Overview

If you own land, or if you occupy it, there is a risk you will be involved in a property dispute. We will work with you to quickly develop a strategy to manage your dispute and to achieve the outcome you want.

Each dispute is different, as are the needs of each of our clients. Our expertise in litigation, arbitration, expert determination, mediation and negotiation means we can offer a strategy to meet your needs.

We appreciate that to provide the best legal solutions it is imperative to understand the business context within which our clients operate.

Our lawyers have experience in a number of sector areas which reflect the businesses which our clients operate. This gives them the ability to quickly assess the commercial factors that influence a particular dispute.

Advice for property investors
 

We undertake the full range of portfolio management work to include:

  • Lease renewal litigation
  • Forfeiture and possession proceedings
  • Enforcement of breaches of covenant including dilapidations
  • Rent review and service charge disputes
  • Break notice disputes
  • Issues in relation to assignment and subletting

We appreciate that some disputes require a bespoke approach as they may be high value or have particular commercial importance to your portfolio; or that your requirements may be different for your high volume work such as unopposed lease renewals.

Advice for property occupiers
 

The legal issues for Property Occupiers are the same as Property Investors but the requirements will often be different. We place an emphasis on understanding our clients' businesses and unique drivers that allow us to

Our work for property occupiers is the flip side of the coin to our work for property investors. The legal issues are the same but the requirements of the client will often be different. It is our emphasis upon understanding our clients’ businesses and unique drivers that allows us to best bring our experience to bear for their benefit.

Advice for property developers
 

We have extensive experience of all freehold issues which can arise in relation to development projects. We advise on easements for the supply and discharge of water as well as easements for other services, rights of way and third party rights, options, overage disputes, specific performance and rights to light. We have the necessary skills in all aspects of Landlord and Tenant law to provide vacant possession strategies. We advise upon the termination of all forms of residential, commercial and agricultural occupancy including litigation where necessary. We appreciate the need to provide fast, effective, commercial advice.

Advice for energy companies 
 

We have acted for some of the country’s largest energy companies managing their property portfolios and advising in relation to the contentious aspects of their energy generation developments. We provide advice upon site acquisition and clearance disputes to facilitate development, including all aspects of agricultural tenancy legislation which can often be vital to the success of a generation development project. We also advise energy generation clients upon nuisance claims made as a result of flicker (caused by wind turbines), noise and emissions

Advice for education establishments
 

We act for both Further and Higher Education establishments in relation to their property portfolios. This ranges from disputes in relation to the development of new buildings, third party rights over an institutions’ land (to include Village Green Applications) and student protests on campus. We advise on all student accommodation issues to include duties in relation to physical alterations for disabled students as well as the interaction between the accommodation agreement and the student contract.

Advice for public and third sector organisations 
 

We advise our public sector and not for profit clients upon the full range of disputes which relate to their property portfolios. This can include commercial, residential and agricultural tenancy issues including management of County Farm Portfolios as well as freehold disputes involving adverse possession claims, trespass, subsidence, public and private rights of way and the full range of development disputes. In addition to our dispute resolution work, we offer specialist advisory advice in conjunction with our commercial property team to ensure that our clients benefit from our ability to see where disputes could arise and to take preventative action. Prevention is in our view almost always better than cure.

 

Key contact

Rob is Head of Property Litigation at Hugh James. He leads a team with a broad range of experience across the full scope of property disputes including adverse possession claims, squatter evictions, compulsory purchase, easements, wayleaves and other third party rights, dilapidations claims, lease renewal litigation, the operation of break clauses, possession claims and housing law litigation.

View team

Quotes

Robert Phillips is recommended for the full span of commercial and social housing property disputes. A client says: “He provides excellent, pragmatic advice in a friendly manner.”

Chambers & Partners UK

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Thank you again for your prompt response which led to an immediate resolution and prevented a potentially difficult situation from developing. Your legal advice makes a very significant difference to the way we are able to do business and has a positive effect on our financial performance

Mike Norgate, Director, Clarnor Estates Ltd

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I have been extremely pleased with the work and advice carried out by Rob Philips and Caroline O’Flaherty. They all took on this work with very short notice and their advice gave us the confidence to proceed with the relocation of our Manchester Office and we all worked together to successfully achieve this target in the extremely tight time frame that we had been presented with.

Colin Tibbs, Facilities Manager UK and Ireland, Atradius Credit Insurance NV

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They are pragmatic, sensible and responsive, and will get the job done without losing focus on our overall aims and objectives.

Chambers and Partners UK

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He is always extremely well informed on the latest case law and has an excellent grasp of the finer points of our lease wordings. He also ensures that his team are prompt in processing our instructions and providing feedback as matters progress.

Chambers and Partners UK

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