Wallace is widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent firms in the specialist and complex area of Leasehold Enfranchisement and is consistently recommended by legal directory Legal 500.
The firm is consistently recognised by industry commentators for its “high level of expertise, depth of applied knowledge, excellence in client communications, and innovation in enfranchisement”.
The team has been involved in leading enfranchisement decisions, several of which have set significant precedents, including conducting landmark litigation in the Supreme Court.
The firm’s substantial commercial property and property litigation departments overlap to form an all-encompassing leasehold enfranchisement team which handles hundreds of leasehold enfranchisement cases each year.
Experience & Notable Cases
· Successfully representing the Freshwater group of companies (one of London’s largest private landlords) in hundreds of cases each year.
· Acted for Lexgorge in respect of the purchase of the freehold on a property that was originally built as a house but had been used as offices for 40 years. The landlord appealed to the Supreme Court who subsequently gave detailed guidance on the definition of a “house” under the enfranchisement legislation. It was the first case of its kind to go to the Supreme Court.
· Acted for US private equity group Westbrook Partners in connection with its claim to acquire the freehold of Dolphin Square, a central London block of 1,229 apartments, from Friends Provident; this is the largest enfranchisement claim to date.
· Acted for an Intermediate Landlord who holds a lease that exists between a freehold owner and tenant. The issue to be determined, concerned a crucial point of law - Does a competent landlord have the authority to agree terms and bind an intermediate landlord? The Court of Appeal determined that an intermediate landlord can be bound by the decisions of the freehold owner on the amount to be paid to the intermediate landlord on the grant of a new lease. The outcome of the case has had a significant and wide ranging effect on this area of law.
· Acting for Whitehall Court London ltd. the landlord of two blocks of flats. The freeholder is the Crown Estate Commissioners, on behalf of her Majesty the Queen. Both are entitled to a share of the aggregate premium payable by the flat owner for a new lease but there is a dispute on how that premium is to be shared. Our client has successfully been granted permission to Appeal to the Court of Appeal on the basis that the issues raise important points of principle that could apply to all lease extension claims.
“Simon Serota is a highly experienced and effective solicitor with vast experience of enfranchisement claims…he is full of ideas.” (Anthony Radevsky, Falcon Chambers)
“Mr Serota is a recognised expert in the world of leasehold enfranchisement with a depth of knowledge not only of the law but of the valuation processes. He is totally approachable…I have nothing but praise…” (Eric F Shapiro, Chesterton Global)
Simon specialises in all types of property litigation and dispute resolution including landlord and tenant disputes, breaches of covenant and leasehold enfranchisement. He also undertakes a wide variety of general commercial litigation work including shareholder claims, professional negligence claims and asset recovery and protection.
Simon’s reputation as one of London’s top property litigators stems from his establishment of one of the first teams of lawyers dedicated solely to leasehold enfranchisement, which has experienced phenomenal success and continues to grow.
Sam leads the leasehold enfranchisement department at Wallace. She specialises in leasehold enfranchisement and property related litigation including landlord and tenant disputes, dilapidations claims, service charge disputes, contentious lease-renewal proceedings as well as party wall disputes. She represents landlords, tenants and groups of tenants.
Shamin has significant experience of Leasehold Enfranchisement and has successfully assisted hundreds of leaseholders and landlords with applications for lease extensions and collective freehold purchases.
He has particular experience in and is regularly dealing with such claims that reach or are taken to appeal to the First tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, the County and High Courts and the Court of Appeal.
Shamin also has specialist knowledge in the Right to Manage, litigation in respect of breach of residential lease covenants and Right of First Refusal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.
Fleur has over 10 years experience in residential property litigation specialising in leasehold enfranchisement. She advises one of London’s largest private landlords, individual landlords, tenants and groups of tenants.