Philippa’s practice encompasses all aspects of commercial and domestic property disputes. She undertakes related insolvency, company, and trusts questions, contentious probate and residential and commercial landlord and tenant law. She has a particular interest in registered title fraud. Philippa also has an interest in international property law and is regularly instructed by clients outside the jurisdiction.
“……the defendant’s evidence was completely undermined by Philippa’s cross-examination. …. Philippa’s advice …. was always prompt, thorough, learned, sensible, clear and well-argued.
Appointments & Memberships
Chancery Bar Association
- Licensed to accept Direct Public Access instructions
- CEDR accredited mediator
Restaino v Penney
(Unreported, High Court Chancery Division 17 December 2012) – Represented the successful claimant in a dispute over business profits which the defendant had unlawfully transferred to Brazil. A worldwide freezing injunction was obtained followed by mediation and summary judgment to secure the return of the funds.
Phillips v Smith and National Westminster Bank plc
(First Tier Tribunal, September 2016) – Successfully represented a mother setting aside a disputed transfer of her home to her daughter, who had fraudulently misrepresented the nature of the transfer deed. The deed was held to be void but had been registered and the daughter had mortgaged and then remortgaged the property to the bank.
Jhuti v Jhuti
(High Court Chancery Division, October/November 2016) – Represented the successful beneficiary in a contentious probate claim arising out of a breach of trust by the sole executor. A freezing injunction was obtained to prevent dissipation of assets after the defendant breached a consent order.
Hou v Shu
(High Court Chancery Division, February to November 2016) – Claim for breach of trust of land. The trust of a property in London was established as part of a Chinese divorce settlement by the parents for their minor daughter as the sole beneficiary but was not protected by registration. The mother sold the property and used the proceeds to buy a second property registered in the names of herself and her new husband, with no declaration of trust in favour of the daughter.
Smylie v Bye
(First Tier Tribunal, May 2015 to February 2018) – Acted for the individual freehold owner of a first floor flat let on a long lease seeking an order for possession following multiple breaches of the lease arising out of structural alterations made by the leaseholder without consent or planning permission.
Simmons v Alpex Architecture Ltd
Ltd (Central London County Court, January 2018) – Successful application for an order that the defendants withdraw applications for unilateral notices on the Land Register to permit the sale of a property to proceed.
Barking Group Ltd v Newbury Developments (UK) Ltd and Southern Housing Group Ltd
(High Court, Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, Property Trusts and Probate List (ChD), February 2018) – Acted for the successful claimant in an injunction restraining completion of a contract for sale of development land valued at £15.4 million.
Edginton v Sekhon  EWCA Civ 1812
Appeal against a judge’s decision not to award a claimant his costs of a discontinued counterclaim. Held it was within the permissible grounds of his discretion under CPR r 44.3 in the light of the claimant’s conduct and his rejection of a drop hands settlement offer made by the defendants.
Quaintance v Tandan ChD  EWHC 4416 (Ch)
There had been a change of common intention where one of two tenants in common had ended the relationship and left the property within twelve weeks of purchase. The claimant was entitled to the whole of the beneficial interest and the proceeds of sale.
Ibuna v Arroyo  EWHC 428 (Ch);  W.T.L.R. 827
Grant of letters of administration to allow the partner and daughter of a deceased Filipino politician to take possession of his remains for repatriation to the Philippines for burial in accordance with his wishes, despite the opposition of the congressman’s estranged wife, who declined to participate in the English proceedings.
RMS Properties v Singh  EWCA Civ 533
Appeal allowed in a case of adverse possession where the judge, faced with a very difficult task at trial because the bundles and documentary evidence was in disarray, made errors in his analysis of the evidence. The case was remitted for retrial.
Bowling & Co v Edehomo  EWHC 393 (Ch);  1 W.L.R. 2217;  P.N.L.R. 18;  2 E.G.L.R. 45;  21 E.G. 96;  10 E.G. 106 (C.S.);  N.P.C. 27
The limitation period in a claim for negligent conveyancing by a firm of solicitors ran from the date of exchange of contracts rather than completion. The loss accrued when the fraudulent contracts were exchanged, constituting a blot on the title which would diminish the value of the property.
Disputes arising out of sale of land, title and registration including bona vacantia and escheat, covenants, easements, mortgages and charges, boundary disputes, adverse possession, trusts and equitable interests, co-ownership. Commercial and residential leases, insolvency, as well as professional negligence claims arising out of property transactions and disputes. Proceedings before the First Tier and Upper Tribunals. Philippa is also able to advise on non-contentious matters including lease renewals.
Commercial Dispute Resolution
Commercial and contractual disputes, franchise agreements, shareholder remedies. Sale of businesses.
Extensive experience of representing clients at mediations, Philippa is a CEDR qualified mediator.
Corporate and personal insolvency particularly in the context of real property. Commercial and residential leases. Asset recovery, office holder claims, transactions defrauding creditors and void dispositions. Directors’ disqualification and claims against directors. Corporate and partnership break up and shareholder disputes. Particular expertise in the treatment of property in insolvency. Bringing and resisting winding up petitions, injunctions restraining advertisement of a winding up petition, bringing and resisting bankruptcy petitions, property related insolvency including bona vacantia and escheat.
Injunctions, freezing and search orders, cross border claims, International asset tracing and recovery, conspiracy, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. Particular expertise with registered title and mortgage fraud including applications to restrain completion of sale and claims to remove unilateral notices. Cyber fraud and disputes involving digital assets.
Private Client Trusts & Probate
Contentious Probate, Co-ownership and TOLATA claims – Philippa was instructed on one of the first applications of the ‘change of intention’ doctrine under Jones v Kernott, Proprietary estoppel, Inheritance Act claims, Property disputes between extended family and with an international element. Philippa has extensive experience of disputes arising out of co-owned properties. She regularly acts for and advises claimants and defendants in contentious probate cases where disputes arise out of a will or intestacy.
- BA (Fine Arts) (Witwatersrand)
- Common Professional Exam (Westminster)
- LLM (Auckland)
Advice & Mediations
Includes advising and representing in proceedings and mediations:
· A commercial tenant whose landlord had been dissolved seeking to acquire the freehold title which had reverted to the Crown as escheat.
· A commercial property developer with interests in India and the United Kingdom in a dispute about freehold covenants restraining change of use of a site from commercial to residential use.
· A claimant in a claim for solicitor’s negligence arising out of the fraudulent sale of a residential property at an undervalue.
· The management company of a large residential block in respect of the text of new leases.
· A Dubai based investor in a claim arising out of the fraudulent transfer of a property in the United Kingdom. The claim, against several senior lawyers, was successfully settled following mediation without proceedings being issued.
· Shareholders in a biotech start-up defending an unfair prejudice petition brought by an investment partner.
· Directors seeking an injunction restraining advertisement of a winding up petition brought as part of a hostile takeover bid.
· A claimant claiming the benefit of a proprietary estoppel giving rise to a constructive trust over part of a family farm.
· Mediating a dispute between family members arising out of trusts of land over a large residential property portfolio.