Fiona spent 11 years running her own business before coming to the law. She trained as a barrister and was called to the bar by The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. She joined the firm in 2005 and specialises in commercial property litigation.
Fiona advises both landlords and tenants including CEG, Govia Thameslink Railway, Grainger PLC, the National Trust, Standard Life and a number of Administrators, including Deloitte and KPMG, as well as major institutional lenders and large-scale residential developers on contentious property matters including: opposed and unopposed lease renewals, break clauses, surrender and forfeiture; insolvency related matters; the enforcement and release/modification of restrictive covenants; possession claims, including claims brought against commercial tenants, trespassers and squatters; adverse possession claims, easement disputes (including rights of light) and boundary disputes; valuation disputes at arbitration, mediation and expert determination and professional negligence claims.
Fiona’s most notable court case to date was at the Court of Appeal in the case of Erimus Housing Limited v Barclays Wealth Trustees (Jersey) Limited  EWCA Ccv 303. Fiona’s tenant client held over after expiry of a contracted out lease and the case concerned whether or not her tenant held over as a periodic tenant or a tenant at will. Her most notable arbitration to date was acting for CEG in a complex valuation involving the satisfaction (or otherwise) of planning conditions.
Fiona is a member of The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple and the Property Litigation Association.
- acting for Erimus Housing Limited at the Court of Appeal (detailed above)
- obtaining a prescriptive easement to park following a 3-day Land Registry Adjudication which considerably increased the value of the land benefiting from the easement
- successful application to the Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber for the modification of restrictive covenants allowing the implementation of a current planning permission to proceed. Prior to the application, the land was subject to restrictive covenants preventing its use for anything other than “agricultural or garden purposes” and specifically prohibiting the construction of “any buildings”. The application under Section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925 to discharge/modify a restrictive covenant was lodged on 10 March 2014 and an Order was granted on 1 December 2014 without payment of any compensation to any of the potential beneficiaries of the restrictive covenants and, as a consequence of the Order, the land value has increased considerably
- acting in a professional negligence claim against clients’ former solicitors for their failure to obtain a release of restrictive covenants from the Coal Authority. Successfully negotiating the release of the restrictive covenants from the Coal Authority and then recovering damages from the clients’ former solicitors.
- Acting for CEG at arbitration on land values where the parties’ respective positions on valuation were £4 million apart. The arbitrator determined the market value of the land in favour of CEG and the arbitrator’s award was also lower than the Calderbank offer put forward by CEG very early in the dispute.
- Grainger PLC on the enforcement of rights of light arising out of the development of a 216-unit residential property in the centre of Leeds.
- A major institutional lender on rights of light issues, both legal issues and insurance matters, arising out of a redevelopment project in the centre of York.
- Advising a major brewery chain on the enforcement of rights of light arising out of the development of adjoining property in the centre of London.
- a major infrastructure provider on, and implementing a strategy to secure, vacant possession of a development site in the centre of London.
- due diligence and advisory work on potential disputes arising from third party rights (including rights of light and restrictive covenants) over a development site in the centre of London, for a major retail outlet.
“I am very grateful to Fiona for her ongoing advice during the case. Her calm approach and her expertise were instrumental to this great result."