Nicola’s expertise includes working with national property investors and retailers, insolvency practitioners, banks, local authorities, housing associations, private clients and family trusts on a broad range of contentious property issues. She is ranked by Chambers Directory as a leader in her field and described there as “an experienced practitioner with a great track record in property dispute resolution”. Her expertise extends to dilapidations, service charges, forfeiture, lease renewals, rights of light, restrictive covenants and party walls.
Nicola joined Clarke Willmott LLP in 2005 as part of a team of ten joining from Pinsent Masons.
Nicola is a member of the Property Litigation Association, and is a past chair of the South West and South Wales region. She is a regular speaker for the RICS on a range of subjects and also lectures on rights of light and party walls annually at the University of Bath as part of the Post Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies: RIBA Part III Professional Practice Examination.
Dilapidations. Acting for a charity defending interim dilapidations claims on one of its shops. Our client faced claim for new roofs, replacing stonework and a multiplicity of other matters and for landlord’s costs nearly three times the alleged cost of works and firmly believed that at most a few thousand pounds worth of patch repairs was required to the roof. We made a pre-action offer and following a trial which the landlord pursued in a particularly aggressive manner judgment was awarded for the landlord for less than £1,000 and the landlord was ordered to pay our clients costs.
Tenant insolvency. Acting for a landlord of a shop let to a company which went into administration. We established that the original tenant was a substantial retailer and was liable as the lease was an Old Lease for the purposes of the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act. By serving section 17 notices we were able to recover all rent, insurance, VAT and legal fees.
Lease renewal. Acting for a number of national retailers on their portfolios, serving and receiving notices and protecting renewal rights on key stores. Also acting for landlords, including opposing new leases where our clients wish to redevelop or occupy themselves, often involving detailed strategic advice.
Acting for the administrators of a national retail chain dealing with claims from landlords for rent and possession, terminating tenancies, assigning valuable leases and surrendering leases of nil value and once the administration converted to liquidation, disclaiming the remaining leases.
Providing advice to developers and party wall surveyors on whether party wall notices are necessary or appropriate and as to the matters which can and cannot be the subject of a valid award.