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Real Estate & Planning Disputes

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As a developer, landlord, contractor or occupier, when a real estate project or transaction becomes contentious, it is essential that matters be dealt with as quickly and calmly as possible to ensure there is minimal disruption to your business and that you maintain the value of your asset.

That is why you need legal advice from a disputes team that understands the issues peculiar to the real estate sector.

The CMS real estate disputes team is one of the largest specialist teams in the UK. Servicing clients from five locations in London, Bristol, 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 of acting for the full spectrum of property holders across the widest range of disputes.

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

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.

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 are 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 Dis­putes in the UK
A cor­por­ate oc­cu­pi­erA dis­pute arising un­der a prop­erty out­sourcing agree­ment. The dis­pute was re­ferred to ar­bit­ra­tion and we achieved a res­ult that will save our cli­ent mil­lions over the next few years. An...
Law-Now: Real Es­tate & Plan­ning Dis­putes
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29/09/2022
CMS closes series of high-pro­file bat­tery stor­age deals
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS has closed five sig­ni­fic­ant bat­tery stor­age deals in re­cent months, re­in­for­cing the firm’s mar­ket-lead­ing po­s­i­tion in this space.  These in­clude: Ad­vising Zen­obē on two...
06/09/2022
Band­width: En­abling change
01/09/2022
CMS strengthens Plan­ning of­fer­ing with key part­ner ap­point­ment
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS is bol­ster­ing its Plan­ning prac­tice with the ap­point­ment of Dav­id Hardy as a part­ner in its Shef­field of­fice. Du­ally qual­i­fied as a bar­ris­ter and so­li­cit­or, Dav­id joins CMS...
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.
06/12/2022
CMS Real Es­tate we­bin­ar series 2022 – Re­turn­ing to a new nor­mal
This pro­gramme of we­binars provides a short and in­cis­ive re­view of some key top­ics re­lat­ing to real es­tate, health and safety, plan­ning and con­struc­tion in the United King­dom.  Up­com­ing:6 Decem­ber – Use...
21/02/2022
CMS ad­vises Hogan Lov­ells on new Lon­don HQ
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS has ad­vised Hogan Lov­ells in con­nec­tion with its pre-let agree­ment to take up space at Roy­al Lon­don As­set Man­age­ment’s up­com­ing Hol­born Via­duct scheme, sign­ing an agree­ment...
19/07/2021
MA­JOR IN­DUSTRY SUR­VEY RE­VEALS STARK CON­SEQUENCES OF REAL ES­TATE’S £6 BIL­LION...
In­dustry lead­ers be­lieve pen­sion funds will take a hit as a res­ult of the con­tin­ued ex­ten­sion of the morator­i­um on un­paid rent, which won’t sup­port ten­ant re­cov­ery in the long term  The de­cision by...
19/07/2021
Ma­jor in­dustry sur­vey re­veals ex­tent to which tech­no­logy is re­volu­tion­ising...
Over 4,000 glob­al in­dustry lead­ers, of­fice oc­cu­pi­ers, renters, re­tail de­cision makers and life sci­ences pro­fes­sion­als con­sul­ted in biggest in­dustry sur­vey of its kind to un­pack how, where and why tech­no­logy...
15/07/2021
Tech drives push to­wards net zero
Real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als have had a dra­mat­ic con­ver­sion in the last 12 months to­wards the prin­ciple of achiev­ing net zero, ac­cord­ing to our polling.While the concept was barely un­der­stood two years ago – and in­dustry ex­perts were taken aback by ini­tial glob­al am­bi­tions to achieve net zero by 2040 or 2050, the real es­tate sec­tor has been gal­van­ised in­to ac­tion by its in­vestors and oc­cu­pi­ers and is now look­ing to hit its tar­gets by 2030-2035. Tech­no­logy has to be at the heart of this: stake­hold­ers from across the real es­tate world now have the mo­tiv­a­tion, fin­an­cially and eth­ic­ally, to cre­ate and util­ise tech­no­logy that can help cre­ate green­er build­ings.In the last year the biggest play­ers in UK real es­tate, in­clud­ing Aviva In­vestors, Brit­ish Land, Land­sec and SE­GRO, have set bold tar­gets to reach net zero, with most re­spond­ents ex­pect­ing the real es­tate world to beat gov­ern­ment tar­gets by achiev­ing net zero emis­sions by 2035 at the latest.
15/07/2021
Real es­tate cata­pults ahead
The dawn of pr­op­tech was 1980-2000 and saw the rise of soft­ware tools that made as­set man­age­ment easi­er. Pr­op­tech 2.0 was 2000-2015 with the rise of the likes of Zo­opla and Airb­nb help­ing the con­sumer, in par­tic­u­lar, to re-think their re­la­tion­ship with real es­tate. We are now at the dawn of Pr­op­tech 3.0, driv­en by con­cepts such as AI, ro­bot­ics, 5G, 3D print­ing and the In­ter­net of Things, (IoT) which will cre­ate the biggest changes of all and will in­crease the speed of change after the seis­mic up­heav­al of COV­ID-19. Many people see this as a fourth in­dus­tri­al re­volu­tion, rep­res­ent­ing a fun­da­ment­al change in the way we live – a new chapter in hu­man de­vel­op­ment en­abled by ex­traordin­ary tech­no­lo­gic­al ad­vances com­men­sur­ate with the first, second and third in­dus­tri­al re­volu­tions. The im­pact on the built en­vir­on­ment dur­ing the 2020s will be pro­found.
15/07/2021
A tech-driv­en trans­form­a­tion
The in­creas­ing im­port­ance of tech­no­logy and di­git­al­isa­tion has come to the fore through­out the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic, par­tic­u­larly in the of­fice mar­ket but also in life sci­ences, build to rent and lo­gist­ics.
15/07/2021
A re­volu­tion on all fronts
There is a grow­ing con­sensus that the next gen­er­a­tion of real es­tate tech­no­logy will bring un­pre­ced­en­ted change to the in­dustry, with the key trends pre­dicted by in­dustry com­ment­at­ors as fol­lows:As the new hy­brid world dawns it is seen as in­creas­ingly im­port­ant that ac­cess to the of­fice (in par­tic­u­lar) be as con­veni­ent and stress-free as pos­sible.Liv­ing and life­style are also now con­sidered a fer­tile world for tech­no­logy – but only in new de­vel­op­ments.COV­ID-19 has ac­cel­er­ated e-com­merce across Europe, with e-com­merce in the United King­dom rock­et­ing.Big data is set to un­der­pin the whole re­volu­tion.Tech­no­logy is also seen as key to fa­cil­it­at­ing great­er sus­tain­ab­il­ity, with sensors, data and the best meas­ure­ment cru­cial to en­han­cing ESG cre­den­tials, par­tic­u­larly in the chal­len­ging arena of ret­ro­fit­ting.However, it is also re­cog­nised that bar­ri­ers re­main to the wide­spread ad­op­tion of tech­no­logy, with big data in par­tic­u­lar eyed with sus­pi­cion by ten­ants and cus­tom­ers. Three in four of those we polled said they were wary of the Re­turn on In­vest­ment on smart tech­no­logy. Com­pan­ies har­vest­ing this data are viewed with dis­trust – with the Daily Tele­graph among the first or­gan­isa­tions to re­con­sider and then with­draw devices to mon­it­or wheth­er people are at their desk.Our re­search across a range of fields, from the real es­tate in­dustry, among of­fice oc­cu­pi­ers, renters and po­ten­tial renters, re­tail ex­perts and life sci­ences pro­fes­sion­als, drew a strik­ing re­sponse.