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Burges Salmon LLP

Living Wage
Work 0117 939 2000
Fax 0117 902 4400
Bristol, Edinburgh, London

James Sutherland

Work 0117 307 6902
Burges Salmon LLP

Work Department

Dispute resolution/real estate disputes.


Head of Burges Salmon’s Real Estate Disputes team

Main Areas of Practice:

All areas of landlord/tenant disputes, with a particular focus on lease break, vacant possession and terminal dilapidations – acting for Goldman Sachs in relation to decant of their London Office portfolio into new UK HQ at Plumtree Court. Advising Virgin on exit from Kensington Roof Gardens.

Contested business tenancy renewals – Acted for Louth Market Auctioneers in relation to contested lease renewal over one of the oldest operating livestock markets in England.

Trespass and encroachment cases – significant instructions in the last year from a number of UK and international energy clients in relation to renewable energy sites.

Property related insolvency disputes – advising a number of Administrators and secured lenders in relation to enforcement strategy following borrower insolvency.

Professional negligence relating to property agreements/assets.


Trainee – Bevan Brittan LLP: 2003 - 2008

Solicitor – Bevan Brittan LLP: 2005 – 2008

Associate/Senior Associate: Burges Salmon LLP: 2008 – 2015

Partner: Burges Salmon LLP: 2015 – present


Property Litigation Association

INSOL Europe

British Property Federation

Investment Property Forum


Attended Wellington School, Somerset (1990-97); St Edmund Hall, Oxford University 2(i) BA (Hons) Modern History and Economics, (1997-2000); College of Law (Store Street, London), GDL: Commendation (2000-01); College of Law (Store Street, London) – LPC: Commendation (2001-02).


Rugby, theatre, choral singing.

South West: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Within: Insolvency and corporate recovery

Burges Salmon LLP’s insolvency and corporate recovery work spans a number of sectors, such as construction, energy, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and professional services. The team is led by Andrew Eaton, who has extensive expertise in the retail industry, where he assists clients with distressed situations. Real estate sector expert James Sutherland has developed a niche in handling contentious insolvency matters. Also notable is that the team has extensive expertise in the interplay between insolvency and pensions law; it advises trustees on issues concerning the protection of the pension assets of an insolvent company. Although the firm generates the majority of its work from the London market, the firm is increasingly sought out in cross-border matters, with it benefiting from excellent relationships with law firms worldwide. Senior associate Emily Scaife specialises in non-contentious transactions. Patrick Cook retired from private practice.

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South West: Real estate

Property litigation

Within: Next Generation Partners

James Sutherland - Burges Salmon LLP

Within: Property litigation

The real estate disputes team at Burges Salmon LLP acts for a broad base of regional and national clients. It also has significant following among international clients, as is evidenced by its work for occupiers in high-profile lease break and dilapidations claims; Goldman Sachs and Virgin are among the blue-chip names that turn to the firm for advice in this space. Elsewhere, the group has a strong track record of handling commercial rent reviews in London. It also generates contentious property mandates from clients active in the renewable energy sector, and also from clients in relation to property insolvencies. Richard Bedford handles a wide range of freehold and leasehold disputes, and has extensive expertise in alternative forms of dispute resolution. Practice head James Sutherland has extensive experience in real estate litigation and insolvency disputes relating to real estate assets. Clients also recommend senior associate David Benjamin and newly promoted partner Chris Preston.

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Legal Developments by:
Burges Salmon LLP

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

    - Burges Salmon LLP

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