James has been with Cubism Law as a Consultant since 2008. His practice crosses over between the worlds of agreements and conflicts over land and related contractual and neighbours’ issues.
Frequently James acts on one side between parties who share a clear agenda of what is to happen, as is typical of ‘conveyancing’ work where an existing title has to be transferred or new rights are to be created subject to disclosures and due diligence first. But often parties either have a disagreement from their past dealings or from some incident or they have to follow a legal pathway that contains possibilities of disagreement appearing over their land rights – such as ‘commercial lease renewal’, ‘operation of a right to break’ and ‘residential enfranchisement’ – and James is equally at home in these cases.
Other solicitors within Cubism and beyond call on James’ help for documenting compromises of disputes which result in some new land distribution and for implementing the terms of a compromise. James is an expert in acting in these situations to secure the client’s objective without the matter having to be brought back before a court and so without the parties falling back into another serious dispute. Clients appreciate James’ meticulous attention to detail.
One specialism which James has is in re-structuring existing property schemes to realise locked-in value – such as converting office premises to residential, enlarging flats into retained parts and the merger of premises – advising on both commercial structure of the deal and the legal drafting.
James is fascinated by building services – pipes, drains and electrical wiring – and legal rights and duties affecting these and he deals with issues over the quality of their construction and installation. He advises management companies and managing agents over service charges and statutory rights, including RTM. He frequently advises on the Party Wall, etc Act 1996 and works closely with surveyors.
Another area of special interest for James is the granting of consents under existing rights such as by landlords and owners of restrictive covenants.
Also, ‘development control’ under planning law, in particular the need for planning permission, the obtaining of it and responding to enforcement action, is an area of James’ expertise.