Michael Walsh

Year of call 2006

Instructing Michael
For further information or to instruct Michael please contact one of our following clerks:

Billy Forecast
Practice Managers

+44 (0) 20 7421 5300
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“He had an ability to think on his feet and creatively problem-solve.” “He is user-friendly, responsive and a strong advocate.”

Chambers UK 2022

“Michael is operating well above his level. He provides brilliant advice that commits to what approach should be taken, which instructing solicitors and lawyers love. Michael is very professional, works brilliantly with all members of the team, and rigorous in his analysis of the law, but also very tactically astute as to how to take the advantage in cases.”

Legal 500 2022

“He’s a strong advocate, he’s quick and accessible and he’s very good to work with. Knowledgeable, commercially focused and pragmatic.”

Chambers UK 2021

“Responsive, bright, user-friendly and a tenacious advocate.”

Legal 500 2021

“Easy to work with and commercially minded.” “He has developed particular skills in complex possession claims and protesters and he is user-friendly.”

Chambers UK 2020

“A robust advocate, user-friendly and extremely helpful.”

Legal 500 2020 (Property Litigation)

“Commercially minded and great in his dealings with clients – he’s very personable and good at putting people at ease.”

Chambers UK 2019

“Easy to work with and gets straight to the point.”

Chambers UK 2019

“Clear-thinking, responsive, personable and efficient. He offers practical advice and he is good on his feet.”

Chambers UK 2018

“He is bright and quick-thinking, and a pleasure to work with.”

Legal 500 2017

“He rose to the challenge at short notice and got a fantastic result for our client.”

Chambers UK 2017

“A very confident advocate and always fully prepared.”

Legal 500 2016
  • Junior Counsel to the Crown – B Panel (2006)
  • Megarry’s Manual of the Law of Real Property, 9th Edition
  • LLB (Hons), King’s College London
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association

Clients told Legal 500 2022: “Michael is operating well above his level. He provides brilliant advice that commits to what approach should be taken… Michael is very professional, works brilliantly with all members of the team, and rigorous in his analysis of the law, but also very tactically astute as to how to take the advantage in cases.”, The Chambers Bar Guide 2022 says “He had an ability to think on his feet and creatively problem-solve.” and “He is user-friendly, responsive and a strong advocate.”

Previous editions of the directories have described Michael as “Knowledgeable, commercially focused and pragmatic.” and “Responsive, bright, user-friendly and a tenacious advocate.”

Michael frequently appears in the Court of Appeal, High Court, County Court and Tribunals in connection with his expertise in all aspects of the law of property and commercial chancery work.  He also advises on a wide range of professional liability matters. Recent work includes acting for the claimant against a firm of solicitors for negligent advice in connection with a development project, where the loss suffered was in excess of £48million.

Previous editions of the Chambers Bar Guide say Michael is “easy to work with and commercially minded” and that “great in his dealings with clients”, “clear-thinking, responsive, personable and efficient.”

He receives regular instructions in cases and projects where development finance, securities, planning and compulsory purchase intersect with the law of real property.  Michael draws on his broad expert knowledge to advise clients on how to best achieve their strategic goals in complex cases and transactions.

He frequently advises in difficult mortgage and security related disputes where the lender is enforcing either by itself or through receivers. He appeared for the successful appellant in the leading decision on the powers of receivers in mortgagor occupied properties: Menon & Menon v Pask & Goode [2020] 2 W.L.R. 43.

Michael has significant experience of commercial and contractual disputes across a variety of sectors, including financial services, leisure, hospitality and industry.

He has extensive experience advising both landlords and tenants in disputes under the Pubs Code 2016.

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020 highlighted Michael’s track record of success in seeking urgent injunctions and possession orders in cases of unlawful interference with land, saying “He has developed particular skills in complex possession claims and protesters and he is user-friendly.”

On 1 September 2021, Michael was appointed by the Attorney General to his A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.  Members of the A panel deal with the most complex government cases in all courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court. They will often appear against Queen’s Counsel.  Recent work includes advising on the construction of an overage agreement in respect of land formerly owned by a Government department and a large and complex arbitration in connection with Government property.  Michael’s appointment to the A Panel follows his five-year appointment to the B Panel between 2016 and 2021.

Developers and other non-lawyers may instruct Michael under the Bar’s direct public access scheme.

He is also a visiting lecturer in the law of property at King’s College London.

Areas of expertise

Michael regularly appears before the High Court, Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), County Courts and in the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in interim applications (including interlocutory injunctions) and trials.

He has extensive experience in the following areas of real property litigation and advice:

  • Alteration and rectification of the Land Register
  • Boundary disputes
  • Claims of proprietary estoppel
  • Easements
  • Freehold covenants
  • Long user and claims of adverse possession
  • Mortgage litigation
  • Priority of interests
  • Subrogation
  • Trusts of land and co-ownership
  • Unregistered land

Michael has acted in many cases involving allegations of dishonesty, forgery and fraud, both in property and commercial matters. He has particular expertise in mortgage fraud and commercial transactions involving disputed documents and dishonesty.

Michael has extensive experience of commercial disputes including agency, the supply of goods and services, the construction of contractual terms and agreements, sale and purchase of shares and guarantees and indemnities.

Michael has acted for clients in a wide range of company and partnership disputes, including shareholder disputes, the duties of directors, matters relating to the constitution of companies and corporate insolvency.

Michael specialises in property matters relating to the agricultural sector and frequently acts in cases involving farm business tenancies, agricultural holdings and securities over agricultural businesses.

He has extensive experience of commercial leasehold matters, enfranchisement, service charge and long-lease disputes. Michael’s experience in residential and commercial landlord and tenant matters includes:

  • Claims under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
  • Dilapidations
  • Disputes relating to Rent Act tenancies
  • Enfranchisement and lease extension
  • Lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954
  • Management and service charge disputes
  • Nuisance and other property related torts
  • Possession and forfeiture of residential and commercial leases
  • Tenancy deposit scheme litigation

Michael acts for both claimants and defendants on a wide range of professional liability actions, specifically in relation to solicitors, valuers and other property professionals. He is frequently instructed by some of the UK’s largest professional indemnity insurers to advise and represent their insured clients.

Notable Cases

  • Arkin v Marshall [2020] 1 W.L.R. 3284 (Court of Appeal) Michael acted for the Appellant in this important appeal which was the first authoritative decision on the Government’s coronavirus measures relating to possession actions.  CPR Practice Direction 51Z (“PD51Z”) stayed (with very limited exceptions) all Part 55 possession clams until after 25 June 2020.  The Appellant was a fixed charge receiver seeking possession of two properties.  Case management directions were agreed between the parties but PD51Z was subsequently brought into force and the Defendants claimed the entirety of the proceedings were stayed as a result.  The Judge at first instance agreed and the receiver appealed and successfully invited the High Court to transfer the appeal to the Court of Appeal under CPR 52.23.  The Lord Chancellor was then joined as an interested party.  The Court of Appeal subsequently heard the appeal urgently and decided that:  
    1. It is possible to challenge the vires of PD51Z in private law proceedings, without having issued a claim for judicial review;
    2. PD 51Z was not ultra vires and is a Pilot within the meaning of CPR 51.2;
    3. The stay imposed by PD51Z can in principle be lifted (§42) but only in the “most exceptional circumstances”.
    4. If parties agree directions under paragraph 2A(c) of PD51Z, those directions are nevertheless automatically stayed for the duration of PD51Z.

     
  • Menon & Menon v Pask & Goode [2020] 2 W.L.R. 43. Michael appeared for the mortgagor in this landmark decision of the High Court on the powers of fixed charge receivers.  Michael successfully argued:  
    1. Receivers cannot sue a mortgagor occupying the mortgaged property in the mortgagor’s own name, acting as their deemed agent; proceedings must be titled in the name of the receivers; and
    2. Section 36 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 applies where a receiver is recovering possession from a mortgagor in occupation of the mortgaged property.
    The Court decided that receivers can sue a mortgagor in occupation for possession in the receivers’ own name and that their right to possession is derived from the special nature of the agency between receiver and mortgagor.
     
  • Oung Lin Chaun-Hui & Others v K Group Inc & Others [2020] 1 WLR 3284

    Michael acted for the successful Respondent in a highly significant case about whether payments made under a management order under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 are service charges within the meaning of section 19 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

    The Court of Appeal’s decision also addresses what happens to service charge debts on the termination of a management order and whether the manager can assign them at law.

    The Court decided that:

    1. Payments made to a manager under a management order are ‘service charges’ within the meaning of section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
    2. The right of a manager to recover payments from the tenants is derived from the Tribunal’s management order but is superimposed on the existing contractual framework of the lease. The contractual obligations of the parties remain in place, subject to the terms of the management order, and are not disapplied or modified.
    3. Where the terms of the management order and the lease conflict, it is the management order that prevails.
    4. At the conclusion of the term of the management order, the arrears owed by tenant for service charges during the manager’s appointment are automatically revested in the landlord (or whoever is entitled to recover the service charge).
    5. This can be distinguished from the situation if there is a surplus at the end of the manager’s appointment, where the manager should prepare an account and, if necessary, seek direction from the Tribunal (Kol v Bowring [2015] UKUT 530 (LC) applied).
    6. Accordingly, the landlord (within the meaning of section 30 of the LTA 1985) was entitled to sue on the arrears that accrued during the manager’s appointment without a further direction of the Tribunal or an assignment of the debt.

     
  • Trustees of GOLR Foundation v CLPD SC South Limited [2018] CLCC Michael acted for the Claimants in this complex litigation involving interference with rights of way, trespass, party walls and boundaries by a neighbouring developer.  Following a five-day trial involving multiple experts and witnesses of fact, the Claimants were successful in their claim for negotiating basis damages and a declaration as to the location of the boundary between the properties.  Permission to appeal the quantum of damages was granted by the High Court but the case settled shortly before the appeal was heard.
     
  • Francia Properties Limited v St James House Freehold Limited [2018] UKUT 79 LC Michael acted for the landlord in this case concerning development value of a roof top of a building that was subject to a claim for collective enfranchisement. The decision of the Upper Tribunal provides guidance on what information the FTT may take into account after the valuation date. The case is currently subject to an appeal to the Court of Appeal, which is due to be heard in 2019.  The issue on the appeal is an important principle concerning the powers and procedure of the Upper Tribunal when hearing a first appeal from the First-tier Tribunal.
     
  • Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi v Glenside Holdings Limited REF/2017/0044 This important case is the only reasoned decision of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Land Registration Division on whether a successful party can recover the costs incurred before the reference by the Chief Land Registrar to the FTT. Michael successfully acted for the Applicant, who argued that the Respondent was not entitled to recover the significant costs they had incurred before the reference because such an outcome ran contrary to the statutory framework and the intention of Parliament. The decision of Judge Elizabeth Cooke can be downloaded here.
     
  • Green Boiler Investments Limited & Mi-Generation Limited v Lakeview Country Club Limited [2016] EWHC (QB) Michael acted for the Defendant in a commercial dispute concerning an alleged contract for the supply of biomass boilers and fuel. The case involved issues of agency, authority, mistake, rectification and dishonesty.
     
  • Beasley Global Limited & Other v Persons Unknown [2017] EWHC (Ch) Michael successfully obtained an order for possession of a valuable property Westminster containing art works of historical significance, which was being occupied by a group calling themselves 'Autonomous Nation of Anarchists Libertarians'. Unusually, the orders for abridged time for service and possession were obtained on the same day.
     
  • Francia Properties Limited v Aristou & Others [2017] L. & T.R. 5 In this important case, which concerned the competing rights of landlords and Right to Manage ("RTM") companies, Michael acted for the successful landlord. The landlord intends to develop the roof of the building by adding an additional flat but the RTM company objected on the basis that such a development would interfere with its management functions under Part II, Chapter I of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. The Court found that the landlord was entitled to carry out the development and that the 2002 Act did not prevent a landlord building on its retained property where a RTM company had acquired the right to manage, provided it took steps to minimise the disturbance to the RTM company’s management functions. The Respondents withdrew the appeal before the matter was heard by the Court of Appeal.
     
  • BHS (In Administration) v Persons Unknown [2016] EWHC (Ch) Michael successfully obtained an urgent possession order on behalf of BHS (In Administration) in respect of a large former store, which was being occupied by various groups, including protesters and vulnerable persons.
     
  • RMC LH Co. Ltd & Another v Persons Unknown [2015] 4274 (Ch) Michael successfully obtained an urgent possession order in the High Court against protesters from the Occupy London movement, who were trespassing in a prominent Grade II listed building in the City of London.
     
  • LB Southwark v Victoria Clarke [2015] UKUT Michael successfully acted for the LB of Southwark in relation to an appeal to the Upper Tribunal concerning the liability of the assignee of a lease to pay service charges. The decision applies the guidance given by the Upper Tribunal in LB of Southwark v Woelke [2014] L & TR 9 (in which Michael also acted) on the interpretation of leases and considers the effect of the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995. The Upper Tribunal overturned the First-tier Tribunal's decision and ordered the assignee to pay the service charges demanded.
     
  • Community Housing Trust v Mousunmola Akintomide [2015] CC Successfully acted for the Claimant in this high profile possession action against a tenant who assumed the identity of a dead child in the early 1990s and obtained the tenancy of a property in Lambeth, as well as claiming in excess of £100,000 of benefits over a 20 year period. The sustained and large-scale fraud by the tenant made this a case of significant importance for the housing trust, which has a waiting list of over 20,000 people. CHT sought possession on a rarely used ground that the tenant made a false statement to obtain the tenancy. The size and length of the fraud and the fact that the tenant was defending the action attracted the attention of BBC documentary makers.
     
  • Morgan v Trivedi [2014] CLCC (Ch) Successfully acted for the Defendant freehold owner in a claim concerning a large rectory in Cornwall, where the Claimant claimed various easements over the Defendant's land and rectification of his lease.
     
  • Alpha Estates (Essex) Limited v Singh & Kaur [2014] CLCC Successfully acted for the Claimant in a multi-million pound dispute concerning the contract for the sale of commercial land. Involved a claim for specific performance and issues of validity of contracts for illegality.
     
  • Lucas v Fleck [2014] CLCC (Ch) Successfully acted for the Claimant in an agricultural dispute concerning an alleged option to re-purchase land, proprietary estoppel and constructive trusts.
     
  • London Borough of Southwark v Woelke [2014] L & TR 9; [2013] UKUT 349 (LC) Instructed on behalf of the Appellant and led by Philip Rainey QC on an appeal against the LVT's construction of a lease.
     
  • Westland (Antiques) Limited v The Mark Street Depository Limited [2013] CLCC (Chancery List) Lease renewal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 where the issues in dispute concerned rental valuation, the extent of the landlord's repairing obligation and the inclusion of a break clause.
     
  • UCB Home Loans Corporation Limited v Howell & Clarke [2013] CLCC (Chancery List) Instructed on a lengthy trial on behalf of the Claimant where there were allegations of undue influence and matters relating to priority of interests.
     

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