Activity report – what have our team been up to?
James Hall has been dealing with multiple claims for secured lenders against monitoring surveyors on developments, and has had three mediations in fairly quick succession – including two in person, which was a nice return to some sort of normality. Also, he helped another lender to successfully persuade the Land Registry to exercise its apparently little-used power under r114 LRR 2003 to ‘accept and act upon any other proof of satisfaction of a charge that [it] may regard as sufficient’ in a case involving applicable law in relation to a charge over English property granted in error to a Swiss trustee company which had been dissolved when it should have been granted to a Caribbean trustee instead!
John de Waal KC is feeling slightly strange about his change in status from QC to KC. He has been working on a complex rights of way case in the Bahamas which definitely requires a site view!
Clare Anslow returned from 9 months of parental leave over the summer and was dismayed to find some of her cases still waiting for trial. Clare has enjoyed getting back to court in person where she actually gets to speak to people rather than the disembodied voices over the phone that was the norm last year. Clare has been working on a long running boundary dispute, breaches of a mediation agreement and a handful of commercial possession cases.
Since returning from a holiday in the Pacific North West during August, Daniel Gatty’s time has been spent mediating over a break clause in a commercial lease and advising and litigating over restrictive covenants, easements, forfeiture of a commercial lease, renewal of business leases and conveyancing (alleged) negligence. The gamut of property law, really.
Jamal Demachkie has spent the last month arguing boundaries, covenants and 54 Act renewals, with a smattering of forfeitures thrown in for good measure. He also managed to pick up a little award…
Steven Woolf returned from his break straight into two TOLATA trials, but the most interesting and rewarding day was spent on a judge led Settlement meeting of a multi-million pound property dispute involving a freehold and 9 leasehold units. The judge was extremely good and a case that looked as if it was heading for trial was settled after a lot of hard work by all concerned. Having done countless mediations, this was my first experience of this type of ADR and I must say I thought it was excellent. The judge took the lead, expected and demanded more of the parties and was far more in control of the process than a mediator. From this initial experience, I anticipate much more of this type of ADR in the future.
Carl Brewin enjoyed his summer at a traditional Italian Trullo, bettered (?) only by his recent stay at the “Purple Palace”, aka Premier Inn, for a trial on a boundary and neighbour dispute. A jaunt to Manchester for in person argument about the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 too, travel is Trulli back. (Ed – you can see why he’s no longer the newsletter editor)
Lina Mattsson has had a busy start to the new term, including a surprising outcome after a 4- day hard fought boundary dispute in which the judge refused to decide the position of the boundary. And Lina who thought that was the judge’s job…? Lina has also been in the Upper Tribunal led by Jamal Demachkie and has argued about various Party Walls and easements.
Andrew Skelly has been dealing with all things adverse possession: one trial where the clients claimed to have acquired title to the roadway verge (judgment awaited); another claim referred to the First-tier Tribunal where the clients seek first registration of the roadway, and the other side claim title to the verge by adverse possession; a trial in the Tribunal where the client claims to have acquired title to land by adverse possession before it was registered; and advising in a case where the client claims title to a narrow strip of land, having moved a fence.
Brie’s month has been extremely busy and full of battles. She’s been very involved with boundary disputes of various types, on developments and between warring neighbour, over land and water. She had a good dose challenges to both contracts and deeds based various on proper construction, rectification for mistake as well as incapacity and/or undue influence. For something a little different she enjoyed that rare event a fully contested rent issue on a ’54 renewal including that old chestnut how to treat rent free periods, particularly in relation to the available comparable evidence. And now she is heading off for a couple of weeks in Cornwall, walking on beaches and throwing…a pot or three.