David specialises in property work including commercial landlord and tenant, residential housing work and real estate disputes. He also handles issues relating to trusts of land, often in conjunction with Inheritance Act and probate matters.
In conjunction with his property practice, he has developed a specialism in insolvency related property cases and also handles company work and general commercial disputes.
Outside his work, David enjoys sailing and keeping fit.
Areas of expertise
- Commercial landlord & tenant
Commercial landlord & tenant
David handles a wide range of commercial landlord and tenant issues including break clauses, dilapidation, 1954 Act renewals, forfeiture and covenants.
- Successfully opposed a 1954 Act renewal of a lease alleged to be held on trust for the occupier.
- Citroens@Romney Limited -v- AA Clifton: urgent injunction obtained to prevent eviction from commercial premises.
- Zash Properties Limited v Mayworth Properties Limited: forfeiture claim in relation to long lease of commercial premises which have been converted to residential flats.
- Development & planning
Development & planning
David has particular experience in the issues relating to development of land.
- Acted in a case dealing with contested investment via an agent in a multi-million pound redevelopment of a library to create a new library and a number of luxury flats.
- Lederer & Others -v- Lendy Limited ( EWHC 554) (led by David Halpern QC of 4 New Square): represented a peer-to-peer lending platform in a claim brought by a developer in relation to a purchase and development loan.
- Housing (social & privately rented)
Housing (social & privately rented)
Housing work, both in the social and privately rented sectors, has always formed an important part of David’s practice.
- £25m dispute with a local authority in respect of the provision of Central London affordable housing.
- London Borough of Southwark -v- London District Housing Association (led by Zia Bhaloo QC): representation and advice to a housing association in a claim by the local authority against them for breach of a section 106 agreement.
- Successfully established through cross-examination at trial that an alleged handwritten notice of disrepair had never been served.
- Leasehold & leasehold management
Leasehold & leasehold management
David handles a wide variety of leasehold related work including enfranchisement, service charge disputes and breach of covenant.
- Re: 4 Southampton Road, Belsize Park: collective enfranchisement claim; disputed freehold valuation before the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). Cross-examination of expert valuation surveyors, requiring detailed cooperation with client’s surveyor.
- Advising on a claim where it was suspected that secret declarations of trust meant that the legal title concealed the true ownership of flats, giving the false impression that collective enfranchisement criteria were satisfied.
- Advising a local council regarding enfranchisement of property owned by them.
- Real property & mortgages
Real property & mortgages
David covers all real property related issues such as restrictive covenants, easements and charges relating to beneficial ownership of land. He has particular expertise in relation to mortgage related work.
- Undue influence case involving a house, which had been transferred by a daughter to her mother who was also a trustee of the daughter’s beneficial interest.
- Case involving flooding caused by drainage works on neighbouring property.
- Advising a museum and its legal expenses insurer in relation to water ingress from adjoining property.
- Advised on a claim against a statutory sewerage provider for damage caused by negligence involving consideration of the statutory redress scheme, contained within the Water Industry Act 1991.
- £5 billion group action relating to damage from the collapse of a dam in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
- Complicated boundary disputes including successfully arguing that an agreement which had been reached at mediation should be interpreted in favour of his clients.
- Obtained an injunction against a failed purchaser and the Chief Land Registrar, to procure the urgent removal of a notice from the property register to enable resale of the property at auction.
- Advising in relation to oversailing by a crane.
- Representing multiple clients in relation to an alleged right of way passing across their gardens.
- Advising in relation to the width of a right of access over farm land.
- Acted in relation to a disputed notice to complete in respect of a large evangelical church.
- Trusts of land
Trusts of land
David is regularly instructed by insolvency practitioners, contesting alleged trusts of the home in bankruptcy cases and in relation to TLATA and proprietary estoppel claims (in contentious probate claims and in cohabitation cases).
- Advised on the distribution of high-value private family trust.
- Represented a deceased’s partner in a TLATA claim where the partner had substantially restored the deceased’s mobile home.
- Represented a borrower in a claim by a local money lender to enforce a charge over property, where the property was said to be held on trust for his father.
- Represented the owner of an offshore property-owning company in possession proceedings, where the tenant claimed that the property was held on trust for them.
- Commercial landlord & tenant
- Commercial dispute resolution
- Commercial litigation
David has experience of a wide range of commercial disputes, often with an international element, whether it be in respect of conflict of laws, transnational contracts, disputes over assets located abroad, or disputes over UK assets owned by offshore companies.
David has worked on cases involving clients, assets or contracts based in other EU countries, Africa, the USA and the Middle East.
- Baber –v- Begum: successfully recovered six figure sum allegedly “loaned” by daughter to mother when daughter was 21. David helped establish a claim of undue influence.
- Multi-million pound dispute relating to the construction of a monorail in Dubai.
- Drafting grounds of appeal of a summary judgment decision, the effect of which was to state that UAE citizens could not enter into trust agreements in common law jurisdictions.
- Acting in a claim relating to reclaim loan monies secured over a property in Florida that was foreclosed whilst in negative equity.
- Represented a claimant in a contract claim against a defendant who entered into negotiations and subsequently incorporated a company. The promoter’s defence was that the contract was with the (by then insolvent) company and not with him.
- Companies, joint ventures & partnerships
Companies, joint ventures & partnerships
David handles a wide variety of contentious and non-contentious company matters, involving both public and privately held companies.
- Acting for a company’s advisor in an application for a direction under s.1032 of the Companies Act 2006 that limitation should not run in respect of a claim against him by the company, whilst that company dissolved.
- Advised in relation to a buyer’s retention after purchase of company shares.
- Advising as to a board meeting in a family company where one of the directors had a conflict.
- Advising a parent company as to how to prevent the sole director of a subsidiary taking an irreversible step on behalf of the subsidiary, contrary to the parent company’s wishes.
- Advising and acting in reduction of capital procedures for public companies.
- Acting for a company with respect to a dismissed director and previous shareholder who claimed he was still in post, and that he was still a shareholder of the company.
- Represented a company in a claim against the third party, where it was claimed that the company’s claims were excluded by virtue of a deed entered into between a director and the third party in an attempt to defraud the company.
- Commercial litigation
- Personal insolvency
David handles the full range of personal and company insolvency applications and procedures.
- Successfully represented the trustees in bankruptcy in an appeal relating to the relevance of exceptional circumstances in the sale of the bankrupt’s home.
- Acting for liquidators and trustees in bankruptcy for numerous claims, such as transactions at under value and void transactions.
- Acted for a liquidator in a transaction at under value claim, where there were issues of limitation.
- Acted for a liquidator in relation to a debenture which was entered into over the company’s property, an application which was made challenging as the respondent was in prison.
- Carrying out examinations of bankrupts and their relatives.
- Successfully rescinded a winding-up order against a company despite the order having been properly made.
- Professional liability
- Property & construction professionals
Property & construction professionals
David is instructed in professional negligence claims against property professionals, and recently advised in relation to a negligence claim against a conveyancer, relating to the purchase of a home that was built by a NHBC builder but did not have a valid NHBC guarantee.
- Financial professionals, insolvency professionals, directors & officers
Financial professionals, insolvency professionals, directors & officers
David recently represented an Insolvency Practitioner in a claim where it was alleged that he had improperly put a company into administration and sold the business as a going concern to a shareholder of the company.
- Property & construction professionals
Deputy Judge in First Tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement)
Chancery Bar Association
Property Bar Association
Harmsworth Scholarship, Middle Temple
BSc (Hons) Psychology, Warwick University