Hall Of Fame

Property litigation in Wales

Berry Smith

'A small but fast-growing team with a burgeoning reputation', Berry Smith's two partner offering provides an ' exceptional service' to property companies, high-net-worth-individuals and public sector clients. 'A robust litigator with strong commercial awareness', team head Simon Care has been pivotal to the firm's success in the area and has 'encyclopaedic knowledge' across a range of matters, including as it relates to easements, restrictive covenants and landlord and tenant disputes. Iwan Doull also regularly handles property litigation mandates as part of his wider commercial litigation remit and has a particular focus on property disputes and associated claims for professional negligence.

Practice head(s):

Simon Care

Testimonials

‘The team balances risk against the client’s wider objectives, working in partnership to find practical ways through issues.’

‘They are problem solvers and provide excellent practical advice.’

‘A small but fast-growing team with a burgeoning reputation and client-base. They punch well above their weight, provide an exceptional service and consistently deliver favourable outcomes for their clients at reasonable cost.’

‘The outstanding Simon Care has a great level of legal understanding.’

‘Simon Care is outstanding and I would recommend him highly. He is an expert in understanding his client and their needs. He maintains high standards, thinks the case out thoroughly and when needed can think outside the box.’

‘Simon Care’s approachable down to earth attitude to problem solving is first class.’

‘Simon Care stands out amongst his competitors for his cleverness, attention to detail and encyclopaedic knowledge of law. He is a robust litigator but with a strong commercial awareness. It is difficult to think of a better lawyer in this practice area.’

‘Jane Rees was outstanding in all aspects including clarity of communication, quality of advice given etc.’

Key clients

Welsh Government

ARAG Plc

BBI Group

Misha Manson-Smith

Denbighshire County Council

Misha Manson-Smith

Johnsey Estates (UK) Limited

Storage Giant Limited

Lorax Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending two separate claims brought against the Welsh Government by the landlord and tenant of adjoining land which the claimants allege was flooded because of major development works undertaken on the land owned by Welsh Government.
  • Successfully represented a long leaseholder of two commercial units in a claim against the landlord for unreasonably withholding consent to sublet the property.
  • Defended Denbighshire County Council against a £1.2m claim for compensation arising out of the compulsory purchase of a substantial, but long-derelict property in North Wales.

Blake Morgan LLP

Headed by Siân Jones , the 'cost effective and knowledgeable' team at Blake Morgan LLP provides 'clear and concise advice' to a balanced mix of private and public sector clients across a wide range of property litigation, including in the context of dilapdiation claims, lease reneawals and easement claims. As well as receiving a significant flow of litigation work for commercial clients with large property portfolios, Jones also regularly represents housing association clients across the spectrum of disputes, including as defendants in disrepair claims.

Practice head(s):

Sian Jones

Other key lawyers:

Adam Carbis; Tanya Barrett

Testimonials

They are very approachable whilst providing a consistent, caring and professional service.’

The cost-effective team is extremely adept and knowledgeable in their field of expertise. They provide clear and concise advice in a timely manner.’ 

Key clients

Welsh Government

Canary Wharf Group

Vale Europe Limited

Swansea University

Cardiff University

Wales & West Utilities Limited

Swansea County Council

PHS Group

Royal National Institute for the Blind

Shanly Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Canary Wharf Group on its retail portfolio management including challenges to CVAs, rent recovery; implications of regulations introduced as a result of the pandemic.
  • Advised a London-based independent restaurant group on  contested lease renewal proceedings in respect of its headquarters and primary restaurant on grounds of redevelopment.
  • Represented Sorbon Estates Limited  in relation to unopposed lease renewal proceedings commenced by its tenant, Wilko Retail Limited in respect of retail premises.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Now headed by Rob Phillips following his arrival in January 2022 from Hugh James and the subsequent retirement of Kathryn Cook in April 2022, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP maintains its market-leading position for a loyal roster of primarily private sector clients across the spectrum of their property-related disputes. Phillips himself brings niche expertise across mineral rights which will add further weight behind the team's already strong presence in the renewables sector, in particular. Other core areas of strength for the team as whole include servicing its large roster of financial services (including REITs, SIPPs and Propcos), transport and utilities clients.

Practice head(s):

Rob Phillips

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Gilligan ; Amy Acres

Testimonials

The team is extremely dedicated and provides first-rate advice handling a range of complex litigation and smaller routine work.’

‘They provide clear and precise advice and show a willingness to pick up urgent matters.’

Key clients

Annington Property Limited

Thames Water Utilities Limited

Legal & General

Associated British Ports

Highways England

The Welsh Ministers

Transport for London

Transport for Wales

HMV Retail Limited

Telereal Trillium

Segro Plc

Namulas Pension Trustees Limited

Romulus Group

Work highlights

    Geldards LLP

    Displaying an 'unflustered approach to complex litigation', including in the context of landlord and tenant disputes, Geldards LLP provides 'thorough and well-considered advice' to an eclectic mix of public and private sector clients, including many major retail clients with sizeable property portfolios. Team head Ed Meggitt  has vast experience in the space, including on behalf of portfolio clients on estate management and the protection of their assets, as well as for utility companies, particularly in the context of property-related issues arising in the water industry. Nicola Lawrence  provides 'comprehensive and clear advice' to clients across a range of discrete disputes, as well as litigation arising in a portfolio management context. Associate Llinos Davies  provides 'a combination of quality and practical advice in a pragmatic manner' and has developed particularly strong ties with retail clients, who she regularly represents on disputed lease renewals.

    Practice head(s):

    Ed Meggitt

    Other key lawyers:

    Nicola Lawrence; Llinos Davies

    Testimonials

    The team works well together and the quality of advice is very thorough and well considered.’

    They display an unflustered approach to complex litigation.’

    Nicola Lawrence provides comprehensive and clear advice.’

    Llinos Davies provides both a combination of quality and practical advice in a pragmatic manner. She is forthright when necessary but she always has the clients’ best interest heart.’

    I have worked with both Nicola Lawrence and Llinos Davies for a number of years and their thorough evaluation of an issue ensures comprehensive advice is clear with all options carefully explored and clearly explained.’

    Key clients

    Woden Park Limited

    Boots Opticians Professional Services Limited

    Western Power Distribution

    Principality Building Society

    Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

    Boots UK Limited

    National Resources Wales

    Air Ambulance Wales

    Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

    Snowdonia National Park

    Royal Voluntary Service

    Work highlights

    • Advising Boots UK on part of its national portfolio of real estate stores and properties. In particular, in dealing with lease renewals and all contentious aspects arising from the leasehold estate.
    • Advising clients in the water and electricity sector on property dispute issues arising from their vast estates.
    • Represented the Claimant in a case of breach of covenants, whereby the erection of a two-storeysignificant extension and adjoining wall was in clear breach of restrictive covenants imposed by a transfer of land.

    Acuity Law

    Led by newly appointed partner Jennifer Butcher, Acuity Law‘s two-partner team provides a ‘cost-effective service’ to a range of local and national private, public and third sector clients across the gamut of their property litigation requirements. Butcher provides ‘responsive, informed and commercial’ advice to a range of primarily private sector clients, including landlords and tenants, developers and financial services clients, including on matters relating to boundary disputes, adverse possession and lease renewals. Although he does handle some private sector work, Neil Morgan‘s main strength lies in the public/third sector, particularly in the context of social housing.

    Practice head(s):

    Jennifer Butcher

    Other key lawyers:

    Neil Morgan

    Testimonials

    ‘The team provides a cost-effective service.’

    ‘Jennifer Butcher is responsive, informed and commercial.’ 

    ‘The team have a good range of skills to be able to support a wide range of disciplines. Our business is expanding and entering new markets and Acuity have been able to support us throughout.’

    ‘Neil Morgan is a brilliant property lawyer. He is very experienced, intelligent and dogged. He is also a pleasure to work with.’

    Key clients

    Rightacres Property Company Limited

    Alltrust Sipp Limited

    Cloth Cat Animation Limited

    Lemon Pepper Holdings Limited

    Redwave Films (Uk) Limited

    Coastal Housing Group

    Barcud Cyf

    Melin Homes

    Ateb Group

    Work highlights

    • Representing Rightacres Property Company Limited in a number of property-related disputes concerning their high- value and high-profile developments across South Wales.
    • Advising Coastal Housing in relation to all of their property related disputes.
    • Representing Melin Homes on all of their housing disrepair claims and successfully defending the large majority of these claims.

    Capital Law Limited

    Combining its strong overarching dispute resolution expertise with specific property sector knowledge, Capital Law Limited regularly represents owners, landlords, tenants and developers, both in litigation, as well as from a crisis management perspective. Although it is active across a range of industry sectors, the firm is particularly well regarded for its work in the healthcare industry, an area that 'excellent' team head Stephen Meade  is particularly well-known.

    Practice head(s):

    Stephen Meade

    Other key lawyers:

    Stacey Whittle; Clare Good; Angharad Aspinall

    Testimonials

    ‘The practice has a strong presence in the health care sector.’

    ‘Stephen Meade – excellent, highly competent partner.’

    ‘Clare Goode – a rising star, one of the best solicitors, if not the best, that I have ever worked with.’

    ‘Stephen Meade – Very experienced with excellent management and client handling skills.’

    Key clients

    British Medical Association

    Valleys to Coast Housing Ltd

    Associated British Ports

    Welsh Local Government Lawyers Association

    Cardiff Athletic Club

    Enterprise Rent-A-Car

    Hang Fire Limited

    Ascona Estates Limited

    Howard Tenens Group

    BMA Law

    Newydd Housing Association

    Work highlights

    • Advising many GPs and GP partnerships with disputes relating to their partnerships and premises.
    • Representing the BMA and five test claimant GP practices in their High Court claim against NHSPS challenging the basis of these demanded service charges.
    • Representing a client in its defence of a claim for possession and damages claimed by an adjacent landowner. The dispute involves a complex assessment of damages.

    Dolmans

    Headed by Philip Bradley, Dolmans has a particularly strong grounding in pursuing and defending a range of property litigation, including cases involving trespass, boundary disputes and covenant breaches. Drawing upon its deeply rooted public sector ties, the team is, however, best-known for its representation of local authorities, including in the defence of public nuisance claims relating to flooding, light pollution and Japanese Knotweed infestation.

    Practice head(s):

    Philip Bradley

    Key clients

    Bridgend County Borough council

    Merthyr Tydfil CBC

    Torfaen CBC

    Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC

    Powys County Council

    Dorset Council

    Somerset County Council

    Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

    Atlantic Recycling Ltd

    Work highlights

      Douglas-Jones Mercer

      Led by the 'responsive and very knowledgeable' Russell Price, Douglas-Jones Mercer is best-known for its representation of public sector clients across the panoply of their property litigation needs. In this context, the team has developed a particular strength acting for health care clients, including strong reputation advising public sector clients, including a plethora of health care sector bodies, including all three Welsh NHS Trusts and all seven Welsh Health Boards. On the private sector front Price also regularly provides estate management support for the firm's impressive roster of SIPP providers.

      Practice head(s):

      Russell Price

      Testimonials

      The firm provides excellent advice that is clear and concise.’

      ‘Russell Price is responsive and very knowledgeable.’

      ‘Swift and professional service. Happy to give advice as opposed to just describe options and scenarios. Excellent value for money.’

      Key clients

      Welsh Government

      Public Health Wales NHS Trust

      Pembrokeshire County Council

      Girl Guiding UK

      Shaw Healthcare (Group) Ltd

      Four Counties (Holdings) Ltd

      Longford Investments (No.1) Ltd

      Players Industrial Estate LLP

      Estateways PLC

      Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

      Pobl Group (including Gwalia Housing Association)

      Sanlam Life & Pensions UK Limited

      Public Health Wales NHS Trust

      Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

      Cardiff & Vale University Local Health Board

      Carmarthenshire County Borough Council

      Swansea Bay University Local Health Board

      Personal Pension Trustees Limited (Division of JLT Group PLC)

      Powys Teaching Health Board

      Velindre NHS Trust

      JLT Group PLC

      Toast Mail Order Limited

      Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

      Jehu Project Services Limited

      Isle of Anglesey County Council

      Capital Valley Plastics Ltd

      Picture House Management Company Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised NHS Wales Estates (on behalf of various NHS Trusts/Welsh Boards) on various strategic matters related to adaption of hospitals, field hospitals and vaccination centres throughout Wales – related to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
      • Advising Capital Valley Plastics Limited in relation to a multimillion-pound reinstatement claim against their landlord following the destruction of their premises by fire.
      • Advised Picture House Management Limited in relation to a multi-million-pound claim concerning the defective conversion of a former cinema to an apartment block in Streatham, London.

      Hugh James

      Overseen by consultant Rebecca Rees  and led on a day-to-day basis by senior associate James Hastings, following the departure in January 2022 of Rob Phillips to Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, Hugh James' reconfigured team remains a prominent player in the market for private and public sector clients across a range of discrete mandates, as well as in the context of strategic land management. As well as handling convential property litigation, including a myriad landlord and tenant disputes, Hastings has also developed niche expertise representing clients on contentious matters involving mineral rights. The team also regularly handles property litigation on behalf of its impressive roster of social housing clients.

      Practice head(s):

      James Hastings

      Other key lawyers:

      Rebecca Rees; Jo Brown

      Testimonials

      They are very easy to deal with and provide clear and concise advice.’

      We particularly appreciated James Hastings’ patience in addition to the clear and concise advice in what has been a long winded matter and also the ability to ask James any random questions and obtain a quick response.’

      Key clients

      Natural Resources Wales

      Welsh Government

      United Welsh Housing Association

      AP Wireless II (UK) Limited

      WRU

      Pobl/Coastal Housing Association

      Persimmon Homes

      Conwy County Borough Council

      Greenham Trust Limited

      Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust

      Work highlights

      • Represented Natural Resources Wales in their successful defence of a claim to ownership of minerals across large areas of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate in Mid-Wales.
      • Acted for Persimmon Homes in their successful quashing of a refusal to grant planning permission for a development of 300 homes.
      • Acted for Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust in relation to the application for registration of a number of rights of way which would have impeded/prevented the development of a new cancer centre.

      JCP Solicitors

      Praised for its ability to 'steer around conflict situations whilst ensuring commercially driven and positive outcomes', JCP Solicitors has a great deal of experience on behalf of a 'strong and diverse client base', and is adept at handling of a wide range of cases 'from the ordinary to the most complex'. 'Insightful' Swansea-based team head Sarah Davies is well-versed across a range of commercial property disputes for companies, landowners, investors and developers, and has a 'good feel for litigation', which is enhanced by her sitting as a deputy district judge. 'Hardworking and clear thinking' associate Jonathan Flynn is also based in Swansea, while the arrival in December 2021 of Cardiff-based Rhys Evans  from RDP Law, enhances the team's credentials across the East of the country.

      Practice head(s):

      Sarah Davies

      Other key lawyers:

      Rhys Evans ; Jonathan Flynn

      Testimonials

      There is always the same level of service and quality, rather like a good sports team that performs at a high level over a long period of time.’

      ‘The firm’s ability to steer around conflict situations whilst ensuring commercially driven and positive outcomes for their clients is admirable.’

      They are particularly strong at helping clients facing a landlord/tenant issue where a working knowledge of the most up-to-date requirements in force is crucial.’

      Sarah Davies is very switched on and very single minded in pursuing her client’s interests.’

      Sarah Davies is insightful and has a good feel for litigation.’

      Rhys Evans is well able to analyse the facts of complex cases and provide clear and focussed instructions.’

      Jonathan Flynn is calm and sympathetic and is able to convey information in a way that is understandable for someone without a legal background.’

      Jonathan Flynn is hard working and clear thinking.’

      Work highlights

        Morgan LaRoche

        The 'friendly and knowledgeable' team at Morgan LaRoche 'works really hard, going the extra distance to help clients solve their disputes', across a wide range of issues affecting landlords and tenants, in particular. 'Brilliant' team head Jason Williams has a 'sharp strategic mind', that has ensured success for clients at all court levels, including a notable high-profile victory before the Supreme Court which provided clarity on the construction of service charge clauses in a number of leases of holiday chalets. 'Knowledgeable and well-organised' associate Ashley Davies is also a key member of the team and provides a 'pragmatic and commercial approach' to a broad array of clients, including housing associations.

        Practice head(s):

        Jason Williams

        Other key lawyers:

        Ashley Davies

        Testimonials

        The team is friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and prompt to respond to queries.’

        The team works really hard, going the extra distance to help clients solve their dispute.’

        Jason Williams is brilliant – a sharp strategic mind and a pleasure to work with.’

        The knowledgeable Ashley Davies provides a pragmatic and commercial approach.’

        Ashley Davies was very responsive and had a good grasp of the details of the case.’

        Ashley Davies is extremely thorough, knowledgeable and well-organised.’

        Key clients

        AMP Energy Services Limited

        Ameco Properties Limited

        Hafan Cymru

        Haywood Homes

        Enzo’s Homes Limited

        Swansea University

        Hallmark Care Homes

        GGS Developments Ltd

        Swansea University

        Culina Ambient Limited

        Ynys Ystrad Cyf

        Innkeeper UK Limited

        Lady Aisha Academy

        Cylla Homes Limited

        Cefn Management

        Metro Property Investments

        Esterkin Group

        Colosseum Dental

        Work highlights

        • Advised a UK energy company in relation to trespass by a neighbouring landowner intended to delay client’s property development in the hope of extracting ransom.
        • Advising a residential estate owner in the defence of a claim brought against them by 13 property owners for refunds of rent-charges levied over a number of years.
        • Advising a company operating in the restaurant and public house market in a prescriptive right to drain effluent into a watercourse against a local authority.