Real Estate Litigation

Although not primarily a contentious area, the nature of the real estate sector means that disputes do arise – whether over title matters, landlord and tenant issues or unauthorised occupation of land.

Our specialist real estate litigation team has the expertise and resources to handle property-related disputes of all types, delivering solutions that are practical, commercial and cost effective.

Our expertise includes:

  • Commercial landlord and tenant matters, including opposed lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, rent recoveries, rent reviews, dilapidation disputes, matters concerning landlord’s consent or opposition to assignments, sub-lettings, and other disputes concerning the enforcement of covenants and the recovery of possession of premises
  • Residential landlord and tenant matters including freehold acquisition and enfranchisement rights and service charge disputes
  • Mixed commercial/residential premises
  • Advising on and co-coordinating the obtaining of vacant possession of development sites
  • Urgent eviction of squatters or other unauthorised occupiers of land
  • Telecommunications – we have a specialist real estate telecommunications team that acts exclusively for landowners and developers on the management and removal of telecommunications apparatus
  • Disputes arising out of the sale and purchase of land
  • Disputes concerning rights or obligations relating to land including trespass, title disputes and ownership, rights of light, easements or other rights concerning land
  • Advocacy in the high court, county court and tribunals
  • Insolvency – we have particular expertise in the enforcement of covenants against both current and former tenants and/or their sureties and the effects of insolvency on clients’ property assets
  • Arbitration, mediation and alternative methods of dispute resolution

Our real estate litigators work closely with our real estate lawyers to minimise the risk of disputes escalating to litigation. We understand that disputes often take place in the context of a larger transaction that cannot wait on the outcome of potentially protracted litigation. By responding quickly and anticipating issues we can help to prevent problems arising or minimise their effect. We strive to achieve early settlement wherever appropriate, but are experienced in the tactical use of litigation or other forms of dispute resolution to promote the best possible results for our clients.

If you have any questions or queries please call Thekla on +44 (0)20 3036 7252 or email tfellas@fladgate.com

Thekla Fellas leads the ‘excellent’ team at Fladgate LLP, which has particular expertise in telecoms disputes acting against operators. Clients include Soho Estates and St James Group (Berkeley Homes). Janet Keeley, Alison Mould and Jonathan Hibberts are also recommended.

Legal 500
 
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Advises clients on a range of complex disputes. Offers notable expertise in the hotel and leisure, telecoms and high-value residential property sectors.  “Fladgate has the balance right – they communicate amongst each other and they aren’t drowning in their own importance!”  Represented Crest Nicholson Operations in a case concerning the removal of telecoms equipment from the old Cambridge City football ground.  Provided Provident House Staines with advice on a potential claim against Reading Borough Council relating to the scope of local search questions and obligations in responding to Permitted Development Rights enquiries.

Chambers UK

Thekla Fellas is described as a “very impressive” practitioner by a source. She has notable expertise in property disputes in the telecommunications sector and also advises on a range of development-related disputes.

Alison Mould regularly advises leisure, retail and investment clients. She has a particular focus on listed buildings and buildings of significant historical importance. Clients describe her as “very hands-on and very sure of her advice!’

Chambers UK

‘Very effective property litigation firm’ Fladgate LLP has expertise in the leisure, telecoms, site development and high-value residential sectors. Thekla Fellas leads the team, in which Alison Mould ‘knows her game exceptionally well’, and Janet Keeley is ‘extremely impressive’.

Legal 500

Known for its expertise in the telecoms sector but also handles significant work in the leisure industry. Frequently advises on vacant possession strategy and on matters relating to complex commercial and residential developments.  They work hard but have a wonderful culture; they are human and fun to work with. They have a high level of technical knowledge and a tactical approach.

Chambers UK

Acted for the Trustees of the will of the First Lord Brocket in the case brought against the tenant of Brocket Hall due to disrepair, rent arrears and unlawful chattel usage. Thekla Fellas is a well-known name in telecoms-related real estate litigation. Sources say she is “friendly, active and well respected.”  Alison Mould frequently acts on matters involving retail and leisure sites. Interviewees say she is “very good at cutting to the commercial quickly and making sure you target your arguments during litigation.”

Chambers UK

Represents a broad client base, from commercial landlords and housing developers to non-profit organisations and private individuals. Handles commercial litigation alongside the firm’s planning and construction practices.  “They all get on with the job and do their best to take the pressure off me as the instructing client; at the same time I am always kept informed as to progress on issues that they may be dealing with.”

Chambers UK

Acts on both commercial and residential property matters for clients including investors and developers. Particular strength in telecoms issues, residential development work and property management. Thekla Fellas is the head of the real estate disputes team, and an active and well-respected figure in the field. She has a niche expertise in property disputes involving telecoms issues. Sources regard her as someone who “handles herself very effectively”. Alison Mould specialises in retail and leisure sector property disputes. She acts for a number of investor clients. Sources particularly praise her efficiency.

Chambers UK

Thekla Fellas is described by sources as being a “very commercial, very robust” litigator who “fights her client’s corner”. Alison Mould is lauded by clients for her “approachable” manner, and acclaimed for being “very supportive” and “extremely good in meetings”. She has recently led on landlord advisory work regarding Little Chef, and has acted on several other insolvency-related cases. The “impressive” Janet Keeley is noted by sources for her “very sensible” approach to litigation. She has comprehensive experience of advising on the full range of real estate disputes and has recently led on rent review and professional negligence-related work.

Chambers UK

Thekla Fellas leads the team at Fladgate LLP, whose clients include Haymarket Media Group and Soho Estates. Janet Keeley is “an outstanding lawyer, and a pleasure to deal with”. The “incredibly dedicated” Alison Mould and “amazing” Jonathan Hibberts are also recommended.

Legal 500

  • Little Chef – acting for the landlord in respect of 44 Little Chef properties when the tenant went into administration. Protecting the Landlord in respect of its properties and investigating the proposed pre-pack and concluding the assignment of the properties.
  • Tenant of the Crown Estates – securing nearly four times the statutory compensation due to a tenant who had received a hostile section 25 notice and challenged the same using the local development plan to help to argue against the Crown Estate’s success at trial and thus increasing the compensation paid.
  • Investor client with large portfolio of shopping centres – various landlord and tenant issues including the recovery of possession and/or arrears, lease renewal and opposition to renewal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, enforcing other breaches of covenant and squatters actions.
  • Residential developer – advising on the removal of telecoms equipment from the roof of premises to allow a £300m development of a wider site.
  • Point West London Ltd v Rothschild Trust (Bermuda) Ltd – acting for a tenant in a complex long running dispute regarding service charges, defective curtain–walling and other defects in a penthouse apartment in Kensington. The case brought into line the law in respect of damages recoverable for breach of contract with those recoverable for breach of repairing obligations. It also allowed damages to be recovered by a trust company for loss of use of the property and in doing so awarded one of the highest general damages awards.
  • Major transport company – acting on its national portfolio for the management and removal of telecoms operators.
  • Developer client – securing the removal of telecoms operators from a residential development with budget and within timescales in respect of the development of a College Site.
  • Reserve Forces Cadets Association – renewing and retaining leases to their various sites, reviewing, merging and expanding as appropriate.
  • Trustees of the Will of the First Lord Brocket – acting against the current tenant of Brocket Hall in relation to serious issues of disrepair, arrears and unlawful use of chattels.
  • Developer client – serving hundreds of rights of light notices for a developer of a substantial Docklands development to capitalise claims at an early stage and prevent others arising.
  • Merchant bank – reported case concerning solicitors’ undertakings given in the course of a conveyancing transaction. Successfully defending an application to seek to compel the bank to redeem its charge at a substantially lower figure.
  • National house builder – acting in connection with the failure of a corporate purchaser to complete its acquisition of multiple newly built properties. Successfully defeating the estoppel arguments raised by the purchaser as to discussions it alleged entitled it to avoid liability. Achieving completion of the purchases of some of the properties and substantial settlement payments in relation to the others.