Property litigation in Yorkshire And The Humber

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's 'highly experienced' team is led by Julie Middlemass, who has 'great ability to cut through the legalities of a matter and get to the heart of the issue'. The practice handles the full gamut of property litigation, and is particularly strong in matters concerning the rapid eviction of trespassers. Middlemass is increasingly active in tenant insolvencies and distressed property matters. Also recommended is director Elizabeth Cape, who 'cares deeply about getting the right commercial solution'.

Practice head(s):

Julie Middlemass

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Cape


‘The team are personable and very easy to work with. They are always keen to pick up new instructions, including urgent instructions and to provide training sessions/intelligence on any new areas of law etc. keeping us up-to-date on important issues.’

‘Julie Middlemass is a pleasure to work with. Julie is extremely knowledgeable and very good at what she does. Julie has a great ability to cut through the legalities of a matter and get to the heart of the issue, while always giving excellent advice on potential commercial outcomes, which is very important to us.’

‘Elizabeth Cape, senior associate – Elizabeth is extremely thorough in everything that she does and we can always be assured that all points have been covered with expert advice.’

‘Excellent value for money. High quality real estate litigation advice at a reasonable cost.’

‘Julie Middlemass offers pragmatic advice of the highest quality.’

‘I deal with a wholly female team of litigators, which is a refreshing change for me. They are always on hand to give advice and understand the commercial points behind the action too.’

‘I appreciate their friendly approach. Also the speed in which they respond, even during Covid enforced lockdowns where they may be working remotely. They also come to site for some meetings, which is above and beyond what other property teams have done for me in the past.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Asda Stores Limited

Associated British Foods

Aviva Investors

British Land

Columbia Threadneedle

Federated Hermes

HPUT Trustee No.1 Limited and HPUT Trustee No.2 Limited

National Grid

Primark Stores Limited

Travelodge Hotels Limited

Sonder Europe Limited

Urenco Group

Work highlights

  • Continuing to act for a variety of clients in connection with various high profile CVAs. These include: New Look, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut, Poundstretcher, Moss Bros, Jigsaw, Select, Wasabi, Yo Sushi and All Saints, among others.
  • Acted for an institutional landlord in relation to its ownership of a long leasehold interest of a large multi-let property in central London.
  • Acting for a claimant, Promontoria (Oak) Ltd, in a possession claim.


Stephen Scott leads CMS' team, which is 'approachable, willing to help and offers pragmatic solutions to resolve issues.’ Scott advises public and private sector clients from a variety of sectors on business lease renewals and terminations, dilapidations, service charge disputes, arrears recovery, squatters and possession cases, as well as landlord and tenant insolvency. Simone Ketchell is active in for development disputes.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Scott

Other key lawyers:

Simone Ketchell


‘The people I have worked with at CMS during the last 12 months, have provided sound, pragmatic advice, looking for a solution rather than confrontation and have handled negotiations with our customers in a productive manner.’

‘They are approachable, willing to help and offer pragmatic solutions to resolve issues.’

Key clients

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited/ Argos

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Columbia Threadneedle

CBRE Global Investors (mandates across many funds)

New River



BP International


BBC Pension Trust

Work highlights

  • Continue to advise the Mayfield Partnership in respect of the redevelopment strategy for the 20 acre derelict Mayfield Depot area of Manchester City Centre.
  • Advising Argos Ltd on landlord and tenant issues around store closures.
  • Advising Hermes on a wide variety of real estate litigation matters.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‘s team includes the ‘exceptionalPetra Billing, who is experienced in all aspects of commercial real estate litigation, particularly landlord and tenant, lease renewals, dilapidations claims and forfeiture proceedings. Billing co-heads the practice with John Kittle, who specialises in commercial landlord and tenant matters and portfolio management. Directors Peter Gardner and Rob Shaw are also highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Petra Billing, John Kittle

Other key lawyers:

Peter Gardner; Rob Shaw


‘Exceptional and, in my view, unrivalled industry and sector knowledge and experience. Trusted, reliable and responsive legal advisors with a real understanding and appreciation of our business and our priorities. Advice provided is always practical and commercially focused with the appropriate level of technical detail, depending upon the recipient.’

‘The advice Petra provides is always practical and commercially focused. Petra is a trusted and highly valued adviser to our business and has been for several years now. It is always a great reassurance to know that Petra is in our corner if matters become litigated.’

‘Good at matching resources to client needs/means but without sacrificing quality of advice.’

‘John Kittle in Leeds appears extremely knowledgeable in all property litigation areas but in particular in relation to complex dilapidations disputes.’

‘One of the best teams in the country. Undoubtedly.’

‘The team has a broad and deep knowledge or property litigation and is able to pick up matters and respond very quickly. The advice is always commercially and technically sound.’

‘Petra Billing is exceptional. She is quick to get to the crux of the matter and provides concise and well-explained advice swiftly, even when subject to very tight deadlines.’

Key clients

Telereal Trillium

J.D. Sports Fashion Plc.

Sytner UK Limited.

British Airways Plc.

Aggregate Industries UK Limited (UK subsidiary of Lafarge Holcim Limited)



Work highlights

  • Acting for Heineken UK on all litigation issues on a portfolio of approximately 3000 public houses as landlord. This includes a full range of issues from dilapidations and service charge disputes to forfeiture and possession actions and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, advice on rent concessions and privity of contract issues.
  • Successfully obtained orders for High Speed (HS2) Lts on: (i) to commit a protestor to prison for breach of an anti-trespass injunction; and (ii) extending the time limit of the injunction.
  • Handle a variety of transactional and property litigation matters for Tata Steel UK Limited across their entire UK property portfolio.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, which provides a 'one-stop multidisciplinary service', has a highly experienced team comprising of Alison Oldfield, Damian Hyndman and Andrew Todd. Oldfield and Hydman stand out for their expertise in CPO compensation claims, reputationally sensitive litigation, and disputes concerning access to services/property and the Electronic Communications Code/telecommunications apparatus. Todd is sought after counsel for development disputes arising under high value sale and lease agreements. Senior associates Charlotte Miller and Jennifer Leah are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Damian Hyndman

Other key lawyers:

Alison Oldfield; Andrew Todd; Charlotte Miller; Jennifer Leah


‘Damian is a master at his craft, with extensive legal knowledge to guide you through the issue and ensure the best result, no matter what the circumstances.’

‘The attention to detail and the way that information is collated and summarised to feedback is always impressive. The essential understanding of regulations is communicated in an easy to understand way that is jargon-free.’

‘Alison Oldfield ensures that I am always appraised of the latest status of matters pertaining.  Pragmatic and realistic whilst also ensuring that I and my company keep sense of proportion about the strengths and weaknesses of our case.’

‘Eversheds can provide a team who can look at matters pragmatically and give robust, sound legal advice.’

‘Andrew Todd in commercial litigation is very sound and has a great commercial approach to all matters including understanding complex cases quickly and providing a clear path forward. He has a great work ethic and always makes himself available to respond to matters quickly and without fuss.’

‘Eversheds offers a one-stop multidisciplinary service. The firms is focused on providing clear advice and is excellent at allocating the necessary resource in terms of costs and experience to the case work.’

‘Andrew Todd is excellent at identifying the salient case issues and give clear strategic, commercial advice and recommendations to achieve the required outcome. Andrew and his team are always available to provide input and manage stakeholder expectations on expected outcomes and relevant timelines.’

Key clients

Anchor Hanover Housing group

Frasers Group

The Peel Group

Department of Health Residual Estates

WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc

CH Power Limited

McCain Foods GB Limited

University of Essex


Highways England

Work highlights

  • Advising Anchor Hanover on a range of estate issues relating to the management and asset protection of its properties. Advised on claims relating to a disputed right of way – which has significant implications for the value of a neighbouring development scheme- as well as threatened nuisance claims.
  • Acting for CH Power Limited on the issue of a £49 million claim in the Business and Property Courts against Millennium and Copthorne Hotels arising out of a development agreement affecting the Chelsea Harbour Hotel.
  • Acting for Manchester Ship Canal Company Limited in respect of First Tier Property Tribunal Proceedings defending a claim to an alleged prescriptive drainage right to facilitate a large residential development in the North West of England.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Matthew Baker, a lawyer with 'considerable tactical ability' leads the 'exceptional team' at Pinsent Masons LLP. It is particularly well regarded for its ability to handle contentious matters involving energy, waste, housing and development and electronic communications issues. Baker stands out for his knowledge of rights to light and development constraints, and is supported by senior associate Nicola Charlton.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Baker

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Charlton


‘This is an exceptional team which holds its own with London teams and works well with other regional offices of PM.’

‘Matthew Baker – partner – a very able lawyer with considerable tactical ability – very approachable.

‘Very experienced, approachable and user-friendly team of senior real estate litigators. Great strength in depth and a personable but sharp-minded approach.’

‘Matthew Baker – His charming and relatively youthful exterior conceal a very sharp and savvy senior litigator. One of the best around.’

Key clients

RR Wing Portfolio Limited

Rachel Securities

Whitbread Group Plc

United Utilities

Aviva Investors

London & Associated Properties PLC

Mayfair Capital

Crown Student Living


Royal London


University of Manchester

University College London

London School of Economics

University of London

Solpro Manufacturing Limited

Milton (Peterborough) Estates Company

Work highlights

  • Acted for RR Wing Portfolio Limited in claiming injunction and damages in a high profile and complex rights to light claim. The client is a neighbouring land owner to a proposed 37 storey student accommodation development in central Leeds.
  • Acting for Premier Inn Hotels in a claim for professional negligence against DWF LLP relating to the drafting of a sub-letting deal of a Hotel let to the client. The claim involves complex issues of drafting of commercial hotel lease transactions and involves a claim for substantial damages.
  • Handle a substantial amount of asset management work for a wide variety of investors, landlords and corporate occupiers, namely; lease renewals (e.g. acting for AEW, Royal London and Aviva), forfeiture actions (e.g. acting for Landlord’s such as AEW, Stonegrave Properties) and dilapidations (e.g. acting for Leeds City Council).

Walker Morris LLP

Walker Morris LLP provides 'a good balance of service and price without compromising on quality'. The client roster includes national retailers, landlords, developers, local authorities and public sector bodies. Martin McKeague provides 'practical and sensible advice' on a wide range of contentious matters, and is growing his practice in the field of insurance acting for both defective title indemnity insurers and claimants. Malcolm Simpson and Karl Anders represent developers and landlords. Senior associates Lewis Couth and David Manda are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Martin McKeague

Other key lawyers:

Malcolm Simpson; Karl Anders; Lewis Couth


‘Regularly provide us with updated training sessions that are excellently tailored to our specific business needs.’

‘Lewis Couth has excellent communication – always keeps us well up to date with matters and offers pragmatic (and understandable!) practical advice.’

‘Walker Morris is a well respected firm operating outside of London with partners who are specialists in their fields. They provide a good balance of service and price without compromising on quality.’

‘Martin McKeague is very knowledgeable in his field and provides not just excellent legal advice, but also practical and sensible advice depending on the specific scenario. ’

‘Very strong team – the strongest in the North East’

‘Lewis Couth is really good. He thinks carefully about his cases and has a really good knowledge of the law, combined with excellent commercial awareness. Martin McKeague and David Manda are very client-focused and commercial.’

‘Hugely friendly and approachable team who dispense timely and practical advice.’

Key clients


Department for Health


Barratt Homes




FCC Environment (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Elcombe Limited, the claimants against Axa Insurance plc in relation to claim for damages of approximately £1.7m arising out of property damage.
  • Representing Baymount Investments, in respect of dilapidations claim in excess of £2m.
  • Represented Q Property Holdings in a right of light dispute against the developer of one of the largest buildings in the region.

Irwin Mitchell

At Irwin Mitchell, Sheffield-based partner Danny Revitt leads the national property litigation team, which provides 'quick and timely advice' to commercial property investors, developers, retailers and notable regional institutions, such as Sheffield Hallam University. Revitt has a keen focus on commercial and residential landlord and tenant litigation, and he also advises retailers and corporate occupiers on contentious issues arising from the management of national property portfolios. Senior associate Lisa Stratford acts for investors and developers in an advisory and risk management capacity, and is recommended for her expertise in nuisance, rights to light disputes and property-related insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Danny Revitt; Tim Rayner

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Stratford


‘Working with Irwin Mitchell is a pleasure. Their advice is sound and they are able to explain well in layman where necessary. They are conscientious and very knowledgeable, professional, efficient and thorough in their work and are friendly to deal with.’

‘Excellent advice to economically deal with the issue with a positive outcome.’

‘Danny Revitt (partner) – Danny has one of those attributes that is always positive. He is approachable, efficient, and always extremely helpful. Danny examines the matter in hand, quickly identifies any potential issues and offers solutions using his expert knowledge.’

‘Lisa Stratford provided us with an excellent service in what was not a particularly complex case but could have been damaging to our profile and reputation had it not been dealt with efficiently and appropriately.’

Key clients

Devonshire Green (Commercial Properties) Limited (part of City Estates Group)

Calthorpe Estates Limited

Keepmoat Homes Limited

Rullion Limited

Artisan Real Estate Investors

Rula Developments

Tobermory S.A.R.L /Trilogy Property

Real Estate Investors PLC

Godwin Developments


BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory and Property Management UK Limited


Redwood (Light Industrial) Propco SARL (part of Logicor Group)

Thorntons Limited

River Island Clothing Co Limited

Jones Lang LaSalle Limited

RGIS Inventory Specialists Limited

Sheffield Hallam University

HBD (Henry Boot Developments)

Lloyds Pharmacy Limited

Dobbies Garden Centres Limited

A&J Mucklow PLC

Peveril Securities Limited

M&M Asset Management

Sheffield International Venues Limited/Sheffield City Trust

Sheffield Methodist Church Circuit

Countrywide Residential Lettings Limited

Dyson Industries Limited

Persimmon Homes

Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation


Country Style

Work highlights

  • Acted for private landowner in Court of Appeal, successfully defeating developer’s appeal against High Court declaration that attempted exercise of option to purchase family farm at substantial discount was invalid.
  • Acted for Redwood, a property investment company in successful settlement of relief against forfeiture proceedings relating to use of common areas on industrial estate which included defeating interim injunction application and resulted in recovery of damages, resolution of dilapidations issues and re-negotiation of lease terms.
  • Acted for higher education provider in successful settlement of seven figure dilapidations claim against former sub-tenant.

Shoosmiths LLP

Noted for its strong national presence, Shoosmiths LLP undertakes a significant amount of work for corporate occupiers, including contentious landlord and tenant matters and commercial development disputes. It also has a wealth of experience advising insolvency practitioners on distressed property issues. The practice is led by Richard Symonds, who splits his time between Leeds and Manchester. He is supported by Matthew Lonergan, who leads on claims for corporate occupiers in the retail, financial services, distribution and leisure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Richard Symonds

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Lonergan


‘A proactive ‘hands on’ approach from senior personnel at partner level, responding promptly to all property litigation requirements.’

‘Sound commercial advice from Richard Symonds as property litigation partner, promptly available as and when required.’

Key clients

Travelodge Hotels Limited

Park Lane Properties Limited


Extra MSA

Highwood Developments

Watkin Jones Group

Brunswick Real Estate/Brunswick Property Partners

Kloeckner Metals/ASD

Dixons Carphone

Empire Property Group

Packaged Living

Mercedes Benz

Administrators acting for Bensons for Beds

Holland & Barrett

Canal & River Trust

Doncaster Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a consortium of Malaysian, Singaporean and Hong Kong Investors and protected dozens of victims of a suspected ‘investment by conveyance’ scam from having their investor leases forfeited.
  • Advising Brunswick Real Estate on key aspects of its acquisition strategy on key commercial properties in London and on other wide-ranging matters in relation to its existing high-end portfolio.
  • Acting for a large group of leaseholders responding to a service charge consultation concerning the proposed re-cladding of their apartment block in the wake of new fire safety legislation following the Grenfell fire, as featured in the national press.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs has a strong reputation nationally in land compensation and compulsory purchase cases, under the leadership of practice head David Holland. The scope of its work in this space includes energy and utility compensation cases and statutory compensation claims for airports. Also notable is that the firm is advising landowners impacted by the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail scheme. Holland works with senior associate Bethany Reid, whose 'service, knowledge and attitude is second to none' .

Practice head(s):

David Holland

Other key lawyers:

Bethany Reid


‘The Squires lawyers are obviously all good and very experienced and knowledgeable, however what has stood out the most is the cost of this advice. Due to Squire working closely with us they understand what we can and cannot do in-house, providing their expertise without the associated bill. It is like Squires are our in-house lawyer.’

‘On short time frames, David Holland digested the problem and provided a great solution we could employ ourselves. This meant we got great advice an internal legal team could then deploy itself, saving money but getting a great result.’

‘Bethany Reid ensures that all requests for advice or counsel are forwarded to the appropriate individual. Beth always sits in on calls/meetings and ensures matters are followed up and closed out. Beth can often deal with matters herself at all times her advice is professional and timely.’

‘I am dealing with Bethany Reid on a current matter and have found her service, knowledge and attitude second to none. She is friendly yet direct, deals with matters in a very timely manner and I always feel that she has our best interests as her client at heart.’

Key clients

Peel Group

Pret a Manger

EDF Energy

Holland & Barrett Limited

Mitchells & Butler plc

Leicester City Council

Gate Group plc

Clear Channel

Taylor Wimpey

Ryman Limited

Co-operative Group

Sirdar Properties Limited

Provident Financial plc

BizSpace Limited


Reach plc

Live Nation

Manchester Airport Group

Birmingham Airport Limited

United Utilities Group plc

Electricity North West Limited

Western Power Distribution plc

Northern Powergrid Limited

SP Manweb plc

Northern Gas Networks

London Borough of Redbridge

Cancer Research UK

Signet Group plc


Johnson & Johnson

RTS Waste Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Manchester Airport Group in relation to claims arising under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973 concerning public works undertaken at Stansted Airport, which is a project of major strategic importance to the company.
  • Acted for Signet Group in a multi-million pound compulsory purchase compensation claim following the acquisition of one of its city centre stores. The team successfully negotiated a favourable settlement following proceedings being commenced in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).
  • Advised Gate Group on a high value dispute concerning the termination of commercial leases at Heathrow Airport. We provided strategic advice that informed negotiations and led to a favourable settlement for the business that avoided a potential multi-million pound liability.

Gateley Plc

Practice head(s):

Gavin Winter

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP's James Teagle continues to lead and grow the contentious property practice, with the firm attracting a steady stream of instructions from LPA receivers, insolvency practitioners and insurers. Teagle advises clients on business tenancy renewals, landlord and tenant issues and land disputes.

Practice head(s):

James Teagle


‘James Teagle has been working with us on our case and has been a joy to work with – professional, capable, engaging and personable.’

‘Bevan Brittan’s key strength is truly personal service from a national firm. It stands out for its value for money whilst delivering a first rate service: a firm that does proper lawyering rather than just churning paper like so many others.’

‘They are always open to suggestion and are able to think outside the box in order to get the right result for the client. They are also commercial when it comes to fees.’

‘We have been particularly impressed with James Teagle, not only with his legal knowledge but his pro-active attitude to resolving issues that arise. James is very professional and friendly and always available to provide advice. He has a level manner that brings clarity and calmness where disputes arise.’

‘A no frills, down to earth and approachable team who clearly have an understanding of the work they deal with a commercial approach to solving problems.’

‘James Teagle is quick, incisive, practical and pragmatic. He advises me and my team on property receivership matters where these qualities are of great value.’

Key clients

NHS Property Services

Well Pharmacy

RBH Properties

Hornbeam Park Developments

Direct Collection Bailiffs


Grafton (UK) Limited

Places for People

The Classic Prop Hire Limited

West One Loan Limited

Aura Finance Limited

Aspen Bridging Limited

FRP Advisory Trading Limited

Strettons Limited

J. Arkwright & Co.

Work highlights

  • Pursuing a terminal dilapidations claim on behalf of a developer, relating to a number of connected office blocks, with an estimated value of £10M.
  • Advising the housing association on contentious issues relating to its proposed purchase of a substantial development site, which involved the release of covenants, varying of the land to be purchased, variations to covenants and proposed terms for a deed of covenant.
  • Advising an operator on its ability to use and maintain cabling which serves their wind turbines and which is laid under land owned by third parties.

Blacks Solicitors LLP

Blacks Solicitors LLP's contentious real estate team includes practice head Luke Patel and Aimee Hutchinson, who handle a broad cross-section of matters for residential developers, landowners, institutional and investment fund landlords and regional corporate tenants. Key areas of work include dilapidations, breaches of covenants, trespassing and disputes connected with residential mobile home parks and holiday parks.

Practice head(s):

Luke Patel

Other key lawyers:

Aimee Hutchinson


‘They are extremely focused to the clients needs and always seeking practical, commercially-oriented solutions rather than just looking at the pure legal point at issue. They have a very healthy respect for other professional disciplines involved and always seek to be collaborative in their approach.’

‘Aimee Hutchinson is without doubt one of the most tenacious, professional but personable solicitors I have dealt with. She can be very tough when needed, almost without the other side realising, but always maintains respectful cordial relations to get the deal over the line. A very rare commodity in someone so young.’

‘Our experience with Aimee Hutchinson has always been fantastic. She is incredibly knowledgeable, especially in our field of work. She is also extremely thorough, and most importantly we trust her to deliver.’

‘The team interrelate well when a broad range of legal skill sets are required in dealing with highly complex legal matters.’

Key clients

Wyldecrest Parks (Management) Limited

Shelfside (Holdings) Limited

West One Loans Limited

Aura Finance Limited

Astella Holdings Limited

Bridgeco Limited

Work highlights

  • A claim against a lender brought by a defaulting borrower on the grounds of breach of contract and an unfair relationship pursuant to s.140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
  • Acting on behalf of a residential park operator to defend a claim brought by a resident for breach of contract and misrepresentation.
  • Acting on behalf of a landlord (of a retail centre) in connection with an unopposed 1954 Act lease renewal.

Gordons LLP

At Gordons LLP, Richard Cressall is experienced in acting for corporates in the retail and institutional sectors. Senior associate Sarah Coates-Madden has complementary expertise in residential possessions claims and assisting individuals in boundary disputes.

Practice head(s):

Richard Cressall

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Coates-Madden


‘Gordons provide a very high quality service and are completely reliable.’

‘A rare blend of technical knowledge, commercial good sense, and approachability. Fights hard, but a pleasure to work with.’

‘Richard Cressall – Brilliant strategic sense, and really gets the commercial big picture.’

‘Richard is very easy to get on with and his advice is always very clear and concise. At times we have needed urgent assistance and Richard has always been able to assist and turn around work quickly.’

‘Richard Cressall – partner. Provides clear and cogent advice to clients and always fights their corner, leaving no stone unturned.’

‘Richard Cressall. Richard is extremely personable, knowledgeable and consistently excels. The level of service and advice Richard provides really is second to none!

‘Sarah Coates-Madden is very client focused, persuasive in her advocacy and highly practical in her approach. Her expertise in property law and practical approach was demonstrated by her identification of the deficiencies in the settlement agreement drafted by the other lawyers and her contribution was critical in ensuring a workable resolution to the dispute.’

Key clients

YBS (Yorkshire Building Society) Group

Wren Kitchens


B&M Retail

Hermes Parcelnet


Card Factory plc

Greggs plc

Heron Foods

Safestyle UK

Moorgarth Group

Limes Developments

The Original Factory Shop

Work highlights

  • Advised Wren Kitchens on disputes at various new showrooms over landlord works and rent commencement liabilities.
  • Advised Iceland on landlord consent to disposal of a very large centre and on potential injunction to prevent congestion at drive thru restaurant affecting Iceland’s access.
  • Advised Heron Food on settlement of a key dispute with a competitor in relation to fire damage.


Gosschalks focuses on licensed leisure property litigation, acting for leading pub companies, bookmakers and also a growing portfolio of retail property tenants, such as Wilko and Costcutter Supermarkets. Victoria Quinn specialises in all aspects of litigation for landlords and tenants in the licensed leisure sector, while Julia Williams handles forfeitures, injunctions and opposed renewals.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Quinn

Other key lawyers:

Julia Williams

Key clients

Ei Group Limited

William Hill Organization Ltd

Wellington Pub Company Plc

Wilko Retail Ltd

Age UK

Moto Hospitality Ltd

Costcutter Supermarkets Group Limited

Elizabeth Holdings Plc

KCOM Group Plc

C Spencer Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Wilko on potential forfeiture of well- performing store on the grounds of alleged significant disrepair.
  • Advised Ei Group on potential forfeiture of client’s 66-year Head Lease by the Head Landlord. Property Sub-let for 10 years.
  • Advised KCOM Group Plc in wayleave rollout programme to 420 properties across the city.

Lupton Fawcett

Lupton Fawcett's practice is divided between York, Leeds and Sheffield. It counts numerous universities, landed estates, pub landlords and property-holding and operating companies as key clients. Jonathan Cripwell and Rob Cooke are of note for commercial disputes, particularly in probate and inheritance disputes. Hayden Glynn is experienced in a range of contentious matters, such as those relating to lease renewals, rent reviews, possession and dilapidation claims.

Practice head(s):

Rob Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Cripwell; Hayden Glynn


‘They provide an excellent service to clients: Both technically and with a practical focus on achieving a commercial settlement.’

‘Rob Cooke leads the team in Leeds and is excellent. He sees the bigger picture and can guide clients to the right place.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a property developer in respect of a contested lease renewal. The landlord client is seeking to terminate a tenancy of 3 units on the basis that it wants to redevelop the land on which the units are situated.
  • Acting for a private client in respect of a claim over his land by an owner of neighbouring land.
  • Acting for executors in respect of a determination as to the open market value of a property forming part of the estate over which they are the executors.

Schofield Sweeney

Schofield Sweeney made a significant investment in its practice by hiring Richard Jobes as partner and practice head from Gordons LLP in November 2020. Jobes' 'wealth of experience' in litigation make him a 'safe pair of hands' for commercial property disputes, with additional expertise in agricultural tenancies, business rates and planning-related claims. Bradford-based commercial litigator James Staton is also recommended. Laura Salvati left for Tyr Law.

Practice head(s):

Richard Jobes; James Staton


‘Richard Jobes has provided clear and concise advice which has really assisted us to make decisions on our matters to be able to move them forward. His wealth of experience has contributed to his ability to remain calm under pressure and to stay on top of the work and act in a proactive manner. We feel that he is a safe pair of hands.’

Key clients

Hermes Parcelnet Limited

Games Workshop

Greenhous Group

YPP Lettings & Management Co.

High Point Estates


Stowe Family Law

Work highlights

  • Working closely with Hermes Parcelnet estate management team in relation to their rapidly expanding property portfolio to ensure its the smooth running.
  • Managing Games Workshop’s extensive programme of lease renewals and other relates property matters.
  • Advising Greenhous Group on its extensive property portfolio.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

At Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, senior counsel Jen Smurthwaite is the national team leader for property litigation, dividing her time between the firm's Leeds and Newcastle offices. Her practice spans the full range of contentious property matters, including rent reviews, breaches of covenant, restrictive covenants and easements and disputes concerning long leaseholds. Clients range from property developers, housing associations and local authorities, through to landed estates and banks.

Practice head(s):

Jen Smurthwaite

Other key lawyers:

Elspeth Moncrieff; Elizabeth Allen; Fiona Graham


‘The team are brilliant to work with – careful, thoughtful and practical. They are great at working as a team; and they are realistic about what can be achieved. I would wholeheartedly recommend them to any client. Their key strengths are in dealing with technically complex legal disputes in a practical manner which is cost effective and efficient.’

‘Elspeth Moncrieff is incredibly clear-minded, with sound commercial sense. She works in a collaborative manner, in order to achieve the best result for the client. She comes up with dynamic solutions in order to try to achieve the client’s aims. She punches considerably above her weight and is a partner masquerading as an associate.’

Key clients

Airwave Solutions Limited

Bernicia Group


Standard Life Trustee Company Ltd

Work highlights

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

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP has a strong profile among national port and dock operators, and it also generates a strong flow of work from retailers and developers. Stephen Kell acts for owners of investment properties and he advises business tenants on all landlord and tenant issues, restrictive covenants, rights of way and general ownership issues. Nick Dean is experienced in cases involving boundary disputes, dilapidations and property nuisance claims.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Kell; Nick Dean


‘Smart players in a tough market.’

‘Stephen Kell is a great lawyer and very commercially astute. He’s ideal in a tough battle.’

‘Nick Dean: His dedication to this type of work sets the tone for everyone in the firm.’

Key clients

Associated British Ports

Wykeland Group Limited/Bridgeland Developments Limited/Watergate Developments Limited

Kexgill Group

Askham Bryan College, a further education corporation

Integra Buildings Limited

Coopland & Son (Scarborough) Limited

The Sheffield Investment Company Limited

Woodthorpe Hall Garden Centres Limited

Gleeson Regeneration Limited

Bretby (GP) LLP/Centurion Asset Management Limited


Clarion has a strong focus on landlord and tenant work (with it representing both parties), and it also advises on tenant insolvency, dilapidations,  mortgage arrears and repossession proceedings. Sophie Morley, who is the key contact, is supported by the wider real estate team.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Morley


‘Sophie and her team are a delight to work with. Astute in their areas of expertise whilst being commercially savvy and sensitive to the people and personalities in play – I could not praise them enough.  Always available, ever proactive and focused on the details that matter to manage time efficiently and drive the right outcome, I have already recommended Sophie to other colleagues and friends.’

‘Sophie Morley is outstanding. Once described as the ‘silent assassin’ that offers a glimpse of her style and success rate. Calm, empathetic and considered, yet laser-like in her negotiation and legal approach to secure the desired result – in my experience she offers a unique mixed skillset which few people in her industry hold.’

‘In all my dealing with Clarion I have always been treated as an equal partner rather than just a client. This has resulted in a level of trust that means I can explore options and rely on them to provide a balanced view that takes commercial and risk factors into consideration.’

‘Sophie Morley is excellent – one of the best in Leeds. She really knows what she is doing and can adapt her style depending on what the case requires.’

Key clients

Yorkshire Housing Limited


Warburtons Limited

Interim Partners Limited

Allscripts Healthcare (UK) Limited

Tile Giant Limited

The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Leeds City Council

KMRE Group Limited

Done Brothers Limited (betfred)

V & A Homes (Yorkshire) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a local authority on its right to renewal of a multi-unit site, some of which is occupied by the client, some sublet. Renewal is opposed on the grounds of re-development and that is being dealt with as a trail of a preliminary issue.
  • Advising a developer client on a conditional contract for the purchase of a development site.
  • Advising Tile Giant, a tenant client on interpretation and compliance with the break conditions in the lease following service of the break notice.


LCF Law is particularly adept in in urgent possession claims in the High Court and County Court, as well as cases involving forfeiture, and breaches of leasehold and freehold covenants. The practice is regularly instructed to handle applications for interim injunctions as a result of interference with property rights. Ragan Montgomery specialises in residential and commercial property disputes that often involving breaches of sale contracts and probate issues.

Practice head(s):

Ragan Montgomery


‘LCF have an excellent property team, absolutely committed to their clients. They are very user-friendly and highly recommended.’

‘The advice given by LCF has been measured and relevant.’

‘Ragan Montgomery is extremely knowledgeable and a capable property litigator, taking on a range of complex and ‘heavy’ cases.’


McCormicks handles a wide variety of contentious property work, ranging from landlord and tenant conflicts to dilapidation claims and boundary disputes. Clients include private investors, developers, landed estates and charities. Name partner and well-respected commercial litigator Peter McCormick chairs the firm. He works with Philip Edmondson and Heather Roberts.

Practice head(s):

Philip Edmondson; Peter McCormick

Other key lawyers:

Heather Roberts

Key clients

The Premier League

John Strutt Conservation Foundation

Leeds United FC

John Strutt Centre for Parrot Conservation

John Strutt Memorial Foundation

GMI Holdings PLC

Long Mountain Shoot

Work highlights

  • Represented the Premier League in proceedings threatened by its former landlord pursuant to an Authorised Guarantee Agreement, providing insolvency advice as to the tenant’s status throughout.
  • Act for the client in relation to the management of the Derbyshire Estate, involving managing difficult tenants, advising on forfeiture and distraint, interference with right of way and adverse possession claims.
  • Continue to advise Leeds United FC on all aspects of the Club’s properties, securing successful outcomes on a variety of property-oriented disputes.


Matthew Hill is the main contact at Raworths, where he acts for private clients, institutional landlords, commercial landlords, tenants and landed estates. Hill is noted for his expertise in resolving rural and agricultural land disputes.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Hill


‘Raworths are a long established law firm with an excellent client list that makes them one of North Yorkshire’s premier law firms. Commercial property and landed estates are a strong suit. Matthew Hill and his team have the breath of experience to deal with anything effectively.’

‘Matthew Hill is very good at risk analysis and his advice always reflects his clients commercial needs. He is an excellent communicator and negotiator, and especially good at guiding his clients through complex disputes.’

‘Partner Matthew Hill has been brilliant – he is very knowledgeable, considered and practical with his advice. He took the time to visit our property to ensure understanding of the details and the boundaries. All the team are very professional and also approachable.’

‘Raworths are very approachable and contactable which is a unusual trait for a firm of solicitors. I always find them very easy to deal with and their communication levels are excellent. They are able to provide professional and provide common sense advice at a very reasonable price.’

‘Matthew Hill has become something of a legend in the Harrogate litigation arena; definitely the ‘go to’ lawyer for a service that is both technical and commercially astute.’

Key clients

Celli Group (UK) Limited

The Trustees of the Patrizia Hanover Property Unit Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted for Celli Group (UK) Limited in a complex dilapidations claim regarding commercial premises.
  • Acted for a rural landowner in resisting an application to the Land Registry to register a right of way over his land.
  • Acted for H. & F.N. Smith in complex dispute over vehicular rights of way over a railway bridge connecting two pieces of agricultural land.

Rollits LLP

Rollits LLP demonstrates strong capabilities in litigation concerning easements, restrictive covenants, dilapidations, forfeiture and break notices. Its key solicitors are Chris Drinkall and Ralph Gilbert, who have a strong following among private and commercial clients.

Practice head(s):

Chris Drinkall

Other key lawyers:

Ralph Gilbert


‘l have found Rollits to be very thorough in all aspects of our case, and have been advised and guided very professionally, specifically Mr Chris Drinkall, who is a partner in the firm.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Enterprise Finance

Cherry Burton Parish Council

University of Hull

East Riding College

Work highlights

  • Advised Aberdeen Enterprise Finance on a dispute concerning the recovery of a secured asset in circumstances where a third party asserted that they had a leasehold interest in the property that had priority to the charge, and that the charge was therefore subject to that leasehold interest.
  • Advised a private landowner, who operates a pig farm from their land, in a claim against him by neighbouring landowners who asserted that they had right to lay electricity cables within the client’s land, on the basis of i) proprietary estoppel ii) a contract and/or iii) and implied easement.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited is 'one of the few teams in South Yorkshire with the experience and skill to deal with complex commercial property cases', headed by senior litigator Elizabeth Shaw, who is 'vastly experienced' in all areas of property litigation. Her recent work included cases involving substantial dilapidations liabilities and the termination of leases when breaks arise.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Shaw


‘One of the few teams in South Yorkshire with the experience and skill to deal with complex commercial property cases.’

‘The team at Wake Smith remains a very strong one, and as a client, you are safe in the knowledge that you will be directed to a solicitor with the perfect expertise for the job. Their attention to detail is superb as is their efficiency and client care. You can rely on Wake Smith to handle any legal situation in an excellent manner.’

‘Liz Shaw – vastly experienced, able to deal with ease with all aspects of commercial property litigation. Good communicator with me and with clients.’

Key clients

Salis Properties Limited

Salvation Army Trading Company Limited

Arthrex Limited

Encil Limited

GI Group Recruitment Limited

Shrewsbury Hospital Estates

London & Associated Properties Limited

Turner Investments Limited

Askern Limited

Westfield Health Contributory Scheme


Weightmans is highly active in contentious property matters connected with the hotels and leisure industry, including lease-related disputes. In addition, the firm is also prominent in cases involving the education and social housing sectors. Work for local authorities is another mainstay of the practice. Ben Mackenzie leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Ben Mackenzie


‘Ben Mackenzie – great knowledge of the pub business. Great with professional clients.’

‘The individuals in the team always go the extra mile.’

Key clients

Punch Pubs & Co

Greene King PLC

Admiral Taverns

Leeds City Council


AS Watson Group


Fullers, Smith &Turner PLC

Camerons Brewery Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending Punch Pubs & Co in a dilapidations claim brought by former landlord for £500,000.00.
  • Acting on behalf of a tenant of commercial premises in an action for relief from forfeiture against her landlord.
  • Adjudication defending a national pub company under the Pubs Code Regulation 2016 regarding the terms of Market Rent Only lease.