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Tom Roscoe

Call: 2010   

+44 (0)20 7306 0102troscoe@wilberforce.co.uk

Property

Tom has extensive experience of advising and acting on a wide range of property disputes, as well as on professional negligence cases arising from property transactions.

Tom has a particular experience of and interest in ‘difficult’ possession claims, especially those involving high-profile or unusual properties, protestors, squatters and difficult litigants in person. He has twice acted for EDF seeking to evict environmental protestors from their sites (with Martin Hutchings QC and Joanne Wicks QC), and has acted to evict a large number of travellers from a car-park near Wembley Stadium.  Most recently Tom appeared in the High Court in Manchester for Cuadrilla and local farmers obtaining a possession order and injunctive relief against anti-fracking protesters: Wensley & ors v Persons Unknown [2014] EWHC 3086 (Ch)

Such cases form the subject of Tom’s chapter, ‘The Limits of Possession Claims’, in Wilberforce Chambers recent property book, ‘Development Disputes’. Tom has recently been instructed to act upon a series of professional negligence claims against conveyancing solicitors and valuers in connection with development finance and bridging loans (currently at the pre-action stage, with Joanna Smith QC).

He also has a growing practice in dilapidation cases and has contributed an article to the Property Litigation Association.
Other illustrative cases include:

  • Acting for a defendant in a claim brought against her by the users of a local allotment, who allege the benefit of an express or prescriptive right of way over the defendant’s driveway. They allege that her erection of a gate amounts to unlawful interference with that right.
  • Acting for a Nigerian company, which is the registered owner of a substantial property in London, defending a claim by the former partner of one of the company’s directors, for a declaration that she was entitled to a beneficial interest in the property by way of a common intention constructive trust. She had previously sought relief under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, but failed as the judge found that she was never married to the director, but had assumed the identity of the director’s real wife.
  • Acting for the claimant landlord on a possession claim based on forfeiture. The landlord alleged that the defendant’s dry-cleaning equipment was causing the building to vibrate.
  • Acting (with James Ayliffe QC) for the administrators of HMV in a dispute with the landlords of HMV’s flagship Oxford Street store upon the company’s entry into administration.
  • Acting (with Jonathan Seitler QC) for the claimants in a substantial dilapidations claim.  When the case settled shortly before trial, the claimants were able to secure a favourable costs award on the basis of the defendant’s unreasonable failure to mediate: PGF II SA v OMFS [2012] EWHC 83 (TCC).
  • Acting for the landlord of a Welsh cottage on a possession hearing concerning the meaning of “landlord” in the Housing Act 1988. Appeared at first instance, on appeal to the High Court and in the Court of Appeal in opposition to the tenant’s application for a further appeal.