Baker v Craggs: fundamental land law under the microscope

We do not get too many cases in which section 1 of the Law of Property Act 1925 is at the heart of the decision. In Baker & Anor v Craggs [2018] EWCA Civ 1126, the Court of Appeal has overturned the 2016 High Court decision (see CPI Update Issue 153 – January 2017).

When is a covenant not a covenant?

When is a covenant not a covenant? Perhaps when the judge decides it is an easement? In the recent case of Churston Golf Club v Haddock [2018] EWHC 347 (Ch), the court interpreted the language of a 1972 conveyance (which, for all the world, appeared to have imposed a covenant) and construed the drafting as having created an easement.

The pain of settlement: the EMI case and the 1995 Act

There was universal disappointment amongst those with an interest in commercial certainty and sensible development of the law when it was discovered that there was to be no appeal hearing in the case of EMI Group Ltd v O & H Q1 Ltd [2016] EWHC 529 (Ch). The parties have reached a settlement agreement.

Getting away with a deliberate breach of covenant (subject to compensation)

It is usually the case that deliberate, unlawful conduct (for example, a wilful breach of a restrictive covenant, or the deliberate interference with an easement) is likely to be punished in judicial proceedings. However, this was not the outcome in the recent case of Millgate Developments Ltd & others v Smith & The Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust [2016] UKUT 515 (LC).

Codes for Completion: moving with the times; the Dreamvar case

The recent case of Dreamvar (UK) Limited v Mishcon de Reya & Anor [2016] EWHC 3316 (Ch) has caused alarm bells to ring in the offices of property lawyers. It involves a multiplicity of claims brought by a defrauded purchaser of property in London, against its own solicitors, and also against the solicitors acting for the purported seller. The case explores the responsibilities taken on by solicitors acting on the completion of a property transaction.

Form K16 searches in registered land purchases?

A recent article in the Law Society Gazette (“Bankruptcy in conveyancing”, 1 August 2016) addresses the risks of a sole vendor becoming bankrupt, or subject to bankruptcy proceedings, during a property sale, and considers the extent to which a buyer’s conveyancer might be considered negligent for failing to discover the proceedings.

E-signatures for land contracts: a premature step?

A joint working party of The Law Society Company Law Committee and the City of London Law Society Company Law and Financial Law Committees has published a note, based on the opinion of leading counsel (Mark Hapgood QC) on the effects of executing a document using an electronic signature.

Proposals for reform of the Land Registration Act 2002

The Law Commission has published a consultation paper on “Updating the Land Registration Act 2002” (Consultation Paper No 227).

An assignment from a tenant to its guarantor is void. Really?

Lord Neuberger once famously confessed, as Master of the Rolls in Day & Anor v Hosebay Ltd [2010] EWCA Civ 748 (a decision on leasehold enfranchisement), that he had “started, in Boss Holdings [2008] 1 WLR 289, paragraph 26, what I now think is a hare by suggesting an over-literalist approach to the language used by the legislature”. He wished to depart from his over-literalist approach and so the hare was recaptured.

Company ownership

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has published the outcome of its consultation on the implementation of rules relating to the register of company ownership and control. In March 2015 the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 received Royal Assent. It inserts a new Part 21A into the Companies Act 2006.