Robert Brown

2008

Selborne Chambers
10 Essex Street
London WC2R 3AA
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0207 420 9500

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Chambers and Partners 2019Legal 500 2019

Robert was called to the Bar in 2008. He joined Selborne Chambers in 2018 after developing a practice in the areas of landlord and tenant, property, housing and public law. He has appeared in the LVT/FTT(PC), UT(LC), county court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and advised on a wide range of issues.

He is a co-author of Quiet Enjoyment: Protection from Rogue Landlords, 8th edition (LAG, 2017) and Judicial Review Proceedings: A Practitioner’s Guide, 3rd edition (LAG, 2013). He has been an editor of the Housing Law Reports and contributor to Arden & Partington on Housing Law (Sweet & Maxwell).

Robert has been recommended for property litigation and social housing in the Legal 500 and has also been recommended in Chambers and Partners. Recent editions have described him as “Very good on difficult points of law and also very approachable” and said that “He is very bright, thoughtful and has a considered approach.”

He accepts Public Access instructions in appropriate cases.

Robert’s current and recent cases include

  • A claim for delivery up of documents based on breach of express and implied terms in a management agreement
  • Acting for a defendant in resisting a claim for breach of trust and restitution
  • Advising the freeholder of the common parts of a large development with regard to their Memorandum and Articles of Association, restrictive covenants and freehold land
  • Advising on restrictive covenants, right to light and the Waldram method
  • Advising on the rights and obligations of a mortgagee in possession of leasehold premises and Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995
  • Advising a joint freeholder on Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
  • Advising on requirements in relation to gas safety certificates and energy performance certificates for rented residential properties
  • Drafting new occupancy agreements for a local authority
  • Acting for a respondent opposing an application for registration of a right of way
  • Acting for a freeholder in a claim raising issues of proprietary estoppel and agency
  • A claim for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation
  • Advising a local authority on systems and processes to implement new legislation
  • Advising on a case relating to a right to park, where it is alleged that a declaration and injunction were obtained by fraud
  • Acting for a freeholder in a case concerning the dormant company regime under Companies Act 2006 and ultra vires acts
  • Acting for a bridging loan lender in a case where the validity of the loan agreement is disputed and issues are raised concerning regulated mortgage contracts and data protection legislation
  • Acting for a freeholder in numerous claims alleging negligence in respect of water charges


Areas of Practice

Residential and Commercial Landlord & Tenant

Robert regularly acts for and advises private landlords and tenants. He has acted in complex forfeiture cases. He has also advised and represented both landlords and tenants in relation to business tenancies.

He has appeared in the FTT(PC), the UT(LC) and LVT in cases concerning enfranchisement, the right to manage, service charges, consultation requirements, variation of leases and the appointment of a manager. He also regularly advises on these matters and other leasehold issues, such as the application of the Leasehold Property (Repairs Act) 1938, and provides training on a wide range of similar topics. He has recently been involved in a case raising issues of unjust enrichment, good faith change of position, and limitation in relation to leasehold matters.

Real Property

Robert has experience of a wide range of property law matters, including adverse possession, boundary disputes, mortgages, orders for sale, trusts of land, easements, and inheritance disputes.

Recent cases that he has been involved in have concerned issues such as parking easements, right to light, the interpretation and enforceability of restrictive covenants, bridging loans, trespass, as well as related matters concerning company law, agency, and estoppel by convention.

Housing

Robert advises and acts on behalf of both landlords and tenants on all aspects of housing law, including possession claims, injunctions to restrain anti-social behaviour, disrepair, harassment, unlawful eviction and homelessness.

Public Law

Robert has been involved in a number of important public law cases, including Ali v Birmingham CC [2010] UKSC 8; [2010] 2 AC 39; [2010] HLR 22; Manchester CC v Pinnock [2010] UKSC 45; [2011] 2 AC 104; [2011] HLR 7; Hounslow LBC v Powell [2011] UKSC 8; [2011] 2 AC 186; [2011] HLR 23; R (Greenwich Community Law Centre) v Greenwich LBC[2012] EWCA Civ 496; Haile v Waltham Forest LBC [2015] UKSC 34; [2015] AC 1471; [2015] HLR 24.

He has also worked on a complex procurement dispute and advised in relation to state aid.

He has lectured on judicial review and the Equality Act 2010 and is a co-author of Judicial Review Proceedings: A Practitioner’s Guide, 3rd edition (LAG, 2013).

Please see Robert’s Privacy Notice here.

Notable cases

Piper v South Bucks DC [2018] EWCA Civ 1616

(homelessness; principle of legality)

Santos-Albert v Ochi [2018] EWHC 1277 (Ch); [2018] 4 WLR 88

(charging orders; slip rule)

Parissis v Blair Court St John’s Wood (Management) Ltd Central London County Court, October 2017

(Quistclose trust; unjust enrichment; limitation)

Jetha v Basildon Court Residents Co Ltd [2017] UKUT 58 (LC)

(estoppel by convention)

Evans v Kensington & Chelsea RLBC [2016] EWCA Civ 653

(homelessness; interpretation of statutory guidance)

Haile v Waltham Forest LBC [2015] UKSC 34; [2015] AC 1471

(homelessness; statutory interpretation)

Clarke v Birmingham CC, Court of Appeal, October 2014

(construction of contract; trespass)

R (Alansi) v Newham LBC [2014] EWCA Civ 786

(allocations; legitimate expectation)

R (Greenwich Community Law Centre) v Greenwich LBC [2012] EWCA Civ 496; [2012] EqLR 572

(public sector equality duty; legal advice services)

R (Greenwich Community Law Centre) v Greenwich LBC [2011] EWHC 3463 (Admin); (2012) 156(1) SJLB 31

(public sector equality duty; tendering; procurement; legal advice services)

Hounslow LBC v Powell [2011] UKSC 8; [2011] 2 AC 186

(homelessness; housing; art.8, ECHR; Human Rights Act 1998)

Recommendations

Recommended for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners 2018:

“Very thorough and knows the areas in a lot of detail. You can instruct him and feel confident he will do a fine job.”

“Very good on difficult points of law and also very approachable.”

Recommended for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners 2017:

“He is an impressive junior who has appeared in courts at all levels”

“Strengths: ‘When handling more complex cases, he projects a real air of confidence and gives the best possible advice.’ ‘Completely on top of the law and a calm, careful advocate.’”

Recommended for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners 2016:

“Noted for his intellectual rigour and his personable approach.”

“He’s exceptionally bright and extremely able.”

Recommended for Property Litigation and for Social Housing in Legal 500 2017

“He is very bright, thoughtful and has a considered approach.”

Recommended for Social Housing in Legal 500 2016

Recommended for Social Housing in Legal 500 2015:

“He gets results time and time again.”

Recommended for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners 2015:

“a junior who ‘punches above his call year.’

Expertise: ‘He is quick on his feet and passionate about his public work.’ ‘He’s commercially astute and considers the final objective.’”

Recommended for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners 2014:

“He is considered a go-to junior with instructing solicitors underscoring client care skills: ‘He really understands their objective and legal position.’

Expertise: ‘He’s terribly knowledgeable about housing policy and legislation.’”