Nicola Muir

Year of call 1998

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

Billy Forecast
Practice Managers

+44 (0) 20 7421 5300
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“Nicola works exceedingly well with our clients and consistently obtains exceptional results.” “She is very solid and experienced.”

Chambers UK 2022

“Nicola has an excellent grasp of technical enfranchisement matters and arguments (particularly in terms of valuation) and consistently obtains exceptional results which makes her the preferred counsel of several of our clients. Nicola provides straight-forward yet accomplished advice which is a hugely beneficial to both her instructing solicitors and their clients.”

Legal 500 2022

“Approachable, pragmatic and knowledgeable.”

Chambers UK 2021

“She is adept at thinking on her feet and has become a renowned barrister in the field of leasehold enfranchisement.”

Legal 500 2021

“Very thorough and a good cross-examiner.” “Her advice is clear, concise and provided in a timely fashion.”

Chambers UK 2020

“A leading player in residential disputes.”

Legal 500 2020 (Property Litigation)

“Very client-friendly, commercial and pragmatic.” “Approachable and gives really excellent, balanced and user-friendly advice.”

Chambers UK 2019

“She immediately installs faith and confidence in both solicitors and clients.”

Legal 500 2018

“She offers clear, concise and commercially aware advice, and is fantastic to work with.”

Chambers UK 2018

“A great team player.”

Legal 500 2017

“…very good on service charges, and landlord and tenant work.”

Chambers UK 2017

“Often advises on land registration, service charge and enfranchisement cases. Her practice spans both the commercial and residential areas of landlord and tenant disputes.”

Chambers UK 2016

“She presents her case before judges very well, and is bright and commercial in her advice.”

Legal 500 2016

“A very down-to-earth and practical barrister.” “Her knowledge of leasehold enfranchisement and general leasehold matters is very strong.”

Chambers UK 2015

“Recommended for her expertise in residential and commercial litigation.”

Legal 500 2015
  • Estates Gazette Legal Advisory Board
  • Fee-Paid Judge of the Property Chamber

Nicola is a contributor to “Service Charges & Management” by Tanfield Chambers, 3rd Edition & 4th Edition

Nicola also has a regular column in Estates Gazette – “Residential View”.

Her recent published articles include:

  • “Validity of Notices – Where are we now? A look at the complex provisions in RTM and enfranchisement legislation” – Estates Gazette 24th January 2022
  • “What’s in store for residential Law? – Cases, legislation and proposed reform to look out for in the next 12 months” – Estates Gazette 4th January 2022
  • “What’s happening in residential property law this year?” – L&T Review 2021, 25(2), 54
  • “Whose land is it anyway? – A recent adverse possession case has rendered successful claims even less likely” – Estates Gazette 19th August 2021
  • “Solutions on the Horizon – Nicola Muir and Anna Phillips look at two cases that highlight issues with the right to manage procedure” – Estates Gazette 1st September 2020
  • “Leasehold – A new dawn – Further detail is needed, but the government’s proposals promises a leasehold revolution” – Estates Gazette 18th January 2021
  • “Residential sector in 2021: Things can only get better…Tackling rent arrears and evictions will take priority but reforms to leasehold law will feature too” – 4th January 2021
  • “The consequences of breaching absolute covenants – The long-awaited Supreme Court judgment in Duval is out.  What does it mean for leaseholders?” – Estates Gazette 11th May 2020
  • “Leasehold Enfranchisement – options to reduce the price” – L&T Review 2020, 24(3), 89
  • “Leasehold enfranchisement: The wait is over – The Law Commission has published its report on reducing leasehold enfranchisement premiums” – Estates Gazette 20th January 2020
  • “Goodbye section 21 – and end to “no fault” evictions” – Estates Gazette 23rd April 2019
  • “How long is an AST? The unexpected consequences of the ground rent scandal” – L&T Review 2019, 23(2), 55
  • “Leasehold Enfranchisement Claims – Why it is difficult to reach an amicable solution” – Flat Living Magazine 28th February 2019
  • “How Much Should a Residential Lease Extension Cost?” – (2019) 23 L & TR Rev. Issue 1
  • “Valuation under Evaluation: Proposals for Reform – the Law Commissions options for reforming the valuation of residential lease extensions” – Estates Gazette, 16th October 2018
  • “A not so short assured shorthold tenancy” – Estates Gazette, 11th October 2018
  • “The Cost of Putting Safety First” – the fallout of the fire at Grenfell Tower, Estates Gazette, 26th September 2018
  • “Clarity on the law regarding service charges” – recent cases on consultation.  Estates Gazette, 19th June 2018
  • “What does the future hold for resi?” – Estates Gazette, 5th January 2018
  • LLB (Hons), University of Edinburgh
  • CPE, Chester College of Law
  • Qualified as a solicitor
  • Called to the Bar in 1998
  • Associate Member of the Civil Mediation Council
  • Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association

Nicola Muir specialises in all aspects of landlord and tenant and real property litigation both residential and commercial. Nicola is recommended by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 which says “Nicola provides straight-forward yet accomplished advice which is hugely beneficial to both her instructing solicitors and their clients”. Nicola was shortlisted by the Legal 500 as Junior of the Year 2019 for Real Estate, Environment and Planning.

Nicola has recently been appointed as a Judge in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in the Land Registration division and is an Associate Member of the Civil Mediation Council.

Nicola regularly appears in Court and in both the First Tier and Upper Tribunals of the Property Chamber. She is well known for her enfranchisement, service charge and land registration claims. Nicola also has a thriving commercial property practice and has been involved in a number of high profile boundary, adverse possession and beneficial interest disputes. Notable cases in which she has appeared include Eastern Pyramid Group Corp SA v Spire House RTM Co. Ltd (Court of Appeal), Tibber v Buckley (Court of Appeal), Leaseholders of Foundling Court and others v Camden LBC, Allied London (Brunswick) Ltd and others (Upper Tribunal), Westminster City Council v CH2006 Ltd (Upper Tribunal), Corvan (Properties) Ltd v Abdel-Mahmoud (Court of Appeal ) and LM Homes Ltd v Queen Court Freehold Co. Ltd (First Tier Tribunal).

Nicola is a former solicitor and gives lectures on a variety of land law related topics as well as being regular contributor to the Estates Gazette.

Areas of expertise

Nicola’s residential landlord and tenant work includes:

  • Possession and injunction claims for breach of the lease terms including Rent Act related work
  • Determination of breach applications in FTT prior to forfeiture
  • Service Charge disputes
  • Enfranchisement and lease extension work
  • Rights of First Refusal

Examples of recent work:

  • Service Charge dispute in relation to Brunswick Centre and issue of whether superior landlord needs to consult underlessees.
  • Claim for possession where occupier claimed to have succeeded to Rent Act protected tenancy.
  • Test case on whether the cost to a Council of replacing analogue TV aerials with digital aerials could be claimed via service charge
  • Series of claims in relation to calculation, reasonableness and apportionment of management charges
  • Lands Tribunal appeals on premium payable under Leasehold Reform Act 1967 where leases granted over 300 years ago and position on the ground changed in the meantime.
  • Appeal on the terms of a leaseback following enfranchisement
  • Advising on rights of tenants where landlord failed to serve notices on them pursuant to the Rights of First Refusal provisions in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987

Nicola’s commercial landlord and tenant work includes:

  • Forfeiture and dilapidation claims
  • Business lease renewals
  • Construction of leases

Examples of recent work

  • Acting for landlord in claim for forfeiture for breach of a repairing covenant in a restaurant lease where counterclaim for relief from forfeiture.
  • Representing the landlord of a tattoo parlour in Soho on a business lease application.
  • Advice on tenants’ service charge liability in respect of maintenance of bridges in a dock development
  • Acting for the tenant of a public house in relation to a claim for damages for the alleged breach of a beer tie and a counterclaim for rectification of the lease.

Nicola’s real property work includes:

  • Boundary disputes
  • Easement problems
  • Adverse Possession claims
  • Land Registration issues
  • Rectification of Title claims
  • Beneficial Interest disputes
  • Conveyancing problems and disputes
  • Restrictive Covenant work
  • Mortgages

Examples of Recent Work

  • A 6 day neighbour dispute involving harassment, rights of way, boundaries, parking easements, malicious falsehood, adverse possession and assault which was widely reported in the national press.
  • An adverse possession claim where the original judgment was overturned by the Court of Appeal and a re-trial granted – LB Havering v Chambers.
  • A claim for a beneficial interest brought by an aunt against her nephew where the aunt claimed that the registered title holder was not her nephew but another man of the same name – see Jayasinghe v Liyanage Chancery [2010] EWHC 265 (Ch) [2010] PLSCS 53
  • Claim for alteration of the register or indemnity following sale of land to innocent third party by fraudster masquerading as client.

Nicola undertakes work on behalf of local authorities, registered social landlords and tenants covering both advocacy and advisory work.

Her work includes:

  • Possession claims
  • Anti-social behaviour related work
  • Acting for local authorities and social landlords in service charge disputes including claims brought as test cases
  • Enfranchisement claims against local authorities and RSLs and advising on inter-relation with Right to Buy legislation
  • Claims against long leaesholders for unlawful alterations

Examples of recent cases

  • Advising RSLs on implementation of the Housing Corporation’s policy that leases should contain covenants which allow refinancing for the purpose of carrying our repairs to the property but not for the purpose of purchasing a new car or a holiday
  • Advising on the occupational status of tenants of live/work units
  • Appeal to Lands Tribunal on inter-relation between leaseback provisions on enfranchisement and Council’s liability to limit services charges where secure tenant exercises right to buy – see Westminster City Council v CH2006 Ltd [2009] UKUT 174 (LC)
  • Test cases on behalf of a number of local authorities on recovery of actual cost of management of an estate via long leaseholders’ service charge- see, for example, South Tyneside Council v Ciarlo [2012] UKUT 247 (LC)

Nicola is a specialist in property and landlord and tenant law.  Inevitably many commercial disputes involve land and Nicola undertakes commercial litigation with a property aspect.

Her work includes:

  • Professional negligence claims;
  • Construction of agreements in relation to land;
  • Forfeiture and dilapidations claims;
  • Property related insolvency work.

Examples of Recent Work

  • Arbitration proceedings in relation to the construction of a Joint Venture Agreement made for the purposes of disposing of a site intended for the development of a Tesco’s Superstore.
  • Claim against solicitors where plot on the title deeds was not the same as the plot on the ground.
  • Claim against solicitors for failing to act with proper speed in relation to the grant of a commercial lease and related sale and leaseback where proposed lessee was killed in an air crash prior to completion of the lease.
  • Drafting proceedings in claim against a mining consultant who failed to identify the existence of a disused mine beneath development land.

Notable Cases

  • Eastern Pyramid Group Corp SA v Spire House RTM Co. Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 1658 Right to Manage – Validity of Notice of Withdrawal.
     
  • Nagi v Nagi [2018] EWHC 3020 (Ch) Beneficial Interests, Extensions of time, Judgments and Orders, Property Adjustment Orders.
     
  • Corvan (Properties) Ltd v Abdel-Mahmoud [2018] EWCA Civ 1102 Qualifying Long Term Agreements - whether the agreement was for a term of more than twelve months.
     
  • Corvan (Properties) Ltd v Abdel-Mahmoud [2017] UKUT 228 (LC)
     
  • Leaseholders of Foundling Court & Other v Camden LBC, Allied London (Brunswick) Ltd & Others [2016] UKUT 366 (LC) Service Charges - whether superior landlord is required to consult only its own tenant or its undertenants as well.
     
  • T Hilling & Co Ltd [2016] UKUT 0600 (LC) Extent of the jurisdiction of the FTT on consideration of an objection to fair rent registered by rent officer under Schedule 11 of the Rent Act 1977 and sufficiency of reasons.
     
  • Tibber v Buckley [2015] EWCA Civ 1294 Enfranchisement, Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, terms of leaseback.
     
  • Tibber v Buckley & Wilcox [2014] UKUT 0074 (LC) Enfranchisement, Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, terms of leaseback.
     
  • Jastrzembski v Westminster City Council [2013] UKUT 0284 (LC) Service Charges. Consultation and Dispensation.
     
  • Triplerose Ltd v Bishun & Others [2013] UKUT 0257 (LC) Service Charges.
     
  • South Tyneside Council v Ciarlo Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) [2012] UKUT 247 (LC) Service Charge. Management Charges. Payability. Reasonableness. Apportionment.
     
  • Re: Clarke, Re Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) [2012] UKUT 226 (LC) Enfranchisement. Leasehold Reform Act 1967. Premium. Easements.
     
  • Chambers v Havering LBC Court of Appeal (Civil Division) [2011] EWCA Civ 1576; [2012] 1 P. & C.R. 17; [2012] 1 P. & C.R. DG15 Adverse Possession. Fences. Motive Extent of Use and Occupation required.
     
  • Jayasinghe v Liyanage Chancery Division, [2010] EWHC 265 (Ch); [2010] 1 W.L.R. 2106; [2010] 1 E.G.L.R. 61; [2010] 16 E.G. 108 Beneficial Interests. Extent of Jurisdiction of Adjudicator to HM Land Registry.
     
  • Hyde Housing Association Ltd v Lane Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), [2009] UKUT 180 (LC) Service Charges. Estimated future expenditure.
     
  • Westminster City Council v CH2006 Ltd Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), [2009] UKUT 174 (LC) Leasehold Enfranchisement. Whether price "agreed". Whether LVT had jurisdiction to determine price.
     
  • Watson, Re Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber),[2009] UKUT 130 (LC) Enfranchisement. Leasehold Reform Act 1967. Premium. Only part of house on leasehold land.
     
  • Green v Westleigh Properties Ltd Queen's Bench Division, [2008] EWHC 1474 (QB); [2008] N.P.C. 77 Right of First Refusal. Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. Validity of notices.
     
  • Howtone v Hoather Chancery Division, [2005] EWHC 3526 (Ch) Cohabitee property rights.  Extent of beneficial interests.
     

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