Firms To Watch: Property litigation

Headed up by experienced partner Robert Twining and bolstered by the November 2021 hire of Nick McKnight, Warners Solicitors‘ property litigation team is especially well regarded for its experience in matters involving rural properties.

Property litigation in South East

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's real estates dispute team handles the full spectrum of property litigation matters for a broad client base ranging from major international companies and developers to institutional landlords, commercial tenants, and high-net-worth individuals. Team head David Haines also leads the firm’s compulsory purchase and HS2 teams, the latter of which he heads up with fellow property litigator Richard Flenley. On top of his significant litigation experience in property insolvency, Peter Levaggi is a qualified advocate. Natalie Deuchar is particularly well regarded for her work in leasehold enfranchisements, and Joe Edwards is recommended in property finance, property security and insolvency mandates. All named lawyers are based in Guildford.

Practice head(s):

David Haines

Other key lawyers:

Peter Levaggi; Natalie Deuchar; Joe Edwards; Richard Flenley

Testimonials

‘CRS is an excellent law firm. They provide high quality legal advice at a reasonable cost. They think outside the box and find the best way of dealing with the case.’

‘A highly effective and efficient firm providing extremely good client service with a combination of technical legal knowledge, and sound tactical ability.’

‘CRS’ property litigation team are able to see every possible angle to a dispute, and are quick to identify the best way to defend or pursue a claim.’

‘Always smooth running conscientious service – client needs addressed admirably.’

‘David Haines is a pleasure to work with: he combines an extremely good legal knowledge, with tactical strength and fantastic client skills.’

‘David Haines runs the best property litigation team to work with. He has recruited bright and proactive lawyers who are decent and fun human beings to work with. They collaborate seamlessly with each other on the bigger cases so that it always feels like there is continuity of instructions/information.’

‘Joe Edwards has been operating at partner-level for a number of years now. He drives the strategy on all of his cases, with a clear view of how to maximise the result for his clients.’

‘David Haines and Richard Flenley are exceptionally gifted at delivering the right outcomes for high value clients in complex property litigation. Natalie Deuchar stands out at associate level.’

Key clients

Wagamama Limited

Air Products Plc

Nellsar Limited

Citysprint (UK) Limited

Warrant Investments Plc

Prince Abbas Hilmi/Mohamed Ali Foundation

University of Surrey

The Save the Children Fund

The Diocese of Guildford

The Trustees of the Meyrick Estate

Work highlights

  • Acting for Wagamama in successful High Court litigation concerning the interpretation of an Agreement for Lease and completion of a lease of restaurant premises in a new retail development.
  • Advising the 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

Cripps fields a large and well-regarded property dispute resolution team from its office in Tunbridge Wells, handling the range of matters for clients in the South East, across the country, and beyond. Practice head Miles Paffard is especially well regarded for his expertise in investment work and insolvencies, while Mike Scott leads on matters including high-value insurance and right to light claims. Nitej Davda acts on matters relating to leasehold enfranchisement and land registration disputes, as well as issues arising from Covid-19 shutdowns in the commercial sector. Richard Housley‘s specialisms include commercial landlord and tenant issues, property insolvencies, and real property work. Adam Osieke and Anna Toynton are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Miles Paffard

Other key lawyers:

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

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

ERGO Versicherung AG and AEGIS Syndicate 1225 (ERGO)

Work highlights

  • Providing advice, assistance and support to a number of clients in connection with an ever increasing number of retailer insolvencies, valued at £20m.
  • Acting for ERGO on a multi-million pound rights to light claim relating to a major development in the heart of London.

DMH Stallard LLP

Split between the firm’s Gatwick and Guildford offices, and an increasing presence in Brighton, DMH Stallard LLP’s real estate dispute resolution practice consists of a strong team of lawyers with a variety of specialist interests. In addition to her work advising a range of corporate and residential developer clients, team head Emily Wood has particular experience in business rates issues. Tina George heads up the wider real estate team, and Vanessa Joll operates out of Guildford, where she is especially well respected for her work on multiparty development disputes, as well as enfranchisement and professional negligence claims. James Picknell joined in July 2021, bolstering the firm’s already strong landlord and tenant offering, and associate Cheraine Williams oversees much of the team’s residential portfolio work.

Practice head(s):

Emily Wood

Other key lawyers:

Tina George; Vanessa Joll; James Picknell; Cheraine Williams

Testimonials

‘Every engagement with the team at DMH has given me full confidence in their capabilities and ability to assist and deliver. They bring a scale and depth of knowledge to the table that is reliable, comforting and I know that when we engage with them on projects, that they will not only listen to the issues, but understand the importance, timescales, and needs – and deliver on them all.’

‘Offering expertise across the wide spectrum of property litigation, DMH Stallard is a first-class regional operation.’

‘Very well balanced practice with specialists in all fields. Our experience is that they are approachable and efficient and keep one appraised of progress and costs.’

‘Emily Wood is extremely efficient and personable. She has a depth of knowledge in non-domestic rating and is brilliant at communicating difficult issues to clients. An excellent lawyer.’

‘Vanessa Joll is calm, measured and experienced. She gets results through being a top-drawer lawyer and a clever litigator. Kristine Ng is conscientious and sensible. She looks after her clients well and provides a first-rate legal service.’

‘James Picknell is excellent, he explains the options in an understandable way, and generally works very efficiently and quickly. He keeps one appraised of the case all the time.’

‘I have worked with Kristine Ng on numerous cases over several years now. She is extremely capable in her practice areas, handles difficult matters with great calmness and her client management is second to none.’

‘Cheraine Williams, a senior associate at DMH, has consistently provided an amazing and reliable service, and also understands the need to balance costs on a project as well. She is level headed, always responsive to calls and emails, and always thorough in the work delivered. Her property litigation experience is exceptional and I cannot commend her enough.’

Key clients

Crawley Borough Council

Dorrington Investment PLC

Wealden & Rother District Council

Cats Protection Trustees Limited

St Catherine’s Hospice Limited

Newhaven Port & Properties Limited

Cadogan Estates Limited

Liverpool and Victoria (LV)

Brighton YMCA

Roffey Homes Limited

Currys PLC

Work highlights

  • Acting for a residential developer in relation to a substantial claim for professional negligence against a firm of architects which involves complex issues of expert evidence, steps taken in mitigation, and valuation of loss.
  • Represented an original party to a qualified restrictive covenant in a case which has received significant legal attention.
  • Advising a consortium of companies in an action challenging the current valuation model for business rating in the niche area of green energy.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP’s South East property litigation practice is split across two offices in the Thames Valley: the Milton Keynes team is led by Mark Brown, and the Oxford-based practice is led by Clare Bellis. Brown specialises in the leisure and retail arenas, where his deep knowledge and strong reputation have seen him instructed by a wide range of prestigious regional and national clients, while Bellis leads the firm’s agriculture sector offering with strong experience in site clearances for developments, contested succession applications, option and promotion disputes, and tenant breaches. She is notably supported by managing associate Rosalyn Shephard, whose expertise in complex agricultural disputes makes her highly sought after. Adam Boyd also works out of Milton Keynes, and was recently promoted to partner; his expertise includes dilapidations cases, rent reviews, and matters concerning commercial rent arrears.

Practice head(s):

Mark Brown; Clare Bellis

Other key lawyers:

Adam Boyd; Rosalyn Shephard

Testimonials

‘The team are experts in their field, combining years of experience and knowledge to deliver first class advice.’

‘Good knowledge of the real estate market in their areas of work.’

‘The team has a very good understanding of all litigation related matters, and a very diverse offering that is able to act as a one-stop shop. Most importantly, the team makes itself available at short notice, and delivers a high quality product.’

‘Very efficient, kind and courteous in all communication.’

‘Clare Bellis – a bright lawyer; well-attuned to client needs and pressures; very sensible and pragmatic; depth of real estate knowledge, also informed by professional negligence expertise.’

‘Adam Boyd – an expert in his field. Adam shows great attention to detail while at the same time demonstrating strategic thinking to ensure the best outcome for client.’

Key clients

Punch Taverns

Tavern Propco

Admiral Taverns / Hawthorn Leisure

McMullens

Countryside Properties

Burger King UK

Fuller, Smith and Turner

Investra Capital

Wagamama Limited

Oxford University Press (OUP)

Tarmac Group of Companies

Micheldever Tyre Services Limited t/a Protyre

GEFCO Logistics

Blenheim Estate/Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

The Carington Estate, Buckinghamshire

Sir Edward Dashwood (West Wycombe Estate, Buckinghamshire; Picton Estate, Pembrokshire and Golden Grove Estate, Carmarthenshire)

Wadham College Oxford

Response Organisation

Bellway Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Tavern Propco in possession proceedings against a tenant of a large public house in London, together with a damages claim of c. £350k.
  • Assisting Bellway with obtaining vacant possession of a complex 72 acre site occupied by Agricultural Holding Act tenants, in respect of which planning permission had been obtained for a substantial housing development.
  • Acted for Countryside in its successful opposition to an asset of community value nomination by a local community organisation of residential development land worth several million, which Countryside is promoting.

Stevens & Bolton LLP

Stevens & Bolton LLP‘s South East real estate disputes team operates out of the firm’s Guildford office, where it is led by experienced litigator Helen Wheddon, who also heads up the firm’s cross-sector hospitality and leisure group, where she draws on her broad familiarity with commercial landlord and tenant matters. In recent years, the team has seen growth in development work and matters relating to insolvencies, where Wheddon is recommended. Managing associate Markus Klempa handles a range of matters, with particular focus on high-value developments and complex contractual disputes, as well as issues arising from Covid legislation. Stephanie Newton is also well regarded.

Practice head(s):

Helen Wheddon

Other key lawyers:

Markus Klempa; Stephanie Newton

Testimonials

‘The property disputes team displayed an extensive depth of expertise in residential property and their excellent advice helped us to to resolve our property dispute. The work was allocated to an appropriate level, providing a value for money service and consistent point of contact throughout.’

‘They provide a personal service and don’t palm you off to an underling. They make it happen.’

‘We had a tricky claim and the solicitor and partner dealt well with it explaining the process and advising us at each step when we needed guidance. We felt that there was a varied and wide depth of knowledge that could be called on because of the quality and number of personnel. We felt we were in capable hands with a professional team.’

‘Client focused firm which not only draws upon the strengths of its individual specialist partners but has a team approach to legal problem solving across functions.’

‘Helen Wheddon: very timely in responses, clearly a very detailed knowledge of her subject matter. What impressed me was the clear advice in a very complex matter and the ability to liaise with other solicitors at a senior level in international practices.’

‘The stand-out individual for me is Markus Klempa. He delivers complex legal advice in a relaxed and confident way, based on years of experience, which makes him a highly trusted adviser.’

‘Stephanie Newton – Stephanie has provided practical advice throughout and has been pro-active and responsive in understanding the issues and helping us to achieve a resolution.’

‘We have dealt with Markus Klempa who has always imparted clear, concise advice in a timely manner.’

Key clients

Boundary Real Estate Partners

Bluebell Railway

Harris Reeds Limited

Day Group Limited

Bonane Limited

Der Touristik Samsung Electronics UK Limited

Stockbourne Group

Store Property Investments Limited Structadene Group/Pearl & Coutts

Work highlights

  • Acting for landowner clients in an option dispute over the price to be paid by a developer to acquire the client’s site under the terms of the agreement.
  • Acting for a developer on a contentious rights of light claim where the neighbouring owners were threatening an injunction for injury to prevent the scheme progressing.
  • Advising an investor of commercial property on its ability to recover possession of shop premises from Edinburgh Woollen Mill following its appointment of Administrators.

Boyes Turner

Boyes Turner‘s well-regarded real estate litigation team is led by senior associate Russell May out of the firm’s Reading office. Its client base includes major national corporates, residential sales and lettings agencies, developers, and housing associations. The team handles the full range of disputes from rights to light claims to adverse possession, right of way, and commercial landlord and tenant matters; the group also has a dedicated landlord and tenant service charge recovery team. Associate Katie Rampton works on commercial landlord and tenant matters, and advises private clients on lease extensions, collective enfranchisement and residential possession claims, and neighbour disputes.

Practice head(s):

Russell May

Other key lawyers:

Katie Rampton

Testimonials

‘They are very close to the client and their objectives and provide deep knowledge and practical advice.’

‘Boyes Turner staff have always been polite, informative and efficient when we have contacted them.’

‘Our main interactions have been with Russell May, senior associate, who has handled our access rights dispute with our neighbours. Mr May has always taken time to explain details clearly as they have arisen, has answered queries promptly and incisively and helped us to select a Barrister when we needed to seek counsel’s opinion. Mr May has shown exceptional negotiating skills in dealings with our neighbours who have been very awkward to deal with. When aspects arose that were out of his normal field he was willing to research relevant information/other contacts to get an answer.’

‘I liked that Russell May took a firm grip of my matter and gave sound advice when required without my having to ask.’

‘The firm are all extremely professional and they have exceptional commercial acumen across a variety of specialisms. Due to their expertise I feel they are very good value for money. I feel the firm look at the individual person and ensure they feel comfortable with the case before proceeding.’

‘Russell May is fantastic and I would highly recommend him. When we first opened our case Russell’s customer service was exceptional. Not only did he explain every step of the process to us thoroughly and in a way which we understood, but he is also very professional and knowledgeable in the area we needed him for. Russell has always come back to us in a timely manner and has always been able to answer our questions and worries. Russell is 100% committed to our case and has exceptional commercial acumen. We feel that Russell is an invaluable member of team and offers great value for money. We have total trust in the firm and Russell and would highly recommend him.’

‘Boyes Turner are definitely one of the go to firms for real estate/property related advice and issues in the Thames Valley. The general real estate transactional activity is supported by excellent property litigation and construction teams which are among the best. Always happy to recommend Boyes Turner.’

Key clients

Affinity Reading Limited

Colt Group Limited

Thomas Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a well-known telecoms provider on a significant dilapidations claim at the end of a lease.
  • Advised a national newspaper in relation to a guarantee on a property it had transferred to a third party which subsequently went into administration.
  • Advised a national chain of hotels in relation to significant rent arrears by its tenants as a result of Covid-19.

Blake Morgan LLP

Spread across the firm’s offices in Reading, Oxford and Southampton, Blake Morgan LLP‘s property litigation team is well regarded across the South East. Zoe Wright heads up the team’s Reading, Oxford, and London offerings from the Reading office, where her clients include corporate occupiers with significant property portfolios. She also has a strong reputation acting for clients in the telecoms sector, where she is supported by legal director Simon Pestell, who works out of the Southampton office, and has broad experience in commercial property mandates, including leasehold matters. Thomas Djan-Krofa, who works in Oxford, was recently promoted to legal director and is especially well-regarded by clients in the social housing sphere.

Practice head(s):

Zoe Wright; Simon Pestell

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Djan-Krofa

Testimonials

‘First-class understanding of the issues and brought a calm and pragmatic approach to identifying high quality solutions. Advice has always been very measured and tailored to our specific objectives.’

‘Very experienced and knowledgeable.’

‘The Members of the team that I have worked with are professional and committed to their clients. They combine expertise with an emphasis on client service. Part of their commitment is demonstrated by their desire to understand their clients’ businesses aims and objectives to provide a more tailored service than most.’

‘Very responsive to queries at all levels, from partner to junior. We have always received pragmatic advice at a fair price.’

‘Simon Pestell has been very helpful as we have navigated the difficulties raised by the Covid pandemic. He has always been on hand for high quality advice, has provided clear estimates in advance for any significant work performed and has stuck to those estimates even when the the job has taken longer than he expected.’

‘Thomas Djan-Krofa – approachable, well-versed with the area of law.’

‘Thomas Djan-Krofa is of specific note. He has a real interest in the law and its application. He works well in a team and is accessible and intelligent. In my experience he ensures that any remedies sought are in keeping with his clients’ particular goals on an individual case basis as well as on ‘global’ company policy levels. He adds particular value by actively engaging with his clients and identifying what further services he and the firm can provide to meet their needs.’

Key clients

Sorbon Estates Limited

Canal & River Trust

DX Network Services Limited

Wireless Infrastructure Group

The British Red Cross Society

IW Group Services (UK) Limited

Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust

Oxfam

Sam 99p Stores Limited

Specsavers

Southern Co-operative Group Limited

St Johns of Winchester

Peabody Trust

Gandalf Properties Limited

Metro Bank

Lidl Stores

Work highlights

  • Acting for Sam 99p Stores Limited in relation to a business lease renewal claim.
  • Advising a UK university on termination under the Telecoms Code of roof top premises.
  • Acted for Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust in successfully obtaining a six-month committal order against a tenant who had breached the terms of her anti-social behaviour injunction having racially abused staff members and physically assaulted a police officer.

Brachers

Brachers’ Maidstone-based team works on the full spectrum of property litigation for clients across Kent, including NHS trusts, local councils, and other public bodies, as well as colleges and large trusts. Michael Oatham leads the team, and Allis Beasley brings significant experience in complex disputes. James Millis handles a range of work related to UK-based commercial property, including lease disputes and dilapidations. The team has seen growth in both litigation and mediation work, and assists clients in navigating ADR and remote mediation procedures, which have increased significantly. The Canterbury office, which opened in 2020, extends the firm’s reach into East Kent.

Practice head(s):

Michael Oatham

Other key lawyers:

Allis Beasley; James Millis

Testimonials

‘An experienced, knowledgeable and personable team able to hold their own against the best regional firms.’

A great team, with wide ranging knowledge.’

‘I have found the team to be professional, effective, knowledgeable and totally reliable. All team members are polite, friendly and supportive.’

‘The team has a full range of capabilities with deep competence in all areas.’

‘Allis Beasley is an outstanding lawyer. She cuts to the heart of issues, leaving no stone unturned. She is constructive with a full commercial understanding of all the issues.’

‘Allis Beasley has recently successfully helped us in a disputed claimed Rights of Way Access. We were very impressed, as she obviously completely understood the Land Tribunal process. In short, we were very glad she was not acting for the other party.’

‘Allis Beasley is an all-round star. She is pro-active, reactive (when necessary) and clever. She is the sort of lawyer you want on your side.’

‘Allis Beasley – Property Litigation Partner. A tough gritty litigator who takes no prisoners, very approachable and knowledgeable. James Millis – Dispute Resolution Partner. Technically excellent with a great ability to get matters sorted.’

Key clients

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Alan Firmin Limited

Sevenoaks District Council

Benenden Hospital

East Malling Trust

East Kent Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

Kent County Agricultural Society

Dover District Council

Brethertons LLP

Based in Banbury, Brethertons LLP‘s band of lawyers has broad expertise in commercial and residential disputes. Team lead Debbie Phillips acts for clients including developers, property management companies, local authorities and private landlords. Roger Hardwick is especially experienced in residential matters, where he focuses on leasehold issues and service charge disputes for clients including ground rent investors. David Richards deals with commercial matters such as forfeitures alongside residential possession, wrongful eviction, rent arrears, and breaches of covenant matters. Dani Green is commended for her focus on leasehold matters, and Emma Bush and Verity McMahon are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Debbie Phillips

Other key lawyers:

Roger Hardwick; David Richards; Dani Green; Emma Bush; Verity McMahon

Testimonials

‘Brethertons’ property litigation solicitors have an in depth knowledge of residential landlord and tenant law, which makes them particularly good to work with on cases in this area. Roger Hardwick has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the case law and an eye for new arguments which could be made.’

‘Expert in all aspects of the complex web of legislation affecting residential property.’

‘Roger Hardwick is an outstanding lawyer – very experienced and knowledgeable, and a great pleasure to work with.’

‘Emma Bush is excellent. She has such a good sense of the case she is running and how to get to the desired outcome.’

Dentons

Dentons‘ Milton Keynes-based property litigation practice handles the full spectrum of contentious property matters for clients including landlords, tenants and developers, as well as well-known retailers and financial institutions. Bryan Johnston, based in London, leads the team, and has particular experience in handling complex right of light disputes. Also in London, David Payton covers the range of matters, including applications for consent and easements and property insolvencies. Senior associates Gemma Hunter-Barnes and Thomas Nolan are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Bryan Johnston

Other key lawyers:

David Payton; Gemma Hunter-Barnes; Thomas Nolan

Testimonials

‘The team provide pragmatic and commercial advice.’

‘The team are approachable, personable and driven. I am treated in every way as if I were their only client and the service and contact I receive from the team is exceptional. It is a true collaborative work environment and I have never encountered an individual within the team that I am not able to get along with.’

‘Very responsive and pragmatic.’

‘High quality lawyers and breadth of expertise. They give commercial and practical advice to clients with a focus on strategies and roadmaps through problems.’

‘The team generally provide pragmatic and commercial advice.’

‘David Payton and his team – very able and committed team able to handle national matters.’

‘David Payton and Tom Nolan . Practical and give direct advice. Give confidence.’

‘Bryan Johnson – incredibly experienced. He has seen it all before. He never gets distracted from client’s commercial objective and is cost conscious. Thomas Nolan – handles matters with confidence and assurance way beyond his years. His legal analysis is second to none.’

Furley Page Solicitors

Furley Page Solicitors‘ real estate dispute resolution team handles the range of commercial and residential property matters for clients including investors and developers as well as significant regional businesses. Team lead Jeremy Ferris is an accredited mediator and qualified surveyor, with broad experience including in compulsory purchase matters and large-site developments. George Crofton-Martin‘s expertise extends to planning and licensing actions against local authorities, while associate Sarah Woolnough is recommended for her experience in adverse possession and boundary disputes. In addition, the firm also operates a dedicated French property desk, through which it handles cross-border work. All named lawyers are based in Canterbury.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Ferris

Other key lawyers:

George Crofton-Martin; Sarah Woolnough

Testimonials

‘Continuity and dependability even with change and evolution.’

‘Sarah Woolnough has worked hard and been constantly mindful of costs.’

‘The team are always happy to help with whatever challenge we put to them.’

‘We work with Sarah Woolnough, who has always given us sound advice and solved problems with unusual tenancy agreements, some of which go back 30/40 years.’

‘Jeremy Ferris, helpful understanding of clients concerns and worries.’

‘We dealt with Jeremy Ferris on two occasions on dispute resolution – both times Jeremy thoroughly researched both cases and came up with the right approach and it was different for both and achieved the right outcome for both. I highly recommend Jeremy Ferris.’

‘Jeremy Ferris was very calm, discussed all the issues and took the right approach.’

Key clients

FGS Agri Limited

AMAT UK (Charity)

Capital Concrete Limited

Hedgend Industrial Estate Ltd

Horsebridge Arts & Community Centre

University of Kent

Total Dentalcare Limited

Whitstable Oyster Fishery Co

Day Lewis Plc

Robert Brett & Sons – The Brett Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Furley Page Executor and Trustee Company Limited appointed as estate administrator by the Court.
  • Acting for the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Co. on ongoing issues as to ownership and commercial ‘sea farming’ of the seabed in Whitstable, Kent.

IBB Law

Led by Jon Mowbray, the IBB Law real estate dispute resolution team is especially well regarded for its expertise in contentious residential property matters, though it also acts for commercial landlords and tenants on a variety of issues. Recently, the group has seen increases in work relating to major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Heathrow’s third runway. Mowbray has particular experience in high-value dilapidations, rent reviews, and lease renewals, while Andrew Olins is a leading practitioner on restrictive covenants, and is developing a focus on issues concerning high-rise cladding, on which he is assisted by associate Charles Grossman. Senior associate Nick Southworth bolsters the firm’s residential offering. All named lawyers are based in Uxbridge.

Practice head(s):

Jon Mowbray

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Olins; Nick Southworth; Charles Grossman

Testimonials

‘We have recommended IBB to several of our clients over the years as we find the litigation and conveyancing teams work together seamlessly.’

‘Jon Mowbray offers effective and balanced advice to clients and makes every effort to settle. He is very responsive and easy to deal with and respected by clients.’

Key clients

Aviva PLC

Clancy Group

Dolce & Gabbana

Frogmore Real Estate

Galliard Homes

Marathon Asset Management

Nicholas King Homes plc

Spitalfields Housing Association

Suez

Xerox

Work highlights

  • Acted for Heathrow Inn Hotel Limited in successfully defending forfeiture proceedings at first instance and on appeal.
  • Acting for Consort Property in pursuing a claim in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) for a modification of restrictive covenants burdening office blocks in a business park.
  • Acting for GHL (Eagle Wharf Road) Ltd in disputing a claim by the seller for overage.

Moore Barlow

Moore Barlow‘s South East property litigation offering is split across two teams: the real estate disputes group and financial services litigation practice. Chris Marsden in Southampton heads up the real estate disputes team, and acts for a broad range of clients from landlords and developers to those in the retail and telecoms sectors. Sarah Watley, also in Southampton, leads the financial services litigation team, where her most prominent real estate clients are lenders and mortgage providers. Broadly experienced across commercial and residential matters, Susannah Marsh has a particular focus on complex disputes involving unfair relationships, secret commissions, and bribery issues. Simon Beetham has specialist knowledge of banking and insolvency issues and matters concerning rural and agricultural property, and Zoe Thompson and Gemma Richards, both based in Guildford, are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Chris Marsden; Sarah Watley

Other key lawyers:

Susannah Marsh; Simon Beetham; Zoe Thompson; Gemma Richards

Testimonials

‘I find Moore Barlow LLP to be extremely professional, knowledgeable and efficient. They are always available to answer a query or question, and do so promptly, which in turn gives me great confidence in them as a firm.’

‘I have worked with both the Real Estate Team and the Insolvency & Restructuring Team and they are both very competent teams with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Both teams are good, safe pairs of hands that can be relied upon.’

‘Great strength in depth. Very responsive, diligent and on top of the detail.’

‘Chris Marsden runs a good team.’

‘Susannah Marsh has been excellent – professional, knowledgeable and friendly and exactly the sort of individual you would like working with.’

Key clients

Travis Perkins

Churchill Retirement Limited

Inland Homes Plc

Business Mortgage Finance 4, 5, 6 and 7 PLC

London’s Royal Docks

Oblix Capital Limited

Octopus Real Estate

British Heart Foundation

South Somerset District Council

Southampton University

Work highlights

  • Advised Business Mortgage Finance 5 PLC and Business Mortgage Finance 7 PLC in a Court of Appeal case dealing with issues relating to the payment of secret commissions, bribery, breach of fiduciary duties and unfair relationship.

Shoosmiths LLP

Spread across the firm’s Reading and Milton Keynes offices, Shoosmiths LLP‘s real estate disputes team acts for clients across the residential and commercial spheres on the full spectrum of property litigation matters. Team lead Simon Foster has recent experience in the High Court, and his clients include charitable trusts and private clients as well as commercial and residential landlords, tenants, and developers. Richard Willcox focuses on the commercial side, and is developing a niche focus at the intersection of property law and the Electronics Communications Code. Sarah Collins is a key contact in residential long leasehold matters, and Aimee Teague works closely with corporate occupiers and investor landlords.

Practice head(s):

Simon Foster

Other key lawyers:

Richard Willcox; Sarah Collins; Aimee Teague

Testimonials

‘All the team are very proactive, constantly probing the boundaries of the possibilities in order to deliver the required outcome for the challenge presented.’

‘The individuals are all highly qualified, skilled and pay particular attention to achieving the result required from the brief presented. All the staff meet the required deadlines, are pleasant to work with and always available at any time to discuss any of our requirements.’

‘A strong team within a well-known national firm.’

‘I find the practice very helpful yet pro-active. Very knowledgeable in their field.’

‘The individual I know best is Simon Foster, Partner and Head of the Real Estate Litigation (Southern) team. He is diligent, a good lawyer, commercially astute and very pleasant to work with.’

‘Simon Foster is first class. He is very knowledgeable and approachable. He gets to grips with the issue quickly and gives practical advice. He has helped us resolve issues amicably and quickly.’

‘I’ve been impressed with Richard Willcox with property litigation – grasps the issues quickly and well, gives good practical and clear advice, very good customer service.’

‘Aimee Teague is by far an impressive Property litigation lawyer who has our own interest at the forefront of any transaction. She helps manage our whole property portfolio and I can honestly say, she knows our portfolio just as well as I know it myself. A truly inspirational lawyer and glad she is supporting us on our account/transactions, she also makes sure I do not miss any deadlines.’

Key clients

McCarthy Stone

Nissan/Renault Alliance

Mattel

Third Space

McKay Securities PLC

AEW Europe

Mabey Holdings Limited

Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited

Revolution Bars Group Plc

NATS (comprising NATS (En Route) Limited and NATS (Services) Limited)

Vistry Group PLC

Hill Residential Limited

Mercedes-Benz Retail Group UK Limited

ARC Legal Assistance Limited

Tingdene Group

The Trustees of Tottenham Park Islamic Cemetery

William Lacey Group Limited

Frontier Estates

UKRO Property Holdings Adapt Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for an Islamic charity in hard fought High Court proceedings in the niche and complex area of burial rights in private cemeteries (the precise legal status of such rights being unclear in English law) and specifically on the question of whether ancillary rights granted by the instruments creating such burial rights could pass to successors in title.
  • Advising AEW Europe Limited on its Festival Place Shopping Centre, Basingstoke.
  • Acting for a high-net-worth individual on the management of his extensive commercial property portfolio.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP‘s South Coast property disputes team is led by Mark Barley in Southampton, and sits within the firm’s wider property litigation practice, led by Jen Smurthwaite in Newcastle and Leeds. Much of the team’s recent work has involved acting for commercial landlords and tenants on issues arising from government shutdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic. Barley leads on the vast majority of work, with particular experience in commercial lease matters, as well as acting for clients in the telecoms industry. Vicki Young is especially noted for her work for clients with large property portfolios, and Lauren Meade is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mark Barley; Jen Smurthwaite

Other key lawyers:

Vicki Young; Lauren Meade

Testimonials

‘Mark Barley is an incredible lawyer. His advice is thorough and well thought out. He is responsive and has great commercial awareness. I am always confident that I can rely on his advice. His rates are also very competitive compared to other firms.’

Key clients

The Crown Estate

Patrizia

Addington Capital

Babcock International Group

Associated British Ports

Carpetright Limited

Ann Summers English Heritage Trust

Halifax

BDB Pitmans

With a strong team of property litigation lawyers working from the firm’s Reading office, BDB Pitmans is well equipped to advise its broad client base of developers, businesses, and individuals. Phil Smith heads up the national litigation team, and draws on his wider experience in commercial litigation to act for clients including insolvency practitioners and housebuilders, who he advises on matters arising from site acquisitions and developments. David Gwillim leads the firm’s contentious construction practice, and has experience in arbitration, mediation, adjudication and expert determination matters. Legal director David Williams covers the range of property disputes including landlord and tenant issues, dilapidations, and lease renewals, and has particular experience in distressed situations and insolvencies. Associate Sophie Squire is well regarded for her broad experience.

Practice head(s):

Phil Smith

Other key lawyers:

David Gwillim; David Williams; Sophie Squire

Testimonials

‘The team has strength in depth and is adept at allocating the right level of experience to the issue.’

‘Phil Smith and Sophie Squire are approachable and efficient.’

Key clients

Grandir UK Limited

Karali Group

Bewley Homes Plc

Brookworth Homes (Ovingdean) Limited

CALA Homes

Fairview New Homes

Montreaux Estates

Work highlights

  • Advising Fairview New Homes group on substantial litigation arising out of cladding and façade issues following changes to Building Regulations after the Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Acting for Grandir UK in defence of statutory noise nuisance proceedings connected to a nursery site.
  • Acted for CALA Homes in a High Court claim seeking specific performance by a local authority of obligations in a Section 106 Agreement.

Dean Wilson LLP

Dean Wilson LLP‘s highly regarded property litigation team provides the full spectrum support to its broad base of regional and national clients. Based in Brighton and with specialist experience in long leasehold and freehold matters, Claire Whiteman heads up the team. Gabrielle Moffatt has expertise in residential possession claims, and is developing a specialism in matters relating to fire safety, while Duncan Wilks has a strong focus on commercial insolvencies. Solicitor Daniel Dickson is well regarded for his work on disputes involving forfeiture and breach of contract.

Practice head(s):

Claire Whiteman

Other key lawyers:

Gabrielle Moffatt; Duncan Wilks; Daniel Dickson

Testimonials

‘For many years we have been associated with the firm. The supporting team are always extremely helpful and professional. One has confidence that any matters needing their attention will be dealt with efficiently and with their full knowledge of the task in hand.’

‘Claire Whiteman deserves special mention as the partner to go to. She is extremely knowledgeable and has a very professional and pragmatic approach when involved in litigation relating to leasehold matters and landlord and tenant issues. Her case presentation for hearings is especially thorough and well structured.’

‘The property litigation department is brimming with talent. In particular, Claire Whiteman and Gabrielle Moffatt, both have heavyweight property practices. All cases are dealt with robustly and with a personal touch. No matter the complexity, cases are dealt with efficiently, with excellent professionalism and clients always return. They have excellent depth within the team. A well led property team has meant that there are various up and coming junior solicitors learning from talented partners and are being prepared to be the next stars. Daniel Dickson requires particular mention. As a result the team can cover all levels of cases from the more routine to the complicated and everything in between.’

‘The level of service and personal attention from the litigation team at Dean Wilson LLP is exceptional. We work with a number of local litigation solicitors but recommend Dean Wilson to clients at every opportunity and without hesitation.’

‘Claire Whiteman and Gabrielle Moffatt are at the very top of their game and are skilled, efficient and highly competent property litigators.’

‘We work with Claire Whiteman. She is the consummate professional litigator. Strong communication skills with clients, responds promptly to requests for assistance, always seeking to avoid the need for escalation in time and costs but, once in court, a formidable opponent. We’d always want her acting for us rather than against!’

‘Highly skilled practitioners in property litigation. Approach is non-confrontational and effective in dealing with difficult people, keeping animosity to a minimum.’

Key clients

Thousand 4 1000 Cio

Shoreham Port Authority

The Leaders Romans Group

Deacons Building Services Limited

LSK Properties Limited

Perth Holdings Limited

The Connells Group (including Sequence (UK); Fox & Sons; William H Brown)

Co-Operative Group Estates Services

Debenham Property Trust

Legal Protection Group

EMW Law LLP

Headed up by James Davis, who works across the firm’s Milton Keynes and London offices, EMW Law LLP‘s property litigation team acts for clients including major commercial real estate companies, mortgage lenders and telecoms businesses. The team was strengthened by the October 2021 hire of respected real estate expert Adrian McClinton from Coffin Mew LLP. Commercial services team lead Karen Young works closely with the property litigation lawyers on disputes relating to a telecoms mast network.

Practice head(s):

James Davis

Other key lawyers:

Adrian McClinton; Karen Young

Key clients

Santander UK PLC

On-Tower No.1 Limited (and related companies known previously known as Arqiva Services Ltd)

Bidfood Ltd

CBRE Global Investors Trustee Ltd

Work highlights

  • Continuing to act for Santander UK PLC on a broad range of matters.
  • Acted for Morgan McKinley, a large recruitment company facing a significant bill for rent arrears and dilapidations.
  • Acted for Carm Group Construction in a dispute with a shareholder which threatened future property developments.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP‘s property litigation team is headed up by Mark Banham, who took over after the departure of Paul Dench to Glovers Solicitors LLP, and was promoted to partner in April 2022. The team has experience across the full spectrum of property matters, including leasehold enfranchisements, restrictive covenant enforcement work, tenant insolvencies and construction disputes, and acts for clients in the education and charity sectors as well as well-known companies and developers. Legal director Julia Mactear is also recommended. All named lawyers are based in Reading.

Practice head(s):

Mark Banham

Other key lawyers:

Julia Mactear

Testimonials

‘In-depth specialist knowledge of the practice area. Commercial and pragmatic advice.’

‘Julia Mactear – straightforward and a brilliant communicator. Gets to the heart of what the client really needs to achieve and focuses on getting there as swiftly and effectively as possible. Mark Banham – calm and organised strategist.’

‘The Field Seymour Parkes property litigation team have incredible strength in depth; they have good commercial know-how and deliver a really great product at a very reasonable price.’

‘Julia Mactear: very bright, diligent and experienced. I have worked with her on a number of cases, from beneficial co-ownership cases to drainage and riparian rights cases, and she has always impressed me with her tactical acuity and easy manner with clients. Mark Banham: recently made up to partner and well-deserved. He is a very streetwise and commercially minded litigator.’

Key clients

Euro Car Parts

Whistl

Honda

University of Reading/Thames Valley Science Park

Ascot Racecourse Limited

WSH Group

Superbowl UK

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey continues to develop its South Coast-based property litigation offering under the leadership of senior associate David Crockford. The team works closely with the firm’s cross-regional real estate dispute resolution lawyers, led by Patrick Wetherall in Bristol, and handles work for a range of clients including household names in the retail and media sectors. Crockford’s specialisms include trespass and covenants matters including release and right of light issues, which the team handles alongside commercial landlord and tenant disputes; it also acts for clients with significant property portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Wetherall; David Crockford

Testimonials

‘They are exceptionally knowledgeable and efficient, but what makes them unique is their unwavering approachability. No issue too big or small, no query is ever a ‘stupid question’ and they approach everything without ego.’

‘David Crockford stands out to me as a particular asset to Foot Anstey. Particularly ‘on the ball’, always at the end of a phone, and gives excellent advice.’

‘Foot Anstey take a holistic approach to dealing with charity property matters and work closely with us to support our own approaches and strategy.’

Key clients

Netflix Studios Limited

Netflix Inc.

B&Q Limited

Screwfix Direct Limited

Beechcroft Developments Limited

Berkeley Homes PLC

Berkeley Homes (Oxford & Chiltern) Limited

Berkeley Strategic Limited

Berkeley Homes (Western) Limited

New Horizon Homes

Westward Housing

Newcross Healthcare Limited

Dandara Group

Direct Wines Limited

Gregory Distribution Limited

M Baker (Retail) Limited

Work highlights

  • Settled High Court proceedings for Netflix at mediation.
  • Advised Screwfix on issues arising across its national portfolio.

Gardner Leader LLP

Michelle Di Gioia leads Gardner Leader LLP‘s property litigation team from the firm’s Newbury office, and brings particular experience in professional negligence issues. The firm acts on matters from adverse possession claims and evictions to disputes over rights of way and water courses. Alastair Goggins leads the wider dispute resolution team, and Andrew Shipp has expertise in lease and boundary disputes and matters relating to construction projects.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Goggins; Michelle Di Gioia

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Shipp

Testimonials

‘A team with broad capabilities and depth. The size and strength of this practice enables their adaptability to changing requirements and time scales.’

‘I have dealt with Alastair Goggins and a team assembled by him. Alastair has been very engaging and easy to work with, evidently very knowledgeable and capable in his field and a good communicator in all discussions and communications that I have had with him. His team have all been efficient, effective and easy to work with.’

‘Approachable and pragmatic. Get the job done.’

‘My organisation engaged with Gardner Leader on the sale of one and then the purchase of another commercial property. Neither the sale nor the purchase were straight forward transactions. However, GL’s experience and knowledge, including their attention to detail and advice, was such that we have the confidence that there will be no issues over ownership and accountability with either property in the future.’

‘The firm is a strong and growing regional firm with an excellent and friendly team.’

‘I work with partners Michelle di Gioia, Alastair Goggins and Andrew Shipp – all of whom are enjoyable to work with, commercially minded and effective lawyers.’

‘The property litigators at Gardner Leader LLP provide a high quality of service, in a modern, efficient and approachable way. There is a high level of genuine care taken for clients and a determination to achieve the best realistic result, whether that be via a litigated or negotiated result. I would recommend the firm without hesitation.’

‘Andrew Shipp is extremely experienced and remains reassuringly calm under pressure. He is pragmatic in his decision-making and is well prepared to do what is necessary to put a client in the best possible position in any given dispute. There is no cutting corners. He genuinely cares about getting the right result for his clients.’

Key clients

Managed Legal Solutions Limited

Work highlights

  • Regularly act for a local building society in relation to mortgage re-possession claims.

Machins Solicitors LLP

Located within the firm’s broader dispute resolution team and headed up by Neil O’Callaghan , Machins Solicitors LLP‘s property litigation offering provides services to a wide range of clients including landlords, tenants and developers in the commercial and residential spheres. With over 25 years’ experience, Janice Young handles matters including commercial rent arrears, leasehold enfranchisements and lease extensions, and disputes over restrictive covenants and easements. The ‘responsive and attentiveHolly Baker is well regarded for her breadth of knowledge and experience, and the January 2022 hire of associate Ben Walters further strengthens the team. All named lawyers are based in Luton.

Practice head(s):

Neil O’Callaghan

Other key lawyers:

Janice Young; Holly Baker; Ben Walters

Testimonials

‘Over the years I have had dealings with 3 different partners/associates due to the complexity and length my dispute has taken. I have found them all most efficient in their work.’

‘Clear concise information provided with regular updates on cases. Staff easy to talk to and personable which is welcomed on difficult cases. Very knowledgeable if they don’t know they will find out and report back.’

‘Machins have more than fulfilled our expectations. They are approachable, responsive and clearly know what they are talking about. As well as their legal support, they have made our lives much easier. We know that we can depend on them and that they are doing the best they can for us. That means a great deal in this area of law.’

‘Although I have worked with several solicitors at Machins, Holly Baker stands out. She is incredibly easy to work with, has a fantastic grasp of tactics and is unflappable. If litigation is war, she is the sort of solicitor that you would want with you in a foxhole.’

‘Holly Baker is very friendly and helpful. All of my experiences with Holly have been incredibly positive, with prompt communication at all times. When I have had to ask Holly for assistance, she has been able to explain the issues that have arisen in an appropriate manner for my level of understanding.’

‘Both Holly Baker and Janice Young are very competent and client focused.’

‘Holly Baker was excellent and handled our case with professionalism and skill. She was very responsive and knowledgeable in her field and resolved our claim as quickly as possible.’

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP

With a team of lawyers working across the firm’s offices in Brighton, Lewes and East Grinstead, Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP is well placed to handle a range of property litigation work for its client base of local and regional businesses, investors, and individuals. Practice head Helen Bell (in Brighton) is especially experienced in disputes involving multiple parties and complex title disputes. Lewes-based Jo Ironside focuses on leasehold enfranchisement work, and Marika Monaghan works from the East Grinstead office, where she primarily handles rural property disputes, with recent work concerning issues involving Japanese knotweed and drainage. Paul Rooke in Brighton rounds out the team with a strong commercial landlord and tenant practice.

Practice head(s):

Helen Bell

Other key lawyers:

Jo Ironside; Marika Monaghan; Paul Rooke

Testimonials

‘Long established, experts in their field. Regional firm size & clout.’

‘Helen Bell – well established, diligent, conscientious and a true specialist. Always goes the extra mile for her clients.’

‘There is good interaction between the property transactional lawyers and the litigation department which was essential for an enfranchisement case I worked on with the firm. Strong specialist knowledge of residential leasehold matters.’

‘Marika Monaghan. Knowledgeable, hardworking and thorough. A pleasure to deal with.’

‘Helen Bell is determined to achieve a good outcome for her clients.’

Key clients

Harvey & Son (Lewes) Ltd

Hargreaves Properties Limited

Essex Court Investments Limited

Portslade –by-Sea (Investments) Limited

33A Brunswick Square (Hove) Limited

Britekey Limited

Hadstone Limited

Work highlights

  • Obtained an order for clients stating that they were entitled to acquire the freehold of a building and were awarded costs.
  • Succeeded in a disputed boundary matter, which resulted in the boundary being agreed and the accessway to the property being returned to the client’s ownership.

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore‘s property litigation team is headed up by Tunbridge Wells-based Mark Steggles and acts for a range of clients from landlords and developers to charities. Steggles has particular experience in insolvency litigation, while Alison Sparks is well known for her work for pension funds and clients in the food sector. The team is bolstered by its strong ties to the firm’s commercial property department, and covers the spectrum of commercial and residential matters for both landlords and tenants.

Practice head(s):

Mark Steggles

Other key lawyers:

Alison Sparks

Testimonials

‘A first class team that punches above its weight outside of London. Technically and commercially sound and always looking for innovative ways to deal with complex situations.’

‘Very approachable and knowledgeable.’

‘Mark Steggles cuts through the fog and concentrates on the detail with a view to finding a resolution.’

‘Alison Sparks – calm and organised. Approachable with excellent communication skills.’

‘Mark Steggles – works extremely hard, excellent with clients always with an eye on ensuring work is cost effective, superb legal knowledge.’

‘My dealings are with partner, Alison Sparks. Most of the work we do is boundary related issues, although there is some Landlord and Tenant work. Her grasp of what is important on a matter is good and she is often prepared to visit the property if that is necessary to better understand the case. In matters where we have been on opposite sides, she will advise clients about the practical realities of the situation to reach a sensible settlement.’

Key clients

The Association of Conservative Clubs Limited

Royal British Legion Industries Limited

COOK

Bollo Property Developments Limited

Fernham Homes Limited

Brakes (a Sysco company)

Paragon Development Finance Limited

Chatham Maritime Trust

Yellow Bridge Capital Partners

Close Brothers Property Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised Close Brothers in relation to a development site in Greater London where the developer fell into financial difficulty.
  • Assisting COOK Trading with the management of its large property portfolio, including guidance regarding the process of renewing tenancies and lease renewals.
  • Advised Fernham Homes on the freehold reversion on a number of development sites, which have a significant value.

Adams & Remers

Adams & Remers‘ Lewes-based property and land dispute resolution team covers a broad range of work, with particular expertise in the agricultural sector. Andrew Pawlik heads up the broader litigation team, while David Barrett leads the property litigation offering.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Pawlik; David Barrett

Testimonials

‘A good team headed by Andrew Pawlik, an exceptional organiser with sound judgment.’

‘David Barrett is consistently excellent. Clients love him, he is very calm (eerily calm!) at all times, but that doesn’t change his ability to fight the client’s case hard. He has being doing property litigation for such a long time he brings a huge amount of experience to a case.’

Work highlights

  • Advised ArcelorMittal Kent Wire Limited I relation to its substantial holding at Chatham docks in the context of possible redevelopment and tenancy issues.
  • Advised C Henry Bond & Co. in relation to its extensive portfolio of land and properties and dealing with land and title issues arising.

B P Collins LLP

Led by Phil Hind, who was promoted to partner in May 2021, B P Collins LLP‘s property disputes department provides the full spectrum of support to a varied client list of high-net-worth individuals and businesses. Hind’s experience covers rights of way issues, restrictive covenants, dilapidations, break clauses, and residential landlord and tenant disputes. He is supported by associates Elliot Brookes and Manjot Dhillon.

Practice head(s):

Phil Hind

Other key lawyers:

Elliot Brookes; Manjot Dhillon

Testimonials

‘Outstanding property litigation team led by Phil Hind.’

‘Phil Hind – covers a range of property litigation from the straightforward to the obscure, technical and challenging – all with his characteristic calm. An incisive lawyer with a talent for litigation and getting the best outcome for his clients.’

‘I feel that clients who are represented by B P Collins get properly ‘looked after’. Most law firms provide excellent legal advice, but I have a sense that B P Collins really care.’

‘Manjot Dhillon is a truly first-rate solicitor. She provides excellent legal advice to her clients, sometimes in very difficult circumstances, and has a superb manner. It is a delight to be instructed on matters where Manjot has been involved.’

‘Phil Hinds has a wide-ranging portfolio of clients and the ability to achieve commercial outcomes based upon imaginative application of the law.’

‘Great client base, very hard-working and well-organised team who work together cohesively.’

‘Phil Hind is an excellent lawyer and head of department. You can trust his advice. Manjot Dhillon and Elliott Brookes are also very accomplished lawyers who have a keen eye for detail and take pride in their work, and finding the correct answer to knotty problems.’

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Working out of the firm’s Reading and Thames Valley offices, Blandy & Blandy LLP‘s property litigation team acts for commercial and residential clients on a range of matters including lease extensions, enfranchisements, and trusts of land disputes. The property litigation offering is led by Jonathan Dinsdale, who joined from Howell-Jones LLP in April 2022. Asma Muneer is also recommended, while consultant Philip D’Arcy supports the team.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Dinsdale

Other key lawyers:

Philip D’Arcy; Asma Muneer

Testimonials

‘The solicitor we used was very approachable and ready to talk through any problems we had at any time or would call us back promptly if she was busy. She patiently explained the rationale for her decision making. She checked with us to ensure we were in agreement with future actions at each step of the legal process and was prepared to change her stance according to the feedback we gave her.’

‘Blandy & Blandy are an exceptional regional firm with a long standing and excellent reputation for providing solid and practical advice. I have always found them very easy to work with because their messaging is clear and always appropriate. Put simply, they have always been a joy to work with and continue to be.’

‘The team have a number of different people they can call on with different levels of experience. We were kept informed of the costs in advance of any work done for us so we knew what to expect with regard to invoices. The costs were explained in an easy to understand way.’

‘Asma Muneer stands out for trusts of land and cohabitation cases. Her ability to provide detailed and comprehensive instructions is exceptional, as are her client handling skills in what can be extremely difficult and emotive cases. She is always professional and easily able to project to her clients (and me) a positive perspective and outlook.’

‘I have worked with Asma Muneer. She is easy to work with and has always updated me on developments in the case.’

‘Friendly and approachable across all departments.’

‘The legal advice and professional approach that we have received is exceptional. We have needed help with various different employment issues and were kept up to date on the Covid laws and rules. We have also received help with the ending of our current lease.’

Key clients

Englefield Estate Trust Corporation Ltd

BEN – Motor & Allied Trades Benevolent Fund

Boys & Maughan

Boys & Maughan‘s property litigation team is jointly headed up by Andrew Baker, Matt Champ and Paul Reeves. Baker’s clients include building contractors, landlords, developers, marinas, and parish councils, and he also leads the firm’s dispute resolution team. Champ handles a range of work, including high-value developments, with niche experience in common constructive trusts, and Reeves is known for his contentious work for landlords and letting agents. All named lawyers are based in Margate.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Baker; Matt Champ; Paul Reeves

Testimonials

‘Boys & Maughan field one of the larger teams in the South East – they provide a wide range of property-related services, covering everything from telecoms work to cohabitee disputes. They are very down-to-earth but are capable of working extremely hard when necessary.’

‘Matt Champ is the head of litigation and the stand out individual. He manages a very diverse and large case load with aplomb. He keeps calm under pressure and gives clear guidance in complicated cases. He is also very good with clients and is capable of developing good working relationships with his opponents.’

‘This firm provides ‘city’ quality representation at provincial prices. It is difficult to overstate the lengths to which they go to handle their clients’ needs. They provide excellent instructions to counsel and possess a detailed knowledge of the law in their areas of expertise.’

‘Matt Champ is an extremely hard-working and knowledgeable lawyer. Nothing is too much trouble for him. He manages difficult clients brilliantly; they sing his praises. Mr Champ also has a very detailed knowledge of the law. He can be relied upon to give excellent advice but also knows when to seek outside assistance. He is modest and does not indulge in aggressive or unnecessary correspondence. His drafting is concise and persuasive.’

‘Boys & Maughan have been very helpful in dealing with a variety of issues involving restrictive covenants. They respond promptly to queries with full and knowledgeable replies, giving good legal advice, which assists in weighing up options open to us.’

Key clients

Trevor Archbold

Spencer Russon

Graham Woodruff

Mr C

Residential Marine Ltd

KF

RB

Work highlights

  • Handled a claim for relief from forfeiture on a property in Vicarage Gate, London valued in excess of £2m.
  • Advised Residential Marine Ltd on a claim relating to ownership of land that has arisen as a result of historic unlawful dumping of concrete into the River Medway involving the doctrine of accretion and diluvion.
  • Handled 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 property litigation offering is split between its dedicated property litigation team, which sits within the commercial litigation department, and its landlord and tenant team. Gina Peters heads up the landlord and tenant team, specialising in residential landlord and tenancy work, including drafting tenancy applications and handling possession claims. Senior associate Louise James leads the property litigation team and handles the range of landlord and tenant disputes, including tenant defaults, possession claims and dilapidations. Claire Bunton is also recommended, and senior partner Robert Bolwell is a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Gina Peters; Louise James

Other key lawyers:

Claire Bunton; Robert Bolwell

Testimonials

‘Dutton Gregory’s legal services are client focused; they bring their expertise to bear in a cost effective way, mindful of the level of knowledge the client has in legal matters, taking time to explain the process and the rationale for their advice. Their network of legal counsel has proved to be invaluable for our needs.’

‘Louise James, very efficient and approachable, good judgment, and good with clients and experts.’

‘Louise James is pragmatic in advising on property litigation matters.’

‘Louise James has been a standout solicitor for us. She balances risk and cost, makes pragmatic recommendations, has an empathetic approach to working with us and is always across the detail. She builds trusting relationships where we value her advice.’

‘Louise James has always been the consummate professional, I have great respect for her knowledge and the ability to explain process in a comprehensible manner, her unwavering duty to the court, awareness of all parties involved and the limitations of her role.’

Herrington Carmichael LLP

Led by Adrian Taylor from the firm’s Camberley office, Herrington Carmichael LLP‘s real estate litigation team handles both residential and commercial work for a range of predominantly regional clients. Frankie Tierney is especially well regarded for her experience acting for landowners, developers and investors, while senior solicitor Mark Robertson has expertise in real estate professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Frankie Tierney; Mark Robertson

Testimonials

‘Herrington Carmichael’s experienced property litigators have a breadth of expertise, enabling them to find solutions to legal problems associated with property in a wide range of contexts. They offer versatility and commercial common sense in property litigation.’

‘From the minute we met Frankie Tierney her advice was absolutely correct and solid. She did a very efficient and reasonably priced job, very well done.’

‘Frankie Tierney at HC was spot on in her advice from day one and read the situation perfectly, I would not hesitate to recommend her to any person in the same boat.’

‘Frankie Tierney is extremely knowledgeable in the Property Litigation area and has the ability to explain everything to you and ensures that you have a full understanding of every step that will be taken. I was kept informed at every stage of the process, which in total took 18 months to settle due to Covid and the Courts not operating. During this time I was always kept informed of all progress that was being made. I was also kept up to date regarding the current costs and future cost.’

‘Frankie Tierney is efficient, compassionate and understanding to your actual personal case. Nothing is too much trouble and you are kept informed at all times.’

‘Frankie Tierney was very professional, keeping us updated and giving us everything we needed to support us.’

‘Frankie Tierney, Adrian Taylor and Mark Robertson are always on top of their brief, and have a full understanding of the legal landscape that their clients will need to navigate to achieve their goals.’

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP‘s team acts for clients across a range of sectors, with experience in the retail and leisure industries and a developing focus on telecoms matters. David Eminton leads the practice, and is well regarded for his work on high-value and complex dilapidations, while Cliff Morris has experience in boundary and right of way disputes. Nicola Davies, who was recently promoted to partner, is especially well regarded for her commercial landlord and tenant work. Associate Lucy Taggart is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

David Eminton

Other key lawyers:

Cliff Morris; Nicola Davies; Lucy Taggart

Testimonials

‘I have always found this team to be excellent not only in their advice to their clients but also their balanced view of the case. They are always quick to respond to queries and show a high level of patience in difficult situations.’

‘Extremely experienced in dispute resolution in property rental matters. Expert understanding of the relevant aspects of the legal system.’

‘Robust knowledge and experience in real estate matters. ‘

‘Paris Smith have an excellent knowledge of law relating to a variety of different fields. They are generally highly efficient and their staff are reachable and helpful.’

‘David Eminton – very experienced and competent. Nicola Davies – very capable, good on landlord and tenant matters.’

‘Nicola Davies: excellent in all respects.’

‘They are extremely professional and go out of their way to keep you informed of case progression on an ongoing basis, without having to chase. You can always rely on them to deliver a good result, particularly Lucy Taggart in commercial property issues.’

‘Lucy Taggart always keeps us up to date. Gives very good advice – very active and knowledgeable. An excellent solicitor. Highly recommend.’

Key clients

Lumen Technologies UK Limited

The Co-Operative Group Limited

Hillier Nurseries Limited

Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Richmond Motor Group

Marwell Zoological Park

Haven Leisure Group – part of Bourne Leisure Limited

YMCA Fairthorne

Millbrook Healthcare Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting on varied matters for the Bourne Leisure Group, including acting for Haven Leisure in implementing strategies to enable the redevelopment of individual premises by serving hostile s.25 Notices and opposing renewal claims brought by the tenants.
  • Assisting and advising Richmond Cars Limited on strategies to enable the client to fulfil its redevelopment plans and occupation of more space across the South Coast and in particular taking possession of leased commercial premises using grounds of opposition based on an intention to redevelop in order to do so.
  • Handling a complex Upper Tribunal claim for Southern Fisheries Limited that involved a lease that allowed a party to extract fish and to maintain the land.

PDT Solicitors

Working across the firm’s commercial property and dispute resolution departments, PDT Solicitors‘ property litigation team provides the full spectrum of support to a varied client base. Gail Morris leads the team, acting for property developers, commercial landlords and tenants, housing associations, financial advisers, and individual property owners. Craig Burton heads up the closely linked commercial landlord and tenant team, and James Clewlow is also recommended. All named lawyers are based in Horsham.

Practice head(s):

Gail Morris

Other key lawyers:

Craig Burton; James Clewlow

Testimonials

‘It was a pleasure working with the Property Litigation team. The team was friendly, very professional, and knowledgeable in its delivery. We particularly liked the well-evaluated options, advice provided, and the recommendations. We always felt confident that the team genuinely had our interests at heart throughout. To our delight, the outcome of the cases handled was favourable and fully met our expectations.’

‘All members of staff, whether associates or partners, are helpful, available when needed and capable of offering constructive sound advice.’

‘We had a very experienced lead partner working on the assignment, supported by a newly promoted partner with specialist knowledge on property issues. The team was very knowledgeable and achieved our assignment objectives very successfully. The standout qualities of the partnership team included its customer focus and demonstrable empathy with our business objectives, along with its ability to negotiate successful outcomes with the counterparty solicitors, which obviated the need to go to court and saved us substantial costs.’

‘Gail Morris: always ready to take the time to analyse the issues and take a pragmatic view of all options.’

‘The team provide an absolutely top-drawer service, equal to any London boutique firm in expertise and efficiency.’

‘Gail Morris is a dream to work with – technically astute, but intensely pragmatic and commercially minded. A tough but fair negotiator, she is equally at home with blue chip companies as with individual residential clients.’

‘The team is very hands-on when seeking to resolve any issues for their clients. I have seen first-hand how the team works together to ensure the best possible outcome.’

‘Gail Morris has an excellent knowledge of property law and her attention to detail is second to none. She will always fight hard for her client’s corner. James Clewlow is a fantastic client-focused partner. He leaves no stone unturned.’

Work highlights

  • National housing association – Achieved judgment at Trial for heavily disputed service charge arrears.
  • Mr David Hawkins –pursued Tribunal proceedings in relation to a contest boundary determination leading to a successful settlement just ahead of the final Hearing.
  • Carunion Ltd – Represented a multiple pharmacy operator in relation to a business lease renewal, including issuing and progressing protective Court proceedings before negotiating a settlement.

Pinney Talfourd LLP

Pinney Talfourd LLP‘s Hornchurch-based property litigation team is headed up by Stephen Eccles, who has broad experience across commercial and residential property matters, including handling many commercial lease renewals. Lisa Eastwood acts for landlords and tenants, as well as dealing with trusts of land matters for investment companies and families. Oliver-James Topping rounds out the team’s offering, and was recently promoted to associate.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Eccles

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Eastwood; Oliver-James Topping

Testimonials

‘Very thorough in their approach and ability to engage with all parties. Diligent and also extremely commercially minded.’

‘From my dealings with Pinney Talfourd they have earned my total trust and complete confidence. My experience is that the whole team’s ethos is one of excellence which results in outstanding performance. They give excellent advice and have regard to the individual’s personal circumstances. It is always easy to make contact with them and I have always been impressed with their quick response time and efficiency.’

‘I was very happy at the speed and efficiency of the team, who were quick and very responsive to my queries and finally concluded the matter in hand to my satisfaction. I was pleased with their efficiency and work they did for me. Would definitely recommend to my colleagues if they need new solicitors.’

‘This team of solicitors are all extremely knowledgeable in their field.’

‘Stephen Eccles has proved his value when dealing with my property portfolio, in particular a longstanding dispute. I had come to an impasse but with Stephen’s involvement, his expertise brought the matter to a timely conclusion. His sound, relevant, concise advice and explanation of my options enabled me to decide which course of action best suited my circumstances.’

‘The solicitor we use is Lisa Eastwood and she is excellent. She is highly professional and is willing to listen to her clients as well as give them her expert advice. She is totally absorbed with our case and does not often have to refer to her case notes as she is very good at being on point from memory and only has to occasionally refer to her case notes. She has been our lifeline throughout a very difficult time in our lives.’

‘Stephen Eccles has great commercial acumen and sees the litigation from the client’s commercial perspective. Good communication skills and excellent at ensuring that transactions get progressed and dealt with in a timely manner.’

‘Oliver-James Topping is very good. I worked with him on a difficult short residential lease problem with a difficult background and he dealt with it excellently.’

Key clients

Connells

Sequence (UK) Limited

Abbey Developments Limited

A.M.O.S Properties

Kiani Group

Sevring Limited

Sevring One Limited

Textile Recycling and Aid International Limited

UK Aggregates Limited

New Homes Group

Countrywide Estate Agents

Work highlights

  • Acted for a charity with multiple leasehold properties in connection with a lease renewal of its head office.
  • Rrepresented a client in protracted negotiations concerning a professional negligence dispute regarding a lease renewal transaction with the client’s former solicitors.
  • Represented the joint owner of a property in successfully challenging a last-minute restriction which was impeding a £1.65m property sale.

TWM Solicitors LLP

TWM Solicitors LLP‘s property litigation offering is comprised of two teams: the dispute resolution group, led by David Hitchcock, and the collective enfranchisement team, led by David Stockley. The teams are both based in Guildford, and work closely together to act for clients ranging from commercial and residential landlords and tenants to developers and investors. Experienced litigator Eileen Barry (based in Wimbledon) has experience in acting for SMEs and high-net-worth individuals, and managing associate Simon Burdett-Dixon is recommended for his experience in landlord and tenant and real property matters.

Other key lawyers:

Eileen Barry; Simon Burdett-Dixon

Testimonials

‘A strong regional firm with a good property litigation offering.’

‘A well-respected and high-profile team in the Guildford area, reliably led by David Hitchcock.’

‘I have worked with TWM for many years. They are a friendly and accessible company and able to explain complex issues to the clients with ease. Due to the proactive way they deal with cases, I have no hesitation in recommending them to my clients to assist them with disputed matters, particularly as they communicate well and provide my clients with clear, informative direction in respect of disputed matters.’

‘A strong all round team, very able and efficient in delivering for the client, good balance of technical legal ability, strategic and commercial awareness, and client care.’

‘David Hitchcock brings a wealth of experience and practicality to property disputes and is an asset on any case. He gets counsel on board early in a dispute and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Simon Burdett-Dixon is knowledgeable and responsive. He has a good understanding of dispute resolution procedures and manages cases well to ensure that they proceed positively. Simon has a good understanding of the Party Wall Act and works well with other professionals.’

‘TWM has great subject expertise in the leasehold areas we require. They provide timely communications and understandable explanations of matters. They are straightforward and friendly to deal with. Their subject expertise and the application of this to our matters is superior to the three firms previously used.’

Key clients

Nuffield Health

Bishop’s Move

Lucas Design & Construction Limited

Lodgecrest Limited

Asprey Homes Limited

Tindle Newspapers Limited

Midos Group of Companies

Keystone Property Finance

Foundation Home Loans

Work highlights

  • Advised a property investment group on a claim against Vodafone in a contested lease renewal.
  • Advised landlords on an extensive dilapidations claim affecting a c.£5m domestic investment property.
  • Advised a landlord on issues with Thames Water that were holding up completion of a lease of a new London University campus building.