Clare is a specialist in all areas of Property and Housing Law, with a particular emphasis on residential and commercial landlord and tenant work. Clare also handles the full spectrum of land and real property cases and has a keen interest in disputes over beneficial ownership of property and trusts of land.
Clare is widely recognised for her realistic and commercial advice and regularly appears in the High Court, County Court and First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) both in her own right and as Junior Counsel. Clare is an advocate for ADR and is particularly interested in utilising both court-offered and private mediation in appropriate cases.
A popular trial advocate, Clare has successfully represented clients in a myriad of multi-track and fast-track hearings, where her arguments have been described as “eloquent and tenacious” by judges and clients alike. She is fast becoming a go-to junior for pursuing appeals.
Areas of expertise
- Commercial landlord & tenant
Commercial landlord & tenant
Clare acts for both landlords and tenants, with a particular focus on forfeiture, lease renewals and dilapidations claims:
- Advising the landlord of office premises in Central London on dilapidations issues and recoverability of essential structural works through service charges under the TV company tenant’s contracted out lease.
- Acting for River Island Clothing in lease renewal proceedings.
- Appearing in the Magistrates Court in a dispute over business rates. Clare successfully negotiated with the local authority who agreed to drop their case and pay costs.
- Advising the senior management team of a laboratory in relation service charges and management fees for their office premises.
- Advising the freehold owner of café premises in Hoxton on tenant’s right of first refusal and rent review provisions.
- Acting in lease renewal proceedings on behalf of the landlord of a music centre in North London.
- Advising the tenant of a therapy centre where a lease renewal claim was opposed on Ground G. Clare successful settled thee case through the court-led mediation scheme.
- Acting for the freehold owner of a mixed-use building in Greenwich in forfeiture proceedings for premises being used a hostel in breach of user covenant, where the tenant was in substantial rent arrears.
- Advising the landlord of an industrial estate on making an application for permission to forfeit leases of five units in substantial disrepair, in circumstances where the tenant is unable to make good on their repairing obligations.
- Acting for the landlord of a fish and chip shop in commercial forfeiture proceedings where the tenant had committed multiple breaches of the lease.
- Housing (social & privately rented)
Housing (social & privately rented)
Clare regularly appears on behalf of Local Authority and Housing Association clients in possession matters (including rent-arrears, succession, anti-social behaviour and unlawful subletting) and has a particular interest in claims involving Human Rights and Equality Act 2010 issues. Clare has significant experience in defending disrepair matters and providing advice on the quantum of the alleged claim.
Clare spent 3 months seconded to the in-house legal team of a major housing association and house builder, advising them in relation to a wide range of housing and leasehold matters.
Clare frequently appears in hearings, trials and appeals in County Court in a variety of Housing (both social & privately rented) cases including countless possession claims concerning ASTs, assured tenancies, secure tenancies and Rent Act tenancies facing a broad range of issues including tenancy deposit schemes, the service of NSOPs and counterclaims for disrepair. Clare is regularly instructed in anti-social behavior injunctions, contempt and committal proceedings.
Clare also frequently appears in the First-Tier Tribunal for both Landlords and Tenants, dealing with Rent Repayment Orders in particular.
She is instructed by a wide range of private client firms representing individuals, social housing providers and Trustees where a landlord has become insolvent or bankrupt.
- A (Trustee in Bankruptcy) v J – Advising a Trustee in Bankruptcy how to obtain vacant possession of a Property in circumstances that the Bankrupt had not provided information about the tenants occupation.
- McGuiness v Vanderbilt – represented the landlord in a money claim for rent arrears where the Defendant counterclaimed in disrepair. The District Judge accepted Clare’s submissions regarding the Defendant’s failure to mitigate her loss; awarding only £200 in damages to the Defendant against the £38,000 sought.
- Conejero-Carmona v Santana – representing a tenant in possession proceedings. Landlord issued first set of proceedings based on a licence to occupy and the second based on an AST. Argued that the licence proceedings were a nullity and landlord could seek possession pursuant to an AST as he had not provided a gas safety certificate at the commncement of the tenancy.
- Biggs-Askew – v- Foundation Property Management – successful appeal to a Circuit Judge on behalf of a tenant where the District Judge had misapplied the law with regards to the statutory compensation owed when a landlord fails to protect a deposit.
- Forbes v Berbridge – acting for the Defendant in the Magistrates Court in relation to a private prosecution by a downstairs leaseholder who alleged the noise caused by the poor soundproofing between the flats amounted to a statutory nuisance.
- MHT – v – Laing – mutli-track combined injunction and possession trial before HHJ Venn concerning a vulnerable tenant who refused offers to decant for repairs to be undertaken at the property. Successfully obtained a possession order.
- M v R – acted for landlord in committal proceedings where the police were unable to produce the custody sheet, resulting in issues concerning unlawful arrest.
- Snow v Holland Park Properties – Acting for a tenant in relation to a Rent Repayment Order. The FTT found that the landlord had committed an offence pursuant to s.72(1) of the Housing Act 2004 and awarded x3 months’ rent in compensation.
- Symeou v Butt – acting for a landlord who had received ‘incentive payment’ from the local authority to let a property to individuals on their housing register. The tenant argued the payment amounted to a deposit, which had not been protected. Successfully argued that such a payment does not fall within the scope of the deposit legislation.
- Leasehold & leasehold management
Leasehold & leasehold management
Clare regularly appears in hearings and trials in both the County Court and First Tier Tribunal (Residential Property) in relation to a wide variety of leasehold matters.
- Park Resorts v H & S – represented the freeholder in both the FTT and County Court regarding breach of the lease (keeping pets at the property). Successfully obtained a determination as to the breach in the FTT following a site visit and length cross examination; thereafter a forfeiture order in the County Court.
- KG v S – Representing the management company in the First Tier Tribunal. Clare successfully obtained a determination that all the service charges sought from the Respondent were reasonable and owing. Successfully argued against a s20C order, allowing the management company to seek its legal costs directly from the Respondent.
- Coralie Ventures Limited v Dudziak – represented leaseholder who occupied a downstairs flat which had been converted from a single dwelling without planning consent. The local authority issued a notice requiring inter alia the removal of the upstairs flat. The landlord did not comply with the notice and the local authority removed the partitions and kitchen in the upstairs flat. The landlord subsequently reinstated the kitchen and sought to forefit the downstairs lease for failure to comply with the notice. HHJ Luba dismissed the claim and accepted that the landlord could not rely on its own unlawful act in forfeiture proceedings.
- Mak and others v (1) MHT & (2) Magic Homes Limited – acting for head leaseholder in a multi-tenant claim in relation to service charges. The claim involved numerous shared ownership leases where the applicants were at different stages of ‘staircasing’ and therefore the correct Defendant varied depending on the specific circumstances of each lease. Successfully limited the head leaseholders’ liability.
- Lloyds -v- Beech Management – Drafted proceedings in the FTT for the administrators of the estate of a leaseholder who sought to challenge the reasonableness of the service charges. The FTT found that none of the charges sought by the management company were reasonable.
- Advising a freeholder on its liabilities in respect of replacement windows
- E&J c F – acting for a freeholder in a forfeiture matter where the leaseholder had failed to make payment of ground rent and service charges.
- RG v B & A – acting for a freeholder for a declaration that it had affected re-entry and thus dismissing a claim for relief.
- Real property & mortgages
Real property & mortgages
Clare has experience in a wide range of real property matters including adverse possession, trespass, boundaries, land development, easements and nuisance. She has a particular specialism in mortgage actions and frequently advises lenders in relation to enforcing their rights and redemption actions.
- Walker v Kimberly – advising a freeholder in a property conveyance on whether it was possible to extend limitation pursuant to tort in circumstances that limitation in a claim in contract had expired.
- K – v- A – advised a Respondent in a claim for rectification of the Register regarding burden of proof for alternation and order of priority concerning the registering of a TR2.
- Hind v Danecarr – represented the Respondent management company in relation to a challenge as to the reasonableness of service charges.
- MRE v P – advising a landlord in relation to a proposed claim in nuisance regarding noise, smell and dust pollution caused by a neighbor keeping poultry in a small urban garden.
- W v C – advising a leaseholder on how to regularise the position regarding a parking space which had not formed part of the original conveyance – Clare’s advice considered variation, adverse possession, easements and negligence.
- Bank of Scotland v Allen (Trustee in Bankruptcy) – Advising and representing the Bank in a mortgage possession matter, defended by the Trustee on the basis it was unable to give up vacant possession of the Property. Judge accepted the Trustee’s defence had no chance of success and gave an outright possession order.
- Santander v Harrison – Drafting pleadings and advising the Bank as to the status of a Personal Representative who was occupying a mortgage property after the Borrower’s death.
- Elderbridge v A – represented the Claimant in a complex mortgage possession matter which included issues regarding assignment of the mortgage, calculation of interest, legal costs, contractual penalties and errors on the account.
- Representing a property owner in the High Court where the neighbours were seeking a declaration as to the interpretation of restrictive covenants.
- Advising a leaseholder with relation to the freeholder’s derogation from an express grant of a right to park.
- Trusts of land
Trusts of land
Clare has developed a niche practice in relation to TOLATA claims and has a particular interest in co-ownership disputes.
- C v C – Advising and representing a co-owner of a property in a part 8 claim for an order for sale, vesting order pursuant to sections 44 and 47 of the Trustee Act 1925 and an equitable accounting order in relation to the co-owners missed mortgage payments.
- K – v- K – Representing a Defendant in relation to a claim concerning undue influence at the time of signing a TR1 transferring her home into her daughter’s name. Clare successfully settled the case during mediation.
- O -v- F – Advising a potential claimant in relation to the concept of ‘ouster’ after he was forced to leave his jointly owned home after the breakdown of a friendship.
- Owens v W – acting for the Executors of an estate defending an Order for Sale hearing where the borrower died mid-way through proceedings.
- Commercial landlord & tenant
CSR & pro bono
Clare regularly undertakes work on a pro bono basis both through Advocate and through working with law centres.
Clare also assists with Hardwicke’s ‘Through the Looking Glass’ program which gives talented teenagers an insight into a legal career they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
Clare is recommended by Legal 500 for Property Litigation which states that:
- ‘ She provides clear and practical advice and solutions.’
- ‘Confident and very detailed. ’
- Property Bar Association
- Social Housing Law Association
- Advocate (formerly The Bar Pro Bono Unit)
- BPTC (2011)
- GDL (2010)
- BA (Hons) in Philosophy (2009 – Durham University)
- Sir Thomas More Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)