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Sub practice
Sub practice

Real Estate Litigation and Planning Disputes

The real estate market is always changing. Businesses need lawyers who know the market, understand the commerciality of issues as well as the law, and will give advice tailored to a particular business need.

We are recognised as a leading real estate litigation practice with an outstanding reputation for handling complex ad hoc and high-profile commercial property and planning disputes, acting on pivotal cases for a wide range of clients ; from government bodies and international financial institutions to major corporate concerns.

Examples of the kinds of cases that our London office can advise on include:

  • Landlord and tenant matters - break notice disputes, service charge claims, possession and forfeiture actions, dilapidations, lease renewal or business tenancy claims under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and rent review.
  • Insolvency-related disputes advising insolvency practitioners, advising on a landlord's remedies in the face of an insolvent tenant.
  • Neighbour disputes rights to light claims, nuisance, boundary issues, restrictive covenants, rights of access.
  • Professional negligence actions for example in relation to advice given by solicitors, valuers' negligence cases concerning surveyors, and claims against management companies.
  • Major property transaction disputes construction disputes between contractor and developer, failures to complete, warranty claims, joint venture disputes and limited partner disputes.
  • Enfranchisement - in respect of prime and super prime residential premises, advising landlords and tenants in respect of lease extension and collective enfranchisement (freehold purchase) claims.

Recent examples of work by other offices include representing:

  • A major German real estate fund in connection with the late delivery of an important real estate development in Luxembourg
  • A Hong Kong company on the commencement of legal proceedings against a company for recovery of possession of the property together with the arrears of rent, management charges and other moneys due under a lease

Our emphasis is on providing pragmatic advice tailored to specific situations, which makes us the natural choice for the 'big ticket' work relating to a wide variety of property types, including large development sites, shopping centres and office blocks. We take time to fully understand our clients businesses and the wider property market.

Clients also benefit from our pre-emptive commercial advice, which flags up potential future problems. As a first step, we try to avoid disputes and to contain our clients costs. When unavoidable, we use court proceedings or other dispute resolution procedures to achieve their goals.

With wide experience of the property market and all types of dispute resolution procedure, we are used to managing many of the largest and most complex multi-party disputes. Working closely with our real estate, insolvency, corporate, projects and finance teams, we provide clients with creative legal solutions to their business problems, right up to conclusion of a project or dispute.

News & insights

News: 27 FEBRUARY 2020

Global Antitrust group retains top three ranking by Global Competition Review

For the third year running, Allen & Overy’s global antitrust group has been ranked number three in Global Competition Review’s annual survey of the world’s leading competition practices. 

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Publications: 25 FEBRUARY 2020

A misprediction is not a mistake: settlement not set aside despite change in law

A change in the law made shortly after a compromise agreement was entered into did not give rise to a common mistake of law capable of setting aside the agreement.  The High Court held that while the doctrine of mistake operates in the context of compromise agreements, there was no “common assumption” between the parties as to the relevant law in this case and therefore no mistake.  The court observed that “a mistake will more likely arise where a well-established and unquestioned rule of law is dramatically overturned than where a single decision on a new and difficult point is overruled”.  The decision highlights the reluctance of the English courts to disturb already concluded settlements on the basis of a future revision of the law: Jeremy Philip Elston v (1) Lawrence King (2) Sue Roscoe (trustees in bankruptcy of Jeremy Philip Elston) [2020] EWHC 55 (Ch).

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Publications: 16 SEPTEMBER 2019

Spanish Supreme Court position on the effects of nullity of early termination clauses

On 11 September, the Spanish Supreme Court, in a plenary meeting, has issued ruling number 463/2019, stating its criteria on the effects of nullity of early termination clauses included in consumer mortgage loan agreements.

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Energy

Publications: 09 MAY 2019

"Without prejudice" communications inadmissible to answer allegations of reasonableness of settlement

“Without prejudice” (WP) communications cannot be admitted to answer allegations made in related proceedings where the rights of the party to the WP communications had not been finally determined. It was not necessary to admit the WP communications in order to resolve the issues in question, and moreover this would adversely affect the legitimate protection afforded to the parties to the WP communications. 

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Our dedicated real estate litigation team works closely with lawyers in our real estate, planning, construction and environmental practices to advise on the full range of issues that are of both strategic and operational importance to corporates with regard to their real estate holdings.