A civil barrister whose works focuses predominantly on property based disputes, Robert has particular expertise in traditional land, commercial property and residential landlord tenant matters.
Robert is co-author (with William Webster, also of 3PB), of the legal textbook “Restrictions on the Use of Land” (Wildy, Simmonds and Hill, November 2016). The text is a 700 page volume which explores the various land law and planning restrictions which impact on the development potential of land assets. The book includes sections on: easements, restrictive covenants, public rights of way, assets of community value, village greens and selected elements of planning law. In the case of the latter the text focuses on the natural habitat, buildings of special interest and conservation areas.
Outside of Chambers, Robert has taught at the University of Warwick since 2011 and is pursuing further studies in history at Oxford University.
Landlord and Tenant (Residential)
In addition to, possession and demotion claims, anti-social behaviour injunctions, committals and service charge disputes in the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), Robert has experience of advising and dealing with public law and human rights defences to proceedings brought by Local Authorities and Registered Providers of Social Housing (both at first instance and on Appeal).
Robert is able to provide advice on tenancy agreements, policies and procedures. Recent work has included:
- Instructions to advise and represent landlords and tenants in the First Tier Tribunal in relation to service charge disputes.
- Fast and multi-track possession claims, particularly those involving technical defences under the Equality Act 2010 and claims of disability discrimination.
- Instructions to advise and represent in Judicial Review proceedings, especially those in relation to homelessness and local authorities’ duties under Part II of the Housing Act 1996.
- Advising the Housing Ombudsmen in relation to complaints made to them pursuant to the Housing Ombudsmen Scheme.
- Reviews in the County Court pursuant to S.204 of the Housing Act 1996 where the applicant is seeking to appeal the decision of the local authority.
- Possession claims involving disputes over succession.
- Committal trials for breach of civil injunction
Land and Planning
With the publication of “Restrictions on the use of land” (Wildy 2016), Robert has particular knowledge and experience in advising on land disputes, especially those involving:, public rights of way, easements, restrictive covenants and building schemes, applications to list buildings as assets of community value, village greens applications, adverse possession and boundary disputes.
During his pupillage Robert had extensive exposure to town country planning, including enforcement, judicial review and advice on appeal.
Recent cases have included:
- Acting for the objector (as junior to William Webster) at a public inquiry relating to a large scale development in Exeter.
- Instructions to advise and represent in the High Court (as junior to William Webster) in relation to an application to list land as a town or village green pursuant to the Commons Act 2006.
- Instructions to advise and represent in relation to boundary disputes and cases of adverse possession.
- Trespass actions, including those where prescriptive easements are counterclaimed.
- Advice in relation to the enforceability of restrictive covenants including those relating to building schemes.
- Advice in relation to the enforceability of pre-1925 covenants in relation to unregistered land.
- Nuisance claims against a local authority and associated advice in relation to the flooding of agricultural land.
- Advice and representation in relation to interferences with easements.
- Advice and representation in relation to disputes as to beneficial ownership of residential property in the absence of express trust declarations.
Robert advises on all matters relating to commercial leases from simple s.25 notices and forfeiture to dilapidation claims in the High Court. He is able to provide advice on the interpretation and enforcement of leasehold covenants and rent reviews.
Recent work has included:
- Multi-track dilapidation claims, including those involving technical defences on the basis of s.18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927.
- Advice and representation in relation to forfeiture actions.
- Representation in relation to applications to the Court for a grant of a new tenancy following service of a s.25 notice.