It is over 30 years since Street v Mountford and Ashburn Anstalt v Arnold appeared to have put to rest the “heresy ” of a proprietary licence. However, recent decisions suggest that the courts remain prepared to imbue licences with at least some proprietary characteristics. Professor Martin Dixon examines whether we are returning to a time when the simple distinction between licences and interests in land is breaking down. Is our concept of possession more subtle than previously we might have imagined? Philip Sissons considers the practical consequences of these developments and whether a binary lease/licence distinction fits comfortably with modern commercial requirements for the flexible use of property, including possible connotations under the Electronic Communications Code.
The 47th Annual Lecture Series returns to LSE · London in JuneAll lectures are in-person events with the option to attend online if preferred
Almost 25 years on, the Supreme Court has reconsidered the seminal SAAMCo principle in Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton  UKSC 20 and Khan v Meadows  UKSC 21. The Supreme Court again climbed the fictitious mountain, advancing a new conceptual framework for analysing the scope of duty principle. The new roadmap repositions both the role and importance of the SAAMCo principle. Have these decisions brought clarity and consistency to the law of professional negligence? Lady Justice Carr examines this and other questions designed to explore the legal and practical consequences of these two important decisions.
Rental valuation is often at the heart of property disputes. But the process of valuation, and the legal rules that govern that process, can be hard to understand and harder still to apply. Even in very familiar contexts, questions of what to value and how to value it can give rise to disagreement (as the recent Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 case of HPUT v. Boots vividly illustrates). But potential for confusion exists in valuation disputes of all types, affecting all sorts of commercial property – a situation arguably made worse by the economic effects of the Covid pandemic. Mark Sefton QC and Maggie Stobo will aim to strip the rules and process of valuation back to their first principles, and then to look with a clearer eye at some of the ongoing and unresolved arguments in this field.
Rights of light disputes are increasingly adversarial. It is now common for proceedings to be commenced and, although most cases are settled some, such as Beaumont v Florala, have recently got to trial. The approach taken by rights of light surveyors to assessing light loss and by the courts in assessing damages in cases such as Tamares v Fairpoint Properties has not so far been seriously challenged. All this is likely to change. Our speakers identify the main areas of debate that are likely to arise and how they are likely to be resolved.
Tickets are £75 + VAT each and includes:
- Attendance in person at LSE / access to join remotely
- Networking and canapé reception
- The Lecture followed by Q&A
- Speakers’ written papers
- Access to zoom recording (Lecture only) for up to 3 months post event except the Lecture on 13th June, The Supreme Court on SAAMCo, which will only be able to view live on the evening.
Tickets must be purchased in the name of the person attending together with their email address. Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. Each ticket only allows for the named attendee to join in person or online.
This year’s speakers
Professor Martin Dixon
Professor Martin Dixon FRSA is a British academic lawyer. He is Professor of the Law of Real Property at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge. He is Director of the Cambridge Centre for Property Law and an Honorary Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn. He was awarded the University of Cambridge Pilkington Prize for excellence in teaching in 2004. He was previously a Fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge and a Legal Officer for the UNRWA based in Vienna and Gaza City.
Philip’s practice covers all areas of property litigation including commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters and real property disputes. He has extensive experience of proceedings in the County Courts, the High Court and the Court of Appeal as well as regularly appearing in the Property Chamber of both the First Tier and Upper Tribunals. Philip also regularly represents clients at mediations and in arbitrations.
Lady Justice Carr DBE
Lady Justice Carr was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2020, having served as a High Court Judge (Queens’ Bench Division) since 2013. She was a nominated Judge of the Commercial Court and the Technology and Construction Court and a Presiding Judge of the Midland Circuit. Before that she practised at Four New Square where she became head of chambers. Her principal area of practice lay in the field of general commercial and professional liability law. She is a past chair of the Professional Negligence Bar Association and succeeded Sir Rupert Jackson as President of the Professional Negligence Bar Association in 2022. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission.
Mark Sefton QC
Mark’s practice covers the whole field of property work and property-related insolvency. He accepts direct professional instructions from surveyors. He acts as a legal assessor and as an arbitrator. He is widely recognised as having particular skill in disputes about valuation. Since taking silk in 2018, Mark has been instructed in a series of multi-billion pound valuation arbitrations concerning the largest residential property portfolio in England and Wales.
Maggie Stobo MRICS MCIArb
Since qualifying as a surveyor in 1990 Maggie has specialised in rental valuation and lease advisory matters, advising landlord and tenant clients on rent reviews and lease renewals under the 1954 Act. She spent over 25 years based in the Professional Services and Lease Advisory teams of major London-based surveying practices and has been a director of her own company since 2009. Maggie’s experience is broad covering most sectors of commercial property but with a particular emphasis on prime retail and restaurants.
John McGhee QC
John’s practice covers the whole spectrum of real estate from advising and representing developers and investors in contractual disputes over major commercial developments to the esoteric areas of minerals and the electronic communications code. He has a particular interest in rights to light and has advised on rights of light issues in respect of most of the major developments that have taken place in London for the last 15 years.
After completing a Masters in History, Bryan worked in industry for a number of years before converting to law. The first-hand witnessing of a major plc merger made him want to be a corporate lawyer. A seat in corporate law at a Magic Circle firm made him want to do something more cerebral and legally challenging, and so he found a happy home in property litigation.
Bryan has gained exceptional experience in contentious property issues over the years though he particularly enjoys development issues and rights of light and has acted for developers and adjoining owners on multiple schemes.
Bryan served the Property Litigation Association at Law Reform and Executive level for many years and chaired the Association in 2018-19. In his spare time Bryan enjoys running and hiking and is currently attempting to build a replica scale model of The Mayflower which has taken longer to progress than it took to build the actual ship the Pilgrims sailed to the New World in.