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John Furber QC

Call: 1973    QC: 1995

+44 (0)20 7306

Practice Overview

John is a specialist in all areas of real property law and litigation, with particular emphasis on commercial leases and issues related to property development. He also has many years of experience in the law and practice of town planning and compulsory acquisition of land. He accepts instructions to act as an independent expert and as a legal assessor in arbitrations.

John’s practice is both advisory and litigious. The advisory work often relates to development projects and possible impediments to them (for example, restrictive covenants and easements), where a robust and reliable view is needed. Some recent decided cases will provide an impression of John’s litigious work. In Cosmichome Ltd v. Southampton City Council [2013] 1 WLR 2436, John established that a restrictive covenant relating to broadcasting studios was not enforceable because it was not intended to protect the amenity or value of the covenantee’s land. Mount Eden Land Ltd v. Bolsover Investments Ltd [2014] EWHC 3523 (Ch) concerned a landlord’s objection to the development of commercial premises to provide flats, on the grounds that future lessees of the flats might enjoy rights of enfranchisement; John established that, in the circumstances of the case, such an objection did not provide a reasonable ground for refusing consent to the proposed alterations. Stadium Capital (No. 2) Ltd v. St Marylebone Property Company Ltd [2012] 1 EGLR 103 was, as Vos J put it, “the third instalment of a long-running battle concerning an advertising hoarding on the west side of the Finchley Road, projecting into the airspace of a cleared development site”. In the “first instalment” John had established that his developer client was entitled to damages for trespass and the decision of Vos J is now one of the leading cases on the method of assessment of such damages.

Examples of cases in which John was instructed in 2016 are as follows:

  • appearance in the First-Tier Tribunal relating to the valuation of the freehold of a block of 64 flats in Central London
  • advice given to a “pubco” relating to various provisions of the new Pubs Code
  • advice given to a bank relating to the rent review provisions in a lease of mixed use premises on the fringe of the City of London (dispute eventually determined by an expert surveyor)
  • advice given to an expert surveyor relating to a dispute as to an agreement to purchase land and “onerous planning conditions” (including attendance at a hearing where the parties were represented by leading counsel)

Chambers & Partners 2016 records that he frequently advises on landlord and tenant issues and is well versed in the areas of commercial property and development projects. “He is hugely experienced and very effective. His approach and manner make him a great choice for any solicitor and client.”

In Who’s Who Legal 2016, he “is commended for his ‘sharp mind’ and ‘quick and decisive nature’ which has garnered him a ‘brilliant reputation’ among clients.”

In The Legal 500 2016, he is described as providing “strong legal analytical skills and practical advice, especially regarding tactics.”