Real Estate Disputes

The group comprises specialist lawyers with expertise acting for a variety of stakeholders across a broad range of Real Estate sector disputes, including major UK and international development and joint venture related disputes, restructurings and insolvencies, Hotel arbitration, multi-million-pound development valuation claims and complex real estate finance disputes.

The team regularly acts for developers, housebuilders, landlords, occupiers and real estate finance providers on issues affecting their use of, or exposure to, real estate: including issues arising from real estate financing structures, regulatory investigations (including in relation to ground rents and leasehold reform) real estate distress and more conventional landlord and tenant issues (including dilapidations and rent review). 

We have particular expertise in distressed real estate, in particular across the retail sector. The group has been extensively involved in high profile insolvency cases, dealing with disputes arising out of CVA’s (including acting for Caffe Nero in the challenge to its CVA), Restructurings, administration and liquidations. 

Recent real estate sector disputes include:
  • Retail distress: acting for the administrators, landlords and other creditors in connection with the administration of Toys R Us, Victoria Secret, Debenhams, Arcadia, HMV and Studio Retail. 
  • Real Estate investor dispute: advising a major international retail investor on a dispute with its appointed asset manager over a portfolio of European hotels.
  • Professional negligence: successfully defending former administrators against a £120m claim for negligence, breach of duty and sale at an undervalue in relation to the work-out sale of a major central London real estate portfolio.
  • Real estate developer: acting for a leading international real estate developer in a £80m joint venture dispute arising out of a major central London development.
  • Housebuilder: acting for a major UK house builder on long running litigation against a major competitor.
  • Ground rents: Advising multiple major UK house builders and freeholders in connection with Leasehold reform, ground rent regulation and associated claims.
  • Housebuilder: acting for a major UK house builder in relation to a post-M&A joint venture dispute.
  • Lehman: acting for administrators of Lehman Brothers in defence of a £650m claim for loss of future rent and dilapidations connected with the forfeiture of the lease of the former Lehman HQ.
  • Caffe Nero: representing Caffè Nero on the high-profile and successful defence of the challenge to its CVA.  
  • Rent review: acting for major occupiers on high profile office and retail rent reviews, including in relation to major City of London HQs and flag-ship West-End stores.
  • Intu – advising KPMG as the Administrators of Intu following the insolvency of the shopping centre owner
  • Schemes of Arrangement – advising multiple entities in the real estate and construction sectors on formal restructuring processes.
  • acting for Lend Lease on High Court and Court of Appeal wins in a multi-million pound dispute over an option to purchase a stake in the Bluewater Shopping Centre;
  • acting in High Court and Court of Appeal actions for the Administrators in the Game litigation relating to the priority ranking of rent in insolvency;
  • advising landlords and tenants on substantial prime office rent reviews in the City of London and the West End;
  • obtaining injunctions against protestors infringing our clients’ interests, including noise disturbance, harassment and trespass.