- Practice Groups
- Business & Commercial
- 1997 Called to the Bar
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Tim Polli specialises in all aspects of real property and both commercial and residential landlord and tenant law. He has particular experience of boundary and easement disputes, claims for adverse possession, claims arising out of mortgage fraud and right-to-buy fraud, actions to enforce mortgages and other security over property (including issues concerning the rights and obligations of LPA Receivers), claims to beneficial interests pursuant to resulting or constructive trusts, the enforcement of restrictive covenants, the renewal of business tenancies, dilapidations claims, residential possession claims and enfranchisement.
Things frequently go wrong in relation to property matters, and Tim is regularly instructed in relation to professional negligence claims, principally against solicitors, surveyors or engineers. Following the economic downtown in 2008, Tim has been instructed in numerous claims by institutional lenders. Many of those claims have concerned defective security and the lenders' consequent assertion of subrogated rights and/or equitable charges over property. He has also been instructed in many claims by lenders against their former solicitors, particularly claims for failing to report sub-sale arrangements and claims for releasing funds from client account in breach of trust, and has experience of the issues that arise when insurers seek to defend by alleging imprudent lending and/or seek to aggregate claims together. He has also been frequently instructed in claims against valuers for negligent over-valuation.
Tim is also instructed in general contractual/commercial claims, including claims concerning franchise agreements, claims concerning building contacts, actions following the failure by off-plan purchasers to complete (including attempts by those purchasers to extricate themselves from their contacts with allegations of misrepresentation or repudiatory breach by the developers) and claims for the recovery of the proceeds of civil fraud. His cases often have an international element. He has substantial expertise in obtaining emergency interim relief such as freezing injunctions where appropriate. In early 2011, he successfully represented a client in a vigorously-contested application for a post-judgment Worldwide Freezing Injunction and also the appointment of receivers by way of equitable execution – the latter jurisdiction being one which is relatively rarely exercised by the High Court.
Tim combines an analytical style with a ‘can do’ approach to problem solving and a common-sense awareness of the commercial realities underpinning litigation. Tim is familiar with the requirements of working with a team of solicitors and/or Counsel and, when necessary, is usually available out of normal office hours.
Tim regularly gives lectures and seminars on property, professional negligence or general contract / commercial topics. Recent topics have included “Dilapidations”, “Defective Security: A Lender’s Options”, “Subrogation”, “The Aggregation of Claims on an Insurance Policy”, “Less than Entire Agreement: Judicial Treatment of Non-Reliance and Entire Agreement Clauses” and “An Introduction to the Modern Law of Restitution”.
Advising upon and drafting standard tenancy agreements and terms and conditions for national estate agency;
• Regularly instructed by non-contentious property departments to provide advice as transactions are being negotiated or sites assembled, and, on an urgent basis, when exchange or completion is looming;
• Advisory or advocacy work for, amongst others, Barclays Bank plc, Credit & Mercantile plc, Bank of Cyprus plc, UCB Homes Loans Corporation Ltd, The Mortgage Works Limited, GMAC RFC Limited, London International Exhibition Centre plc, Bellway Homes Ltd, Ruskin Homes Ltd, ADT Fire & Security plc, Century Life plc, Ask Restaurants Limited and the Church Commissioners for England & Wales;
• Advocacy and advisory work for local authority property departments, particularly in relation to the right to buy and repairing obligations;
Beech v Kennerley  EWCA Civ 158 – Boundary, right of way and restrictive covenant dispute in which Tim represented the Cs who were successful at trial, and obtained (amongst other things) an order for the removal of a right of way from the register. Ds appealed various aspects of the boundary and right of way issues to the Court of Appeal. The issue in relation to the boundary dispute related to the proper construction of poorly drafted plans attached to conveyances. The issues in relation to the right of way were whether the apparent right of way was actually a right of way at all; and, if so, whether it could continue to subsist and/or was abandoned after it was no longer capable of accommodating the dominant tenement. The D’s appeal was dismissed.
UCB Home Loans Corporation v Grace & other  EWHC 851 (Ch)
Following on from the summary judgement obtained in December 2010, a successful application was made for (i) a Worldwide Freezing Injunction, (ii) appointment of receivers by way of equitable execution and (iii) ancillary orders following on from the summary judgement. Although there was no direct eveidence of actual dissipation of assets, the likely dishonesty of the Respndents was considered to be suffciently proximate to the claim and to the Respondents financial probity so as to give rise to a real risk that, unless restrained, they would deal inappropriately with their assets in order to frustrate execution of judgement.
UCB Home Loans Corporation v Grace & others (Unreported save for on Lawtel: LTL 15/12/2010, 15th December 2010)
Lender’s claim in the Chancery Division against a firm of solicitors for professional negligence and breach of the client account trust. Summary Judgment was entered on the breach of trust claim for in excess of £4 million , side-stepping issues of imprudent lending and/or failure to mitigate that were raised in the Defence to the professional negligence claim. Interesting issues arose as to the meaning of “completion” for the purposes of Lord Browne-Wilkinsons’s comments in Target Holdings v Redferns  2 All ER 785 at 795J;
UCB Home Loans Corporation v Soni & others (Unreported, 2008-2011)
Lender’s claim in the Chancery Division against a firm of solicitors for professional negligence and breach of the client account trust; Judgment was obtained against the wrongdoer in about December 2008; the claim against the wrongdoer’s fellow partner is being defended on the grounds that she was not, actually, a partner and no liability attaches;
Saggars v UCB Homes Loans Corporation Ltd & others 
Claim in the Chancery Division arising out of mortgage fraud, involving a professional negligence claim against the solicitors who were acting for the lender
Goldman v Katz & others 
Claim in the Chancery Division brought by a private investor in a care-home business who was denied the 50% investment (worth about £2 million) to which he claims he was entitled
Warind v Ashfaq & others 
Claim in the Chancery Division brought by a property investor/developer who claimed that another property investor/developer had defrauded him out of a 50% share in a portfolio of properties worth somewhere between £3.5 million and £5 million;
Heron Maple House Ltd v Central Estates Ltd  1 EGLR 35
Considered the rights of a tenant of a block containing many individual flats to rely on section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 as against its landlord in respect of service charges demanded by the head-lessor. This was the first reported case in which it was determined that a tenant of a building that included a dwelling was entitled to rely on section 20 of the 1985 Act as tenant of that dwelling (even though, by the same lease, the tenant may be the tenant of other parts of the building which did not constitute dwellings);
Contributor to the first and second (current) editions of “Service Charges and Management: Law and Practice”, published by Sweet & Maxwell
Co-Author of “Strictly Business”, published in The Lawyer on 30th November 2009
Co-Author of “Conveyancing Disputes and Off Plan Purchases: Buyers who cannot obtain Borrowing because of the Decline in the Value of the Property between Exchange and Completion”, published in the Solicitors’ Journal on 15th December 2009
Author of “Good Harvest brings Bad News for Landlords”, published in the Butterworth Property Law Newsletter in May 2010
Author of an article in Butterworths Property Law Newsletter: “Misrepresentation and Non-Reliance Clauses” published in December 2010
Author of an article in the Solicitors’ Journal: “Show me the Money!” published in December 2010
Author of an article in Butterworths Property Law Newsletter: “Landlords: Fail to Consult at your Peril” published in April 2011
Member of the Property Bar Association ('the PBA'). Tim Polli has been elected to the Committee of the PBA since 2004.
Member of the Chancery Bar Association
Timothy Polli has a commercial chancery practice with an emphasis on property law and related professional negligence. Giving off "a calm manner in court," he proves "very efficient, and thinks well on his feet." His particular areas of expertise are mortgages, easements and boundaries, property-related joint ventures and service charge disputes.
Chambers UK 2013
'provides good written advice and is excellent with clients'
Legal 500 2010
'Very good at negotiating and pleasant in opposition, but completely professional at the same time'
Chambers UK 2011
'Adapts well to any given situation or opponent, and handles matters firmly but without aggression'
Chambers UK 2010
'Business-focused and sensible'
Chambers UK 2009
'A man on his way up'
Chambers UK 2008
'Direct, honest and thoughtful… able to speak in simple English'
Chambers UK 2007