Welcome to the first edition of the Property Newsletter from Gatehouse Chambers, coming to you from our brand new premises at 1 Lady Hale Gate in Gray's Inn, recently opened by Lady Hale herself. We are so excited to be in our new home. We hope, like us, you had a fantastic summer (let's not speak of the weather!) and whether you're still working from the kitchen table, back in the office, or a mix of the two, that you're refreshed and raring to go for whatever the month has in store.

This month James Hall looks at the recent decision in Ralph v Ralph [2021] EWCA Civ 116 and whether the doctrine of rectification for common mistake operates on the same principles for all types of contract. Amanda Eilledge reflects on the recent decision by Morgan J in Victus Estates (2) Ltd and others v Munroe; Benjamin v Victus Estates (1) Ltd and another [2021] EWHC 2411 (Ch), dealing with forgery, shams and the availability (or not) of the defence of illegality in property transactions.

Claire Gallacher spins the wheel of questions this month.

The next newsletter will be published in October.

Carl Brewin - Editor

Welcome, Gemma de Cordova!

We are delighted that Gemma de Cordova has joined Gatehouse Chambers' Property Team! Gemma is a specialist property barrister with experience across a wide variety of real estate disputes including commercial landlord and tenant, leasehold, development and real property. Find out more about her expertise here.

Activity report - what we have been up to and what we'll be getting up to over the coming month

John de Waal QC managed to mediate (remotely) a case to a successful conclusion whilst he was in Austria this summer and is busy with professional negligence claims this Autumn.

Brie Stevens-Hoare QC has been cycling her way through the summer on a heavy diet of boundaries and cladding related issues from all perspectives. She has allowed herself to be persuaded by others to cycle from London to Brighton for charity! Knowing her distaste for all things exercise and lycra we wonder if she has exceeded her own boundaries!

Peter Petts has been perfecting the prose of this learned tome, Forfeiture of Leases (Law Society Publishing), due for publication this month. Jamal's been colouring in the pictures.

Jamal Demachkie has been studiously correcting all of Peter's errors in their upcoming publication, Forfeiture of Leases. Available in all good bookshops soon.

John Clargo has been dealing with some complicated forfeiture issues and looks forward to getting his copy of the new book to see whether he has got the answers right. He has also been dealing with a pleasant mixed bag of instructions in relation to highway verges, registration of charges, prescriptive easements, severed reversions, rent review and some interesting lease construction points; all while tending to Covid-infested family members and being solely responsible for walking the dog.

Monty Palfrey is looking forward to getting away at the end of the month after a busy Summer. He might even get away before the book of the year comes out.

James Hall has been dealing with more property-related professional negligence, including land registration issues, development monitoring issues and litigation gone wrong over forfeiture, service charges and the transfer of property portfolios. So, quite busy, following a lovely staycation during the short spell of good weather at the start of the Summer!

Andrew Skelly has been getting to grips with commercial rent arrears resulting from the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions; he has obtained an order setting aside a substantial default judgment relating to rent arrears, where the arrears arose during the periods of lockdown (the 'ring-fenced' arrears, which will be the subject of promised legislation).

This month has been all about mortgage fraud for Amanda Eilledge, in addition to a very interesting case about a lease, a school and a football pitch. She also enjoyed a very cold camping trip on the North Norfolk coast.

Lina Mattsson had a busy August with a disputed 54-Act trial, various boundary disputes with some interesting adverse possession arguments. She has also spent two full days at Legoland, which involved endless roller coaster and spinning freefall rides. Next stop, Alton Towers!

Daniel Gatty spent quite a lot of his time on property-related professional negligence cases along with the usual miscellany of landlord and tenant and real property disputes before heading off to a distinctly grey and cool Norfolk (where he didn't bump into Amanda Eilledge, alas).

Upcoming events

Gatehouse Chambers #Brew: Non-Domestic Rates - Empty Buildings and Rates Mitigation Schemes

23 Sep 2021, 12:00 pm

Faisel Sadiq and Priya Gopal review the efficacy of rates mitigation schemes for empty properties post London Borough of Southwark v Ludgate House Limited [2020] EWCA Civ 1637 and Hurstwood Properties v Rossendale Borough Council [2021] UKSC 16.

J2J Property - Laying the Foundations - Insolvency for Property Lawyers

05 Oct 2021, 11:00 am

Amanda Eilledge and Katrina Mather will provide an overview for junior property lawyers. Further details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Please contact our Events Team if you would like to register your interest in any of these events. The joining instructions for each session will be circulated in due course.

Common mistake, rectification and the danger of box-ticking

The remedy of rectification for common mistake continues to be a fertile source of difficult cases and appellate decisions, the latest of which was handed down on 22nd July 2021 in Ralph v Ralph [2021] EWCA Civ 1106. The judgment makes for interesting reading and throws up questions which may yet need to be answered in future cases, particularly regarding whether the doctrine of rectification for common mistake operates on the same principles for all types of contract or other documentary disposition and no matter what context they have arisen in (spoiler: there are already a couple of exceptions: and the Court of Appeal clearly thinks there may be more).

Click here to read the full article by James Hall.

Forgery, shams and the defence of illegality in property transactions

Amanda Eilledge takes a look at Victus Estates (2) Ltd and others v Munroe; Benjamin v Victus Estates (1) Ltd and another [2021] EWHC 2411 (Ch).

Click here to read the article.

Did you see? You may have missed...

No. 1 West India Quay (Residential) Ltd v East Tower Apartments Ltd[2021] EWCA Civ 1119

Service charges; s.20B(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985; contractually valid demand; contractual costs

Click here to read the case summary from Lina Mattsson.

Wheel of Questions

Each month, a member of our property team has to spin 'the Wheel of Questions' and answer the first three questions that come up. This month our Practice Manager, Claire Gallacher tried her luck with the wheel.

What's something you say you'll do, but never will?

Learn another language!

You can eat one thing for every meal, what would you eat?

Chicken Katsu Curry

What are you most afraid of?

Being on a Submarine (watching Vigil has made me paranoid!)

Want to try for yourself?

Click on the wheel below!


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.