Donald is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
Working with landlords and tenants, he supports on disputes arising from their commercial property dealings, particularly in regard to lease renewals or regearing, break notices, breaches of restrictive covenants, rent arrears, repairing obligations and termination of lease agreements.
He is experienced in dilapidations claims, mainly working for the landlord alongside surveyors to ensure that a property is returned to a proper condition or appropriate damages are paid in accordance with lease provisions and statutory caps on claims – always seeking a cost-effective and commercial solution to meet clients’ objectives.
Thriving on a challenge, he acts for investors who occasionally purchase a ‘problem property’ in the confidence that Donald can help them tidy up property title issues and lease arrangements.
Recent examples of how Donald has supported clients include:
- supporting a property investor, who had acquired a grade I listed timber-framed building, on the recovery of the costs and economic options for repairing wattle and daub partition walls, which had been knocked through by the previous owner in breach of lease;
- achieving a sensible commercial settlement for a tenant client who had vacated a number of industrial units that has subsequently been purchased out of liquidation and the cause of action assigned several years after the leases had expired, and evidence was very scarce;
- unravelling a series of lease problems that arose after a financial services company leased the upper floors of their headquarters to a developer who, before being declared insolvent, unlawfully assigned the headlease to a third party, which then created further subleases as well as over 40 student accommodation units;
- recovering compensation for a pension scheme of a manufacturing company when a house builder purchaser backed out of the £2.5 million transaction to develop a parcel of unused industrial land;
- negotiating compensation for business interruption and the costs of relocation, after a firm of property developers was forced out of their offices when the landlord wished to redevelop the building; and
- helping a developer to convert a city-centre building to student accommodation units, despite the objections of a night-club operator occupying part of the same building.