Contractual issues in Construction Law

Louise Cheung, University of Southampton, Hertfordshire County Council

Following two weeks’ shadowing solicitors at a City Law firm specialising in work with the public sector, I share some interesting contractual issues in Construction Law concerning Liquidated and Ascertained Damages Clauses and the Rights of Third Parties in Contract Law.

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Commercial Property Law Update

Louise Cheung

Following a recent CPD training on Commercial Property Law, I thought it would be prudent to give an update on Commercial Property law affecting practice in development transactions. The training was well attended at the Hilton, Watford on 11th June 2015 by both lawyers and surveyors and garnered some lively debate about recent Property case law.

Here is a summary of my selection of interesting updates to case law:

  • Rights to Light: Salvage Wharf v G & S Brough [2010] Ch 11
  • Restrictive Covenants: Cosmichome ltd v Southampton CC [2013] EWHC 1378
  • Abandonment of Easements: Dwyer v Westminster City Council [2014] EWCA Civ 153

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Planning policy shake up – what does it mean for property development?

Louise Cheung

Following this week’s budget announcement and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills report, ‘Fixing the Foundations: creating a prosperous nation’, a great deal has been said about the opportunities to increase house building. The headline being that removing barriers to gaining planning consent will reduce risks for developers, and so it is hoped will boost property development.

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Modern Studies in Property Law Postgraduate conference

Louise Cheung: University of Southampton 

The MSPL Postgraduate stream in April allowed PhD students and early career researchers the opportunity to discuss their research projects, receive valuable feedback and get an insight into careers after postgraduate study. This post shall discuss the prevalent themes coming from postgraduate property law research, and highlight some particular research papers of interest.

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Women’s Separate Property in Singapore: Case Note

Kate Galloway: James Cook University

In late June, the Court of Appeal in Singapore handed down the decision in Chan Yuen Lan v See Fong Mun. The case concerns a claim by the husband in a long-standing marriage, Mr See, for an interest in property held in the sole name of his wife, Madam Chan.

Mdm Chan had contributed her life savings of $250,000 to the purchase of property worth some millions of dollars at the date of trial. Mr See argued that her contribution was simply a loan and that Mdm Chan had wanted to be the owner, so that she could tell her friends that she held the title. As between themselves, he said, she should acknowledge Mr See as the true owner of the property. On Mr See’s evidence, this was done by way of power of attorney in his favour, that embodied this acknowledgement.

At the time of the purchase in 1983, Mr See had taken a lover. Mdm Chan argued that she needed the property as financial security because of Mr See’s infidelity, and not because of a desire to brag to her friends. She said that Mr See had agreed to her holding the title in her name to appease her over his affair and his infidelity.

This case again raises the issue of women’s status before the courts and the underlying assumptions about property across the common law world.

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Charity Insolvency and the Community Good

John Picton

This is a ‘throwing it out there’ piece. Thoughts remain in need of refinement.

Charity insolvency has never been the focus of sustained policy attention. Governed alternatively by company and trusts law, no tailored regime exists. Although there has been a lack of interest in charity insolvency, the picture is brighter elsewhere. In the context of commercial insolvency, a considerable body of critical literature has developed, emphasising the public interests at stake in winding up, and the importance of corporate ‘rescue’ where it is possible. This approach is self-consciously communitarian: rather than looking at insolvency as a legal event upon which property is distributed to entitled creditor, it looks at the impact of closure on wider societal interests.

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