Activity report - What we have been up to
Brie Stevens-Hoare QC’s month consisted of a heady mix of LPA receivers powers, restrictive covenants and options and is being topped off by a commercial service charge battle against our own Peter Petts – what more could she ask for?
During January, Rupert Cohen has been either in a mediation (both mediating and acting for parties) or the FtT on appointment of a manager applications at least once a week. Fortunately during the rest of the working week he found time to visit Brighton, Southend and Bristol (a coastal theme…) on a mortgage fraud, covenant enforceability and breach of directors’ duties dispute respectively.
Steven Woolf secured another Borough wide injunction, this time protecting the Green spaces of Greenwich and advised on a multi-million pound purchase of student accommodation in Birmingham.
On her return from a sunnier than expected holiday in Tenerife, Amanda Eilledge has had an insolvency themed month, including advising a tenant in a dispute with the administrator of a freeholder and finally getting round to writing her paper on the risks associated with insolvency in property transactions.
A service charge heavy month for Simon Allison. As well as three trials in three weeks concerning major works and insurance charges, Simon received judgment in one of the first Tribunal determinations concerning the recovery of the cost of works and services required to ensure fire safety in blocks clad in ACM Type 3 cladding (as was installed on Grenfell Tower), as reported in the national and trade press. View the decision, which concerned the cost of fire wardens.
Emily Betts has been in the Court of Appeal (led by Michael Wheater) on the nature of the service regime under the Party Wall Act.
Daniel Gatty spent a good deal of last month on a trial about prescriptive easements. When he wasn’t working on that, he was dealing with everything from vesting orders following company dissolution to forfeiture of restaurant leases (regarding two entirely unrelated restaurants, by coincidence).
Alastair Redpath-Stevens has seen the trend for committals continuing with the latest (un)civil miscreant being imprisoned for 18 months for various misdeeds. In the FtT, some timely advice saw the client off the hook as the other side were cornered into withdrawing their application once it dawned on them that they had been trying to land the wrong respondent. Paperwork included, somewhat strangely, an application to undo a possession order obtained by the client in error!
John de Waal QC is instructed in relation to a dispute about a promotion agreement where the land has a GDV of £140m.
Jamal Demachkie has spent January arguing ground (g) in a disputed 54 Act renewal, and advising on (and then lecturing on) overage agreements. He has filled the rest of his time with his usual forfeiture hearings.
Cameron Stocks’ January largely revolved around service charge disputes from challenges in the FtT about major works on a development in South London to arguments about the service of county court proceedings for the recovery of service charges when a lessee’s bail conditions prohibit him from residing at the property in question. He has also been advising on the obligations of a railway company to maintain level crossings under the Railway Clauses Consolidation Act 1845.
Andrew Skelly spent a very interesting week as a guest of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. Back in the UK, he has been advising a local authority regarding easements potentially enjoyed by a large residential development over a road owned by the local authority (which is not an adopted public highway). In addition, he has advised a substantial land owner as to its rights and obligations in relation to various roads adjoining some of its properties.
Carl Brewin kicked off the new year with not one but two muddy site views. It nearly didn’t rain for both of them. Back indoors and in trial he then dealt with the sad tale and unfortunate repercussions of a lawyer imposter fraudster, before ending the month with some good old missing landlord enfranchisement. It’s always easier when the other side doesn’t turn up!
A hectic start to the year for Monty Palfrey, who appears to be playing “Top Trumps” on hearings in cathedral cities: Birmingham, Bradford, Norwich, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Truro and York so far this year. All this whilst dealing diet of pub cases, enfranchisement, disrepair and obtaining a trespass injunction to cover all buildings belonging to a non-campus university.