Our specialist team of lawyers provide market-leading advice on real estate disputes and risk management relating to real estate assets. We focus on early resolution and are known for our pragmatic, commercial and innovative approach, although we have extensive experience of running successful litigation in the courts and tribunals, where this is necessary to meet our clients’ commercial objectives.

We value our strong client relationships and advise a wide range of commercial property institutions, banks, investment companies and high net worth individuals. Key clients include: Severn Trent Water, Virgin, John Lewis Partnership, the Greater London Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority.

Our expert service ranges from initial advice on the early stages of a dispute to technically complex litigation, as well as asset management of large-scale property portfolios. We specialise in helping our clients to manage risk by providing strategic and cost-effective solutions, identifying and de-escalating potential disputes where possible, but acting decisively to resolve disputes where this is required.  

Real estate disputes can be especially time sensitive and business critical – our proven expertise and the size of our specialist team enables us to give high quality advice clearly and promptly and we have a track record of delivering on client requirements in the most sensitive cases.

The team has an international client base and is ranked Band 1 in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500. 

Areas of focus

Our areas of focus within in real estate disputes includes the following:

  • Commercial landlord and tenant
  • Electronic Communications Code
  • Real property rights
  • Development disputes
  • Secured lending recoveries
  • Property related insolvency advice
  • Strategic and high value residential disputes (including enfranchisement)
  • Property related professional negligence claims (generally acting for claimants)

Advising the Competition and Markets Authority in relation to the termination of the lease of its former London HQ and successful relocation to new premises.

Acting for a global investment bank where we successfully argued for an interpretation of the break clause in our client’s lease in its favour.

Advising a number of landlord and tenant associations in respect of responsibility and funding of remedial cladding works to high-rise residential buildings.

Advising on landlords’ obligations to carry out works, the legal ability to recover the cost of cladding through the service charge mechanisms, as well as warranty claims against insurers and the necessary legal steps concerning consultation requirements.

Advising Torbay Borough Council on a development agreement dispute in respect of one of the Council's key capital assets.

Representing Bristol Rovers (1883) Limited in the High Court and Court of Appeal relating to the enforcement of a development agreement with Sainsburys.

Advising Stevenage Borough Council on the vacant possession strategy for Phase 1 of the £1billion redevelopment of Stevenage Town Centre.

Advising Sutton Harbour Holdings on the redevelopment of various sites around Sutton Harbour in Plymouth.

Acting for a large number of Administrators and LPA Receivers in relation to property portfolios held by insolvent companies and defaulting creditors.

Representing Co-operative Bank over a disputed (BVI) administrative receiver appointment and repossession of property.

Advising landlords in relation to a wide variety of retail CVAs and also in relation to the fallout of the House of Fraser and Debenhams insolvencies.

Advising Severn Trent Water on Code issues relating to its property portfolio.

Advising Transport for Wales on Code issues relating to the transfer of the Core Valley Lines from Network Rail.

Acting for Affinity Water in Bate and Anor v Affinity Water Ltd [2019] in which our client successfully resisted an attempt to challenge its right to run a water main through the claimant’s land.

Representing high net worth individual landowners in Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) in a discharge of restrictive covenant application.

Meet the team
James Sutherland

James Sutherland Partner

  • Head of Real Estate Disputes
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Professional Negligence
Chris Preston

Chris Preston Partner

  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Real Estate Development
  • Telecommunications

Michael Duncan Senior Associate

  • Real estate disputes
  • Dispute resolution 

Rebecca Lee Senior Associate

  • Real Estate Disputes
Headshot of Emily Geens

Emily Geens Senior Associate

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Real Estate Disputes
Heather Leach

Heather Leach Associate

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Agricultural Disputes
Headshot of Robert Bailey

Robert Bailey Associate

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Telecommunications

What others say...

Very well-established with a very strong body of senior experience. The quality of legal advice and efficiency is always exceptionally high throughout the team. I would confidently rate them as excellent.

Legal 500 2024

The Electronic Communications Code

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