Call: 2012    
Jeff Hardman  

"A sharp and tenacious junior with real nous."

Property Litigation - Legal 500 2020

+44 (0) 20 7419 8000

Practice Overview


Jeff Hardman has a very busy modern chancery practice specialising in all areas of property, insolvency (both corporate and personal) and company law. Despite only practising for five years, he is already recommended as a leading junior in his field within Legal 500 where he is described as “A sharp and tenacious junior with real nous.” (Legal 500, 2020) 

 

He also advises on a broad range of commercial litigation matters and disputes involving trusts, landlords & tenants and partnerships. He is fast developing a reputation for being a very hard working and accessible barrister. Most recently, Jeff appeared unled on behalf of a respondent, successfully discharging a freezing injunction and obtaining indemnity costs following an application which had been made ex parte in the High Court: Tibbs -v- Tibbs [2019] EWHC 2315 (Ch). In Boulton v Queen Margaret's School, York Ltd [2018] 10 WLUK 490, Jeff also appeared unled in the High Court, with his arguments described by Mr Justice Arnold as “ingenious” (para. 26)

 

Jeff has a particular interest in complicated forfeiture claims and disputes which involve proprietary estoppel and allegations of fraud. He frequently appears in the County Court (Chancery Business), High Court (ChD & QBD), First-Tier Tribunal & Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). He accepts instructions via public access from institutional landlords, trustees, companies and members of the public.

 

Jeff advises and acts in traditional chancery matters including claims brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. He is also regularly instructed in contentious domestic trust cases and has experience of rectification of wills, appointment of trustees, undue influence, breach of trust and matters relating to unincorporated associations.

 

Prior to the Bar, Jeff worked for a law firm in the Caribbean before joining a start-up in London developing a music streaming ‘app’ funded by Gazprom Media.

 

Jeff’s recent reported cases include:

 

  • Tibbs -v- Tibbs [2019] EWHC 2315 (Ch): Appeared unled on behalf of the Respondent seeking to discharge a freezing injunction which had been obtained before Mr Justice Arnold on an ex parte basis. At the return hearing listed for one day before Deputy High Court Judge Ambrose, Jeff successfully argued that: (i) there had been no risk of dissipation; (ii) that there had been material non-disclosure and (iii) the application amounted to an abuse of process. The Respondent successfully recovered costs on an indemnity basis.

 

  • Boulton v Queen Margaret's School, York Ltd [2018] 10 WLUK 490: Jeff appeared unled in the High Court on behalf of the Respondent in an appeal which considered whether the debtor’s offer fell within the ambit of s.271(3)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986 in circumstances where part of the debt remained disputed (Arnold J)

 

  • Charles v London Borough of Tower Hamlets [2018] UKUT 0140 (LC): Appeared unled on behalf of the Respondent and successfully upheld the decision of the F-tT to debar the Appellant (HHJ Behrans).

 

  • A.B v Newham [2017] UKUT 0299 (LC): Appeared unled on behalf of the Respondent which considered the interaction of a person’s mental health when making a Rent Repayment Order under the Housing Act 1996 (Martin Rodger QC, Deputy President).

 

  • Dougall v Barrier Point RTM Company Limited [2017] UKUT 0207 (LC): Appeared unled on behalf of the Respondent in respect of an appeal which concerned the application of costs pursuant to Rule 13 of The Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules 2013.

 

In addition, Jeff has gained significant experience in a range of unreported cases. Below is a summary of matters which he has appeared in over the last two years: -

 

  • UH v JS (2019) High Court (Business & Property Courts in Birmingham): Prosecuted a TOLATA claim on behalf of one daughter against her mother and successfully resisted the argument that an adopted sibling was entitled to a share of the disputed property said to have devolved to her on the death of her father.

 

  • JF -v- BW (2019 ongoing) FTT (northern residential property). Jeff represented a freeholder of a luxury gated 20-acre residential and commercial site which included 361 houses, moorings for residents, a marina, shop parade etc. as it sought to resist an application brought by a leaseholder which involved 277 areas of dispute, challenging service charges in excess of £738,826.

 

  • LC -v BC (2019) CLCC: Two day trial before HHJ Luba QC which concerned extensive damage to a leaseholder’s roof over a period of 10 years caused by a neglectful freeholder. Jeff represented the leaseholder and successfully settled the claim on the second day, with a six-figure damages sum agreed to be paid to the Leaseholder.

 

  • AS -v- R & EA (2019) CLCC): Two day trial before HHJ Luba QC. Jeff represented two tenants on a CFA basis who had been unlawfully evicted from their flat. He successfully obtained a five-figure damages award against the landlord and the managing agent which comprised of general damages for the trespass and disrepair, statutory damages for the failure to protect the deposit as well as aggravated and exemplary damages. Moreover, Jeff recovered the Claimant’s costs on an indemnity basis.

 

  • A v AB (2019) CLCC: Two day trial before HHJ Monty QC which involved a dispute between two brothers concerning their respective beneficial interest in a commercial property. Presently waiting for Judgment.

 

  • PS -v- S (2019) CLCC: Interim injunction application before HHJ Monty QC to restrain a leaseholder of a post office from excluding the freeholder who was also in occupation. Successfully represented the leaseholder and obtained injunctive relief with the substantive claim eventually settled following the leaseholder’s agreement to surrender the commercial lease.

 

  • Re a company (in administration) (2019 ongoing) CLCC: Presently representing the administrators of a company as it seeks to bring a misfeasance claim for breach of directors’ duties. Prior to administration, the company was in the process of developing a multimillion pound development site in the north of England.

 

  • P v P (2019 ongoing) High Court (ChD): Presently representing the First & Second Defendants as they seek to resist a claim brought by their brother for a beneficial interest in a property which had previously belonged to their mother.

 

  • T v T (2019 ongoing) High Court (ChD): Jeff successfully discharged the freezing injunction in Tibbs -v- Tibbs [2019] EWHC 2315 (Ch). At present, the matter continues as the parties seek an account in the High Court of monies paid pursuant to an alleged agreement.

 

  • Tower Hamlets -v- Various Leaseholders (2019) FTT: The leaseholders brought a claim in the wake of Grenfell Tower contending that major works to improve fire safety amounted to an improvement and was not recoverable. Jeff resisted the application on behalf of the ALMO. Awaiting determination.

 

  • THH -v- Various Leaseholders (2019) FTT: Successfully obtained dispensation on behalf of an arms-length management organisation in respect of works costing

 

  • S v D (2018) CLCC: Three day trial concerning unregistered long leases and whether the lessees had an overriding interest pursuant to Para. 2, Sch. 3 of the Land Registration Act 2002 (HHJ Bailey).

 

  • VL v TH (2018) FTT: Two day trial which involved lessees challenging approximately £250,000 worth of major works in respect of a residential building in Tower Hamlets.

 

  • TH v VL (2018) FTT: Represented a local authority as it sought to gain dispensation for significant major works costing approximately £500,000 which had been undertaken in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

 

  • AG v CF (2018) (High Court/ChD): One day hearing which considered whether a winding up petition should be struck out as an abuse of process (Chief Registrar Briggs).

 

  • CW v KA (2018) (High Court/ChD): Application to restrain the presentation of a winding-up petition (Vos LJ).

 

  • T v T (2018) (High Court/ChD): Preliminary hearing which concerned whether the Claimant’s default judgment for £650,000 should be set aside (Master Cousins).

 

  • AB v AJ (2018) (County Court at Birmingham): Three day trial which examined whether a signature guaranteeing £250,000 had been forged (HHJ Murdoch).

 

  • K v A (2017) (High Court/ChD): Successful application to set aside stay on enforcement pending appeal (Arnold J).

 

  • K v A (2017) (CLCC): Five day trial concerning the forfeiture of a commercial lease (HHJ Parfitt).

 

  • JS v MC (2017) (FTT): Two day trial resisting the appointment of a manager under s.24 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.

 

  • T v H (2017) (FTT): Three day trial seeking various declarations that leaseholders had breached their residential leases.

 

Jeff regularly writes for LexisPSL (dispute resolution & real estate), Flat Living, News on the Block and New Square Chambers’ bi-monthly ‘Insolvency View’ newsletter (click here to view). He is regularly found giving talks and lectures on areas in which he specialises.

 

  • Property
    • Jeff has a broad property practice which includes all aspects of landlord & tenant law and real property. Jeff is active in the law relating to neighbours and is regularly instructed in disputes involving boundaries, adverse possession, nuisance, easements and party walls. Jeff has extensive leasehold experience, including complicated forfeiture claims, service charges, dilapidations, lease extensions, break clauses, rent reviews, applications for the appointment of a manager and Right to Manage. 

       

      Jeff appears in ancillary relief proceedings on behalf of interveners, handles equitable claims, including co-ownership disputes and applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 based on constructive and/or resulting trusts and proprietary estoppel.

       

      Jeff’s recent property caseload includes:

       

      • Acting for a Judgment Creditor as he sought to enforce a foreign judgment for €3,500,000 in the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division.

       

      • Successfully representing a commercial landlord in forfeiture proceedings before HHJ Bailey in the County Court in Central London where the tenant had counterclaimed for £220,000 loss of earnings for the alleged unlawful eviction.

       

      • Appearing in a 2 day boundary dispute in the County Court in Eastbourne where it was alleged that an informal boundary agreement bound the parties.

       

      • Successfully defending a large institutional landlord against a claim for unlawful eviction before HHJ Luba QC in the County Court at Central London.

       

      • Appearing in numerous cases in the First-tier Tribunal within the last 12 months involving all manner of service charge disputes. Most recently, appearing in a 3 day trial where a leaseholder had challenged 6 years’ worth of service charges on 56 different grounds.

       

  • Commercial Litigation
    • Jeff is regularly instructed by institutional landlords, local authorities and national housing associations in claims for urgent injunctive relief at short notice, particularly in connection with trespass, dissipation of assets, squatters, nuisance, enforcing leasehold covenants and anti-social behaviour. He provides advice and representation in a range of civil and commercial litigation involving the formation of contracts, misrepresentation and the supply of goods and services, claims in restitution, unjust enrichment and subrogation.

  • Company
    • Jeff has both contentious and non-contentious experience in matters straddling the areas of modern chancery and company law involving companies, directors and shareholders. He acts and advises on a range of partnership, LLP and company matters relating to unfair prejudice petitions, dissolution of partnerships, partnership accounts and derivative actions. Jeff is particularly strong where company and partnership disputes involve property. Jeff makes regular appearances on bankruptcy and winding-up petitions, applications to set aside statutory demands and is familiar with administration orders, extension and removal orders. 

  • Insolvency
    • Jeff regularly provides advice on a range of personal and corporate insolvency cases. In the last 12 months, he has acted for companies, creditors, individuals facing insolvency and insolvency practitioners in a variety of disputes.

       

      His recent and current cases include:

       

      • Advising an insolvency practitioner on the merits of pursuing a claim for £600,000 unpaid vat against a corporate customer.

       

      • Successfully defending directors against a claim for breach of duty /misfeasance where it had been alleged that dividends of £120,000 had been paid whilst the company was balance sheet insolvent.

       

      • Appearing before the Chancellor of the High Court to restrain a petition to wind up a company.

       

      • Appearing before Chief Registrar Briggs to resist a debtor company’s allegation that a petition debt was disputed on substantial grounds.  

       

      • Advising a bankrupt and his wife on the merits of an application to set aside a variety of transactions worth more than £800,000.00 alleged to have been made at an undervalue.

       

  • Additional Information

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