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Chris was called to the Bar in 2003 and since that time has built a busy practice across a range of areas, with an emphasis on Chancery practice. He enjoys a well-deserved reputation for his knowledge and expertise in each area. He appears regularly in the County Court, Family Court and the High Court as well as various specialist Tribunals, and has been involved in cases up to and including the Supreme Court. He regularly is instructed at Appellate level. He has extensive and wide-ranging experience particularly in the areas of wills, probate and inheritance disputes; property including adverse possession, boundary disputes and issues arising out of trusts of land; company and commercial work and financial remedies. Chris is head of the Family Group and head of the Property Team at 4KBW.
Chris is the author of numerous articles in publications such as the New Law Journal, Counsel and Family Law, amongst many other titles, and is the co-author of Social Media in the Workplace: A Handbook (2015, Jordan Publishing).
(A) established an inter vivos trust into which was placed her property for the benefit of her ‘descendants’. She now wishes her Will to include a number of pecuniary legacies which, in total, do exceed, and will probably exceed at death, her available (ie non trust) assets. What options are available to her in respect of the trust so that capital tied up in that trust could be released to pay, ultimately, the legacies?
(A) has just died and there is one named executor. One of the assets in the estate is a property currently being let by a commercial and residential tenant. The executor wants to take possession prior to administering the estate. Apart from the fact that an executor needs a grant to administer the estate (except when it is of minor value), is a grant required to take preparatory steps and then obtaining possession (ie service of notices, possession proceedings)?
‘A’ has a 25% share in a property as a tenant in common and wants to settle the share onto inter vivos trusts. How can this be effected?
A and B are co-owners of freehold property. They have exchanged a contract to sell it to C and the completion date has passed. A wants to serve a notice to complete on C, but B does not wish to do so. Can A do so unilaterally?
A and B made an oral agreement to transfer land from A to B, B agreeing to fund and erect a fence on the new boundary, however the land was never legally transferred to B. B then sold its land to C. Can C rely on B’s conduct to claim an equity by estoppel in an application for adverse possession? What if A has since sold its land to D?
A charitable trust is looking to dissolve. The trust will spend all of its funds accordingly. What is the practical process for winding up a trust and, more specifically, what resolutions must be passed at the final meeting(s) of the board of trustees?
A child is born to unmarried parents outside the UK. The mother and child then move to England. The mother seeks sole parental responsibility for the child. Will the father’s parental responsibility be determined in accordance with the law in the child’s place of birth or in accordance with law in England and Wales?
A claimant is seeking an order under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 as to their beneficial interest in two properties of which they are also the legal owner. The value of the properties is unknown and the claimant’s interest is disputed, therefore the value of the claim is unclear. How will the issue fee for a claim under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, Pt 7 procedure be calculated?
A claimant landlord issues a debt claim against the current tenant for arrears of rent and a former tenant for the same arrears (it remains liable, following service of a section 17 notice). The former tenant files a defence and brings a claim for an indemnity from the current tenant (relying on the indemnity in the assignment). The claimant obtains default judgment for the full amount of arrears from the current tenant, but it remains unsatisfied, so it intends to proceed with its claim against the former tenant. What can the former tenant do?
A claimant makes a without prejudice offer to a defendant. The defendant has seven days to accept this. The defendant accepted the offer after two weeks. If the claimant is still happy to keep the offer on the table, how should the claimant reply to the defendant? If the claimant does not revert to the defendant at all, but is happy to keep the offer on the table, is there an agreement?
A client has a right of way over an adjoining piece of unregistered land and has registered a caution against first registration in respect of that land. Can the caution against first registration be transferred to a purchaser? Or would the purchaser have to register their own caution against first registration?
A client has extended their lease under section 39 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 and then extended it again voluntarily, is the peppercorn rent protected?
A client has recently broken up with their partner who has been residing at their property rent-free for approximately 20 years. The client would now like their former partner to leave. The former partner made no contributions towards bills or the maintenance of the property. The former partner has no rights, can be told that permission to reside has been revoked and that they must leave within a specified timeframe. What steps should then be taken to recover possession if it is not possible to change the locks or for the client to remove the former partner?
A client is selling a property and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has been provided to the buyer, however, the EPC will expire before the sale is completed. Does another EPC have to be obtained before the sale completes or is the existing EPC sufficient?
A company has adversely possessed unregistered land for ten years and wants to transfer its interest in the land to a related company. Would that trigger compulsory first registration under section 4 of the Land Registration Act 2002? It is proposed that the transferor will swear a statutory declaration to evidence its possession of the land and the parties will attach that declaration to the transfer, so that the transferee can, in time, swear a further statutory declaration to support its application to HM Land Registry for title by adverse possession. Would there be any legal issues with that approach?
A completed development is being handed over and estate rentcharges were noted within the TP1s for the benefit of the transferor (T) and the management company. How can T be removed as a beneficiary of the estate rentcharge? The management company is set up and T wishes to have no further involvement.
A council is buying back land by agreement in relation to a possible compulsory purchase order. A seller is being paid the market value of their property as well as compensation in the form of disturbance payments and statutory loss. The seller does not want the amount set out in this way in the transaction documents but wants the full figure reflected in the TR1. How should this be reflected in the TR1, eg should option 1 in panel 8 be used or option 3 (other receipts). By using ‘other receipts’, would this have any effect on the stamp duty land tax payment?
A council lent a sum of money to a borrower in 1978 and secured it by way of a mortgage by demise. The sum has been repaid and there is a vacating receipt with the deeds. Is a formal surrender or any document required to effect surrender and will this trigger first registration at HM Land Registry?
A Council owns registered land which is earmarked for future housing development. The occupier of the adjacent property, which is held under a secure tenancy from the Council, claims to have rights over the land as the result of various activities (including storage of chattels). The Council is keen to avoid a potential claim of adverse possession. Are there any steps that a landlord can take to warn off its own secure tenant even though the site sits outside the secure tenancy and even though no notice of a claim for adverse possession has been received?
A couple entered into a civil partnership in England and Wales, and subsequently married in New York (prior to the coming into force of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. The marriage was not registered in England and Wales. They are now separating. Does the civil partnership need to be converted to a marriage for the parties to get divorced?
Family Law Bar Association
Property Bar Association
Society of Construction Lawyers
Public Access Bar Association (Vice-Chairman and Treasurer)
Visiting Fellow, University of Bedfordshire (2011 - )
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
MA (Oxon) (2002)
Magdalen College, University of Oxford (1999-2002)
BPP Law School (2002-2003)
University College London (2003-2004)
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