Real Estate Disputes

Our real estate litigators advise owners, occupiers, property managers and secured lenders on robust strategies to protect and enforce their interests across the full range of asset classes including residential, retail, offices, industrial, hotels, restaurants and pubs.

Together with our transactional team we work hand in hand with our clients and their professional advisers to provide strategic support on acquisitions and on long-term portfolio and multi-tenanted asset managements including shopping centres, office and industrial developments, and residential estates.

We handle opposed and unopposed lease renewals, rent reviews, interim and terminal dilapidation claims, money claims, lease covenant enforcements and other contentious matters affecting property including restrictive covenants, boundary disputes, planning, statutory compensation and construction claims.

We act extensively on residential property matters for landlords, managing agents and leaseholders and advise regularly on lease extensions, collective enfranchisements, the right to manage, ground rent and service charge collection, major service charge consultations and recoveries, complex service charge disputes and forfeiture and possession claims.

Working alongside our Banking & Finance and Real Estate teams, we act for secured lenders, receivers and administrators on volume and bespoke enforcements, as well as ancillary recourse against guarantors and other third parties.

We bring a pragmatic and cost-effective approach to dispute resolution, helping our clients to achieve excellent outcomes through meticulous planning and effective conduct of their cases both through the courts and tribunals and using mediation and other ADR methods.

Representative Real Estate Dispute Work

Examples of our team’s real estate dispute experience include:

  • Advised several secured lenders and receivers in more than 700 commercial/buy-to-let/residential investment portfolio enforcement cases.
  • Advised clients in connection with numerous multi-million pound settlements and court damages awards obtained against negligent property valuers.
  • Advised numerous clients on legal issues arising in connection with commercial rent reviews and appeals to the Commercial Court against arbitrators’ awards.
  • Advised a landlord in a contested service charge dispute in the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) concerning service charges in excess of £1.4m.
  • Advised a leaseholder on a successful claim under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 for freehold of a substantial house on the Grosvenor Estate with a value exceeding £20m where the sum agreed for the freehold was £1.7m.
  • Advised for a group of leaseholders on a collective enfranchisement claim under the Leasehold Reform Act 1993 in respect of which the landlord’s challenge to the claim to acquire two adjoining blocks with a single notice was successfully resisted at three court hearings (the last to the Court of Appeal).
  • Advised a freeholder in respect of an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to vary 365 residential leases.
  • Advised both trustees and beneficiaries on numerous claims under Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA).
  • Advised clients in connection with the defence of enforcement actions taken by Local Authorities for planning breaches.
  • Advised a landlord in connection with the forfeiture of a commercial lease for breach of a non-alienation covenant, successfully resisting application for relief from forfeiture and securing the grant of a new lease at 4x the amount of original passing rent.
  • Advised a tenant in obtaining relief from forfeiture of a restaurant premises following re-entry the landlord for non-payment of rent; successfully securing a licence to occupy pending the making of a Court order.
  • Advised a mortgagee in obtaining an order for possession over a residential property in Knightsbridge to realise security in excess of £20m.
  • Advised a landlord in successfully challenging the validity of a Section 26 Notice served under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 on behalf of a major UK clearing bank.

Key contacts:

Photo of Jonathan Cantor

Jonathan Cantor

Partner Dispute Resolution
Work 37 – 41 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7611 4870


Jonathan specialises in commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on the resolution of disputes relating to Real Estate, commercial and residential.

He has a long and successful track record of working with owners, occupiers, managing agents and property professionals in disputes involving commercial property, in particular, including the contentious aspects of lease renewals under Part 2 Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, breaches of lease covenants, interim and terminal dilapidations.

Jonathan also advises extensively in relation to contract, insolvency and other business-related disputes concerning property.


Jonathan is a trained mediator and has many years experience of representing clients in the mediation process. He has also written for the Estates Gazette and the Law Society Gazette.

Representative Experience

Jonathan has:

  • Advised commercial landlord in relation to assembly of site for major development and the opposition to the grant of new tenancies under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
  • Advised developer in relation to a claim to right of way over its land made by the adjoining land owner.
  • Advised landlord of commercial premises in relation to breaches of covenant by its headlessee ultimately leading to the dismissal of the headlessee’s claim for relief from forfeiture and the grant of a new lease at four times the amount of the previous rent.
  • Advised owner of high value residential premises in Central London resisting a claim to a beneficial ownership in the premises.
  • Advised residential landlord in relation to claim for possession of tenancy protected by Rent Act 1977 following the making of an offer of suitable alternative accommodation.
  • Advised tenants of premises whose leases were excluded from protection under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 in relation to their securing protected occupation after the contractual term of their underleases had come to an end.
  • Advised occupier of restaurant premises in resisting freeholder’s claim for possession on the basis that its occupation was without licence or consent.

Career History

Partner, Teacher Stern 2010 to date

Consultant, Teacher Stern 2007 – 2010

Consultant, Portner and Jaskel 2003 – 2007

Partner, Binks Stern and successor practices 1982 – 2003

Solicitor, Binks Stern 1980-1982

Trainee, Binks Stern 1978 – 1980


University of Nottingham

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37 – 41 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH United Kingdom