Tim Morshead KC > Chambers of David Holland KC and Reuben Taylor KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of David Holland KC and Reuben Taylor KC
Landmark Chambers


Tim is a litigation specialist practising in commercial and real estate law. He has appeared in many of the leading cases in these areas, including interpretation of contracts as well as the valuation, rating, planning and public law issues which arise. He also has expertise in the fields of nuisance, professional negligence, compulsory purchase, highways, town & village greens and local government law. A member of the Treasury “A” Panel until taking silk, he is an experienced trial and appellate advocate, including in the Supreme Court / House of Lords and Privy Council.

Advocacy and Litigation Experience

Tim is an experienced litigator with appearances in a variety of tribunals including the Supreme Court, House of Lords, the Privy Council, the Court of Appeal, the High Court (Chancery Division, Queen’s Bench Division, Technology & Construction Court, Commercial Court, Administrative Court), the County Court, the Lands Tribunal (now the Upper Tribunal, Lands Chamber), various Valuation Tribunals and Leasehold Valuation Tribunals and planning and other statutory and non-statutory inquiries. He is an experienced cross examiner of factual and technical/ expert evidence.

Tim also has experience of sitting as a non-statutory inquiry inspector, arbitrator and legal assessor. He is a qualified ADR group mediator.

Reported cases

A fuller list of Tim’s cases can be provided on request but over the past few years his main reported cases have been these:

Supreme Court:

Southwark London Borough Council and City of London Corporation v. Transport for London [2018] 3 WLR 2059: real estate/ highways: Tim acted for TfL in this appeal concerning the meaning of the word “highway”: does it mean just the “top two spits” as had been thought and held below? Or can it include the whole interest in the land covered by the surface of the highway?

Regency Villas Title Ltd v. Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd [2018] 3 WLR 1603: real estate/ easements: a case concerning the legal characteristics of an “easement”.

Cardtronics Europe Ltd v. Sykes [2019] 1 WLR 2281: rating: whether ATMs situated in shops are liable to rates. Tim acts for HMRC and permission to appeal to the Supreme Court has been granted with a hearing due in March 2020.

Iceland Foods Ltd v. Berry [2018] 1 WLR 1277: rating: a case concerning the interpretation of the Plant and Machinery Regulations in relation to Iceland’s air conditioning equipment.

Woolway (VO) v. Mazars LLP [2015] AC 1862: rating: this case is the leading modern authority on the identification of the “hereditament” in rating.

Arnold v. Britton [2015] AC 1619: contracts/ real estate: this case about a lease is a leading modern authority on the interpretation of contracts.

(Older House of Lords cases:

Chartbrook Limited v. Persimmon Homes Limited [2009] 1 AC 1101: contracts/ real estate: this case about an overage agreement is a leading modern authority on the interpretation of contracts.

Cobbe v. Yeoman’s Row Management Limited [2008] 1 WLR 1752: real property/ equity: this was a case about proprietary estoppel.)

Waters v. Welsh Development Agency [2004] 1 WLR 1304: compulsory purchase: this case established the modern principles applicable to identifying “the scheme” for the purposes of applying the Point Gourde principle.

Court of Appeal:

Cardtronics Europe Ltd v. Sykes [2019] 1 WLR 2281: rating: see above.

Jones v. Oven [2018 All ER(D) 65: real property: interpretation of covenant.

Dudley Muslim Association v. Dudley MBC [2016] 1 P&CR 10: public law and real property: this case concerned the relationship between public law concepts and ordinary contract law.

Swift 1st Ltd v. Chief Land Registrar [2015] Ch 602: real property: this case concerned the fraud/forgery provisions of the Land Registration Act 2002.

Beech v. Kennerley [2012] 9 EG 150: real property: easements.

R ota Milton Keynes Council v. Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government [2012] JPL 728: public law: this case concerned the law of legitimate expectations.

(Older cases of importance in their fields:

Real estate: Silkstone v. Tatnall [2012] 1 WLR 400, Franks v. Bedward [2012] 1 WLR 2428, Batsford Estates (1983) Co Ltd v. Taylor [2006] 2 P&CR 5, Starmark Enterprises v. CPL Distribution Ltd [2002] Ch 306.

Rating: Bradford (VO) v. Vtesse Networks Ltd [2010] RA 69,

Planning/ minerals: R ota Bleaklow Industries Ltd v. SSCLG [2009] 2 P&CR 21)

High Court:

R ota Principled Offsite Logistics Ltd v. Trafford Council [2018] RA 499: rating: Tim acted on behalf of a rates mitigation business in this case which vindicates its scheme for the mitigation of empty rates.

Upper Tribunal:

Harding v. Secretary of State for Transport [2017] RA 271: compulsory purchase: whether the “hereditament” covered by the blight provisions included both elements of a property used for equestrian purposes even though separated by a road.


Tim’s clients include major landholdings, large commercial organisations, supermarket operators and other retailers, branches of the central government, governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, banks, pension funds, charities, local authorities and statutory bodies, as well as private individuals and companies.

Property Law

Most of Tim’s work concerns land and he has a substantial “classic” Chancery and property law practice including: proprietary estoppel, fraud and constructive trusts, mortgages, land registration, commercial landlord and tenant litigation and arbitration (including rent review, business tenancy renewals, insolvency issues and dilapidations), overage agreements, disputed contracts for the sale of land, interpretation & rectification of development agreements other documents, restrictive covenants (including applications to the Lands Tribunal to modify or discharge restrictive covenants to enable residential and commercial development to proceed), easements, nuisance, trespass, adverse possession and disputed wayleave agreements both for and against statutory undertakers.


Tim’s work often brings him into contact with valuation questions, and not only in relation to rent review and dilapidations cases. He has appeared frequently in the Lands Tribunal in valuation cases.

Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

Tim has advised and acted for a variety of clients in relation to HS2, Crossrail, the Olympic CPO, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link CPO, the Bedford Bypass CPO, the Clapham Bypass CPO and other highway schemes; and in relation to the compensation payable under such schemes.


Tim’s property practice extends into the law of rates and he has appeared frequently for HM Revenues & Customs as well as for ratepayers in a large number of the leading cases in this field.

Highways and town and village greens

Tim also has extensive experience of the law of highways and town and village greens, as well as planning law and other more-or-less public law related aspects of land law. He has appeared as counsel at inquiries and in statutory appeals/ judicial reviews of decisions in these fields. he has also sat as a village green inspector.

Public and Planning Law

Tim also has considerable public law experience outside the property field, partly but not wholly in the planning field. He is now frequently instructed to advise and appear in cases involving elements of both property and public law, including for example: vires questions arising in connection with land transactions by or with public bodies, human rights issues relating to the use and occupation of land and interference with title.


Tim is a graduate of Pembroke College, Oxford. He studied law at the City University. He was the winner for his year of the Inns of Court Mooting Competition and of the Everard ver Heyden Foundation Advocacy Prize and was awarded several scholarships by Lincoln’s Inn. He has contributed to Halsbury’s Laws of England Open Spaces and Monuments; to Hill & Redman’s Law of Landlord and Tenant; and to Jacob’s Court Precedents. He is also a qualified ADR Group Accredited Mediator.