Successful strike out and summary judgment application: a resounding win by this firm’s Dispute Resolution Department

This firm recently acted in proceedings for possession of commercial premises in South West London: the Defendant asserted he had a valid lease, granted to him in 2009, which prevented the freeholder (F) from claiming possession since F had only acquired the freehold in the premises and adjoining residential accommodation in July 2011 (following lengthy and bitterly contested enfranchisement proceedings).

Although the Defendant’s lease was not registered, and therefore not immediately apparent (in the absence of immediate physical occupation), he further asserted that his occupation would have been apparent to the Claimant on a reasonable inspection of the property.

All told, there were two sets of proceedings, both complex in terms of fact and conflicting evidence.  F denied that any such lease had been granted in 2009, and that the Defendant’s documents had been fabricated, and that, even if in the unlikely case the Court found the lease to be valid, there was no evidence that the Defendant had in fact occupied the premises at the time of its acquisition of the freehold, or indeed thereafter: in fact, quite the contrary.

Following disclosure by the Defendant of various documents, as ordered by the Court, we applied for an Order striking out the Defendant’s Defence and Counterclaims for goods worth some £20,000 he claimed he had stored at the premises.  The day-long application was heard on 29th May 2014, and was wholly successful: the Judge struck out the Defendant’s case completely and awarded Judgment in F’s favour together with substantial damages and costs.

To further enhance CLC’s Dispute Resolution Team’s reputation, the Judge went out of his way to say that he had rarely seen such a thorough, meticulously prepared, and therefore convincing application, and commended the work of the CLC solicitor for her presentation of F’s case.

Emily Detheridge (Solicitor)
Dispute Resolution Team