Nick is a Partner and Head of Shoosmiths’ Property Litigation practice. Having joined Shoosmiths as its only property litigator in 1999, Nick has been at the forefront of the development of the team into the heavyweight national practice that it is today. With 22 legal advisors specialising in all areas of property litigation, and with an unrivalled reputation, his team is the team of choice for numerous real estate clients including household names in the retail and leisure sectors, property developers, and investors. In addition to our wide ranging commercial real estate practice, we also have specialists who advise our clients on leasehold enfranchisement and housing management issues.
Nick is an incisive property litigator with a proven track record of achieving and exceeding his clients’ aims. In addition to an excellent win rate in Court, Nick is equally effective in generating results in an advisory capacity, pre-empting, avoiding and resolving conflict wherever possible.
Nick is ranked by Chambers as a leader in the property litigation field, with recent editions of the directory saying that “he understands his clients’ needs, as well as understanding the technical and practical realities of the law” and that “you might not always get the advice that you want, but you certainly will get the advice that you need”. Feedback from clients includes that “I am confident in Nick’s immediate grasp of any situation”.
Nick’s recent experience includes:
- advising a landlord client through to trial on a hotly contested claim for possession of light industrial premises, the claim having been met with a counterclaim alleging wrongful forfeiture and seeking substantial damages;
- acting for a retail client on a significant seven figure terminal dilapidations damages claim, advising on a number of fronts including in relation to the landlord’s loss of rent claim; supersession and the tenant’s Section 18 defence;
- advising a developer client on a strategy for the clearance of a site for residential redevelopment, the site being occupied by multiple commercial tenants with a mixture of leases within and outside of the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954;
- acting as a legal assessor for a rent review arbitrator, providing advice on the determination of a preliminary legal issue in relation to the interpretation of rent review assumptions and the arbitrator’s ability to take into account anticipated plant repair costs during the remainder of the terms of the lease; and
- advising a landowner in relation to the enforceability of a restrictive covenant seeking to prevent residential development on the land, including on the merits of an application to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) for the modification or discharge of the covenant; recommending a strategy leading to the release of the covenant by agreement thereby unlocking the land's substantion value.
Nick joined Shoosmiths from retail specialists Harvey Ingram (now Shakespeare Martineau), having trained with Edge & Ellison (now Squire Patton Boggs). He is an active member of the Property Litigation Association. Outside of work Nick is a trustee of a charity that provides lifelong learning support to the residents of an inner city community in Birmingham, many of whom do not use English as their first language, including through the operation of a secondary school for pupils with severe educational needs.