Real estate disputes

Our real estate disputes team are adept at handling delicate negotiations while firmly advocating our clients’ rights.

We have a strong track record for successfully settling disputes over property ownership, between landlords and tenants and relating to development contracts, among many other issues.

We recently represented the American owner of a London flat whose neighbor wanted to build a two-level basement and install a pool. To our client, that meant two years of construction noise and disruption. But because he only inhabits the property for a few months each year, we were able to reach an agreement that no construction would be done while he was in town. The deal was done quickly, confidentially and efficiently.

‘It is usually sensible to resolve a dispute before it gets to court,’ advises Andrew Chesser, a leading lawyer in the real estate disputes team. ‘Litigation can be complex and time consuming and the cases that reach court are inevitably uncertain.’

When Withers does take a case to court or arbitration, our team excels at the technical aspects of the process – understanding the nuances of contract language, relevant statutes or court decisions and using them to craft a strong argument. In one recent case, we acted for a charity aiming to build a leading research unit in London. We were able to fend off a challenge by local objectors who felt that the council should not have granted planning permission, and sought to take it to judicial review.

In another case, we acted for a client wanting to purchase a large Oxfordshire manor house. The property had previously been under contract to another party, who had lost his seven-figure deposit and objected to our client’s deal. We fought the case in the High Court and won which allowed the purchase to go ahead.

Our real estate team advises on commercial, residential and non-profit deals on landmark properties and represents some of the most prominent individuals and institutions in the world.  Watch our video to find out more.

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“I have worked with Andrew for many years on a number of complex commercial and Landlord and Tenant matters. I have always found him to be clear in his advice, quick to respond and steady under pressure. Andrew is a pleasure to work with and I would not hesitate to recommend him and his team”.

Phil Day - Golden Square Group

We have worked with Andrew for over 15 years on a number of contentious matters and have been grateful for his experience and consistent and loyal support, which enabled us to work through some very difficult times. We were pleased to be able to move to Withers with Andrew two years ago and have continued to work with him and his colleagues in corporate, banking and finance and real estate on our recent acquisition of the Whittlebury Hall lease, which proved to be considerably more complex than anticipated, but the team all worked well together well to achieve the desired result”.

Jeff Sargeant, Executive Chairman, Whittlebury Park Golf & Country Club


Leading individual for real estate: high value residential

Ranked Tier 1 for agriculture and estates


How the team can help


Russian real estate project in LCIA arbitration

In an LCIA arbitration concerning a high profile real estate project in Moscow, worth $160m, and involving complex issues of fraud, illegality and a combination of Russian, Kazakh and BVI law, we have taken an innovative approach to calculating the damages at stake.

Protecting the home in a family fraud dispute

Our client faced claims to his million pound London property, as a result of a massive fraud claim relating to a member of his family. Working to protect his property rights, we secured a landmark ruling from the Court of Appeal to enable him to challenge the claim.

Construction dispute and ad hoc arbitration in North Africa

A major construction project in Libya has resulted in an ad hoc commercial arbitration for our client, an Italian company.

Singapore Economic Development Board in a High Court Claim

We successfully acted for the Singapore Economic Development Board in a claim in the High Court and the Court of Appeal arising from a refusal to grant a renewal of a lease of prime land, involving allegations of misrepresentation

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