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Joseph Steadman

Call: 2015   

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

Property

Joseph has a busy and varied property practice. He is regularly instructed in litigation involving commercial or residential property, as well as providing advice in non-contentious matters. Joseph enjoys working both on his own and as part of a team of counsel.

As part of a counsel team, Joseph’s property experience includes:

  • acting (with Jonathan Seitler QC) for a parking company in a dispute with the owner of a shopping centre concerning the redevelopment of a multi-storey car park;
  • assisting Jonathan Seitler QC and Emily McKechnie on a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation and conspiracy to deceive arising out of the sale of a holiday park in Cornwall (Francis v Knapper & ors [2016] EWHC 3093 (QB)); and
  • assisting Martin Hutchings QC in resisting an appeal to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in a dispute over land in Nevis.

Joseph’s residential landlord and tenant experience includes:

  • acting for the successful appellant in Hook and another v Hawkins [2019] UKUT 147 (LC), an appeal to the Upper Tribunal concerning the status of the spouse of an agricultural worker under the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 after the worker leaves the home and the spouses are divorced—the only reported case dealing with the interplay between the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 and the Matrimonial Homes Act 1983;
  • acting for the freeholder in first-tier tribunal proceedings concerning who should bear the cost of repairing a “green” roof which formed part of a residential development;
  • acting on behalf of a tenant seeking leasehold enfranchisement where the landlord could not be found;
  • acting for the landlord in a dispute concerning the amount of rent due under an assured shorthold tenancy, where the tenant alleged a lower rent was agreed orally than was recorded in the tenancy agreement;
  • acting on behalf of a tenant in a claim for disrepair to his penthouse apartment overlooking Buckingham Palace, which included complex questions of construction concerning the extent of the tenant’s demise;
  • advising a residential tenant in relation to a claim for disrepair, including the effect of historic settlement agreements;
  • advising a trustee-in-bankruptcy concerning the occupation of the bankrupt’s property by a tenant pursuant to a long lease entered into after the bankruptcy order;
  • advising a freeholder in relation to the presence of potentially unsafe cladding in a residential development; and
  • acting on behalf of a residential landlord in a claim against a tenant who vacated early, alleging that the property was unsafe.

Joseph’s commercial landlord and tenant experience includes:

  • advising a sub-tenant in relation to novel questions – not previously considered by the courts – about the interaction of the court’s power to grant relief from forfeiture and the statutory renewal of tenancies under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954;
  • advising and acting for a landlord in relation to a claim for terminal dilapidations;
  • advising a landlord in relation to a request for consent to change of use by a commercial tenant;
  • acting for a primary care centre in a claim for possession and rent arrears against the operator of a café, which included an allegation that there had been an oral modification to a long lease of the premises;
  • advising the assignee of a commercial lease on its standing to seek a lease renewal where the validity of the assignment was in question;
  • acting for landlords and tenants in relation to contested and uncontested lease renewals;
  • acting for a tenant in relation to a claim for £5 million in capital contributions due under a lease; and
  • acting for the tenant of one of the largest abattoir premises in Europe, seeking relief from forfeiture in order to allow new finance to be raised.

Joseph’s real property experience includes:

  • acting for both claimants and defendants in adverse possession claims to land ranging from a converted pub to a church garden;
  • successfully striking out a claim under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 brought by one set of neighbours against another;
  • acting on behalf of a landowner in resisting an application for an injunction to prevent a partridge shoot pending the determination of a claim for adverse possession;
  • acting for the defendants in trespass and private nuisance proceedings, where their defence was that they had the benefit of express and/or prescriptive easements;
  • acting for the executor of an estate in a claim to update or modify a restriction so as to replace the deceased’s name with the executor’s name;
  • acting for a neighbour in relation to a claim for breach of a covenant against building; and
  • acting on behalf of the freeholder of a large residential development in a dispute over rights to parking spaces, said to arise by proprietary estoppel.

Joseph’s trusts experience in the property context includes:

  • acting for the claimant in seeking a right to occupy residential and commercial premises under a constructive trust or proprietary estoppel, and alternatively to restitution of the value of improvements undertaken to the property;
  • acting for one sibling against another in a claim under TLATA for the sale of an investment property and declarations as to their respective beneficial interests; and
  • advising and acting for claimants and defendants in disputes over shared property following relationship breakdown.

Joseph’s professional negligence experience in the property context includes:

  • advising about claims for professional negligence against a firm of solicitors in relation to a property purchase;
  • acting for the defendant vendor in a claim for professional negligence and misrepresentation concerning the presence of Japanese knotweed;
  • advising in relation to potential claims for professional negligence against solicitors and surveyors in relation to the compromise of a dispute concerning disrepair; and
  • advising in relation to claims for professional negligence against a building contractor and a building consultant under a JCT contract.

Joseph has also acted in numerous possession claims – including against trespassers, tenants and mortgagors – and in several claims to enforce judgments against property through interim and final charging orders and orders for sale. Joseph’s involvement is particularly sought when the circumstances are complex or involve a cross-over with another area of the law—a recent example is a claim for a final charging order where the defendant alleged he had no beneficial interest in the property by virtue of an order in matrimonial proceedings.