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Jonathan Chew

Call: 2010   

+44 (0)20 7306


Jonathan has advised on issues around contracts of sale and problems associated with completion during the pandemic, and also on landlord/tenant type relationships where services are no longer being provided. As part of the successful team in EMA v Canary Wharf he has specialist expertise on supervening illegality, frustration and the law of unexpected changes in circumstance. On the litigation side, he has been involved in applying (formally and informally) for adjournments, of both trials and interim hearing, and other case management issues arising.

Jonathan’s practice spans the range of property work: in substance, from City skyscrapers to Cornwall holiday parks; in type from landlord and tenant through registration and mortgage issues to questions of title and easements; and from tribunals from the Court of Appeal to the FTT. He also has experience of obtaining injunctions against squatters and protestors.

In addition to his litigation work, he often advises on matters which may become contentious, such as the interpretation and applicability of covenants, the scope of easements, or the extent of rights of light.

He often acts for major institutional clients, whether major London estates or substantial tenant companies (such as high-street supermarkets, pub chains, or fast food chains).

He has been recognised in Chambers and Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal for his property work;

A tenacious advocate.” (Legal 500 2020)

Very imaginative and very willing to get into the detail and adopt a very user-friendly approach.

An excellent advocate with an engaging way of putting ideas across.

Analytically very strong and as an advocate he is confident, relaxed and assured. (Chambers and Partners 2020)

“Comprehensive in his approach, an impressive and effective advocate”Legal 500 2019

Substantial recent matters includes:

  • Led by Jonathan Seitler QC on a landlord and tenant dispute over a multi-million pound programme of works to a substantial commercial building.
  • Canary Wharf v European Medicines Agency [2019] EWHC 335 (Ch): In the much- publicised “Brexit” case, Jonathan acted with Joanne Wicks QC for the landlord Canary Wharf in arguing that Brexit will not frustrate the EMA’s lease. The case settled before an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
  • Quidnet Capital Partners v Colsilverbird & ors: Jonathan acted for property owners in a multi-million pound dispute with its former asset.
  • Acting for HS2 Limited in securing possession of a high profile site the subject of substantial environmental protest.

Other reported cases include:

  • Aurora Developments v Delta Holdings [2018] EWHC 1047 (Ch): Jonathan successfully acted for the victims of a major property investment fraud relating to development land in central London, including a successful finding of fraud on a summary judgment basis.
  • Reedbase v Fattal [2018] 2 P&CR 14: Jonathan appeared as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal for the successful landlord on the first appellate case on a landlord’s obligations to consult and a change in proposed works, and the first in the Court of Appeal for over 25 years on the obligation to make
  • Knapper v Francis [2017] L&TR 20: appearing as sole counsel before the Upper Tribunal on the operation of on-account demands under terms of lease and 1985 This case gave landlords certainty that an on-account demand would not subsequently be rendered unrecoverable by later events.
  • Matchmove v Dowding [2017] 1 WLR 749: led by Jonathan Seitler QC, on a leading recent case relating to the continuing questions around constructive trusts, informal agreements to sell, and section 2 of the 1989
  • Wensley v Persons Unknown [2017] EWHC 872 (Ch): acting for Cuadrilla and associated farmers on injunction proceedings relating to protests against
  • MASNOL v Cripps Harries Hall [2016] EWHC 2483 (Ch): led by Jonathan Seitler QC successfully defending two conveyancing solicitors accused of fraud arising out of lending made months before the credit crisis
  • Phillips v Francis [2015] 1 WLR 741: led by Jonathan Seitler QC for the successful appellant on the leading case on the meaning of ‘works’ for landlord and tenant consultation purposes under the 1985