Call: 2005

Andy Creer

“She is brilliant and extremely experienced. Always incisive, practical and positive in her advice.” Chambers UK

Practice overview

The primary areas of Andy’s practice are real property, commercial landlord and tenant and the Electronic Communications  Code. She works for institutional landlords like the BA Pension Trustees, Lunar SARL and U&I and for many high profile tenants including Leon Restaurants, the leading nightclub group, Deltic, and for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

She has trial experience of lease renewals under the 1954 Act and of mediating a £3.5m dilapidations claim involving Ford Castle.

Many of Andy’s cases involve site development. She has conducted expert determinations (both as a party and as an expert) in cases involving the interpretation of lease provisions and disputed overage clauses. She is currently advising the National Trust on the enforceability of an option agreement.

Her work on property damage includes the first trial in England & Wales on the liability for property damage from Japanese knotweed, advising on a sinkhole and for loss sustained as a result of a landslip

Recommended as a leading property junior by both Chambers UK and Legal 500, Andy is noted for her excellent forensic analysis skills and incisive witness handling. One expert building surveyor compared the experience to being “cross-examined by a smiling Doberman”.

Andy came to the Bar after a successful career in industry, latterly as the director of an international manufacturing company. This experience, allied with her first degree in business and finance, means she provides clients with commercially-focused advice.

In her spare time her creative outlet is writing quizzes and compiling puzzles. Her ‘dingbats’ have become a popular Christmas tradition.

Reported Cases:

  • Panton & Ors v Brophy & Ors [2019] EWHC 1534 (Ch) – obtained a vesting order for new trustees of the Thames Tradesmen Rowing Club
  • London Borough of Camden v Morath & Ors [2019] UKUT 0193 (LC) – instructed via Advocate (BPBU) on behalf of a leaseholder seeking to resist a variation of her lease under s.35 of LTA 1987.
  • Evolution (Shinfield) LLP & Ors v BT PLC [2019] UKUT 0127 (LC) – first trial of a claim to determine an agreement under Part 6 of the New Code (led by Brie Stevens-Hoare QC)
  • Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council v Punj Lloyd Ltd [2018] EWHC 3776 (Admin) – successful respondent to an appeal by way of case stated in respect of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 where the Council relied on a landlord’s specifically enforceable obligation against a guarantor to take an overriding lease to claim £1.2m in rates.
  • Red & White Services Ltd v Phil Anslow Ltd [2018] EWHC 1699 (Ch) – endorsement of a costs cap for future incurred costs.
  • Farrar v Leongreen Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 2211 – on whether a claim for mesne profits and a claim for possession against a trespasser are based on the same cause of action (‘claims in trespass’).
  • Spielplatz Ltd v Pearson [2015] EWCA Civ 804 – consideration of annexation of structures following the House of Lords decision in Elitestone v Morris [1977] 1 WLR 687.
  • Thandi v Sands [2014] EWHC 2378 (Ch) – dispute over beneficial interest in portfolio of 16 properties following bankruptcy.
  • Swan Housing Association Ltd v Gill [2012] EWHC 3129 (QB)- on the county court’s jurisdiction in cases involving adverse possession in light of the Land Registration Act 2002.
  • Aksu v LB Enfield [2012] EWCA Civ 60 – renewal tenancy opposed on ground (b).
  • Murphy v Wyatt [2011] EWCA Civ 408 – whether the Mobile Homes Act 1983 provided security of tenure retrospectively to a tenancy which did not preclude the siting of a caravan on a 1.7 acre site.
  • Chelsea Building Society v Nash [2010] EWCA Civ 1247 – effect of a lender’s settlement with one debtor on their joint liability.

Areas of expertise

  • Property
    • Commercial landlord & tenant

      Commercial landlord & tenant

      Andy has particular expertise in 1954 Act renewals, having acted on cases involving all of the s.30 grounds except (e).  She is noted for her shrewd tactical approach and her numeracy, which is especially useful in reviewing expert evidence in dilapidations claims and rent valuations. She advises on the interpretation of leases, notably rent review provisions, break clauses and GAGAs. She has wide experience of claims involving forfeiture, insolvency and disclaimer.

      Recent Work

        • Acting for the landlords in an opposed renewal of a site earmarked for development by Aldi Stores Ltd.
        • Obtaining an order for an expedited trial of a preliminary issue involving the proposed development of a medical centre.
        • Acting for Caffé Nero on opposed and unopposed lease renewals.
        • Advising on claims under s.17 of the Landlord & Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995.
        • Mediation on a £3.5m dilapidations claim.
        • Advising NCP on claim by tenant for breach of repairing covenants.
        • Applying for injunctive relief following unlawful forfeiture of commercial premises.
        • Advising on the site aggregation strategy for a new development for the owners of the Burlington Arcade.
        • Acting for a major port on a PN claim following an expert determination on a rent review.
        • Advising on the s.18 statutory cap and supercession claims on multi-million pound premises.
        • Advising a national charity on whether certain agreements attract statutory protection.
        • Acting for Pizza Hut on the trial of a preliminary issue. Successfully obtained a renewal tenancy where landlord opposed on grounds 30(1)(f) – redevelopment and (g) – own use.
        • Advising BT on commercial service charge liabilities.
        • Acting for Holland & Barratt on terminal dilapidations and a claim for breach of quiet enjoyment.
    • Development & planning

      Development & planning

      A number of Andy’s cases arise in the context of site development, which require legal accuracy, pragmatic solutions and a fast turnaround. She is noted for her forensic analysis of figures and spreadsheets. As one partner put it when recommending Andy to her developer client, “If the valuation surveyor has made a miscalculation, she will find it.”

      She advises on the interpretation and enforceability of restrictive covenants and option agreements. She has recently acted on potential rights to lights claims and site aggregation strategies.

      Recent Work

      • Advising the National Trust and three other well-known charities on a professional negligence claim in the drafting of an option agreement by an executor.
      • Advising on a professional negligence claim which had resulted in the failure to complete the purchase of a site for development as PBSL accommodation.
      • Advising on a claim against a landowner for specific performance of an option.
      • Reviewing the calculation of a purchase price and the quantum of abnormals.
      • Acting for developer in architect’s professional negligence claim involving complicated issues of valuation and the duty to mitigate (led by Joanne Wicks QC)
      • Acting on an indemnity claim in respect of the installation of drainage systems allegedly causing nuisance to neighbouring property
      • Opposing an application for summary judgment in a claim to enforce a Joint Venture agreement.
      • Obtaining an interim injunction for breach of a right of way which was hindering on-site development.
      • Advising on a boundary dispute and clearing restrictions from title.
      • Application in the High Court for specific performance of obligations within an overage agreement.
      • Acting as the expert in an expert determination on the interpretation of overage provisions.
      • Advising on obtaining vacant possession of a building used for religious purposes on a Wembley development.
      • Advising on evidence where a vendor had made misrepresentations about the local development plan.
      • Drafting an overage agreement (as a third party expert) in a ToLATA claim.
    • Leasehold & leasehold management

      Leasehold & leasehold management

      Andy’s work includes both enfranchisement and lease extension claims, including considering the validity of s.42 and s.13 notices, on steps to find a missing landlord and Part 8 claims where a freeholder fails to serve a counter-notice. She acts for tenants, management companies and landlords in service charge disputes before the FtT and has had a number of trials on the appointment of a manager under s.24(1) LTA 1987.

      Recent Work

      • Acting on a loss of chance claim in a professional negligence action arising from a lease extension (leading by Nigel Jones QC).
      • Considering a chain of liabilities in a series of leases in a residential development.
      • Advising on the interplay between a deed conferring a right to specific performance and rights of first refusal under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987.
      • London Borough of Camden v Morath & Ors [2019] UKUT 0193 (LC) – successfully opposed appeal on whether a sub-lease made ‘satisfactory provision’ for the landlord’s liabilities under its own lease.
      • Farrar v Leongreen Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 2211 – appeal on application of 2nd and 3rd categories of res judicata as espoused by Lord Sumption in Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Zodiac Seats UK Ltd [2013] UKSC 46.
      • Advising on whether a binding settlement has been reached in a lease extension claim.
      • Mediating on a qualified covenant for alterations in a residential block of flats.
      • Advising on claims involving the development of loft space and the usage of roof terraces.
      • Spielplatz Ltd v Pearson [2015] EWCA Civ 804 whether occupiers of a chalet built on a plot of land which was let as a plot have an Assured Tenancy.
      • Advising Barratt Homes on applications to vary leases under s.35 of the LTA 1987 and related professional negligence claims.
    • Real property & mortgages

      Real property & mortgages

      Andy regularly advises on claims concerning the interpretation and enforceability of restrictive covenants, with a number of her cases including a competition law element. She has dealt with a number of complex title disputes involving rectification of the register and indemnities. She has successfully resolved a number of easement cases, working out the rights and obligations in the chain of historic transactions. Her work includes both specific performance and rescission of contracts for sale. She has acted as an adjudicator in an expert determination involving the interpretation of an overage agreement.

      Recent Work

      • Advising on a dispute about an easement for the supply of water.
      • Considering the interplay of a Private Act of Parliament and wayleaves under the Electricity Act 1989.
      • Acting on a contested claim for a restriction to protect a beneficial interest under a resulting or common intention constructive trust, where both sides alleged documents have been fabricated.
      • Securing rescission of a Party Wall Act appeal and determination of an underlying boundary dispute, with indemnity costs on part of the claim.
      • Advising on misrepresentation claims against vendors of properties affected by Japanese knotweed.
      • Considering merits of purchaser’s purported rescission for fraudulent misrepresentation in respect of the existence of planning permissions.
      • Williams v Network Rail Infrastructure Limited [2017] UK CC (02.02.17) – on proximate nuisance caused by Japanese knotweed.
      • Considering whether a lease is void ab initio under s.2 of the Competition Act 1996 (lead by Tim Ward QC).
      • Looking at express grant and prescriptive rights of way based on a ‘coal man’s’ access behind a row of terraced houses.
      • Advising LPA Receivers on the exercise of an option which was granted between related entities to prevent alienation of the title.
      • 4 day trial on the beneficial ownership of property raised in opposition to the making of final charging orders.
      • Obtaining a mandatory injunction and indemnity costs at trial in a boundary dispute over an 8 inch wide strip of land.
      • Considering the rights of third parties, including those under sale and leaseback arrangements.
      • Opposing an application to register a restriction for Coutts & Co.
      • Successful 4 day trial seeking mandatory injunction for breach of restrictive covenants (& awarded indemnity costs).
    • Trusts of land

      Trusts of land

      Andy has been involved in a number of ToLATA cases, involving cohabitees and family members, and has handled constructive trust issues in contentious probate. She has advised on the replacement of trustees under the 1925 Act and claims for breach of fiduciary duty.

      Recent Work

      • Application for a vesting order under s.44 of the Trustee Act 1925.
      • Mediation in a claim for wilful default by a constructive trustee.
      • Two day trial in a claim for an equitable account.
      • Advising on a proprietary estoppel claim between family members.
      • Panton & Ors v Brophy & Ors [2019] EWHC 1534 (Ch) – obtained a vesting order for new trustees of the Thames Tradesmen Rowing Club (an unincorporated club) following the dissolution of the ‘joint tenant’. The landlord (who intervened) sought to rely upon a legal technicality to evict the club from premises it had occupied for >30 years.
      • Acting in the High Court on a claim for a beneficial interest arising in a family context where legal title had also been transferred and charged.
      • Advising through BPBU on a potential beneficial interest as a defence to a possession claim.
      • Considering the Court’s powers to partition land as an alternative to an order for sale.
      • Successfully cross-examined partner and established that certain documents had been fabricated in 3-day ToLATA trial.
    • Real property & mortgages

      Real property & mortgages

      Andy regularly advises on claims concerning the interpretation and enforceability of restrictive covenants, with a number of her cases including a competition law element. She has dealt with a number of complex title disputes involving rectification of the register and indemnities. She has successfully resolved a number of easement cases, working out the rights and obligations in the chain of historic transactions. Her work includes both specific performance and rescission of contracts for sale. She has acted as an adjudicator in an expert determination involving the interpretation of an overage agreement.

      Recent Work

      • Advising on a dispute about an easement for the supply of water.
      • Considering the interplay of a Private Act of Parliament and wayleaves under the Electricity Act 1989.
      • Acting on a contested claim for a restriction to protect a beneficial interest under a resulting or common intention constructive trust, where both sides alleged documents have been fabricated.
      • Securing rescission of a Party Wall Act appeal and determination of an underlying boundary dispute, with indemnity costs on part of the claim.
      • Advising on misrepresentation claims against vendors of properties affected by Japanese knotweed.
      • Considering merits of purchaser’s purported rescission for fraudulent misrepresentation in respect of the existence of planning permissions.
      • Williams v Network Rail Infrastructure Limited [2017] UK CC (02.02.17) – on proximate nuisance caused by Japanese knotweed.
      • Considering whether a lease is void ab initio under s.2 of the Competition Act 1996 (lead by Tim Ward QC).
      • Looking at express grant and prescriptive rights of way based on a ‘coal man’s’ access behind a row of terraced houses.
      • Advising LPA Receivers on the exercise of an option which was granted between related entities to prevent alienation of the title.
      • 4 day trial on the beneficial ownership of property raised in opposition to the making of final charging orders.
      • Obtaining a mandatory injunction and indemnity costs at trial in a boundary dispute over an 8 inch wide strip of land.
      • Considering the rights of third parties, including those under sale and leaseback arrangements.
      • Opposing an application to register a restriction for Coutts & Co.
      • Successful 4 day trial seeking mandatory injunction for breach of restrictive covenants (& awarded indemnity costs).
  • Banking & finance

    Banking & finance

    Andy regularly handles complicated mortgage related cases, including those involving undue influence and capacity issues. She has acted on claims involving remedies for defective charges and the difference between equitable charges and equitable mortgages.  She advises on the marshalling of assets, subrogation claims and the powers of LPA Receivers.

    Recent Work

    • Acting for the Deltic Group in a High Court debt claim where it was argued that the COVID-19 pandemic engaged a temporary rent cesser clause.
    • Obtaining a mandatory injunction on a without notice basis against mortgagees in possession where their inaction invalidated the landlord’s insurance.
    • Acting for LPA Receivers on borrower’s application for an injunction to prevent sale at an auction.
    • Budhdeo v The Alternative Bridging Corporation (Cheval) Ltd [2018] EWHC 1294 (QB) – appeal on case management decisions, including specific disclosure, amendment and requirement for expert evidence.
    • Submissions on Court’s jurisdiction following the expiry of the mortgage term.
    • Application by a mortgagee for a vesting order following disclaimer of a lease.
    • Advising on mortgagee’s claims for relief from forfeiture of both commercial & residential leases, including breaches occasioned by an AirBnB.
    • Considering whether a sale was effected by the agent of a mortgagee in possession or an LPA Receiver, so as to avoid a claim that the transfer was a transaction at undervalue.
    • 4 day trial on the beneficial ownership of property raised in opposition to the making of final charging orders.
    • Whether parties to a settlement agreement can ‘contract out’ of s.36 of the AJA 1970.
    • 2 day trial for bridging loan company faced with defences of illegality non est factum, fraud and breach of Consumer Protection Regulations.
    • Advising on the enforcement of various security given for a loan agreement (including personal and company guarantees, legal charges and a chattels mortgage).
    • Advising the Bank of Scotland on the rights of mortgagees in claims for possession of shared ownership leases.
  • Property insolvency

    Property insolvency

    A niche part of Andy’s practice involves the interplay of the insolvency regimes on property rights.

    Recent Work

    • Considering the effect of a CVA on an agreement for lease.
    • Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council v Punj Lloyd Ltd [2018] EWHC 3776 (Admin) – on a guarantor’s liability for Non-Domestic Rates following the disclaimer of a lease.
    • Acting on the return date of a without notice injunction where the company was in deadlock.
    • Advising on tenant in common’s rights after the dissolution of the co-lessee.
    • 5,000+ page trial on a claim by a Trustee in Bankruptcy under s.423.
    • Advising on the effect of the disclaimer of a lease and third-party rights.
    • Applications for vesting orders under both the Companies Act 2006 and Insolvency Act 1986.
    • Opposing a claim by an alleged beneficiary under a Deed of Trust against Trustees in Bankruptcy. Although witnessed by a solicitor, as a result of meticulous cross-examination the Deed was held to have been back-dated and a sham: Thandi v Sands [2014] EWHC 2378 (Ch).
    • Defending a claim for misfeasance by a trustee in bankruptcy brought by a beneficiary under an alleged trust of land.

Recognition

“She is brilliant and extremely experienced. Always incisive, practical and positive in her advice.”Chambers UK
“Methodical, down to earth and a very good advocate”Chambers UK
“Her advice is always laced with a clear understanding of the lay client's commercial drives and objectives”Legal 500
“A very technical lawyer with a commercial approach.”Legal 500
“She is incredibly knowledgeable, very approachable and responsive.”Chambers UK

Directory recommendations

Andy Creer is recommended for Real Estate Litigation in Chambers UK and the Legal 500.

  • “Tenacious attention to detail and really good on her feet.” “Incredibly thorough and technical.” “Fantastic expertise in property law.” (Chambers UK)
  • “She is brilliant and extremely experienced in real estate. Always incisive, practical and positive in her advice.” (Chambers UK)
  • Her advice is always laced with a clear understanding of the lay client’s commercial drives and objectives.” (Legal 500)
  • “Methodical, down to earth and a very good advocate.” (Chambers UK)
  • “She has fantastic attention to detail and is very technically able.” (Legal 500)
  • “She is incredibly knowledgeable, very approachable and responsive.” (Chambers UK)
  • A very technical lawyer with a commercial approach.” (Legal 500)

Professional associations

PBA
ChBA
Dilapidations Association

Publications

Contributor to “Risk & Negligence in Property Transactions” Law Society Legal Handbooks [2018] (edited by John de Waal QC).

Recent seminars

Recent seminars Andy has given include:

  • Smiling Doberman Approach to Expert Witnesses
  • Vacant Possession in Practice
  • Wayleaves/Telecoms: Property Rights for the Digital Economy
  • The Emergence of Proximate Nuisance: Japanese Knotweed
  • White Paper Conference – Break Clauses: Meeting the Preconditions
  • Liability in Dilapidations
  • Fixtures at the End of Term
  • From Floods & Fires to Sinkholes: the Current State of the Law in Property Damage
  • Tactics in Lease Renewals
  • Property Issues in Site Development

News

Rectification of a lease by construction (Monsolar IQ Ltd v Woden Park Ltd)

17/06/2020

Waiver of the right to forfeit

17/06/2020

The challenges ahead for online courts

14/05/2020

Oh, that Knotweed! Sorry, didn’t I mention it?

23/05/2019

Book publication: ‘Risk and Negligence in Property Transactions’, edited by John de Waal QC

22/10/2018

Articles

What’s the Rush? Lessons from applications for an expedited trial

13/01/2021

Rectification of a lease by construction (Monsolar IQ Ltd v Woden Park Ltd)

17/06/2020

Waiver of the right to forfeit

17/06/2020

Arbitration v Expert Determination: what are the relative merits?

21/05/2020

The challenges ahead for online courts

14/05/2020

Past events

#HardwickeBrew – Property – Lease Renewals and Covid

09/07/2020

Knotweed: Law & Practice (Rerun)

28/11/2018

Risk & Negligence in Property Transactions: problems and pitfalls for practitioners – London roadshow

31/10/2018

Knotweed: Law & Practice

06/09/2018

Newsletters

Podcasts

Property lawyers – take note of Griffiths v TUI UK Ltd regarding judicial evaluation of uncontroverted expert evidence

09/12/2020

Books

Risk & Negligence in Property Transactions

28/01/2019

Videos

Property lawyers – take note of Griffiths v TUI UK Ltd regarding judicial evaluation of uncontroverted expert evidence

10/11/2020