James Sandham

2003

Selborne Chambers
10 Essex Street
London WC2R 3AA
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020 7420 9500

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James was called in 2003 and has developed a specialist property, chancery and commercial practice. He spends the majority of his time acting for freeholders, leaseholders, shareholders, directors and creditors in disputes over or incidental to land, property, trusts and assets.

Solicitors have described James as “very charming and a pleasure to work with”.  He is “always practical and pro-active” and his “drafting, analysis and advocacy are excellent”.  James is “very good with clients and can make complicated principles easily understandable.”  He is “a strategist and is usually able to extract a result from even the most difficult and seemingly hopeless cases. He is doggedly determined to understand and achieve what the clients want and finds ingenious ways of getting a case over the line or dragging it out of the doldrums to achieve a favourable settlement.”

James is also a pupil master, a member of the Lincoln’s Inn Mentoring Scheme, and has contributed to various publications and journals.

Recent Work

James’ recent work includes the following High Court and Court of Appeal decisions, including:

  • Malik (Deceased) v Shiekh [2018] EWHC 973 (Ch); [2018] 4 W.L.R. 86: undue influence when executing transfer deeds;
  • Corvan (Properties) Ltd v Abdel-Mahmoud [2018] EWCA Civ 1102: the construction of management contracts and the statutory test for identifying and defining qualifying long-term agreements;
  • Images (Gants Hill) Management Co Ltd v Rynew Property Management Ltd Queen’s Bench Division, 20 June 2018: duplicitous and abusive High Court applications for collateral advantage;
  • Armstrong v Ashfield DC [2018] EWCA Civ 873: proleptic discharge of possession orders;
  • Islington LBC v Dyer [2017] EWCA Civ 150; [2017] P.T.S.R. 731; [2017] H.L.R. 20; [2017] 2 P. & C.R. 17; [2017] 2 P. & C.R. DG6; Times, May 3, 2017: validity of notices and statutory construction;
  • Primeview Developments Ltd v Ahmed Upper [2017] UKUT 57 (LC): costs and unreasonable conduct in the First tier-Tribunal (Property Chamber) clarifying the principles in Willow Court; and,
  • Firstport Property Services Limited v Ahmet[2017] UKUT 0036: construction of a defective development scheme.

Property, Equity and Trusts:

All aspects of property and related issues, including co-ownership and beneficial interests, trusts of land, rectification, misrepresentation, fraud, undue influence, land registration, adverse possession, restrictive covenants, easements, rights of way, trespass, and nuisance.  James recently acted in the appeal against the decision in Malik (Deceased) v Shiekh [2018] EWHC 973 (Ch); [2018] 4 W.L.R. 86 in which Mr Justice Fancourt considered the scope of presumed undue influence and the validity of restrictions in “family assets” cases.

Landlord & Tenant:

James acts in commercial and residential disputes, including service charges, right to manage, lease renewals, lease variations, lease extensions, rights of first refusal, forfeiture, 1954 Act renewals, dilapidation, break clauses, breaches of covenant, rent reviews, and validity of notices. In addition to LBI v Dyer (validity of notices), James acted in Burchell v Raj Properties Ltd [2013] UKUT 443 (LC) (construction of user covenants), and Corvan (the approach to the construction of qualified long term agreements).

Construction: 

James’ practice includes construction and party wall disputes and he acted in the recent decision of Rapose v Viridian HA Limited [2017], TCC, Jan 5, 2017 concerning the validity of the third surveyor’s award and Begum v Birmingham CC [2013], TCC, Dec 18, 2013 which concerned the duty to disclose structural defects known to the freeholder at the time of sale.

Planning: 

James acts in planning disputes, for example, R (on the application of Bishops Stortford Civic Federation) v (1) East Hertfordshire District Council (2) Anley Trustees Limited and Maison Anley Property Nominee Limited [2014] EWHC 348 in which the High Court heard a challenge to the lawfulness of a £105m development scheme.  James recently acted in R (on the application of Pearce and ors) v Purbeck District Council and ors [2017] in which the Court of Appeal considered whether to grant permission on the question of whether “need” was correctly assessed by the committee when deciding to grant permission to development an area of outstanding natural beauty on the Dorset coast.  He also appeared in

 Civil Procedure / Costs:

James has appeared in two of the leading cases on costs, being Primeview Developments Limited v Ahmed and others [2017] UKUT 0057 (LC) which concerned unreasonable conduct, and Begum v Birmingham CC [2015] EWCA Civ 386 which clarified the scope of the decision in Beoco Ltd v Alfa Laval Co Ltd [1995] QB 137.  He also appeared in Vernon v Spoudeas and Rosenthal [2010] EWCA Civ 666 in which the Court of Appeal considered the approach to be taken for relief against “unless” orders and Ergun v Smith and Anor [2014] EWHC 2494 in which the High Court considered when new evidence can be adduced in support of an appeal.

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Notable cases

Corvan (Properties) Ltd v Abdel-Mahmoud [2018] EWCA Civ 1102: the construction of management contracts and the statutory test for identifying and defining qualifying long-term agreements;

Malik (Deceased) v Shiekh [2018] EWHC 973 (Ch); [2018] 4 W.L.R. 86: undue influence when executing transfer deeds;

 Images (Gants Hill) Management Co Ltd v Rynew Property Management Ltd Queen’s Bench Division, 20 June 2018:  duplicitous and abusive High Court applications for collateral advantage;

Armstrong v Ashfield DC [2018] EWCA Civ 873:  proleptic discharge of possession orders;

 London Borough of Islington v Dyer [2017] EWCA Civ 150; [2017] P.T.S.R. 731; [2017] H.L.R. 20; [2017] 2 P. & C.R. DG6; Times, May 3, 2017 (second appeal; meaning and validity of “notice” for the purposes of s.128 of the Housing Act 1996; whether the notice was valid notwithstanding the omission of prescribed information)

Primeview Developments Limited v (1) Mr R Ahmed and Dr M H Javaid (2) Mrs Jumbo (3) Mr Frade (4) Mrs Kelly [2017] UKUT 0057 (LC) (Administration charges – costs orders under rule 13, Property Chamber Rules 2013 and s.20C, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, whether appellant unreasonable to refuse mediation)

 

Firstport Property Services Limited v Ahmet [2017] UKUT 0036 (LC) (Lessee’s obligation to pay proportion of estate costs by reference to formula – whether lessee’s proportion should be calculated by reference to 13 dwellings built on land sold to another developer as well as the 218 dwellings built on the retained land, both sites together constituting a single residential estate – whether the estate costs payable by the lessee should include the costs associated solely with the land sold as well as the retained land)

 R (on the application of Pearce and ors) v Purbeck District Council and ors [2017] Court of Appeal, C1/2016/4022. Planning appeal (permission); development of an AONB, whether the question of “need” correctly assessed by the Committee (on appeal, Court of Appeal).

Rapose v Viridian HA Limited [2017], TCC, Jan 5, 2017 (Party Walls, validity of the third surveyor’s award) (on appeal, Court of Appeal).

Corvan v Mahmoud [2017] UKUT 228 (LC) (definition of a Qulifying Long Term Agreement for the purposes of s.20ZA. Currently on appeal to the Court of Appeal).

 Norwich CC v Redford [2015] UKUT 30 (LC) (Apportionment; Flats; Lighting; Local authorities’ powers and duties; Rateable value; Service charges)

 Begum v Birmingham CC [2015] EWCA Civ 386; [2015] CP Rep 32; [2015] 3 Costs LO 387; [2015] HLR 33 (Amendments; Breach of statutory duty; Costs; Defects; Local authorities’ liabilities; Local authority housing; Sale of property; Statements of case)

 Queensbridge Investments Limited v Leaseholders of Flat 2 and 3, 135 Ladbroke Grove, London, W11 1PN Upper Tribunal, (permission) LRX/70/2015 and LRX/156/2016 (s.168 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002; waiver of covenant prohibiting sub-letting; ostensible authority of managing agents)

 R (on the application of Bishops Stortford Civic Federation) v (1) East Hertfordshire District Council (2) Anley Trustees Limited and Maison Anley Property Nominee Limited [2014] EWHC 348 (Admin); [2014] PTSR 1035; [2014] BLGR 161; [2014] JPL 852; [2014] ACD 104 (Judicial review; £105m redevelopment; whether the decision was impugned by irrelevant and prejudicial remarks made by a member of the Executive)

 Ergun v Smith and Anor [2014] EWHC 2494 (forfeiture; new evidence in support of an appeal)

 Eaglesham Properties Limited v Leaseholders of Flats 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 12 Drysdale Dwellings LRX/19/2014 (Appointment of a manager, jurisdiction to determine the proper construction of orders, entitlement to recover monies equivalent to service charges from the freehold owner of flats not let on long leases)

 London Borough of Brent v Cheryl Tudor [2013] EWCA Civ.157; [2013] HLR 20; [2013] 1

P & CR DG23 (Possession; under occupying; ground 16; whether reasonably required to accommodate the successor secure tenant and her family

Begum v Birmingham CC [2013], TCC, Dec 18, 2013 (Sale of land; duty to disclose structural defects known to the freeholder at the time of sale; liability, damages and rescission arising out of misrepresentation and a breach of the statutory)

Aaron Burchell v Raj Properties Ltd [2013] UKUT 443 (LC); [2014] L & TR 3; [2013] 3 EGLR 62; [2013] 43 EG 127 (CS) (leasehold enfranchisement; “terms of acquisition”: s.48(1), Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993; restrictions on dispositions; meaning of “change”:  s.57(6)(b))

 Anas v Arora [2012] EWCA Civ 102 and [2012] EWHC 1488 (QB) (possession; refusal of a stay of execution; academic appeals; civil restraint orders)

 Brasilian Point Ltd v In Shops Ltd and another [2012] All ER 17 (forfeiture; commercial lease; terms of relief;  arrears uncertain; unjust enrichment).

 Rossman v The Crown Estate Commissioners LON/00BK/LVL/2011/0013 (Lease variations; satisfactory provision; computation; equitable forbearance; estoppel)

 Kingsmere RTM Company Ltd v Anstone Properties Ltd CHI/00ML/LRM/2011/0017 (RTM; multiple blocks; ultra vires; articles of   association)

Vernon v Spoudeas and Rosenthal [2010] EWCA Civ 666 (non-compliance with an unless order; court’s powers and duties; striking out)

Memberships

Chancery Bar Associaition

Property Bar Association

Administrative Law Bar Association

Bar Council Professional and Public Access scheme

Education

Pupil Master, Lincoln’s Inn (2013)

Qualified for Direct Professional Access (2010)

Tenancy (2006)

Pupillage (2004)

LLM (Commercial) (2003)

BVC, Inns of Court School of Law (2002) (“Very Competent”)

LLB

Lord Wandsworth College

Ecole Europeenne de Bergen