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Dispute Resolution

Our Property Litigation Team comprises partners, solicitors, associate solicitors, trainee solicitors and paralegals with a wealth of combined knowledge and experience who can advise and represent both commercial and private clients of all sizes.  We act for both landlords and tenants alike, from single properties to large-scale developments locally and with a large clientele based countrywide.  

We handle cases brought in the County Court, High Court, First-Tier Tribunal and Lands Tribunal.  Our instructions come directly from clients as well as their managing agents or other representatives who may be assisting them.  

The Team is vastly experienced in dispute resolution matters such as litigation, alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”), mediation and arbitration.  We work closely with other Teams in the firm, including Commercial Property, Residential Conveyancing, Company & Commercial which enables us to offer clients a broad range of services

Commercial Property

Dispute Resolution

We provide advice to landlords seeking to recover sums due under commercial leases.  Such advice needs to be tailored to suit the situation and the ultimate business needs of the landlord and we have extensive experience of representing clients at both the Courts and the Tribunals.

Forfeiture of a commercial premises lease and the taking back of possession can be fraught with obstacles and detailed consideration of the circumstances is required before any action is commenced.  Only when you are certain that the premises does not comprise any form of residential property should you proceed with the instruction of a bailiff who should follow a strict protocol when attending at the premises for the locks to be changed, thereby forfeiting the lease.  If the correct procedure is not followed, it is likely that a commercial landlord will be subject to a very expensive process to reverse the forfeiture or possibly even to fend off a wronged tenant’s Court injunction or application for relief from forfeiture.

We act for both landlords and tenants – from individual business owners to large property investors – in contested lease renewal proceedings issued under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.  We work closely with surveyors to ensure that our clients achieve the best possible terms for the future tenancy as well as ensuring that landlord clients wishing to recover possession achieve precisely that.

Under the vast majority of leases, landlords can enforce repairing obligations by issuing a claim for either damages or an order that the tenant carry out the repairs, carrying out the works for themselves and recovering the costs, or issuing proceedings to recover possession of the premises on account of the breach.  We have extensive experience acting primarily for landlords (but also for tenants) seeking such remedies. 

We also frequently act for both landlord and tenant clients who are dealing with the state of repair of the property when the lease is coming to, or has come to, an end.  We have acted for landlords pursuing high value dilapidations and tenants seeking to minimise their liability for sudden and costly repair costs.  We have an excellent understanding of the complex issues of standards of repair and the effect on the valuation of the property.  

Advice needs to be taken at the earliest possible stage from service of the schedule of dilapidations; we deal with such cases from this formal service stage right through to contested legal proceedings before the Court.  We advise both landlords and tenants on all types of dilapidations claims and remedies available to them or steps they can take to limit their liability.

It is essential that landlords of commercial property ensure their tenants comply with their lease obligations so that the value of their property is not impacted upon.  We deal with such matters for our landlord clients on a daily basis and provide clear and concise advice as to the remedies which are available to remedy the breach.

Since squatting residential buildings became a criminal matter, vacant commercial premises are at a greater risk of being occupied by squatters.  To minimise the damage that could be caused to the premises, we advise landlord clients to act immediately and we aim to issue Court proceedings within 24 hours of being instructed.  We handle such cases from issue to the instruction of bailiffs who are tasked with evicting and clearing the premises.  

Boundary disputes can be very stressful, protracted and hugely expensive if they are not resolved quickly and, as a result, escalate into a fully-litigated Court case.  Such disputes can involve anything from the encroachment on land by a garden wall by just a few centimetres to removal and re-siting of a boundary structure.  Such cases must be dealt with in a swift and non-confrontational way at the outset in an attempt to avoid intensifying the dispute further, which in turn can lead to increased legal fees.  We will endeavour to diffuse the dispute as quickly as possible, at the least expense to our client, which will often be by way of ADR.

Questions and disputes often arise in connection with the scope and enforceability of restrictive covenants which land/properties are subject to.  These can arise in the context of such things as property development, rights of way/access etc.  The Team can advise on the enforceability of such covenants and help navigate a way through negotiations with the other party/ies as appropriate to reach a solution which is satisfactory to all.

Alongside advice on covenants, we also provide advice as to easement disputes such as rights of way, rights to park, rights of access.  In brief, an easement give a party the right to use or access another party’s neighbouring property.  Easements can relate to many things such as a driveway, drains, pipes, gutters and cables.  Such disputes can be extremely stressful so time is of the essence in addressing the issues and reaching a resolution to them.

In the current climate, landlords are experiencing increasing number of tenants who are struggling financially and are unable to pay any or all of their rental payments.  That often results in liquidation or an administration which seeks to impose variations of the lease terms on the landlord.  We provide advice to our landlord clients on the measures they can take to protect their as well as forward planning to ensure payments are forthcoming in the future.  The advice we provide to our landlord clients in such circumstances will vary depending on the nature of the insolvency.

Our expertise in licensing legislation will prove invaluable in ensuring that your business is run in a profitable way and minimises any operational challenges that may otherwise arise.  We are experienced in assisting a wide variety of clients which include restaurants, bars and supermarkets amongst others.  We advise on a range of licensing matters, including licence applications, licence review hearings and closure orders.  We also provide specialist advice in relation to taxi licenses. The advice we give will be as straightforward and practical as possible to ensure a cost-effective service is provided for? your business.

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Dispute Resolution Team

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Dispute Resolution

  • Rent arrears recovery
  • Possession claims to include s.8 and s.21 proceedings
  • Service charge disputes
  • Tribunal proceedings including variation of lease terms and appointment of manager applications
  • Adverse possession claims

The Team advises clients on a full range of residential property issues which can involve County Court, High Court or First-Tier Tribunal proceedings.  Swift action can prevent the necessity for lengthy and expensive proceedings so we advise clients at the outset of our view as to the best course of action to reach a satisfactory resolution as efficiently as possible.

Whether the issues relate to the recovery of rent arrears, the eviction of a tenant by service of a Section 8 or Section 21 Notice or a claim for trespass, the Team will give clear advice as to what is required to achieve the desired outcome and the costs that may be involved.  

When Tribunal proceedings are required (e.g. applications for lease variations, service charge disputes and applications to appoint a manager) these can be lengthy and costly.  If proceedings are necessary, we aim to minimise the time, stress and costs for our clients to minimise the impact throughout the process.