Call: 2007

Laura Tweedy

“A compelling and persuasive advocate; nothing is too much trouble for her.” Legal 500

Practice overview

Laura is a very experienced and sought-after barrister who specialises in residential and commercial landlord and tenant and property litigation, as well as in social housing.   She is recommended for real estate litigation and social housing in Chambers & Prs and Legal 500.

She is described as always looking for “solutions rather than problems” and “taking a pragmatic, commercially minded approach to matters”.  It is also noted that she is “compelling and persuasive” in court and has a “steely determination to fight her client’s corner”.  She is also known for being “incredibly impressive on the client care front”.

Laura’s landlord and tenant litigation practice is extensive including issues regarding notices, long leasehold, service charge and management disputes, dilapidations, 1954 Act claims, forfeiture, rent reviews and pub work. Her practice encompasses all aspects of real estate litigation including TOLATA claims, rights to light, rights of way, easements and covenants, trespass and nuisance, adverse possession and neighbour disputes.

Laura has particular expertise in dealing with complicated residential and commercial possession matters. She also has cross-over experience dealing with property related offences including HMO licensing and rent repayment orders in the Magistrates Court and FTT.

She is regarded as a leading junior for social housing work. She frequently acts for housing associations and local authorities in relation to all aspects of housing law from ASBIs, possessions, trials and applications, to bigger policy decisions and strategic advice. Her related property expertise sees her instructed in important cases where property law and social housing law overlap.

Laura is a first-rate accredited mediator and can be instructed in that role. Additionally, her experience and insight as a mediator means she is an excellent choice as counsel in mediation.

She is regularly instructed in the High Court, Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), FTT Property Chamber and County Court and also appears  in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.

Areas of expertise

  • Property
    • Commercial landlord & tenant

      Commercial landlord & tenant

      Laura is reccommnded as leading counsel for real estate by Legal 500. She has vast experience in commercial landlord and tenant disputes. She regularly advises commercial developers, land owners, tenants and businesses. She has court experience of possessions, forfeiture, restrictive covenants, lease interpretation and advice, break clauses, assignment, relief rent reviews, dilapidations and other disputes in this context. She enjoys acting on 1954 Act claims and lease renewals.

          • Laura is also regularly instructed in “pub work” including for many of the main pub retailers advising and representing in relation to forfeiture and issues surrounding tied leases.

      Recent work:

        • Laura has recently advised a business as to the renewal of the lease of its business premises. She gave legal and tactical advice about whether the tenant should initiate a claim or wait for the landlord to act in light of the client’s business needs and priorities.
        • Laura advised, drafted proceedings and attended court in relation to rent arrears following a backdated rent review. Laura worked with the client to successfully devise a commercially viable solution to the client’s potential financial difficulty.
        • Herbert v Syed (2015)
          Commercial forfeiture trial. Laura obtained relief from forfeiture for tenant and had landlord pay part of tenant’s costs.
        • Hackney v Centerprise (2013)
          Business tenancy renewal.
        • Enterprise v McCarthy (2013)
          Acting for the publicans regarding a tied lease.
    • Development & planning

      Development & planning

      Laura has an interesting and expanding development practice. She has a recognised commercial mind-set and is well placed to advice on the legal issues that arise in commercial and residential developments.

      She particularly enjoys advising on rights to light. Her recent work includes advising on the rights to light issues of a large tower block development in Manchester and a controversial development in Central London.

    • Housing (social & privately rented)

      Housing (social & privately rented)

      Laura is recognised as a leader in the field of housing law and has experience well beyond her year of call. She acts for both landlords and tenants in relation to all aspects of residential landlord and tenant. In particular, she regularly advises, drafts proceedings and other documents and attends court in relation to the possession proceedings. Laura has extensive experience of issues relating to service and the interpretation of notices.

      Laura’s experience of pursuing and defending possession proceedings is vast. It extends to matters such as contractual possession claims, accelerated possession proceedings, possession under the Housing Acts, Rent Act and under the common law and forfeiture proceedings. She is well plaed to advise and act in relation to tenancy deposit issues and the effect of the Housing Act 2004, unlawful eviction, protection from harassment injunctions, breach of covenants, the effect of failure to serve s146 notices and how to remedy the problem, and service charge disputes. She also has experience in dealing with the effects of the Deregulation Act 2015, including on the service of s21 notices, landlord failures to serve gas satey records and the how to rent booklet.

      Laura is recommended as a leading practitioner for Social Housing. Her practice encompasses all aspects of social housing law, including:

      • Homelessness appeals and allocations:
        Laura has significant experience of homelessness law. She appeared in the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Haile v LBWF [2015] UKSC 34, which considered the question of intentional homelessness.
      • Part 1 injunctions and committals
      • Possession claims (including succession)
      • Equality Act claims
      • Article 8 and Gateway B defences
      • Death, demotion, introductory
      • Disrepair and nuisance cases
      • Judicial review of local authority decisions
      • Unlawful eviction and harassment claims.
      • Closure orders and other remedies for anti-social behaviour

      Recent private housing work:

      • In a recent case Laura was required to advise and subsequently attend court for a possession which raised issues of the failure to serve a s48 notice, the validity of the s21 notice, and whether there should be mandatory compensation for failure to register a deposit. Despite a number of arguments advanced by the tenant, Laura was able to successfully overcome all of the above issues and gained possession of the property.
      • Laura has experience dealing with common law contractual tenancies and the effect of being outside of the statutory schemes. She has successfully gained possession orders for properties under such tenancy agreements despite difficult opposition from not only the tenant but also initially from the Judge.
      • Derbyshire Home Loans v Eurfunga [2014]
        Claim for possession by mortgage company. Defendant claiming he owned the land and title documents were incorrect.
      • Dumfermline v Gopee [2014] EWHC 3397
        This is a reported case which started as a claim for possession by a mortgagee but ended with an application for a third party costs order. It is difficult to succeed in these applications but Laura managed to persuade the judge of the merits of her case and he approved the costs order.

      Recent social housing work:

      Laura is frequently involved in large multi-track anti-social behaviour possession claims as well as applications for injunctions and committals, including Peabody v Brembah (2015) and Aldwyck v Wright and Huntley (2014).

      • She has developed expertise in gang cases in dealing with the complexities of cross-examining vulnerable witnesses.
      • Laura acts regularly for Applicants in homelessness appeals, recently involving the questions of intentionality and priority need.
      • Laura is a very good trial advocate but also regularly accepts instructions to advise pre-commencement and to draft pleadings.
      • Laura has advised on numerous occasions in relation to the destruction of goods under the Tort’s (Interference with Goods) Act 1977.
      • Haile v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2015] UKSC 34
        The Supreme Court found in favour of Laura’s client, Ms Haile, that she was not intentionally homeless, despite being found so by the authority, the County Court and the Court of Appeal, and re-interpreted the former leading case on the point. This case changed homelessness law significantly, and what will be required from local authorities with regards to their homelessness duties.
      • Bullock v Bullock (2014)
        Claim under the Torts (Interference) with Goods Act 1977 for conversion of goods.
      • Peabody v Brembah (2015)
        Claim for failure to occupy as only or principal home and sub-letting.
      • Aldwyck v Wright and Huntley (2014)
        Long multi-track trial for possession and ASBI.
      • Haile v LBWF (2014)
        Supreme Court case regarding breaking the chain of causation for intentional homelessness.
      • Leicester v Dean (2015)
        Defending a possession claim for waste, claiming disrepair.
    • Leasehold & leasehold management

      Leasehold & leasehold management

      Laura has vast experience of leasehold and leasehold management work, including but not limited to long leases, enfranchisement, service charges, forfeiture, beach of covenant. Break clauses and notice issues.

    • Real property & mortgages

      Real property & mortgages

      Laura has a successful real property practice with a particular focus on boundary disputes, issues surrounding the ownership of and interest in property and claims related to and arising out of mortgages.

      Recent cases:

      • Berrisford v Mexfield Housing Co-operative limited [2011] UKSC 52
        Laura (led by Jonathan Gaunt QC) appeared in a case in relation to the issue of whether a notice to quit could determine a tenancy granted by a fully mutual housing co-operative. The Supreme Court held that while the tenancy agreement did constitute an uncertain term, s149(6) LPA 1925 turned it into a 90 year lease.
      • Hartnell v East Sussex (2014)
        Advising on a potential claim for adverse possession.
      • Laura has recent experience of advising on adverse possession and a boundary related dispute. She has also advised on the destruction of goods by an involuntary baliee and the effect of the Torts (interference with goods) Act 1977. Laura recently advised on restrictive covenants affecting a large Central London development.
      • Laura has advised on numerous rights to light cases including of deeds of release. She regularly appears in the FTT.
      • Laura recently advised a large developer in relation to restrictive covenants governing a large development site in central London.
    • Trusts of land

      Trusts of land

      Laura has a keen interest in and regularly acts for separated cohabitants in relation to the division of the ownership of their property and claims under TOLATA.

      Recent work:

      • Laura has advised and attended court in relation to a dispute over the beneficial interest in land where one party paid for the property and another was registered as having the beneficial interest.
      • Acting for one of a cohabiting couple regarding the dissolution of their relationship and property related fall out.
      • Numerous cases involving TOLATA and claiming (or rebutting) beneficial interests in land, involving orders for sale and equitable accounting.
  • Private client
    • Trusts including TOLATA

      Trusts including TOLATA

      Laura has developed a wealth of experience with matters involving trusts.

      Laura has a keen interest in and regularly acts for separated cohabitants in relation to the division of the ownership of their property and claims under TOLATA.

      Recent work:

      • Laura has advised and attended court in relation to a dispute over the beneficial interest in land where one party paid for the property and another was registered as having the beneficial interest.
      • Acting for one of a cohabiting couple regarding the dissolution of their relationship and property related fall out.
      • Numerous cases involving TOLATA and claiming (or rebutting) beneficial interests in land, involving orders for sale and equitable accounting.
    • Court of Protection

      Court of Protection

      Laura has experience in the Court of Protection including best interests and deprivation of liberty safeguards.

Recognition

“A compelling and persuasive advocate; nothing is too much trouble for her.”Legal 500
“Very personable, quick to provide commercial advice and a very good advocate”Legal 500
“Persuasive and excellent at pulling the tribunal and opposition to her views”Legal 500

Directory recommendations

Laura is recommended by Legal 500 for Property Litigation. She is also recommended by both Legal 500 and Chambers UK for Social Housing.

Comments include:

  •  “She has great customer care skills and looks for solutions rather than problems. A go-to in difficult cases.” (Chambers UK)
  • “Very thorough and practical, she’s focused on how to settle cases where possible. Clients talk about her in a very passionate way.” (Chambers UK)
  • “She elicits praise for her deft client-handling and cross-examination skills and makes regular appearances before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.” (Chambers UK)
  • “She goes down very well with the clients, knows her stuff and gets the results.” (Chambers UK)
  • “Incredibly impressive on the client care front and very good at getting to the heart of a case. She takes a pragmatic, commercially minded approach to matters” (Chambers UK)
  • Persuasive and excellent at pulling the tribunal and opposition to her views.” (Legal 500)
  • “An extremely hard worker absolutely loved by clients for her tenacity, common sense and ease to work with.2 (Legal 500)
  • ‘”he always goes that little further to try and better research and prepare a case.” (Legal 500)
  • “She has a no-fuss approach, is well on top of her brief and gives confidence to clients at court.” (Legal 500)
  • Helpful, efficient and accessible, she goes the extra mile.” (Legal 500)
  • A compelling and persuasive advocate; nothing is too much trouble for her.” (Legal 500)
  • “She provides commercial advice and has a great rapport with clients, putting them at ease immediately.” (Legal 500)
  • “She has a steely determination to fight her client’s corner.” Legal 500

Professional associations

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association (Committee Member)
  • Social Housing Law Association
  • Association of Women Barristers
  • Women in Property

Qualifications

  • B Hons (University of Durham, St Mary’s College)
  • Master of Jurisprudence (University of Durham, Ustinov College)
  • Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent) (BPP, Leeds)
  • ADR ODR Accredited Mediator

News

Property Litigation Column: Notice periods, evictions and COVID-19: what length notice do you need for assured and assured shorthold tenancies, and can bailiffs evict yet?

04/06/2021

Tough times ahead: Recommencing possessions Part I

23/09/2020

MIPIM 2018

26/01/2018

Articles

Property Litigation Column: Notice periods, evictions and COVID-19: what length notice do you need for assured and assured shorthold tenancies, and can bailiffs evict yet?

04/06/2021

A tale of two hearings: the dual possession procedure – Recommencing Possessions Part II

05/10/2020

Tough times ahead: Recommencing possessions Part I

23/09/2020

Notices to quit: the landlord’s step-by-step guide to getting it right

31/07/2019

No joy for Joy: unlawful eviction, re-letting and damages in the Court of Appeal

11/06/2018

Past events

Laying the Foundations: Planning for property lawyers – what you need to know

16/02/2021

Laying the Foundations: Residential service charges – tips and tricks for dealing with disputes

12/01/2021

#HardwickeBrew – Property – Twelve Tails of Christmas

10/12/2020

#HardwickeBrew – Property & Social Housing – Injunctions, Committals, Possession and all things Housing!

10/09/2020

Injunctions & Committals: Practical Guidance for Property and Social Housing Practitioners

16/07/2019

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