Dispute Resolution

Teacher Stern’s experienced team of real estate litigators work both directly with landlords, tenants, property professionals as well as hand-in-hand with the firm’s transactional team to identify and implement robust solutions for issues arising out of real estate ownership and occupation. We are firmly focused on extracting added value for our clients and our approach is pragmatic and cost effective.

Our real estate litigation team has extensive experience in dealing with complex real estate disputes involving both commercial and residential property. We regularly advise on lease renewals, rent reviews, interim and terminal dilapidation claims, lease covenant enforcement, insolvency issues and other contentious matters affecting property including restrictive covenants, boundary disputes, planning, statutory compensation, construction claims, Law of Property Act receiverships, and secured lending enforcement.

We also have a specialist team focusing on residential real estate, acting for landlords, managing agents and tenants. Our work in this area includes advising in relation to lease extensions, collective enfranchisements, the right to manage, ground rent and service charge collection, major service charge strategies, complex service charge disputes, forfeiture and possession claims.

We also have a proven track record across all commercial sectors including shopping centres, retail premises, warehouses, pubs and leisure, offices and industrial premises.

Whilst we aim to conduct our clients’ cases with vigour in the Courts and Tribunals, our objective is always to achieve a cost-effective resolution of a dispute and our team is well versed in seeking settlement through mediation and alternative dispute resolution.

Representative Dispute Resolution Work

Examples of our real estate dispute resolution work include:

  • Advised a landlord in connection with the forfeiture of a commercial lease arising from the breach of a non-alienation covenant, successfully resisting the 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 peaceable re-entry by the landlord for non-payment of rent; securing a licence for the tenant to occupy pending the making of a Court order enabling the tenant to collect the keys within 6 hours of instructions being given.
  • Advised a mortgagee in obtaining an order for possession of 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 under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 which was served on behalf of a major UK clearing bank.
  • Advised a freeholder in respect of a successful application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to vary 365 residential leases.

Key contacts:

Photo of Colin Richman

Colin Richman

Partner Dispute Resolution
Work 37-41 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7611 4898


Colin joined Teacher Stern in 1987. His current cases mainly involve landlord and tenant issues, secured lending recoveries, professional negligence claims, and real estate joint venture / co-ownership disputes. He heads the Real Estate Disputes and Loan & Security Enforcement teams across all areas of property and secured lending dispute work, and works with a number of key clients to co-ordinate and implement effective asset management strategies and loan portfolio recoveries.

His experience also includes construction claims, planning and compulsory purchase advice, contentious insolvency work, advising parties and tribunals in commercial arbitrations, intellectual property claims and technology disputes.

Representative Experience

Colin has:

  • Advised and acted for mortgagees and fixed charge receivers in connection with their commercial and residential investment loan portfolios.
  • Advised on and implemented strategies to enable site owners to secure vacant possession for redevelopment purposes.
  • Advised shopping centre landlords and asset managers in achieving successful outcomes to lease renewal programmes at major schemes.
  • Advised on numerous rent reviews and  arbitration awards.
  • Obtained substantial settlement in Technology and Construction Court action against specialist contractors for defective development works.
  • Advised and acted for landlords and lessees on substantial terminal tenancy dilapidations claims.

Career History

Partner, Teacher Stern

Partner, Portner and Jaskel 1985–87

Solicitor, then Partner, Farmar Miller 1982-85

Trained at Kaufman Kramer & Shebson 1980-82


Carmel College

St Catherine’s College Oxford

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37-41 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH United Kingdom