commercial property disputes
Commercial property is a valuable asset. It generates income for landlords and lenders, provides investors and developers with the chance to achieve capital growth, and gives tenants a physical base from which to operate their business. Because of this, it is important that when a problem concerning or dispute commercial property arises it is dealt with swiftly and effectively.
Our respected team of dispute resolution lawyers have a wealth of experience in dealing with commercial property disputes, and in helping clients to achieve solutions which are aligned with their objectives. The team is led by Ken Stangoe, who is described by by Chambers and Partners as someone who has “an outstanding ability to grasp the exact detail that is at issue and to develop an appropriate response that is directed perfectly on target.”
We act for local, national and international property investors, commercial lenders, landowners and estates, developers and construction companies, public bodies, local authorities, charities and a variety of owners and occupiers, operating in sectors ranging from retail to industrial.
To find out more, or to arrange a consultation, please call us now on 01908 692769.
How we can help
We can support you in the resolution of landlord and tenant disputes concerning:
- lease renewals;
- lease termination;
- forfeiture and relief from forfeiture;
- break clauses;
- rent arrears;
- service charge recovery;
- rent deposit claims;
- interim, terminal and final dilapidations;
- landlord or tenant insolvency; and
- enforcement of personal guarantees.
We can also help with the resolution of disputes concerning:
- breach of covenant claims;
- rights of way issues;
- Party Wall Act matters;
- boundary encroachment and adverse possession;
- trusts of land;
- land development and planning problems; and
- construction contract issues.
Our aim is to support you to achieve the best result, in the shortest timeframe and for the least cost possible – bearing in mind the nature of the dispute that has arisen, the strength of your position and what it is that you would ultimately like to achieve.
Sometimes, the route that needs to be taken will be prescribed within a dispute resolution clause contained in your lease or set out in another contract document. In this situation, we will help you to follow the specified procedure and to present a compelling case which maximises your chances of achieving a favourable settlement on commercially acceptable terms.
In those cases where the course to be taken is not prescribed, we will support you to take an incremental approach which begins with correspondence, meetings and negotiation, and which then progresses to mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution process where this may be helpful, and which culminates if necessary with the instigation of legal proceedings.
Are there any cases which must go to court?
There are some cases where court action must be taken. These include where you are a tenant whose lease has been forfeited by peaceable re-entry and you want to try to get the lease restored, where you are a landlord or tenant who needs an injunction while you wait for your dispute to be determined, or where there is a 1954 Act tenancy and terms for lease renewal cannot be agreed.
We have an excellent track record in winning cases for our clients at court and in securing orders for the reimbursement of legal fees and costs.
Is there a pre-action protocol for commercial property disputes?
Pre-action protocols are published by the Ministry of Justice and outline the steps that parties are expected to take before issuing a claim at court. The aim is to encourage the early exchange of information, the narrowing of the issues on which you disagree and proactive discussions around the possibility of the dispute being settled without the need to get the court involved.
While there is no specific protocol for commercial property claims, there are a number of matter-specific protocols which may apply depending on the nature of your dispute. These include:
- the dilapidations protocol;
- the construction and engineering disputes protocol;
- the professional negligence protocol; and
- the debt claims
In addition, there is a general protocol on pre-action conduct which must always be observed.
We will help you to ensure that the requirements of any applicable protocols are fully complied with, and in doing so protect you from the risk of an adverse costs order which may be made by the court in those cases where unreasonable non-compliance is found to have occurred.
Why choose Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors?
Our property disputes team pride themselves on delivering an excellent service, which provides value for money and enables clients to achieve first-class and commercially focused results. Our lawyers are some of the best in the UK and highly experienced in lease renewal proceedings, planning disputes, boundary disputes and rent and service charge recovery.
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What our clients say:
“Kenneth Stangoe has provided exceptional services in the particular field of work that he specialises in.”
Bishop Donald Bolt, National Secretary New Testament Church of God
For more information about how we can help, you can read testimonials from our dispute resolution clients
Chambers & Partners 2021 notes the team is well-respected and active on a wide range of contractual claims and commercial disputes, including unfair prejudice claims and fraud-related proceedings. Local and international clientele comes from a variety of industry sectors, and also includes private individuals and SMEs. One client commends the “proactive, engaging and considerate” nature of the team.
Chambers & Partners 2020 says ‘Well-respected team active on a wide range of contractual claims and commercial disputes, including unfair prejudice claims and fraud-related proceedings. Local and international clientele comes from a variety of industry sectors, and also includes private individuals and SMEs.’
Legal 500 2020 says contentious property work is managed by Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP‘s ‘highly committed, capable and accessible‘ commercial litigation team, which is led by Kenneth Stangoe. Lease renewal proceedings, planning disputes, boundary disputes and rent and service charge recovery are among the areas of activity. The group acts for private clients, as well as commercial entities (including those active in the retail and leisure sectors) and public bodies.
The Dispute Resolution & Litigation Team
Ken Stangoe Partner
Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689307Ken is Head of the Department. He has over 20 years' experience as a commercial litigator, with a heavy focus on property disputes, including forfeiture actions and applications for relief, right of way disputes, rent recovery for commercial landlords, trusts of land, dilapidations claims, boundary disputes, rent and service charge recovery and lease renewal applications.
Richard Millard Managing Partner
Construction & Development 01908 689382Richard has over 20 years’ experience acting for clients in the construction industry, providing pragmatic advice to developers, contractors, sub-contractors, design and construction professionals, housing associations, smaller builders and homeowners.
Guy Brooks Partner
Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689304Guy has more than 30 years’ experience in the legal profession and headed up the Commercial Litigation department of local firm Fennemores, before joining Geoffrey Leaver as joint head of the Dispute Resolution department in 2006. The Dispute Resolution department have been recognised by Legal 500 UK.
Trevor Coward Partner
Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689311Trevor specialises in the closely connected fields of commercial litigation, partner/director disputes, insolvency, property litigation, and professional negligence. His background is one of broad experience across a wide range of commercial litigation. He is a member of Legal Counsel International, an alliance of lawyers in 17 countries.