Call: 1989

Steven Woolf

Direct access

Practice overview

Steven is first and foremost a Property Lawyer. However in recent years his commercial practice has developed significantly, particularly having regards to Professional Negligence and Partnership Law, having recently succeeded in the Court of Appeal in the case of Cheema v Jones & Others [2017] EWCA Civ 1706.

Steven has many reported cases in the Court of Appeal, High Court, Upper Tribunal but still ranks his visit to the House of Lords in the case of London Borough of Tower Hamlets v Begum as the highlight of his professional career.

Cases in which he has been involved have frequently been reported in the Legal Action Group (LAG) journal, Family Law Reporter, Times Law Reports, New Law Journal, and Family Law Cases.

Steven was formerly Chair of Governors of the secondary Jewish Free School.

Recent work  

  • London Borough of Bromley v Persons Unknown & London Gypsies and Travellers [2020] EWCA 12
  • Hillingdon London Borough Council v Persons Unknown & Others [2020] EWHC 2153
  • London Borough of Sutton v (1) Persons Unknown Occupying Land and (2) Persons Unknown Depositing Waste [2018] 11 WLUK 819
  • Naresh Bhatija v Lloyds TSB Bank PLC [2014] EWHC 4092 (Ch)
    A claim in negligence against a Bank for failing to honour a direct debit.
  • Charlie Properties Ltd v (1) Risetall Ltd (2) Warmhaze Ltd [2014] EWHC 4057
    A claim relating to trespass over a right of way and land.
  • Eastleigh Borough Council v (1) Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government (2) Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd [2014] EWHC 4225 (Admin)
    An appeal against the decision of a Planning Inspector.
  • Re Davie’s Application [2016] UKUT 462
  • Cheema v Jones [2017] EWCA Civ 1706

Areas of expertise

  • Property
    • Commercial landlord & tenant

      Commercial landlord & tenant

      Steven is extremely experienced in this field, which involves daily analysis and interpretation of technical lease terms and their effect on the use of commercial premises, the covenants that landlords and tenants offer to each other and the operation of termination and renewal provisions.

      Recent work

      • Numerous 1954 Act related cases.
      • Acting for a landlord against a tenant who used the premises for purposes other than commerce.
      • Recovering a hotel from unlawful forfeiture.
      • Acting for a tenant seeking to establish a proprietary right to commercial lease.
      • Acting for a tenant seeking damages against a shopping centre developer due to dust and smoke nuisance.
      • Acting for a tenant seeking to avoid substantial service charge demands relating to underground work.
      • Acting for landlord in relation to terminal dilapidations at a brewery.
    • Real property & mortgages

      Real property & mortgages

      The main area of Steven’s property work is land related, in particular boundary disputes, rights of way and Adverse Possession.

      Steven has experienced a significant increase in land related litigation over the last five years. These disputes are most often very personal, involving the classic legal truism, an Englishman’s home is his castle. Steven’s sensitive and pragmatic approach to litigation has resulted in favourable results for clients from as far afield as Pembrokeshire in West Wales to the Yorkshire Dales.

      In recent months Steven has been at the vanguard of assisting local authorities with obtaining Borough wide “green space” injunctions seeking to protect parks, sports fields and other green spaces from unlawful fly-tipping.

      Steven has many land related cases ongoing at any one time and therefore it is difficult to find the highlights, but the following are good examples of his recent work.

      Recent work

      • Acting in a dispute relating to the extent of land adversely possessed for near on 50 years.
      • Acting in a dispute where the neighbour literally tore up trees that had been in place for hundreds of years and bulldozed a pond leading to subsidence to the surrounding land.
      • A dispute relating to the acquisition of a prescriptive right of way.
      • Acting in a dispute relating to the escape of sewage from a caravan park onto farmland.
      • Acting in a dispute relating to the title to ancient woodland.
    • Leasehold & leasehold management

      Leasehold & leasehold management

      Steven has considerable experience in all types of residential occupation from bare licenses to 999 year leases. The majority of this work would be possession and enfranchisement related. In addition, Steven has acted for landlords and tenants seeking consent to alterations, extensions to leases and service charge related disputes.

      Recent work

      • Whether storage area was appurtenant for the purposes of enfranchisement.
      • Whether it remains possible to occupy two homes.
      • Liability of the leases for electrical installations in new residential development.
      • Forfeiting of a residential lease following persistent arrears of service charge.
  • Commercial litigation

    Commercial litigation

    Steven has over the last five years developed a significant successful commercial law practice. These disputes substantially involve the interpretation of commercial agreements which with Steven’s background as a property lawyer has proven invaluable.

    The description commercial disputes covers a huge variety of subject areas, from banking to partnership and from insolvency to contract. Steven has much experience in all these areas, regularly acting for clients who have been the victims of breaches of agreements. Steven’s ability to grasp the facts and apply this to the law has enabled him to be able to advise clients with sound, comprehensive advice.

    Recent Work:

    • Acting for a photo-copier supply company in relation to numerous hire purchase agreements.
    • Acting for an internet business which had their telecommunications disconnected for three weeks.
    • Acting for an International Steel trader in an action for the recovery of steel portside.
    • Recovering a high worth luxury motor vehicle.
    • Enforcing restrictive covenants and non-solicitation agreements.
    • Volume litigation against brokers and lenders mis-selling mortgages.

Professional associations

  • Property Law Bar Association
  • Bar Sports Law Group
  • London Common Law Bar Association


LLB Hons


Squeaks, creaks, footsteps and other noises that go bump in the day and night


Green Space borough-wide preventative injunctions: the view from the Court of Appeal


Green Space Borough-Wide Preventative Injunctions: The Final Stage?


No surrender- Not an article about Brexit


Injunctions against persons unknown: Brie Stevens-Hoare QC & Steven Woolf discuss developments


Nothing to fear for existing Green Space injunctions: Steven Woolf takes a robust view of the LB Bromley decision


Nothing to fear for existing Green Space injunctions: Steven Woolf takes a robust view of the LB Bromley decision


The unknown unknowns: actions to protect land from unknown occupation


Using preventative injunctions to protect land from trespass and fly-tipping


Using preventative injunctions to protect land from trespass and fly-tipping


Past events

Preventative Injunctions: How to apply and why they work? Seminar


Preventative Injunctions Seminar




Preventative Injunctions: How to apply and why they work


Preventative Injunctions: How to apply and why they work seminar