Karl is a property practitioner with extensive experience dealing with both commercial and residential matters at all court and tribunal levels. Karl’s practice, whether advising or litigating, has had an emphasis on landlord and tenant and real property as well as cases involving trusts and wills and insolvency either in connection with property disputes or as independent areas.
An important part of Karl’s practice involves claims about restrictive covenants, easements, trespass, party wall and boundary disputes but Karl is also very comfortable dealing with issues arising out mortgage transactions.
Karl has seen a complementary professional liability practice develop alongside his property work and this is mainly focused on lawyer and surveyor liability.
In addition to that Karl has substantial experience of acting for local authorities in cases involving contractual and property disputes with third parties. He is very often instructed by local authorities and housing providers in the most serious claims for possession and disrepair.
His work with local authorities has also resulted in Karl being retained to undertake various enquiries.
Karl is a former member of the Civil Justice Council and has also served on the Bar Council where, having been appointed as a Tribunal member, he has adjudicated in numerous controversial professional misconduct cases. In addition Karl served for 9 years as a Board Member of a top 15 housing Trust where he gained unique first-hand experience of the management, regulatory and governance environment operating in this sector.
Away from practice, Karl is a genuine sports fan who has a very special passion for the beautiful game for which he became a qualified coach. Karl’s other passion is astronomy and he is comfortable discussing a whole range of topics whether it be about the intricacies of quantum mechanics, relativity, the cosmological constant, the meaning of time or the big crunch versus the big freeze.
Areas of expertise
- Commercial landlord & tenant
Commercial landlord & tenant
Karl is experienced in advising and acting in the full range of 1954 Act cases whether it involves disputes about lease renewal, breach or forfeiture claims.
Additionally, most recently Karl has dealt with a number of cases in which flood and fire damage has resulted in disputes regarding the extent of a landlords obligations to rebuild or reinstate business premises.
In other cases the focus has been on the leasehold problems that are thrown up when franchising agreements unravel.
Karls work also involves dealing with dilapidation cases. An illustration in this area being a successful outcome (with a substantial cost order) following a 10-day trial where two connected corporate head lessors alleged that Karls clients and their undertenants had caused wide ranging and extensive damage to various buildings.
- Housing (social & privately rented)
Housing (social & privately rented)
In the social housing sector Karl has been instructed in very many possession and succession cases and his recent work has arisen against a background of tenancy fraud. Additionally Karl has substantial experience dealing with cases of serious disrepair, injunctive proceedings and possession proceedings.
In a recent disrepair case the tenant gutted the three-bedroom 2-story property that she rented from a housing association. There was substantial loss to the associations reversionary interest as the tenant, even at the outset, had no funds and could not carry out remedial work or make the property safe and habitable.
Typically the possession cases Karl deals with involve serious and hotly contested cases of nuisance and violent antisocial behaviour exemplified by one case in which the tenant threatened and violently abused neighbours and targeted his landlords staff by installing booby traps (such as electrifying door handles) in and around the property.
- Leasehold & leasehold management
Leasehold & leasehold management
Whilst Karl has dealt with a range of issues relating to enfranchisement, he has also undertaken work arising from disputes about the payment of service charges.
- Real property & mortgages
Real property & mortgages
Karl’s practice covers all aspects of real property law but he has a special interest in cases involving disputes about restrictive covenant, easements, adverse possession and boundary disputes. He has also been involved in numerous cases mortgages mainly acting on behalf of lenders and he has also handled a number of interesting cases arsing from equity release transactions.
Recent cases include:
- A car wash business was established adjoining numerous residential premises. All the properties had a right of way on a road at the rear. Use of the road for business purposes was prohibited but customers of the business accessed the car-wash from the road resulting in the road being blocked and damaged and nuisance being caused by overflowing drains and vehicular and machine noise.
- Acting for 8 landowners, Karl successfully resisted an adverse possession claim by an adjoining property owner who had constructed various buildings extending over the rear of each of the pieces of land.
In another injunctive orders were obtained against travellers that had fenced part of council land where they grazed their horses and stationed their mobile homes and vehicles.
- Professional liability – property transactions
Professional liability – property transactions
Karl principally undertakes professional liability work arising from property related disputes and transactions. This area of practice centres on the negligent liability of lawyers and surveyors. In addition, Karl has a special interest in the connected area of claims involving property fraud.
In one recent case Karl was instructed by insurers where the allegation against the insured solicitors was that it had overseen the grant of numerous defective shared ownership subleases that amounted to assignments as they expired on the same date as the headlease.
- Commercial landlord & tenant
- Trusts including TOLATA
Trusts including TOLATA
Karl has advised upon and acted in a range of trust cases. These cases have tended to involve constructive, resulting trusts and/or instances where lifetime interests are granted or issues concerning proprietary estoppel arise.
Some recent cases include the following:
- A lifetime gift was made of a house with usual restrictions against any disposition. Having registered as proprietor the beneficiary subdivided the property into flats and sought to claim entitlement to transfers the flats to third parties.
- The estranged children of the deceased mother asserted a claim that property, title to which vested in the father, was held on trust for them on the grounds that the mothers interest had been severed prior to her death.
- In another case Karl represented one of 5 siblings and successfully resisted a claim by the eldest that she had sole beneficial entitlement to the family home. Each had contributed to the purchase price and members of the local community had provided additional funds from collections made and treated as contribution by the mother.
- A member of the Romany community had, in 1900, acquired substantial parcels of land in Kent and Surrey. The descendants of his 17 children, long dispersed away from Kent and Surrey, claimed entitlement of all the lands as against other disparate relatives.
- BA (Hons)
- ADR ODR Accredited Mediator