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Wilberforce is recognised as an outstanding set in the real property field and was awarded Real Estate Chambers of the Year at the 2018 Chambers Bar Awards. It has strength and depth in all areas of property work, including advising on property transactions and development proposals to help clients avoid and resolve disputes. The team’s strong advocacy skills are regularly praised in the legal directories and provide a platform for success in all aspects of property litigation.

The team is often involved in high-profile property cases. Recent examples include:

  • Clutterbuck v Cleghorn – An appeal against the striking out of the Claimants’ claim as an abuse of process.
  • Car Giant Limited and another v The Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham – A High Court  decision in a dilapidations case which involved a novel argument about how to approach valuation.
  • Building Schemes Law Clarified – Birdlip v Hunter – The first significant case on building schemes to reach the Court of Appeal for over 20 years. It provides welcome clarification, particularly of the evidential requirements necessary for the establishment of a scheme.
  • Clutterbuck v Al Amoudi – the ‘Vamp in the Veil’ property fraud dispute
  • Manchester Ship Canal v United Utilities – this dispute over encroachments on private land from billions of pounds worth of infrastructure
  • Phillips v Francisan upcoming appeal raising fundamental issues over the ability of residential landlords to recover the cost of ‘qualifying works’ from tenants under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
  • Secretary of State for Defence v Nicholas – a test appeal, with huge implications for thousands of properties, over whether longstanding Crown exemption in landlord and tenant legislation is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Blueco Limited v BWAT Retail Nominee (No 1) – our team won a Court of Appeal decision in a dispute over a share of rental income worth £120 million


Members of the team are also experts in planning law, in particular in relation to compulsory purchase and the assessment of compensation for land so acquired, and in disputes relating to construction contracts.