Activity Report – What we have been up to and what we'll be getting up to over the coming month
John de Waal QC has been enjoying his first remote mediation.
Brie Stevens-Hoare QC has been dealing with a bit of conspiracy and outright dishonesty, a bit of fire and flood along with some forfeiture. She is also exploring escape routes from a couple of property transactions that turned out not to be what they promised. The rest of us have noticed Brie is unduly excited by changing her Zoom background multiple times during internal meetings. Our theory is she is missing her travels…
When not moderating the #HardwickeBrew, Cameron Stocks has had an influx of work advising on disrepair in both commercial and residential premises as well as an acrimonious boundary dispute over the placement of a fence which has been exacerbated by the neighbours not being able to leave their properties for the last month…
Days before the lockdown, Andrew Skelly was on the Isle of Wight, for a three-day Tribunal hearing in which he was resisting an adverse possession claim. Although there had been adverse possession by the neighbouring developer, it was unable to establish any estoppel, or reasonable mistake as to the boundary, and so its claim failed. Back on the mainland, he has had several Japanese Knotweed matters to advise on, for both claimants and defendants. He has also been sitting as a DDJ in Dartford and Brighton, on some of the few remote hearings being conducted at county courts.
Peter Petts has been dealing with the topical issues of insurance and access to vacant leasehold properties.
Monty Palfrey eventually sorted out extending the Wi-Fi to the garden. He is busy with work but missing the train!
Katrina Mather has been embracing WFH which has included conducting a (telephone!) trial in her PJs! When life gives you lemons, take all the novelties you can get…
Charlotte John has had a busy month dealing with a variety of probate and trusts disputes, including a succession of constructive trust and 1975 Act claims and interesting arguments concerning the enforceability of an express trust and a charge, involving, respectively, a laches defence and arguments about mental capacity.
James Hall has had an interesting time recently, with apparently unfeasible five-hour hearings going ahead by telephone and working remarkably smoothly, whilst short hearings that the parties were happy to do by telephone or video have been vacated by various courts without reason being provided. To misquote an allegedly ancient Chinese expression, ‘may you never live in interesting times’…
Daniel Gatty has spent the last month on rectification of commercial leases, (alleged) conveyancing negligence, commercial service charges, restrictive covenants and disputes between co-owners, amongst other things. He has also spent quite a lot of time on the table-tennis table in his back garden trying, but too often failing, to win against his teenage sons. It turns out that lockdown-facilitated practice doesn’t make perfect!
Jamal Demachkie has had his first Coronavirus case – an urgent application against Hardwicke’s Andy Creer. He has also had an upturn in boundary and neighbour disputes (no doubt perpetuated by everyone being at home all the time, and realising they either love, or loathe, their neighbours!)
This month John Clargo has been advising on landlords’ commercial repair obligations, easements, proprietary estoppel/constructive trusts and various other co-ownership of land issues (broadly from Peckham to Portugal) and has hosted two of the Hardwicke Property Brews. There was quite lot of chocolate eaten over Easter. Not all of it was stolen from his children.
Andy Creer has been advising on a wayleave agreement, obtaining ex parte mandatory injunctions against two mortgagees in possession, and an injunction to prevent persons from entering a building. She has dealt with a number of requests for quizzes since Lockdown began. She is getting used to ‘advocacy in her slippers’, but can’t help noticing that working from home used to be so much quieter before Zoom.
Clare Anslow has spent the month learning how (finally) to operate a paperless practice and is looking forward to maintaining it once the world returns to normal. When she hasn’t been in zoom meetings/webinars/coffee mornings she has been advising on the Coronavirus Act 2020 (particularly s82) and the impact of the new practice direction 51Z.
Lina Mattsson is celebrating concluding her Jarndyce v Jarndyce – it took seven years for the County Court at Barnet to finally determine her client’s service charge claim. What a slog! But Lina’s victory with indemnity costs made it (almost) worthwhile… Lina has also been advising on proprietary estoppel, overage provisions and rent review provisions.