Isabel Petrie

Call: 2012

Isabel has a broad commercial and chancery practice covering all of Chambers’ core practice areas, with a particular focus on Property and Insolvency litigation.

In its 2022 edition, Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide describes Isabel as Very bright and her advice is considered and robust” and “She is totally on it and gets to the heart of the matter quickly. She is a good all-rounder, gets on well with clients and has a commercial approach.” She is also ranked as a leading junior in the Legal 500 (2022), where Isabel is described as Excellent. She is proactive and to the point. Nothing is too much trouble.”

Previous editions of the directories have described Isabel as “very approachable, effective and understands very well the commercial nature of these types of cases.” (Legal 500, 2021), a talented junior who will turn her hand to anything” and “her advice has always been very clear and concise and she’s very pragmatic as well” (Chambers & Partners, 2021).

Isabel is appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown and acts for the Government in property-related disputes, as well as a range of company and insolvency matters.

Notable recent and ongoing work includes:

  • Regularly appearing as Counsel for the Revenue in the Winding Up Court;
  • Acting for a large landowner in FTT (Property) proceedings brought by 35 leaseholders challenging their service charges under s.27A LTA 1985;
  • Acting as junior counsel in a long running 1954 Act Lease Renewal and Service Charge dispute concerning the London Trocadero. Led by Nicholas Trompeter QC;
  • Appearing as sole counsel in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) relating to the construction of leases and the recovery of notional rent via service charges: Retirement Lease Housing Association Ltd & Anor v Schellerup & Ors [2020] UKUT 232 (LC);
  • Acting as junior counsel (led by Nicholas Trompeter QC) on an injunction to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition on behalf of one of the UK’s largest high street businesses.
  • Commercial

    Isabel undertakes work involving all aspects of commercial litigation. She has experience of a broad range of business disputes, including claims concerning the proper construction and effect of contractual terms and conditions; the implication and breach of duties of good faith; bailment and conversion; the sale of goods and supply of services; agency (including estate agent’s commission); and disputes in the context of joint ventures.

    Her current and recent instructions include:

    • Acting for an accountancy firm in a claim concerning repudiation of contract and the recovery of unpaid fees;
    • Acting as junior counsel (led by Romie Tager QC) in Russell v Cartwright & Ors [2020] EWHC 41 (Ch), a two-week High Court trial concerning duties of disclosure and good faith, allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation and the break down of a joint venture agreement;
    • Advising clients and attending a mediation in a claim for misrepresentation in respect of the sale of company shares;
    • Acting for a telecoms company in a trial concerning the enforceability of contractual terms.

    In the past, Isabel has been led by Romie Tager QC in a two-day appeal to the Court of Appeal in Group Seven Ltd v Allied Investment Corporation Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 631 and by Gary Blaker QC in a two-week trial in Van Collem v Van Collem [2015] EWHC 2258 (Ch). Both of these cases concerned civil fraud in the context of multi-million pound claims.

  • Company & Partnership

    Isabel acts for and advises a range of clients in relation to company disputes. Her practice has a particular emphasis on claims concerning directors’ duties and matters that touch on insolvency issues. Isabel frequently advises and appears as an advocate for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in relation to proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. Examples of recent cases include:

    • Acting as sole counsel in Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy v Mehmet Yilmaz[2019] EWHC 1764 (Ch), a trial concerning the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
    • Advising Administrators in relation to the priority of debentures registered in the Companies House Register;
    • Dealing with public interest winding up petitions against companies considered to be trading with a lack of commercial probity or transparency or otherwise in breach of the Companies Act 2006.
  • Insolvency

    Isabel acts for a wide range of creditors, debtors and office holders in an advisory and representative capacity. She frequently appears in the Insolvency & Companies Court. As well as private and commercial clients, she receives regular instructions from HM Revenue & Customs, the Official Receiver, the Insolvency Service and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Isabel’s practice covers both individual and corporate insolvency proceedings.

    Some current and recent instructions include:

      • Regularly appearing as Counsel for the Revenue in the Winding Up Court;
      • Successfully having a notice of opposition to a petition dismissed at a 1 day disposal hearing, in circumstances where the debtor company raised allegations of misrepresentation as grounds for disputing the debt;
      • Acting as junior counsel (led by Nicholas Trompeter QC) in bringing an injunction to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition on behalf of one of the UK’s largest high street businesses. The case (eventually settling out of Court) was dealt with on an urgent basis at the outset of the disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic;
      • Acting as junior counsel (led by Gary Blaker QC) in Re Pinnacle (Angelgate) Manchester Limited (In Liquidation) [2020] EWHC 141 (Ch), a case concerning the recovery and distribution of funds on behalf of foreign investors into a failed ‘off-plan’ residential development;
      • Appearing as sole counsel for the Official Receiver in HM Revenue And Customs v Direct Affinity Events Ltd & Ors [2019] EWHC 3063 (Ch), a case concerning costs in the context of rescission of compulsory winding-up orders.
      • Advising on and appearing as an advocate for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in numerous proceedings concerning the disqualification of directors of companies in insolvency situations.
  • Landlord & Tenant

    Isabel acts both for landlords and tenants across a range of residential and commercial disputes. She regularly advises on and drafts claims for possession, forfeiture, trespass and nuisance; dilapidations claims; claims relating to breaches and/or enforceability of leasehold covenants; service charge disputes; opposed and unopposed lease renewals; disputes about the validity of property notices; and all other types of landlord and tenant dispute.

    Isabel’s clients include large landowners such as the Freshwater Group, major infrastructure providers such as Network Rail, numerous government departments, commercial investors, utility companies, developers, lenders, LPA receivers and private landlords.

    Current and recent instructions include:

      • Responding to a complex service charge application (s.27A LTA 1985) from 35 leaseholders on behalf of a landlord;
      • Successfully obtaining a possession order against an anti-social tenant residing in a prime central London block of flats, following a 2-day trial;
      • Acting as junior counsel in a long running 1954 Act Lease Renewal and Service Charge dispute concerning a central London landmark property. Led by Nicholas Trompeter QC;
      • Appearing as sole counsel in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) relating to the construction of leases and the recovery of notional rent via service charges: Retirement Lease Housing Association Ltd & Anor v Schellerup & Ors [2020] UKUT 232 (LC). The appeal, heard by the Deputy Chamber President, Martin Rodger QC, turned on the meaning of the word ‘cost’ in the service charge provisions of a lease and questioned whether this could be construed to encompass ‘income foregone’;
      • Acting as sole counsel in Goldstreet Properties Ltd v Khan LON/00BH/LBC/2019/0101 (3 September 2020) a trial in the First Tier Tribunal (Residential Property), in which Isabel was successful in obtaining determinations pursuant to section 168(4) of the CLRA 2002 in relation to 7 separate instances of breach of leasehold covenant.
      • Advising the outgoing head lessee in a multi-party commercial dilapidations matter;
      • Acting for the Government’s Bona Vacantia department in connection with properties that have reverted to the Crown with occupants in situ.
  • Professional Negligence

    Isabel undertakes work for clients in connection with professional negligence claims related to the practice areas above. Recent instructions include:

    • Advising on a claim against solicitors who failed to disclose a conflict of interest to their clients. This matter involved issues of limitation, suing insolvent partnerships and recovery under the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010
    • A claim against a top tier solicitors firm arising out of negligent advice as to the effect of a rent review clause in a lease;
    • A claim against a well-known property management and surveyors company arising out of a £20 million redevelopment of a Grade II listed building in Central London;
    • A claim against conveyancing solicitors who failed to recognise the impact of a flying freehold when acting in the purchase of a property.
  • Real Property

    Isabel accepts instructions in relation to all real property matters, including co-ownership disputes, claims concerning trusts of land and proprietary estoppel. She has been instructed in various matters involving questions of Land Registration, adverse possession, trespass, boundaries, easements and restrictive covenants. Isabel is also frequently instructed by and against banks, institutional lenders and finance companies to advise, draft pleadings and appear as an advocate in disputes concerning mortgages and charges. Her current and recent instructions as sole counsel include:

      • Acting for the successful claimant in a TOLATA 1996 co-ownership dispute following a 3-day trial;
      • Acting for a developer in a claim relating to unauthorised burials and encroachments on land. The matter concerned injunctive relief, damages for trespass, easements by prescription and the determination of boundaries;
      • Carrying out extensive legal research for leading counsel Nicholas Trompeter QC and Kevin Prosser QC in relation to the national non-domestic rates matter Rossendale Borough Council v Hurstwood Properties (A) Ltd & Ors [2021] UKSC 16;
      • Acting for the owners of a freehold property in a successful claim against the Crown Estate Commissioners for a vesting order under both s.181 of Law of Property Act 1925 and s.44 of the Trustee Act 1925. The application also concerned technical legal arguments about the dissolution of foreign companies and bona vacantia
      • Advising BP Oil UK Limited in relation to a nuisance claim threatened by the owners of land next to a BP filling station.
  • Trusts, Probate & Estates

    Isabel’s practice also includes more traditional private client work. She has experience of a range of contentious probate matters, often concerning the treatment of real property on death. Recent instructions have included:

    • Advising the Trustee in Bankruptcy of a residual beneficiary of an estate as to the best strategy for protecting the interests of the bankruptcy estate within the context of the administration of the deceased’s estate;
    • Drafting an application under section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 for the removal of a Personal Representative;
    • Acting for the executor of a Will in proceedings instigated against him by a beneficiary seeking to challenge an interim distribution;
    • Advising the partner of an intestate individual who faced possession proceedings of their family home following his death.
  • Notable Cases
    • Retirement Lease Housing Association Ltd & Anor v Schellerup & Ors [2020] UKUT 232 (LC). An appeal concerning the construction of a lease and service charges;
    • Re Pinnacle (Angelgate) Limited (in Liquidation)[2020] EWHC 141 (Ch). An application concerning the construction of a legal charge and the distribution of trust funds (led by Gary Blaker QC);
    • Russell v Cartwright & Ors [2020] EWHC 41 (Ch). A two-week trial concerning duties of disclosure and good faith and fraudulent misrepresentation (led by Romie Tager QC);
    • HM Revenue And Customs v Direct Affinity Events Ltd & Ors [2019] EWHC 3063 (Ch). A case concerning costs in the context of rescission of compulsory winding-up orders;
    • Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy v Mehmet Yilmaz[2019] EWHC 1764 (Ch). A trial concerning concerning the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
    • Geoffrey John Wilkinson & Ors v JS Property Holdings & Ors [2016] EWHC 1242 (Ch). A one-week trial concerning limitation, trusts, tracing and proprietary estoppel.
    • Van Collem v Van Collem [2015] EWHC 2258 (Ch). A trial concerning civil fraud, breach of fiduciary duties and misappropriation (led by Gary Blaker QC);
    • Van Collem v Van Collem [2015] EWHC 2184 (Ch). Successfully defending application made on medical grounds to set aside an order striking out a defence (led by Gary Blaker QC);
    • Group Seven Ltd v Allied Investment Corporation Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 631. An appeal concerning fraud, contributory negligence and Maltese law (led by Romie Tager QC).
  • Chambers and Partners, 2022
  • Legal 500 2022
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