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Real Estate & Planning Disputes

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Whether you are a developer, landlord, contractor or occupier, when a real estate project or transaction becomes contentious, you need legal advice from a disputes team that understands the issues peculiar to the sector.

Our Real Estate Disputes Team is one of the largest specialist teams in the UK. Servicing clients from 6 locations in London, Bristol, Sheffield, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, the team focuses exclusively on real estate issues. Working as an embedded part of the wider real estate group, the team gives clients the benefit of experience acting for the full spectrum of property holders across the widest range of disputes.

Our clients include landlords, tenants, infrastructure providers, corporate occupiers, institutional funds and insolvency practitioners, and the team has expertise in mixed-use and residential property issues, as well as commercial property: from real estate related insolvency to leasehold enfranchisement.

Our case went to court and we won. An outstanding result for our fund and for the industry at large…CMS did an exceptional job.
Global investment firm

Whatever the complexity or type of dispute, our starting point is always to listen to you. Our approach and solutions are designed around your priorities: preserving the value of your investments and relationships, minimising costs, and achieving a speedy resolution. We’re particularly committed to helping you keep control of your costs, providing upfront fee estimates and, in certain cases, undertaking fixed fee work.

As a team, heading to the court room is not our aim. Litigation should be a last resort. We pride ourselves on achieving commercial solutions for our clients, whether that is by mediation, arbitration or litigation. 

High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence in Real Es­tate & Plan­ning in the UK
A cor­por­ate oc­cu­pi­er on a cor­por­ate oc­cu­pi­er on a dis­pute arising un­der a prop­erty out­sourcing agree­ment. The dis­pute was re­ferred to ar­bit­ra­tion and we achieved a res­ult that will save our cli­ent mil­lions...
Law-Now: Real Es­tate & Plan­ning Dis­putes
Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary
Ad­vising the Board

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23/11/2022
Pro­tec­tion from protest
Protest on the streets, protest on­line, even lit­ig­a­tion used as a vehicle for protest.Protest­ors tar­get­ing a busi­ness may be stand­ing in a crowd, hold­ing a plac­ard or shout­ing slo­gans. But they may also be be­hind a com­puter screen or pur­su­ing a claim against the busi­ness through the courts. They may even be work­ing in­side the busi­ness, pre­par­ing to com­prom­ise its sys­tems or leak con­fid­en­tial in­form­a­tion.Wheth­er they are act­iv­ists, em­ploy­ees or cus­tom­ers, all these protest­ors may present a sub­stan­tial chal­lenge and a real threat to busi­nesses, in areas in­clud­ing its se­cur­ity, repu­ta­tion and bot­tom line. 
02/11/2022
Risk Es­sen­tials: Sea­son of Protest
Protests are every­where. There are protests on the streets and out­side busi­ness premises. There are protests on­line. Your work­force is protest­ing. Even lit­ig­a­tion is be­ing used as a means of protest...
06/07/2022
Re­pur­pos­ing Real Es­tate: The fu­ture of the world's towns and cit­ies
A rad­ic­al re­think for glob­al prop­erty – and where we live, work and play As the real es­tate world emerges from the pan­dem­ic it is clear that all around us the urb­an land­scape is chan­ging. Many prop­er­ties are ob­sol­ete but also have ex­cit­ing fu­tures with new uses. Our town centres and cit­ies are un­der­go­ing fun­da­ment­al change – which all adds up to a world fo­cused on Re­pur­pos­ing Real Es­tate.Now in its tenth year, our Real Es­tate Thought Lead­er­ship series has covered top­ics such as the rise of in­ter­na­tion­al in­vest­ment in the UK, the growth of tech, the fu­ture of the of­fice, the rap­id rise of in­dus­tri­al & lo­gist­ics and the ar­rival of build-to-rent as a ma­jor as­set class.This year, with the Gov­ern­ment hav­ing pub­lished its Lev­el­ling Up & Re­gen­er­a­tion Bill, we fo­cus on the fu­ture of towns and cit­ies not only in the UK but in a series of key glob­al in­vest­ment hubs: Ger­many, France, the Neth­er­lands, Spain, Singa­pore and the United Ar­ab Emir­ates.After two years of lock­downs, work­ing, shop­ping and so­cial­ising at home, a de­bate is ra­ging about the fu­ture of town and city centres. Will they re­cov­er? How will they look in ten years? Will urb­an­isa­tion go in­to re­verse? And what does this mean for the real es­tate world?In `Re­pur­pos­ing Real Es­tate’ we provide the first an­swers hav­ing polled more than 300 lead­ing in­dustry pro­fes­sion­als and al­most 15,000 glob­al con­sumers.The res­ults are fas­cin­at­ing: al­most a third of real es­tate is ear­marked for con­ver­sion – with re­tail and of­fices to hous­ing the most pop­u­lar choices. Con­sumers want more green and open space, hav­ing spent too long con­fined to their own homes.But the good news is that in­vestors, hav­ing come through the pan­dem­ic, are still con­fid­ent in real es­tate as an as­set class. The big changes will be in what prop­erty they in­vest in, mean­ing the places we live, work and play in may be very dif­fer­ent in the years to come.
10/09/2020
Priv­ilege: What you need to know
The last couple of years have seen some im­port­ant de­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish case law in the area of leg­al pro­fes­sion­al priv­ilege, from the Court of Ap­peal over­turn­ing a re­strict­ive in­ter­pret­a­tion of lit­ig­a­tion...
18/04/2017
Dis­putes di­gest
Wel­come to our Spring edi­tion of Dis­putes Di­gest. In this edi­tion, we look back at 2016 and sum­mar­ise the key lit­ig­a­tion and ar­bit­ra­tion cases of 2016 for cor­por­ate coun­sel to be aware of. We also...
29/09/2016
Dis­putes di­gest
Wel­come to the fourth edi­tion of Dis­putes Di­gest, fea­tur­ing com­ment­ary and ana­lys­is on the latest de­vel­op­ments in dis­pute res­ol­u­tion across the UK and bey­ond.Over the sum­mer, the de­bate over the leg­al...
25/11/2015
Dis­putes Di­gest - cur­rent leg­al is­sues af­fect­ing the mar­ket
This edi­tion con­tains up­dates and com­ment­ary on a range of is­sues, in­clud­ing art­icles on the High Court’s ‘Fin­an­cial List’ which is now up and run­ning, cur­rent trends in pen­sions lit­ig­a­tion, key...