George Woodhead

Call date: 2009
Email: 

Areas of Practice

Profile

Qualifications

Lord Denning Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)

Hardwicke Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)

Cholmeley Studentship (Lincoln’s Inn)

GDL, BVC, LLB, Nottingham Law School

BA (Hons) History & Politics, University of Sheffield

Experience & Expertise

A major scholar of Lincoln’s Inn, George’s practice focuses on property, commercial and chancery litigation.

George appears in the Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions of the High Court and is regularly briefed to attend County Courts both in London and across England & Wales, as well as the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). He enjoys a battle in trial as much as advising and arguing on a difficult point of law or negotiating in mediation.

George is a member of the Property Bar Association and Editor of Chambers’ Property newsletter.

 

Property

George has a busy property caseload with at least half of his practice in this area. He is a member of the Property Bar Association. He represents clients in the following specialist areas:

  • Real Property: trusts of land and cohabitation; proprietary estoppel; nuisance; boundary disputes; easements and rights of way; claims arising out of the sale of land; property-related professional negligence; and mortgages (including fraud and undue influence).
  • Landlord & Tenant (residential and commercial): commercial lease renewals; possession and forfeiture; dilapidations; service charge disputes; lease interpretation and analysis; and lease extensions.

 

Commercial and Chancery

George represents a broad range of clients in both traditional and modern commercial chancery disputes, with a particular emphasis on disputes between directors and partners, 1975 Act claims, TLATA applications and construction disputes. He is particularly useful in cases with a property/landlord & tenant overlap.

  • Commercial: share purchase agreements; freezing injunctions; partnership; s. 994 and director disputes; sale of goods and services; building and construction disputes; contractual interpretation and rectification; insurance disputes; and general contractual litigation.
  • Chancery: Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claims; TLATA applications and cohabitation; trustees’ duties and powers; and challenges to the validity of wills and testamentary capacity. The notes from George’s seminar, ‘The Disinherited’ (November 2015 with Aidan Briggs) are available from the clerks upon request.

 

Current & Recent Work

Examples of recent property instructions include:

  • representing a homeowner in a multi-party, multi-track case concerning issues of (estate) agency, the form of tenancy agreements, and remoteness of damages;
  • representing a commercial landlord at a 3-day trial concerning alleged misappropriation of company monies and the principle of offsetting against significant rental arrears;
  • advising on the correct service of a break notice arising out of a lease for commercial premises in W1 with issues of lease interpretation, the application of s.196 of the Law of Property Act 1925 and notices ‘required to be served’.
  • representing the trustees of a school at the interim and final hearing of a claim for possession against professional trespassers.
  • representing two homeowners in Kent in a damages/injunction claim for interference with a right of way to nearby agricultural land.
  • advising on the acquisition of a portfolio of commercial leases in the West End.
  • representing one of two brothers in a dispute concerning the purchase of investment properties in the north of England.

 

Examples of recent commercial and chancery instructions include:

  • representing a pensioner in a TLATA claim which settled at mediation pre-issue (issues concerned, common intention constructive trusts, proprietary estoppel, detriment and occupation rent, amongst others);
  • representing a limited company in a dispute in the QBD concerning the construction of various care homes in the South-East. The dispute raised issues of partnership, contractual interpretation, options to purchase and construction;
  • advising professional executors as to the disposal of company shares held on trust;
  • representing an intervener in an application in the QBD to vary the terms of a freezing order;
  • advising on and representing personal representatives in applications to remove or substitute pursuant to s.50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985;
  • advising beneficiaries on the position of a trustee (conflict of interest) and the scope and extent of various trust documents concerning residential and agricultural land on the South coast; and
  • advising on and representing various adult children and executors in numerous claims brought pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

 

Reported Cases

(1) Fox (2) Fox v Madrigal Investments Limited (2017) (Brighton County Court): Right of way/estoppel dispute.  Successfully represented the claimants in FTT proceedings and then in a multi-day trial before HHJ Simpkiss.  Injunction awarded.  Issues concerning easements, estoppel by acquiescence, expert valuation evidence and damages in lieu of injunction.

Cavanagh v (1) Witley Parish Council (2) David Shepherd (t/a Shepherd Tree Surgeons & Forestry Contractors) [2017] EWHC 278 (QB) - successfully representing a tree surgeon in a 5-day Queen’s Bench Division trial of a negligence/nuisance claim concerning a falling tree.  Appeared as sole counsel against two silks with three expert arboriculturists.

Hackney LBC v Smith & Ors (2012): the appeal, before Mr Justice Vos, concerned adverse possession and the Adjudicator to Her Majesty’s Land Registry (Practice and Procedure) Rules 2003, r. 42.

Eastenders Cash & Carry plc and another company v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2010] All ER (D) 52 (Nov): concerning the power of detention contained in the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, s. 139(1).

 

Professional Memberships

Property Bar Association

Chancery Bar Association

Denning Society

Additional Information

Publications

"Proprietary Estoppel - Westlaw Insight"

 

Direct Public Access

George is able to accept instructions via the Direct Public Access Scheme. Please click here if you would like to instruct him.