Activity report – a selection of what some of us have been up to this month
John de Waal KC, Katrina Mather and William Golightly are mid trial in Valley View Health Centre v NHS Property Services Ltd, a test case concerning services charges levied by NHSPS upon GPs surgeries and one of The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2022.
Peter Petts has been in the Chancery applications court, obtaining an interim injunction for re-entry to a commercial site, following the landlord’s putative, peaceable re-entry, which raised knotty issues of leases and licences, possession and occupation, and unlawful eviction. The application was, as they inevitably are, at 2pm on a Friday.
John Clargo has mostly been out of action with a bad back and has not been able to go to court or sit at a desk. He would have relished being able to do anything useful at 2pm on a Friday. He has though managed to provide some advice on restrictive covenants, commercial service charges and (lately) to prepare for a forthcoming HC trial on a proprietary estoppel/constructive trust claim.
Brie Stevens-Hoare KC has been out and about mediating (as mediator and advocate) as well as being up to her neck in drafting and prepping an appeal. The subject matter includes constructive trusts, promotion agreements, boundaries, rights of way and some dilapidations. She had fun at the PLA Conference and then sang about inherent defects as the price for a very nice supper.
James Hall has had some interesting instructions from lenders – whether criminal activity and/or illicit HMO operation would be a ground for possession and in another matter, how to remove a first charge vested in the wrong offshore trust company which is insolvent. As well as a new resi-development-finance-monitoring-surveying-gone-wrong case.
Laura Tweedy had a wonderful time in the South of France at MIPIM and in short hiatus between getting back and getting Covid (again!) she has been off to the High Court trying to get a long overdue possession order executed, doing a deal for a client doomed to defeat at court, drafting multiple possession claims and advising on Rent Repayment Orders and inherent defects.
Amongst the normal residential/commercial possession and land injunction claims, Steven Woolf had to look at a number of cases involving damages for development profit, including restrictive covenants and rights to light.
Jamal Demachkie enjoyed meeting so many property solicitors at the PLA Oxford Conference, and has otherwise had an enjoyable month mixing judicial sittings with the day job. His highlight of the month was arguing in the High Court whether a s.25 notice marked ‘without prejudice’ could be relied upon to terminate a tenancy.
Lina Mattsson has had another month dealing with various easement and boundary disputes, including a three-day dealing with the right to “self-help”. It is fair to say judges do not like litigants who bring out the sledgehammer to remove a perceived trespass by their neighbour. Lina is now ready for the breach – bring on Easter holidays!
Daniel Gatty successfully defended what he believes to be the first to reach trial of many claims against conveyancing solicitors that are making their way through the courts, in which it is alleged that buyers of new-build leasehold houses were given insufficient advice about the ground rent provisions in the lease.