Activity report – what have our team been up to?
John de Waal KC has been arguing about the admissibility of similar fact evidence in a £10m prof neg claim about a defective lease.
John Clargo finished December 2022 by concluding a nuisance/unlawful alterations trial which was last before the court in October 2021. Well, concluding the evidence anyway: no date yet set for submissions. He started January 2023 by not concluding a breach determination hearing at the FTT. There, not only has the evidence not been concluded, but not even the 1st witness (despite the other side being barred from taking any part). Otherwise he has been involved in issues relating to registration of options, easements, limitation (both as regards adverse possession and in respect of enforcing judgments), knotty problems involving charging orders and the registration of amended legal charges (at HMLR and Companies House).
Clare Anslow has been busy in court the last few weeks; she particularly enjoyed a short stroll from home to Oxford County Court last week – it made a nice change from being cramped on a train. Clare has a number of hearings in the First Tier Tribunal (which are finally back to being face-to-face) arguing about effective notifications for rent repayment orders.
Jamal Demachkie had a busy month preparing for an interesting 54 Act trial (only to be adjourned last minute) and a long-running ToLATA dispute (only to be adjourned last minute)… plus ça change. He also enjoyed leading a workshop on forfeiture at the Chancery Bar Association Annual Conference.
Laura Tweedy had a lovely time off over Christmas, swimming with wild sting rays in the Cayman Islands and cuddling sloths in Honduras. It was hard to get back to the grind in January (especially with this cold weather, what is that about?!) but she has been enjoying mediating property disputes, advising on the new Welsh landlord and tenant reforms (she’s Geordie, not Welsh, but more often gets asked if she’s Welsh so feels some kindred spirit) and drafting proceedings in a right to light matter to stave off a light obstruction notice.
Cameron Stocks had a busy start to the month preparing for a 4-day trial concerning the interpretation of an express declaration of trust in circumstances where the key witnesses had lost capacity and were unable to provide live evidence. Alas, due to the joys of the civil justice system, the trial was adjourned due to lack of judicial availability and then immediately settled. In an unexpected twist of events, Cameron then stepped in to cover a colleague’s hearing only to subsequently become a potential witness in criminal proceedings following an altercation in the court waiting room! Who said this job wasn’t exciting?
Andrew Skelly has started the year back in drains and sewers, advising in a number of cases involving defective drainage on residential developments. He has also been settling objections to a couple of Definitive Map Modification Orders, seeking to resist confirmation of orders which would add public rights of way to the Definitive Map and Statement.
Peter Petts went to see Sir Ian McKellen in Mother Goose. Oh no he didn’t! He did and it was very entertaining.
David Peachey concluded a case exactly four years – to the day – after it started, and had a pile of paperwork waiting to welcome him home from a Christmas break.
Daniel Gatty successfully appealed an order that struck out his client’s case as long ago as 2019! Daniel wasn’t acting when the case was struck out, he hastens to add. That aside, his time has been mainly taken up with restrictive covenants, easements and commercial L & T disputes.
When not in Court, Monty Palfrey has been advising on an interesting breach of quiet enjoyment case and sorting out how to enforce a couple of Tomlin Orders agreed by others.
Lina Mattsson has started 2023 with yet more trials, this time arguing about prescriptive easements and joint tenancies being severed. Swimming in the sea in Lanzarote now seems like a distant memory.
Gemma de Cordova was delighted to (finally) enjoy a lovely big family Christmas after two years of Covid-related cancellations! She was relieved to get 2023 off to a successful start when the appeal against a possession order she had secured for her client last year, was dismissed on all four grounds. Gemma is ending the month busily drafting and advising in disputes concerning urban trespassers; guarantors in commercial leases; rights of way; and termination of licence agreements.
Amanda Eilledge has had a very busy month advising on alteration of the property register due to a mistake; novation and the liability for dilapidations under a commercial lease and ending with an arbitration dealing with damp, floor slabs and underpinning.