Dispute Resolution

I have wide experience of disputed rent reviews, including the conduct of arbitrations and expert determinations, and of lease renewal proceedings under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The bulk of my work has been of a non-contentious nature (although reconciling different interests in transactional work sometimes seems anything but), but I also have considerable experience of negotiating the resolution of disputes including, when necessary, litigation. Experience in this field has taught me the importance in any negotiation of being able to understand the viewpoints and objectives of all parties. In many cases, I have been able to help resolve issues which would normally have led to litigation.

Examples:

Negotiating on behalf of the institutional tenant of a very well-known west end of London listed building the settlement of a lease renewal application by the institution which was resisted by its overseas landlords. The landlords had a strong case, but by applying pressure by means of an application to the Court for a new tenancy I was able to achieve a very satisfactory settlement.

On behalf of the Covent Garden Area Trust, resisting a proposal by the commercial owners of a key site in central Covent Garden to convert the building into a large (600 covers) restaurant. This involved taking the commercial owners, a major insurance and financial services group, to arbitration. Despite heavyweight legal and witness representation by the insurance group, the charity was wholly successful and was awarded costs on a full indemnity basis.

Advising the Barbican Residents’ Association in connection with an application for a Public Entertainment Licence for a late-night entertainment venue adjoining the Barbican Estate. The unique agreement which followed is referred to in Experience: Planning and Related Work. I advised the Association in the organised objection to the operator’s initially proposed closing time of 3am. Unusually (I think it was the first time for these particular operators) we were able to persuade the relevant committee of the local authority to throw the application out.

Dealing on behalf of a subsidiary of Queens Moat Houses Limited with an application to the High Court for a declaration to resolve a dispute between the client and its landlord, the Cadogan Estate. The declaration was granted in the terms requested: the case was widely reported.

Conducting for the landlord a dispute concerning the rent payable under the lease of an office building in London’s mid-town. This included the conduct of an arbitration concerning a number of issues and parallel proceedings for the enforcement of a schedule of dilapidations as a means of encouraging a satisfactory negotiated solution (eventually achieved).

Negotiating an agreement with a potential developer regarding the funding of litigation over the enforcement of an indemnity and successfully negotiating a settlement with the indemnifying third party; see also section Services: Development.

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