Welcome to the May edition of the Property Newsletter from Gatehouse Chambers.
Congratulations to our Patrick Sarson on his well-earned and well-deserved appointment as Senior Practice Manager to the Property, Private Client and Professional Negligence Teams. Patrick has been with Gatehouse since 2014, is recommended by the Legal 500 and in 2021 won the Chambers Professional of the Year at the Advocate Bar Pro Bono Awards.
This month Priya Gopal looks at the Privy Council decision in Nature Resorts Ltd v First Citizens Bank  UKPC 10 in which undue influence in the context of a mortgage over commercial property was considered and where the Privy Council offered practical guidance applicable to all cases for relevant factors to consider and weigh up if undue influence is being asserted.
Jamal Demachkie also spins the wheel of questions for us.
The next newsletter will be in June.
Carl Brewin – Editor
Activity report – a selection of what some of us have been up to this month
John de Waal QC has finished a month-long trial for the BMA and is preparing for another long trial in June concerning a dispute between property developers in South Kensington.
Brie Stevens-Hoare QC has been juggling boundary disputes, restrictive covenants, an interesting rectification claim and a couple of wonderfully complicated old-fashioned adverse possession and accretion claims over this last month.
Daniel Gatty's month has involved everything from forfeiture of a commercial lease to disputed rights of way via private cemeteries (the case about a cemetery in which Daniel succeeded in the High Court last year is making its way towards a hearing in the Court of Appeal) and solicitors' (alleged) negligence. A veritable smorgasbord of property-themed disputes.
James Hall has been advising, again, in the ultra-niche area of Inclosure Awards, requiring trawling through private Acts of Parliament (not easy to get hold of) from 1801 all the way through to the early twentieth century. Did you know that if you breach any provision of the St Mary's Nottingham (Nottinghamshire) Inclosure Act 1845 (8 & 9 Vict.) for which no other particular penalty is provided then a magistrate may still fine you £5 (!) for doing so? So says section CLIX of the Act. Yes, all the section numbers are in Roman numerals....
Jamal Demachkie has been sunning himself on holiday and, now back to work, has an exciting month of development disputes and forfeiture to look forward to.
Before setting off to spend much of this month running half marathons or just taking time out in Mallorca and Dubai, Andrew Skelly was successful in a trial in the High Court in Manchester, representing a developer in a claim against Network Rail relating to defective drainage.
Steven Woolf continues his one-man crusade to protect Green Spaces, this time with a planning appeal in Epping and an Injunction in Gloucester. Thankfully, there was a lot of other L&T and property work involving buildings to keep him grounded.
Lina Mattsson has had another month of boundary disputes, including two trials with another two about to kick-off. She has also been advising on restrictive covenants, easements and TOLATA claims. Lina will be celebrating yet another birthday this month – so looking forward to eating a lot of cake!
When not running in Spain (2 runs in 4 weeks including one around the Sherry Winery's and vineyards in Jerez) Monty Palfrey has been busy advising on the potential options for rent arrear recovery including peaceable re-entry and trying to understand why tenants believe it is a good idea to carry out unauthorised alterations.
David Peachey has been busy on a range of matters ranging from undue influence to agent liability and subsidence, capping it all off with a bit of cross-jurisdictional enforcement.
Laura Tweedy is having a busy month, advising a tenant on recoverability of an insurance shortfall for property reinstatement following a landlord's breach of repairing covenant, as well as unlawful eviction. She has also been to court on a really interesting pro bono case looking at what will happen to an unmarried couple's property following relationship breakdown: the law and the facts are particularly gritty/complicated/harrowing so is looking forward to enjoying Pub in the Park this weekend to relax!
The Property Team continue to host their series of Brews on Zoom, an informal chat that lets you in to our team's thoughts and discussion surrounding current issues and practical challenges practitioners and their clients are facing. Wandering children and/or pets are very welcome...bring your own hot drink!
J2J 'Laying the Foundations' Webinar Series
Gatehouse Chambers' Junior Property Team are delighted to introduce their latest J2J webinar programme. These interactive online sessions are aimed at junior lawyers wishing to build up their knowledge of some of the issues that come up regularly in practice and more senior practitioners looking for a refresher. All of the webinars will take place via Zoom. Delegates can pick and choose which webinars they would like to attend, or register for all of them by getting in touch.
Gatehouse Chambers on Demand
You can catch up on our previous webinars and Brews by visiting the insights page on our website.
Re-visiting undue influence
This article examines the recent decision in Nature Resorts Ltd v First Citizens Bank Ltd  UKPC 10 where the Privy Council considered the application of the undue influence doctrine in the context of a mortgage over commercial property.
Property Litigation Column: when is a sham not a sham?
Read the full article here.
Did you see? You may have missed...
Mr Charles Beresford Davies-Gilbert v Mr Henry James Goacher, Mr Steven Adrian Chester  EWHC 969
Restrictive Covenants – Refusal of Consent – Burden of proof – Reasonableness
"Gatehouse Chambers Unrobed" – get to know us better
Each month, a member of our property team has to spin 'the Wheel of Questions' and answer the first 3 questions that come up. This month, Jamal Demachkie tried his luck with the wheel.
What's the first concert you attended?
I wish I could say it was something cool and trendy but instead it was Capital FM's Party in the Park in the late-90s.
What was your first job?
At 'Eastcote Sports'- an imaginatively named sports-shop in Eastcote. To this day, I retain an ability to gauge someone's shoe-size by just looking at their feet.
If you could instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?
Law – it would make the day-job a lot easier.
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.