled. The property litigation department has vast knowledge.’

‘Communication skills are first class. They are the go-to guys in the city for any property litigation issues, however complex.’

‘A multidisciplinary practice with a wide range of skills and expertise that provides a one stop shop for our business. The strength in depth means that matters are dealt with promptly and efficiently even when project leaders are on leave, and back up team have always been up to the job too.’

‘Keith Conway as managing partner delegates with obvious confidence in his team and is available to step in when necessary on more complex issues without undermining other team members. His wisdom has been useful in mapping out strategy and tactics in litigation matters with a view to achieving the best negotiated settlement.’

‘Excellent levels of expertise.’

‘One of the top firms of property litigators.’

‘Jeremy Stephen is a real stand out performer. Efficient, responsive, strategic, hard working, excellent client manner.’

Furley Page Solicitors

Furley Page Solicitors acts for regional public and private sector clients in the full gamut of commercial and residential property disputes. Complementing its core full-service offering, the firm has a dedicated French property desk, a sub-division which continues to field various Brexit-related instructions. Practice head (and fully-qualified chartered surveyor) Jeremy Ferris advises clients on restrictive covenant breaches, large site development strategies and CPO compensation claims. George Crofton-Martin and associate Sarah Woolnough are other key individuals.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Ferris

Other key lawyers:

George Crofton-Martin; Sarah Woolnough


‘Very knowledgeable and attentive to detail, especially in dealing with leaseholder issues.’

‘Sarah Woolnough is excellent and highly knowledgeable.’

‘Furley Page have provided me with outstanding advice and service over the years. The practice combines old-fashioned values with modern thinking.’

‘As a client, I found the legal team to be highly professional. I trusted their judgement at a time when I found it difficult to be objective, and found Jeremy Ferris to be serious, thoughtful and clear-sighted.’

‘I have been particularly impressed by the proactive way Jeremy Ferris has managed the case. He has been able to maintain clarity and a sense of dynamism throughout.’

‘Jeremy Ferris is what you look for in a partner. He is bright, engaged, understanding and commercial. He also has a good way with clients and is unfailingly polite. I am not sure I have spotted a weakness yet.’

‘Sarah is very competent and has significant experience. She writes well, understands the problems and works towards their resolution.’

Key clients

University of Kent

R Swain & Sons Ltd

Jubilee Clips Limited

Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company

Robert Brett & Sons Ltd – The Brett Group

Day Lewis plc

Total Dentalcare Limited

Zikoma Properties Limited

East Northdown Nursery

H R Bell Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending a client in planning enforcement proceedings in respect of its oyster trestles.
  • Advising a client on the action it can take (against the backdrop of the Coronavirus Act 2020) in terms of forfeiture, debt claim, use of the rent deposit sum etc.


IBB Law is well-regarded for its contentious residential property focus, bringing and defending various claims for national housebuilders and residential developers. In the wake of the pandemic, other key emerging work streams included contentious lease renewals and forfeiture proceedings involving well-known retailers and leisure sector groups. Practice head Jon Mowbray is a key adviser to property owners affected by the ongoing phases of the HS2 construction. Andrew Olins is noted for his focus on restrictive covenants and high-value cladding disputes, where he is often supported by Nick SouthworthCharles Grossman is another key contact for cladding-related claims.

Practice head(s):

Jon Mowbray

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Olins; Nick Southworth; Charles Grossman

Key clients

Aviva PLC


Dolce & Gabbana

Frogmore Real Estate

Galliard Homes

Nicholas King Homes plc

Odey Asset Management

Spitalfields Housing Association



Moore Barlow

The sizeable team at Moore Barlow handles a full spectrum of contentious property matters for developers, lenders, mortgage providers and charitable organisations. The group is jointly led by Chris Marsden and Sarah Watley. Marsden advises on a broad range of landlord and tenant disputes, restrictive covenant enforcement and insolvencies, while Watley acts for clients in possession claims, debt recovery and professional negligence proceedings. Newly promoted partner Susannah Marsh handles a mix of commercial and residential possession claims, title rectifications and debt recovery matters, and often appears at the Court of Appeal. Simon Fulford is a highly experienced litigator with broad commercial and residential property experience.

Practice head(s):

Chris Marsden; Sarah Watley

Other key lawyers:

Susannah Marsh; Simon Fulford; Gemma Richards


‘Chris Marsden is a go-to lawyer in the region and known for his ability to cut through complex issues and find a commercial solution. Chris continues to build an excellent team of talented associates.’

‘As a firm, Moore Barlow have great solicitors who I have found to be approachable and provide clear professional advice every time.’

‘When dealing with dilapidations, I would want Simon Fulford on my team every time.’

‘A really strong team, with a depth of experience, good at building strong client relationships and excellent commercial judgment.’

‘Simon Fulford is a highly experienced property litigator and a great pleasure to work with. Sensible and efficient, and highly valued by clients for his clear and intelligent advice.’

‘Simon Fulford is a very experienced property litigator with good knowledge of the law and sound judgement. He provides an excellent service to his clients.’

Key clients

Buckland Granaries Limited

Churchill Retirement Limited

Inland Homes Plc

Business Mortgage Finance 4, 5, 6 and 7 PLC

BSC Group Limited

Oblix Capital Limited

Octopus Real Estate

British Heart Foundation

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Buckland Granaries Limited in a claim seeking an injunction based upon alleged interference with rights of way. The injunction was refused and the client was awarded indemnity costs.
  • Advised Churchill Retirement Living on strategy for achieving vacant possession on a development site with planning consent for multimillion pound scheme.
  • Advising Business Mortgage Finance 5 Plc and Business Mortgage Finance 7 Plc in respect of mortgage arrears due from borrower. This industry impacting case deals with issues relating to payment of secret commissions, bribery, breach of fiduciary duties and unfair relationship.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's team has been occupied by a high volume of COVID-related work, advising its sizeable retail and leisure client base on a litany of business-critical landlord and tenant matters, including break options, early lease terminations and insolvencies. Contested lease renewals on behalf of office and industrial property clients have similarly proven to be a burgeoning source of work. Practice head John Morrison handles the full range of commercial and residential disputes, most notably for educational institutes and life sciences companies in and around Oxford. Amy Evans is noted for her niche agricultural focus, and often works with the firm’s social housing team, advising various housing associations on statutory lease extensions, enfranchisements and rights of first refusal. Roberta Bombaci is recommended for her experience in easement disputes and TOLATA cases. All named lawyers are based in Oxford.

Practice head(s):

John Morrison

Other key lawyers:

Amy Evans; Roberta Bombaci


‘Exceptionally competent and informative.’

John Morrison has always been exceptional.’

‘The team always provide prompt, insightful advice on matters with clear information and guidance so that I’m able to make informed decisions as needed.’

‘John Morrison is incredibly knowledgeable and personable. It is a pleasure to work alongside him. He deals with matters swiftly and is able to add valuable insights based on his extensive experience.’

‘I work with Amy Evans on a regular basis and she is able to provide valuable information in the context needed for the client. She is always keen to ensure that I’m happy with the knowledge provided. Time-critical matters are always dealt with impeccably and there is absolute confidence in things being handed with the necessary due diligence. ’

‘John Morrison provides a diligent and calm presence, and is excellent at providing commercial advice often at short notice.’

‘The team are simply fantastic. A major player in the property litigation sphere; their continued growth and impressive portfolio of clients speaks to the quality of the lawyers they have.’

Key clients

Flight Centre (UK) Limited

Frontier Estates Ltd

Elis UK Limited (part of Elis S.A.)

White Stuff Limited

Gordon Murray Automotive Limited

Fortitudo Limited

Somerville College, University of Oxford

St Peter’s College, University of Oxford

23.5 Degrees (Starbucks’ franchisee)

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP’s property litigation team acts for blue-chip corporate occupiers, investors, and commercial and residential developers. Reading-based practice head Simon Foster maintains a strong contentious residential practice, regularly advising a mix of developers and landlords on contract breaches and possession strategies. Also based in Reading is Aimee Teague, who frequently works with the firm’s commercial property team on the contentious aspects of landlord and tenant relationships, lease renewals and complex dilapidation claims. The team’s reputation for telecoms sector work is underpinned by Milton Keynes office head Richard Willcox, who specialises in the impact of the Electronic Communications Code on proposed development schemes. Rounding out the Milton Keynes offering, Sarah Goodall is highly regarded for her leasehold and collective enfranchisement expertise.

Practice head(s):

Simon Foster

Other key lawyers:

Aimee Teague; Richard Willcox; Sarah Goodall

Key clients

Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited

Hennes & Mauritz UK Limited

Vistry Group


Revolution Bars Limited


Mckay Securities



Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s property litigation team handles a range of contentious and strategic advisory mandates for well-known clients in the retail, telecoms and financial services industries. In addition, other clients include public sector organisations, local authorities and institutional landlords. Southampton office head Mark Barley specialises in technical marine and telecoms disputes, including riparian and foreshore rights. Vicki Young concentrates on commercial landlord and tenant matters, as well as property portfolio management issues. Andy Meatcher, who joined from Blake Morgan LLP, is experienced in commercial lease renewals. Caroline Larson and Lauren Meade are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mark Barley

Other key lawyers:

Vicki Young; Andy Meatcher; Caroline Larson; Lauren Meade

Key clients

The Crown Estate


Addington Capital

Babcock International Group

Associated British Ports


Ann Summers


Post Office


BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans is strong in both the commercial and residential real estate spheres. Phil Smith, who is the national head of litigation, is a key figure for the firm’s sizeable real estate developer client base, for whom he handles disputes arising from site acquisitions and developments. In addition, he is also experienced in landlord and tenant disputes. David Gwillim, who heads up the contentious construction practice in the Reading office, has extensive expertise in all forms of dispute resolution; his experience includes litigation, arbitration, mediation, adjudication and expert determination. Legal director David Williams and associate Sophie Austin are other active practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Phil Smith

Other key lawyers:

David Gwillim; David Williams; Sophie Austin


‘In-depth knowledge of property law, well resourced and responsive.’

Key clients

CALA Homes

Bewley Homes

Sloane & Cadogan

Hayfield Homes

SAGA Insurance

Crayfern Homes

Vanderbilt Homes

Karali Group

Hicks Developments Ltd

Ashill Land Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for CALA Homes in a High Court claim seeking specific performance by a local authority of obligations in a Section 106 Agreement.
  • Advised a nationwide franchisee of fast-food restaurants on a range of landlord and tenant issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Successfully represented Joanne Properties Limited in the Court of Appeal in an important decision on the effect of ‘subject to contract’ labelling in correspondence between solicitors.

Dean Wilson LLP

Dean Wilson LLP's recent mandates included undertaking commercial landlord and tenant work for clients in the property management, retail and leisure sectors. In addition, residential possession cases have been another key area of activity. Also notable is that the firm has a strong track record in debt recovery work that concerns rent and service charge arrears. Practice head Claire Whiteman, a seasoned advocate and enfranchisement specialist, is a key contact for the firm’s property agent client base. Duncan Wilks concentrates on insolvency proceedings for an array of high-street retailers and restaurants. Gabrielle Moffatt’s landlord and tenant expertise sees her advising on numerous rent mediation strategies, as well as breaches of restrictive covenants and easements.

Practice head(s):

Claire Whiteman

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Wilks; Gabrielle Moffatt


‘Ms Gabrielle Moffatt had the strength and key capabilities to unlock the case at a point that l thought all hope of winning was lost. l hold her in high regard.’

‘Would highly, personally recommend Gabrielle Moffatt. Excellent service, professional, dedicated and went above and beyond. Very knowledgeable.’

‘Dedicated, hard-working specialists. Well respected by clients, professional peers and the judiciary. Particular names; Gabrielle Moffat and Claire Whiteman.’

‘Claire Whiteman and Gabrielle Moffat are professional, trusted and always a pleasure to have on our side.’

‘I would say Dean Wilson is the best law firm in Brighton. All staff are extremely friendly and their practice is always immaculate. I have had several experiences with the firm in the last few years and have always been pleased with their service. Duncan Wilks has been a standout for me, and will regularly to reply to any messages outside of work hours when required.’

‘I have worked with many partners in my time and most of them will tell you what you want to hear, but Duncan’s honesty has saved us a lot of time and money. He was brilliant in finding us the right barrister and QC. He is a masterful tactician and I would not hesitate to use him again.’

‘The team offer a really personal service, reviewing each case on an individual basis and without making you feel like they are just in it for the fee. The advice is genuine and comforting during a troubling time.’

Key clients

The Connells Group

The Gym Group Limited

Co-Operative Estates Group

Batcheller Monkhouse

Leaders Limited

The Baron Homes Corporation Limited

Fairfax Properties

Austin Rees

Homemakers Properties Limited

Shoreham Port Authority

Work highlights

  • Acted for Park Avenue Estates on an application to the First Tier Tribunal for a declaration that a tenant was in breach of the terms of the lease (which would then enable to the tenant to commence forfeiture proceedings) for failing to take adequate action against its own tenant.


EMW Law LLP is instructed in a wide range of matters, such as dilapidations claims, party wall act cases, leasehold enfranchisement disputes and rights of light matters. Karen Young is active in disputed telecoms matters and commercial lease renewals. The practice is led by James Davis, who splits his time between the firm’s London and Milton Keynes offices.

Practice head(s):

James Davis

Other key lawyers:

Karen Young


‘The team at EMW takes time to understand our business and our requirements, which ensures that any advice is provided quickly and efficiently, and is on point.’

‘EMW LLP have provided – and continue to provide – an excellent City-quality service to clients.’

‘James Davis is an excellent commercial litigator who provides a stand out service to clients. He has an excellent grasp of the law, while remaining very commercial in his outlook.’

Key clients

Santander UK Plc

Arqiva Services Ltd

Bidfood Ltd

Vax Ltd

Cashino Gaming Ltd

Milton Keynes Community Foundation Ltd

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP acts for a mix of public and private sector clients, such as property portfolio managers, commercial landlords, local authorities and multinational companies. Practice head Paul Dench is experienced in landlord and tenant matters, as well as residential lease extensions and enfranchisement cases. Legal director Julia Mactear and associate Mark Banham are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dench

Other key lawyers:

Julia Mactear; Mark Banham


‘Mark Banham and Paul Dench are both exceptional litigation lawyers. Extremely diligent, sound advice and commercial approach.’

‘The property litigation team at FSP are my number one recommendation for most areas of property law. The combine in-depth knowledge with a very user-friendly approach. They can compete with the big players at much better value.’

‘Paul Dench is knowledgeable, efficient and a pleasure to work with.’

Julia Mactear really understands her clients’ objectives: very pragmatic and commercial.’

Mark Banham is very detail-oriented and responsive.’

‘A truly first rate property litigation department. I have worked with them for nearly 20 years and have always been impressed by their work ethic and attention to detail.’

‘Paul Dench is very knowledgeable and experienced in both real property and landlord and tenant litigation.’

‘The property team has gone from strength to strength since Paul Dench took the lead three years ago. It runs very efficiently and responds quickly to clients. The billing is extremely competitive compared to rivals. The team are often against premier City law firms, and certainly hold their own. The firm has managed to retain the best traits of a local solicitors firm, whilst being able to compete at a national level.’

Key clients

Euro Car Parts



University of Reading/Thames Valley Science Park

Ascot Racecourse Limited

WSH Group

Superbowl UK

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey's South Coast team is experienced in the entire spectrum of commercial, agricultural, residential and general real estate disputes. It plays a key role supporting the firm's landlord/tenant (including national asset management) and developer/housebuilder offerings. With the firm advising a mix of regional and national clients, it attracts mandates from entities such as blue-chip corporates, telecoms companies, developers and housebuilders. Following the departure of former practice head Kate New, the team is now led by Patrick Wetherall, who is a seasoned litigator and mediator. He splits his time between the firm’s Bristol and Southampton offices. David Crockford is a key figure for landlord and tenant disputes.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Wetherall

Other key lawyers:

David Crockford; Anna Phillips


‘The practice is responsive and diligent. It is tactically astute and puts in place a strategy for resolving a dispute.’

‘The individuals respond to queries in a timely manner and have good cover in place to keep things moving along. The lead partners stick with the case rather than getting a foot in the door and then moving into the background.’

‘A very strong property litigation team with considerable experience in disputes about development land valuations and infrastructure as well as all the more common types of property litigation.’

‘Patrick Wetherall has excellent commercial instincts and can be relied on to get his clients the best possible result in any property-related dispute.’

‘They take time to know their clients and to tailor advice to what’s needed and wanted. Expert solution based advice which achieves great outcomes. Billing is open, transparent and collaborative.’

‘Anna Phillips is client-centric and always supportive of achieving great outcomes. She takes time to understand needs and reputational risk but is not afraid to play hard ball when required.’

‘David Crockford was really exceptional. He quickly grasped the issue we were dealing with and gave clear, sensible advice. He viewed our issue not only through a legal lens but also through a commercial one. After following his advice we arrived at a very satisfactory outcome.’

Key clients

Netflix Studios UK Limited

Netflix Inc.


Screwfix Direct Limited

Berkeley Homes

The Arch Co

Beechcroft Developments

Gardner Leader LLP

The property litigation practice at Gardner Leader LLP advises numerous investors, owners, and occupiers on adverse possession claims, contract breaches and portfolio disputes, among other matters. Michelle Di Gioia is an accredited CEDR mediator and professional negligence specialist. Andrew Shipp, who made partner in 2020, is highly experienced in High Court actions and TOLATA claims, and frequently works with the firm’s property agent and landlord client base. Alistair Goggins is the head of the dispute resolution practice.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Goggins; Michelle Di Gioia

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Shipp


‘Gardner Leader is a strong and growing regional firm which I have worked with for many years. It knows its market well and its property litigation practice is very effective.’

‘Excellent quality for a smaller regional firm that serves the local community well, and has far better quality legal offering than its local competitors.’

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP handles a full spread of contentious property work for owners and occupiers, and it is noted for its strong capabilities in alternative dispute resolution, with a number of practitioners serving as qualified mediators. The practice is led by Helen Bell, whose recent work involved commercial lease renewal claims, dilapidations cases and residential disputes. Jo Ironside in Lewes heads up the team’s dedicated leasehold enfranchisement sub-division, while East Grinstead-based associate Marika Monaghan is highly experienced in contentious rural property work and commercial landlord and tenant matters.

Practice head(s):

Helen Bell

Other key lawyers:

Jo Ironside; Marika Monaghan


‘The team comprises a number of highly experienced individuals having a wide range of knowledge and skills. They react quickly and efficiently with very clear advice tailored to the particular issue.’

‘Everyone I have dealt with has been very personable and knowledgeable. My dealings have been mainly with partner Helen Bell whose advice is always very practical and easy to understand. She is always willing to talk something through on the phone and nothing is too much trouble for her.’

‘This is a very well-respected team with an impressive client base. They are efficient and very client-friendly.’

‘Helen Bell is an excellent litigator dedicated to her clients and extremely thorough in her trial preparation.’

‘Regional firm but with a boutique feel about their property team. They work closely together, are extremely efficient and are at the top of their game.’

‘Helen Bell is an exceptionally dedicated and hard working lawyer. A true specialist.’

Key clients

The Trustees of the Debenham Property Trust

Hargreaves Properties Ltd

Rubicon West Plc

Harvey & Son (Lewes) Ltd

Stredder Pearce

Vanstian Limited

Essex Court Investments Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending a client in a misrepresentation claim regarding a property sale.

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore acts for various developers, not-for-profits, and corporate occupiers in a broad cross-section of property disputes, including those concerning easements, adverse possession claims and lease revisions. Practice head Mark Steggles is noted for his focus on third sector property insolvency litigation and agricultural land use disputes. Newly-promoted partner Alison Sparks handles both commercial and residential landlord and tenant work. She is particularly active in the food and pensions sectors.

Practice head(s):

Mark Steggles

Other key lawyers:

Alison Sparks


‘Mark Steggles has produced detailed advice on the way forward with a grasp of the law which is outstanding. He has also been able to provide pragmatic solutions to my problems.’

‘Always professional and exceptionally knowledgeable.’

‘Mark Steggles is excellent.’

‘Thomson Snell and Passmore are our go-to legal practice for all our real estate and construction advice.’

Key clients

The Association of Conservative Clubs Limited

Royal British Legion Industries Limited


Pentland Homes Limited

Fernham Homes Limited

Brakes (a Sysco company)

Fort Knight Group plc

Chatham Maritime Trust

Yellow Tree Capital

4Alpha Limited

B P Collins LLP

B P Collins LLP's team is instructed by clients such as major retailers, national waste management companies, energy providers and high-net-worth individuals. It has a notable strength in commercial landlord and tenant disputes, including dilapidations, forfeitures, lease renewals and breaches of covenant. Phil Hind heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Phil Hind

Other key lawyers:

Elliott Brookes


‘B P Collins is everything you want in a firm – on top of all the material, honest and hard-working, and totally committed to their clients.’

‘Approachable and innovative with common sense commercial solutions.’

‘Phil Hind offers practical and commercially savvy advice. Extremely knowledgeable.’

‘They take a commercial, no nonsense approach and their advice is on point. The fees are reasonable.’

‘A forward-thinking dynamic firm. Phil Hind deserves particular mention.’

‘I have worked with Phil for a number of years and the experience is always extremely positive. Phil has an ability to understand and grasp the key issues early on and explain his advice clearly to enable the development and implementation of the most effective strategy.’

‘Professional, yet friendly . Big enough to cope, small enough to care . The team is quality and joined up.’

Key clients

Biffa Group

Summerleaze Limited

Clinimed Holdings Limited

Mobile Mini UK Limited

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Blandy & Blandy LLP's dedicated property litigation team, which is led by Pippa Garrod, handles an array of contentious matters for regional estate trusts, charities, health trusts, schools and SMEs. Recent mandates included a developer-side restrictive covenant claim in the Upper Tribunal and adverse possession claims in the First-Tier Tribunal. Philip D’Arcy's experience includes rent arrears claims and cases involving breaches of covenants.

Practice head(s):

Pippa Garrod

Other key lawyers:

Philip D’Arcy


‘The team has a comprehensive real estate offering and they work very well together.’

‘Reading-based firm with a long and respected history.’

‘Philip D’Arcy is knowledgeable, experienced and sensitive to his clients’ objectives.’

Key clients

Englefield Estate Trust Corporation Ltd

BEN – Motor & Allied Trades Benevolent Fund

Blaser Mills Law

Blaser Mills Law's varied workload includes boundary disputes, leasehold enfranchisement cases and service charge matters, as well as cases concerning the removal of tenants. Alka Kharbanda and Sangita Manek are key contacts.

Boys & Maughan

Boys & Maughan acts for an array of commercial clients and individuals in contentious proceedings, including those heard at the Court of Appeal. Senior partner Andrew Baker has several decades of dispute resolution experience, with a diverse client base chiefly made up of building contractors, landlords, developers and professional advisers. Following his promotion to partner in 2019, Matt Champ has advocated on numerous occasions before the High Court and the Court of Appeal, with injunctive relief proceedings being a key specialism. Paul Reeves concentrates on various landlord and tenant issues, including leasehold enfranchisement. All named lawyers are based in Margate.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Baker; Matt Champ; Paul Reeves


‘Boys & Maughan are one of the go-to firms in the Kent area for real estate litigation.’

‘Matthew Champ is the stand-out property litigator. He deals with a very wide range of real property issues, from commercial telecoms disputes to trusts of land. He brings to all of them a strong commitment to his client, a willingness to work very hard, and an ability to engage well with opponents and bring them to the table.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in proceedings relating to compelling a sale of jointly owned property with an ex-partner in excess of £500k involving various arguments relating to common intention constructive trusts.
  • Represented a client in a claim based upon proprietary estoppel and constructive trusts relating to promises made by the property owner which led the client to carry out substantial improvements to his detriment, and the attempted reneging of the agreement by the property owner.
  • Acted for a client in a claim involving HMO rental properties in London for over £1m relating to rent not passed on to the freeholder, deceit, fraud and breach of contract.

Dutton Gregory

Dutton Gregory’s team includes senior partner Robert BolwellGina Peters and senior associate Louise James. Bolwell is strong in dilapidation claims and possession cases, and he is also a key contact for clients with major block management portfolios. Peters is also highly experienced in possession cases and block management matters, and she has niche expertise in residential lettings. James acts for clients in cases concerning forfeiture, commercial rent recovery, trespass, easements and rights of way, among other issues. Senior associate Claire Bunton is another key individual.

Practice head(s):

Robert Bolwell; Gina Peters; Louise James

Other key lawyers:

Claire Bunton


‘The team provides a very efficient and high standard of legal services. They are friendly and seem very client-focused.’

‘I have worked with Claire Bunton, who is very thorough and focused. She is determined to go the extra mile for clients in order to gain outstanding results.’

‘Gina Peters is a powerhouse! I am so impressed with Gina’s professionalism, knowledge, speed, efficiency and have been incredibly pleased to be working with her and using her for our civil litigation. Dutton Gregory should hold on to Gina – she is a real gem and I appreciate all she does for us.’

‘Robert Bolwell is a leading expert in lettings law, and brings his knowledge and expertise to client issues, with sound clear practical advice on options available to resolve the issue.’

‘The quality of expertise in property litigation, responsiveness and an empathetic focus on client outcomes.’

‘The team is on top of the detail and able to anticipate problems before they arise and suggest solutions.’

‘Louise James was very assertive in her advice. Experienced. Properly understands the sector. Clear in transmitting the strategy.’

Key clients

Countrywide Estate Agents


Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP

Milton Keynes-based firm Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP has an excellent record of acting for landlord and tenants in a myriad of contentious property cases, such as those concerning lease renewals, the recovery of rent and service charges, dilapidations and forfeiture actions. The main contact at the firm is Kenneth Stangoe, who is a member of the Property Litigation Association and spends the majority of his time undertaking work in this space.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Stangoe


‘Geoffrey Leaver solicitors excel in everything they do. They are highly professional and efficient. They are always extremely punctual. I have never had to to chase an information or developments, and their billing is always very concise.’

‘Ken Stangoe is superb. Ken always provides the absolute best legal advice and reassurance throughout what has been a very difficult time, Easily contactable and genuinely warm and friendly too. I cannot speak of him highly enough.’

‘During the pandemic they have always been available giving their usual good advice and assistance. Their Tuesday Business club was initiated a few years ago and now there is their monthly News letter, giving much advice, helpful comments and many new topics.’

‘Ken Stangoe is the person we deal with the most; he is thorough, informative, gets on with things and keeps us advised at all times. We always have excellent service from him and the firm.’

‘They are excellent communicators, explaining legal issues so I can understand and are responsive to everything that I have put to them.’

‘Nothing is too much trouble, they keep me updated about on-going issues when there is a need and recently have kept us regularly up to speed about on-going costs, which has been particularly appreciated. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.’

Herrington Carmichael LLP

Herrington Carmichael LLP’s practice, which is led by Adrian Taylor, is prominent in complex commercial real estate disputes across the South. In addition, residential property litigation is another mainstay of the practice. The varied workload includes matters arising from boundary disputes, restrictive covenants and construction disputes. Landlord and tenant work is also a key driver of activity. Frankie Tierney regularly acts for landowners, property developers and investors in High Court, Technology & Construction Court and Property Tribunal matters. Senior solicitor Mark Robertson joined from Wannops LLP in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Frankie Tierney; Mark Robertson; Annabelle Randell


‘Frankie Tierney was excellent and professional.’

‘A combination of a meticulous attention to detail with a firm but polite approach.’

‘Frankie Tierney is an excellent litigator and someone I regularly recommend.’

‘Reliable and approachable team, providing good knowledge and service but at non-City prices. We have used City firms previously for property advice and the quality of advice received at Herrington Carmichael is certainly comparable.’

‘Frankie Tierney is very prompt and responsive.’

‘We dealt with Herrington Carmichael for a number of years, they are very approachable and proactive in their dealings.’

‘I have dealt with several members of the team at Herrington Carmichael and I have found them very easy to deal with. They explain the pitfalls very well and they set their work out in plain English.’

Laytons LLP

Laytons LLP‘s team is experienced in a wide ambit of landlord and tenant disputes, such as those arising from non-payment of rent, dilapidations and enfranchisement. In addition, other matters concern the eviction of trespassers, contractual breaches and third party rights over land. John Abbott is among the names to note.

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP has a longstanding focus on the retail, food, leisure and tourism sectors. Its team has extensive expertise in commercial landlord and tenant work, such as cases involving rent/service charge arrears, dilapidations and break options. In addition, residential real estate litigation is another driver of activity. Practice head David Eminton is recommended for advice on option and other property contract disputes associated with residential housing and commercial developments. Cliff Morris has a specialism in boundary and right of way disputes. Nicola Davies and Lucy Taggart  are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

David Eminton

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Davies; Cliff Morris; Lucy Taggart


‘The team has a diverse range of skills and are able to provide for a range of legal needs under one roof.’

‘Nicola Davies did an excellent job of taking the time to understand our situation and position, laying out the options available to us and associated benefits and costs, guiding us through our decisions making process, providing detailed background on the case law surrounding our situation and providing additional clarity, and producing a high quality final product based on detailed research.’

‘David is very competent and responsive, and an asset for Paris Smith and its clients.’

‘The team at Paris Smith are always highly efficient and provide a prompt response to any requests that I have for legal support and advice. The advice given is not only timely, but provides an appropriate balance of detail and succinctness and always includes pragmatic recommendations.’

‘The litigation team has always provided commercial well considered advice. They keep a cool head in a pressured situation. They will act within very tight timescales if required and ensure that risk is minimised to the client.’

‘David Eminton is a highly experienced but approachable individual. I would be confident that all bases are covered in the advice provided and the negotiations held on my behalf.’

‘Responsive and dedicated, no matter how tricky the task.’

Key clients

Centurylink Communications UK Limited

The Co-Operative Group Limited

Hilliers Garden Centres

Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Richmond Motor Group

Marwell Zoological Park

Russell Miller and Matt Samuel Camps of Vail Williams

Hedge End Town Council

Petchey Industrial Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the owners of a business park on an array of site development issues.
  • Acting for numerous private residential clients on boundary disputes, right of way disputes, and repossession matters.

Pinney Talfourd LLP

Led by experienced litigator Stephen Eccles, the team at Pinney Talfourd LLP is regularly engaged by regional businesses and individuals on a broad spectrum of contentious commercial and residential property matters. Senior associate Lisa Eastwood has experience of acting for landlord and tenants in a wide range of disputes and she is also active in professional negligence claims. Solicitor Oliver-James Topping is noted for his capabilities in residential property matters, including boundary disputes and enfranchisement claims.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Eccles

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Eastwood; Oliver-James Topping


‘They have a full range of professionals, enabling them to take on cases where more than one discipline is required. In my experience, this works well.’

‘Oliver-James Topping offered the best service I have had from any solicitor. He always answered the phone and gave us his mobile number if he was out of the office. He showed true knowledge of his subject at a very reasonable price.’

‘The team are very together and all seem to work incredibly well together. Every person is very knowledgeable and well educated in their field of expertise. Nothing is too much trouble and their work is of the highest standard and is always well presented. Very helpful, professional, high quality solicitors.’

‘Oliver James-Topping is an excellent solicitor. He is complete and conscientious.’

‘They are always available and able to assist with any situation that arises giving me confidence that they have the skill set required for the type of work that is required.’

‘Great knowledge and understanding of the law providing the client with comfort that they are in capable hands.’

‘Stephen Eccles ensures that the client is kept informed throughout the process, providing clear and concise advice to enable decisions to be made.’

Key clients


Sequence (UK) Limited

Abbey Developments Limited

A.M.O.S Properties

Kiani Group

K1 Management Limited

RMS Estate Agents Ltd

UK Aggregates Limited

New Homes Group

Diamond Key


Laura Seaman is a key contact at VWV's Watford office. Although the majority of her work concerns commercial landlord and tenant disputes, she is also adept at handling cases involving mixed-use and residential issues. Seaman's experience includes disputes arising from development projects, as well as cases concerning lease renewals, break notices, dilapidations and rights of way.