Property Newsletter: May 2024

Gatehouse Chambers


Gatehouse Chambers (formerly Hardwicke) is a leading commercial chambers which specialises in arbitration and all forms of ADR, commercial dispute resolution, construction, insolvency, restructuring and company, insurance, professional liability and property disputes. It also has niche specialisms in clinical negligence and personal injury as well as private client work.
Greetings from the Property Team here at Gatehouse Chambers. In this month's newsletter we have an array of articles for your bedtime reading...
UK Real Estate and Construction
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Greetings from the Property Team here at Gatehouse Chambers. In this month's newsletter we have an array of articles for your bedtime reading:

  • I can, finally, give some more information about a drone trespass case that Gemma de Cordova and I were involved in last year that I mentioned a while back: If you fly your drone, do you trespass my home?
  • David Peachey considersMedley v MacKenzie and others[2024] UKUT 112 (LC), which provides guidance as to the Upper Tribunal's approach to the discretion stage in s.84 applications; and
  • Michael Maris considers the recent decision inChohan v Ved[2024] EWHC 739 (Ch) which is about a defendant director acting in breach of his duty to exercise his powers for proper purposes in the context of granting a lease over a commercial property to himself.

In this months "Did you miss?", Lina Mattsson discusses Davies v Bridgend County Borough Council [2024] UKSC 15 about Japanese knotweed, breach of duty of care, causation and residual diminution in value.

Victoria Dacie-Lombardo is returning as our guest editor over the summer, looking after the newsletter until September. Victoria became a tenant in chambers last year after successfully completing pupillage and brings with her to the Bar 10 years of property litigation experience from her previous career as a solicitor at two top-tier London law firms.

Over and out 'til September...

Editor – Laura Tweedy

What have we been up to?

David Peachey has had a spate of landlord and tenant cases involving commercial properties in SIPS schemes – with tenants on the other side ranging from the difficult to the downright cheeky. All have raised interesting issues, as well as strong feelings where the pension beneficiaries and tenants have had close business relationships in the past.

Philip Marriott has been dealing with rodent infestations following gas works and orders for sale to enforce charging orders, as well as being kept busy by a spate of disrepair cases.

Brie Stevens-Hoare KC has been leading Cameron Stocks as they wrestled with the proper construction of the terms of long lease providing for communal hot water and heating and how they apply when the system providing those services is renewed by replacement of a differently constituted system. Oddly it has also been a month of finding varying degrees of fraud impacting transactions in almost every other case she picks up. Maybe June will be fraud free...

Jamal Demachkie has had a varied month entailing advising on a large-scale service charge dispute, the valuation of goodwill in a series of property transactions, and had an enjoyable week of chancery sittings in the County Court.

Lina Mattsson has had a month dealing with disrepair in various matters. As Lina hates losing, she is also pleased that her clients have got permission to appeal on two different matters with appeals listed to be heard in the summer. If only CLCC could be that quick...

Victoria Dacie-Lombardo has been thinking about development disputes, orders for sale and limitation issues lately, as well as plenty of disrepair and possession cases. Speaking of possession, she enjoyed chatting about all things residential possession and enforcement with Jaysen Sharpe at their recent J2J webinar. ICYMI, you can find the recording here.

Laura Tweedy is probably in Vegas when you read this, child free and celebrating turning 40!

Our Chief Executive and members of the Practice Management Team recently attended UKREiiF in Leeds (the UK's Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum) where they enjoyed catching up with clients and contacts both old and new. Chambers will be making a return to the event in 2025.


Freehold Fisticuffs – dealing with common disputes affecting freehold land

19 Jun 2024, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Gatehouse Chambers' Property Team will be hosting a half-day in-person seminar on some of the issues which arise in claims affecting freehold land.

The seminar will cover legal and practical matters which arise in these property disputes.

Topics will include:

  • Freehold covenants
  • Easements
  • Boundary disputes
  • Party walls
  • Enforcement incl. interim injunctions

Speakers include: John de Waal KC, Faisel Sadiq, Jamal Demachkie, Gemma de Cordova, David Peachey, Priya Gopal, and Adam Smith-Roberts.

Location: Gatehouse Chambers, 1 Lady Hale Gate, Gray's Inn WC1X 8BS

To register your interest in this event, please email

Property Seminar: 1954 Act claims

Look out for our upcoming property seminar scheduled to take place on the 9th July 2024, where Daniel Gatty and Lina Mattsson will discuss tactics in contested 1954 Act claims, drawing on their recent cases mentioned in last month's newsletter .

To register your interest please email

When you fly your drone, do you trespass my home?

Laura Tweedy and Gemma de Cordova, together with Oskar Musial and Helena Davies of Brabners Solicitors, consider the circumstances of a recently reported High Court decision (AIUL v Alex Wainwright and Persons Unknown [2023] 5 WLUK 613) granting a quia timet interim injunction against 'urban explorers' who trespassed on an abandoned seminary building near Manchester.

This is part 1 of a 4-part series considering the interesting aspects of AIUL v Alex Wainwright and Persons Unknown, in which we first look at the court's finding that continuing to fly a drone over private property amounted to trespass.

Access the full article here.

A Medley of legal principles – more covenant firsts in Medley v Mackenzie

It was only a few months ago that the Upper Tribunal handed down the decision in Kay v Cunningham [2023] UKUT 251 (LC). In that case (in which the writer appeared for the successful applicant) the Tribunal established a number of novel points in relation to modification and discharge of restrictive covenants under s.84 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (see the Brew on this here). On 8 May 2024, a differently constituted panel gave a decision in Medley v Mackenzie and others [2024] UKUT 112 (LC), which provides further guidance as to the Upper Tribunal's approach to the discretion stage in s.84 applications.

Click here to read the full article by David Peachey.

Chohan v Ved and others [2024] EWHC 739 (Ch)

Michael Maris considers the recent decision in Chohan v Ved and others [2024] EWHC 739 (Ch).

There were two claims before the Court:

  1. Mrs Chohan's derivative claim under the Companies Act 2006 ('CA 2006') on behalf of Nexbell Limited ('the Company'), alleging breaches by Mr Ved of the duties he owed to the Company as its (at the material time) sole director. This claim was premised on Mr Ved procuring that the Company grant him a lease with security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 ('LTA 1954') at the Company's principal asset: the office premises at 5 Theobald Court, Elstree ('5TC'). Mrs Chohan claimed that the lease was void ab initio or had since been avoided;
  2. Mr Ved's Part 20 claim for declaratory and other relief in relation to a joint venture agreement which he entered into on behalf of himself and his family with Mrs Chohan's husband on behalf of Mrs Chohan and their family, relating to the terms upon which Mr Chohan and Mr Ved agreed that 5TC would be occupied.

Click here to read the full summary by Michael Maris.

Did you miss? Davies v Bridgend County Borough Council [2024] UKSC 15

The claim arose from the encroachment of Japanese knotweed from the appellant local authority's ("LA") land into the respondent's garden. The respondent had purchased his property in 2004, after the encroachment of Japanese knotweed had begun. It was held that the LA could not be blamed for the encroachment at this time. An actionable tort of private nuisance however arose in 2013, when the local authority should have become aware of the risk of damage and loss of amenity to the respondent's land as a result of information about Japanese knotweed which became publicly available at that time. The LA was held liable in private nuisance for having failed to prevent the encroachment between 2013 to 2018 when the LA implemented a reasonable and effective treatment programme.

Click here to read the full article by Lina Mattsson.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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