Contact details

Judith Smyth

T: +44 20 7809 2323 Email Judith | Vcard Office: London

Judith Smyth Associate

Contact details

Judith Smyth

Judith Smyth
Associate

T: +44 20 7809 2323 Email Judith | Vcard Office: London

Judith is a specialist property litigator in the commercial litigation team. She is an associate with over three years' experience in a wide range of property disputes. Judith seeks to help clients minimise litigation risk and obtain a cost-effective and commercial resolution when disputes do arise.
 
  • Profile
  • Services

She acts for landlords and tenants on all aspects of commercial property disputes, including business lease renewals, trespass, possession claims, forfeiture and dilapidations. Her experience covers all phases of litigation, from pre-action case strategy and negotiations through to trial, obtaining judgment and dealing with appeals, as well as arbitration.

Judith also provides strategic advice on development and asset management matters, including rights of way, restrictive covenants, breaches of covenant, service charge issues, break notices and arrears recovery. She has particular experience of advising on vacant possession strategy for redevelopment and on tenant insolvency issues. She also advises on specialist areas such as land compensation and agricultural tenancies, as well as on residential property issues connected to wider commercial/mixed-use projects and professional negligence claims related to property matters. She has experience of using alternative dispute resolution methods, including without prejudice negotiations and formal mediation, to resolve disputes without the need for court action. Judith is a solicitor advocate and a member of the Property Litigation Association.

  • Real estate litigation
  • Landlord and tenant
  • Real estate development and investment
  • Dispute resolution
  • Commercial litigation

Nuisance

Acted for a well-known institution in successfully defending a high profile nuisance claim in the High Court, where the steps taken by the client to try to resolve the matter were deemed to be sufficient to prevent a nuisance from arising. The case raised novel points of law regarding the interaction of the law of nuisance with privacy rights.

Vacant possession

Acted for an investment fund in respect of the redevelopment of a central London office building, including advising on vacant possession strategy, settling a number of lease renewals on new flexible leases and pursuing opposed lease renewal proceedings on redevelopment grounds in the County Court.

Dilapidations

Successfully settled a number of high-value dilapidations claims, including a multi-million pound claim in respect of a substantial warehouse site that involved complex repair and reinstatement covenants and valuation issues.

Trespass

Advised a railway operator in respect of a number of trespass incidents at railway stations and around railway lines, including providing strategic advice on evicting the trespassers, serving notices on them and developing a trespass incident management protocol to enable the client to deal more effectively with any future occurrences.

Rights of way

Acted for a hotel owner in respect of a dispute with a neighbour over rights of way across the hotel forecourt. The dispute was settled following strategic input into the parties’ without prejudice negotiations, successfully avoiding the risk of the client being forced to spend substantial sums reconfiguring its external space.

Lease renewals

Conducted lease renewals across multiple sites for an institutional landlord, including a heavily contested renewal raising complex valuation questions which was settled through a combination of without prejudice negotiations on lease terms and arbitration on the rental value.

Professional negligence

Acted on the successful settlement of a claim brought by a tenant against its former solicitors for failure to issue lease renewal proceedings in time to maintain the tenant’s statutory rights to a renewal lease.

Possession claims

Conducted a number of possession claims in respect of commercial and residential property, including obtaining and enforcing orders for possession and successfully settling a claim regarding ownership of a garden in a prime central London location which raised issues concerning adverse possession and threatened to derail a substantial redevelopment project.

Agricultural tenancies

Advised a leading equestrian company in respect of a number of aspects of classifying and terminating agricultural tenancies, grazing licences and service occupancy arrangements in connection with the sale of a portfolio of agricultural properties.

Insolvency

Advised a number of landlords on tenant CVA proposals and exercising break rights under the terms of the CVAs. Also advised on negotiations with tenants pre-CVA and provided training to a number of clients on the CVA process and enforcing contractual rights. Successfully negotiated a settlement to set aside a bankruptcy petition against an individual client brought by their landlord in relation to a rent dispute.

More: Real estate litigation

Lease renewals

Conducted lease renewals across multiple sites for an institutional landlord, including a heavily contested renewal raising complex valuation questions which was settled through a combination of without prejudice negotiations on lease terms and arbitration on the rental value.

Vacant possession

Acted for an investment fund in respect of the redevelopment of a central London office building, including advising on vacant possession strategy, settling a number of lease renewals on new flexible leases and pursuing opposed lease renewal proceedings on redevelopment grounds in the County Court.

Dilapidations

Successfully settled a number of high-value dilapidations claims, including a multi-million pound claim in respect of a substantial warehouse site that involved complex repair and reinstatement covenants and valuation issues.

Insolvency

Advised a number of landlords on tenant CVA proposals and exercising break rights under the terms of the CVAs. Also advised on negotiations with tenants pre-CVA and provided training to a number of clients on the CVA process and enforcing contractual rights. Successfully negotiated a settlement to set aside a bankruptcy petition against an individual client brought by their landlord in relation to a rent dispute.

More: Landlord and tenant

Nuisance

Acted for a well-known institution in successfully defending a high profile nuisance claim in the High Court, where the steps taken by the client to try to resolve the matter were deemed to be sufficient to prevent a nuisance from arising. The case raised novel points of law regarding the interaction of the law of nuisance with privacy rights.

Vacant possession

Acted for an investment fund in respect of the redevelopment of a central London office building, including advising on vacant possession strategy, settling a number of lease renewals on new flexible leases and pursuing opposed lease renewal proceedings on redevelopment grounds in the County Court.

Trespass

Advised a railway operator in respect of a number of trespass incidents at railway stations and around railway lines, including providing strategic advice on evicting the trespassers, serving notices on them and developing a trespass incident management protocol to enable the client to deal more effectively with any future occurrences.

Rights of way

Acted for a hotel owner in respect of a dispute with a neighbour over rights of way across the hotel forecourt. The dispute was settled following strategic input into the parties’ without prejudice negotiations, successfully avoiding the risk of the client being forced to spend substantial sums reconfiguring its external space.

Agricultural tenancies

Advised a leading equestrian company in respect of a number of aspects of classifying and terminating agricultural tenancies, grazing licences and service occupancy arrangements in connection with the sale of a portfolio of agricultural properties.

More: Real estate development and investment

Nuisance

Acted for a well-known institution in successfully defending a high profile nuisance claim in the High Court, where the steps taken by the client to try to resolve the matter were deemed to be sufficient to prevent a nuisance from arising. The case raised novel points of law regarding the interaction of the law of nuisance with privacy rights.

Rights of way

Acted for a hotel owner in respect of a dispute with a neighbour over rights of way across the hotel forecourt. The dispute was settled following strategic input into the parties’ without prejudice negotiations, successfully avoiding the risk of the client being forced to spend substantial sums reconfiguring its external space.

Professional negligence

Acted on the successful settlement of a claim brought by a tenant against its former solicitors for failure to issue lease renewal proceedings in time to maintain the tenant’s statutory rights to a renewal lease.

Possession claims

Conducted a number of possession claims in respect of commercial and residential property, including obtaining and enforcing orders for possession and successfully settling a claim regarding ownership of a garden in a prime central London location which raised issues concerning adverse possession and threatened to derail a substantial redevelopment project.

More: Dispute resolution

Nuisance

Acted for a well-known institution in successfully defending a high profile nuisance claim in the High Court, where the steps taken by the client to try to resolve the matter were deemed to be sufficient to prevent a nuisance from arising. The case raised novel points of law regarding the interaction of the law of nuisance with privacy rights.

Rights of way

Acted for a hotel owner in respect of a dispute with a neighbour over rights of way across the hotel forecourt. The dispute was settled following strategic input into the parties’ without prejudice negotiations, successfully avoiding the risk of the client being forced to spend substantial sums reconfiguring its external space.

Professional negligence

Acted on the successful settlement of a claim brought by a tenant against its former solicitors for failure to issue lease renewal proceedings in time to maintain the tenant’s statutory rights to a renewal lease.

Possession claims

Conducted a number of possession claims in respect of commercial and residential property, including obtaining and enforcing orders for possession and successfully settling a claim regarding ownership of a garden in a prime central London location which raised issues concerning adverse possession and threatened to derail a substantial redevelopment project.

More: Commercial litigation

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