Activity Report – What we have been up to and what we'll be getting up to over the coming month
Notwithstanding some time off, August was quite busy for John Clargo dealing with, for example, (1) alleged breach of property repairing obligations in a share sale agreement, (2) dealing with land registry entries inhibiting entry of deeds of priority and replacement first legal charge, (3) restrictive covenants limiting density of building, (4) an abandoned trial of a co-ownership dispute involving property in an EU country held in the name of a US corporation and (5) knotweed (it gets everywhere).
Jamal Demachkie has enjoyed a few mini-breaks over the Summer, but has found the time to work on a real mix of old school ‘Real Property’ work: A few easements, a couple of covenants, a ToLATA application or two, and a smattering of leasehold disputes. It’s like being back at first year law school!
Morayo Fagborun Bennett spent July preparing for and then leading Usman Roohani in the Court of Appeal in Sara and Hossein v Blacks, which was heard remotely. She took part in the September Social Housing and Property Hardwicke Brew, trying to keep up with the constantly changing position on possession claims. She has also been providing advice to service providers, a housing association and tenants on reasonable adjustments, PSED and disability discrimination.
Daniel Gatty managed to pick the wettest part of August to go to Devon, but thoroughly enjoyed some time away from his computer even so. Either side of his holiday he has been busy with matters as diverse as (alleged) conveyancing negligence, rescission of an agreement for a restaurant lease and liability for the cost of dealing with dangerous cladding.
James Hall has sadly avoided going head to head with Lina Mattsson at trial in a matter relating to misrepresentation and breach of repairing covenants in a commercial lease of a hotel…by virtue of the matter recently settling at mediation which both were involved in…hopefully they’ll get that chance again soon!
Charlotte John has been back to court in person to conclude a trial concerning the beneficial ownership of 12 properties, alleged forgery, and breach of fiduciary duty. She reports that the experience of wearing face masks around court was novel, but that it was great to be back in court and to take a break from her spare room. She has also successfully secured an order establishing a life interest in a property for her client on proprietary estoppel grounds, together with an award of damages against the personal representatives who had wrongfully evicted her client.
Lina Mattsson has had a busy month settling cases in virtual mediations. Pleased for the parties, she is disappointed missing out on her victory over James Hall at trial (for the record Lina is not at all competitive and her family are wrong for refusing to play boardgames with her!).
In addition to taking part in many of the Property Brews and acting as the family flight booking agent (cancellation clerk), Monty Palfrey undertook the necessary training to qualify as an accredited mediator with the Bar Council. Currently looking for more work in this regard on either side of the fence. Otherwise busy dealing with the various ‘real’ property issues that arise when property owners appear to have little to do during the pandemic but complain about what their neighbours are up to.
Peter Petts has been arguing against novel points raised against an arrears of rent claim: frustration of the lease due to Covid-19, and a no set-off against rent clause being unreasonable. Watch this space for the outcome of the summary judgment application…
Andrew Skelly had a smattering of interesting remote hearings, including a disposal hearing in the TCC for breach of collateral warranty in a construction dispute, and an application under Part 11 for a declaration that the court has no jurisdiction to hear a claim where only a photocopy of the claim form was emailed during the four months after issue. Otherwise, he has been advising as to rights of way over car parks as far afield as Cornwall and Lincolnshire.
Brie Stevens-Hoare QC has emerged for a couple of in-person conferences and a site visit but has otherwise been in too many zoom meetings. There seems to be an explosion of boundary issues and disputes about conditional contract going on for Brie. She says she’s also enjoyed revisiting rights of first refusal.
Cameron Stocks has spent a large part of his month appearing virtually in the FTT arguing all things cladding related with reasonableness challenges, applications to vary leases and dispensation from consultation requirements. When not in the tribunal, Cameron has had an influx of private client crossover work with disputes as to the entitlement of an executor/beneficiary to grant an easement and whether an assent breaches a qualified covenant not to assign.
Laura Tweedy has been loving getting back to some work after maternity leave and lockdown with two small children. She recently attended an “in person” landlord and tenant/trespasser injunction and has also been busy giving seminars and writing articles on the changes to property and landlord and tenant matters following Covid. Laura is still tentatively on maternity leave but happily taking occasional cases if you would like to contact her.
John de Waal QC has been working on a large dilapidations claim involving a substantial loss of rent claim of £1.3 million.