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Jamal Demachkie
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A rising star of the Property Bar

Chambers UK

Excellent to work with, he pulls together with the team and clients find him approachable and refreshing

Legal 500

Highly respected by opponents… a junior to look out for when it comes to land and real property matters

Who's Who Legal

Jamal is a very experienced property law barrister.   “A rising star of the Property Bar”, his practice focuses on land and real property as well as both residential and commercial landlord and tenant work. He also handles a variety of other claims with a property related element, ranging from arguments between beneficiaries to joint ventures/partnership disputes where the main assets are property or property related. In addition, Jamal’s expertise covers professional negligence claims in relation to property associated disputes.

Jamal is an accredited mediation advocate.

Outside of law, he is passionate about sport (both participating and watching) and is a keen Parkour enthusiast.

Commercial Landlord & Tenant

Jamal specialises in the law of landlord & tenant, undertaking a broad range of work within the commercial sphere. He is frequently instructed in forfeiture proceedings, rent reviews and dilapidation claims, representing both landlords and tenants.  He has gained a healthy following in contested 1954 Act renewals (having acted in the Court of Appeal case of Patel v Keles [2010] Ch 332 – one of the leading cases on intention under ground g) and also undertakes work surrounding agricultural tenancies.  Jamal deals with both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Jamal has particular experience in respect of licensed premises, representing PubCos and tenants in all manner of disputes surrounding such leases, including: disputes over beer ties, injunctions, forfeiture and relief, dilapidations, consents to assign or alter, rent reviews, as well as Market rent only (MRO) and Pubs Code disputes.

Recent cases

  • Grimes v The Trustees of the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt [2017] EWCA Civ 361: The Court of Appeal considered the meaning of the word ‘or’ in the context of addresses for service within an agricultural tenancy agreement.
  • Pineport v Grangeglen [2016] EWHC 1318 (Ch) (and [2016] EWHC 2170 (Ch) – costs): The High Court examined the very limits of its inherent equitable jurisdiction to grant relief from forfeiture for non-payment of rent.
  • Neech v Pressland (2015, Unreported): Multi-million pound High Court trial concerning construction of an agreement for a lease.
  • Codling v Harlow [2013] EWHC 683 (Ch); [2013] All ER (D) 303 (Mar): An appeal on the inter-relationship between sections 28 and 29 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and the application of laches on stale claims.
  • Patel & Anr v Keles & Anr – [2010] Ch 332: A leading case on the question of a landlord’s intention when opposing a tenant’s application for a new business tenancy under s.30(1)(g) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

 

Development

Jamal has considerable expertise in areas concerning development of land. He is regularly instructed to advise, or litigate, in disputes ranging from modest residential mediations to multi-million pound litigation concerning development of commercial land.  His proficiency in areas such as restrictive covenants & easements, boundaries & land registration, and overage & other development rights, means he is perfectly placed to deal with all issues which may arise in any such dispute.

Jamal undertakes such work in Courts and Tribunals throughout the country and has concluded numerous arbitrations and adjudications concerning development of land. He is frequently instructed to advise on the interpretation of leases, deeds and development contracts.

Recent cases

  • Rogers v Humphrey [2017] EWHC 3681 (QB): High Court appeal concerning the judge’s discretion to refuse to award damages in lieu of an injunction in a breach of covenant case, and whether the Judge correctly considered the effect of Coventry v Lawrence on the traditional Shelfer test.
  • Mohstart Ltd v Charlton (Walsall) LLP v Humphrey [2017] EWHC 3489 (QB): High Court appeal concerning a Commercial Property sale – Interpretation of contractual terms following sale of property by auction.
  • Burn v Stratford (2017, arbitration): An arbitration concerning the extent to which it is permissible to imply terms into an overage agreement.
  • Kennedy v Whitcomb (2015, Unreported) A claim at first instance involving entitlement to ownership of pre-registration title deeds in relation to registered land, where the original deeds provided information on mineral and other development rights on the land.
  • Higson v Guenault [2014] EWCA Civ 703; [2014] 2 P&CR D33: Court of Appeal decision on damages in lieu and interference with an easement leading to a tennis club.
  • Harsten Developments Ltd v Bleaken [2012] EWHC 2704 (Ch); [2012] All ER (D) 77 (Oct): A two-week boundary dispute in the High Court involving allegations of misrepresentation and misdescription of development land following a sale at auction.
  • Valencia v Llupar [2012] EWCA Civ 396: The Court of Appeal considered the relevance of ‘subject to contract’ negotiations in the context of partnerships at will.

Housing (Social & Privately Rented)

Jamal deals with all matters arising in the context of residential landlord & tenant disputes.   He has experience in the courts, acting for both landlords and tenants, of issues surrounding possession, residential disrepair, anti-social behaviour injunctions and breach of covenants, to name but a few.  His practice covers Housing Act and Rent Act tenancies, together with mortgagee repossessions and claims involving LPA receivers.

Jamal’s expertise in the law of forfeiture has led to frequent instructions in disputes concerning breach of covenants of long leases and associated disputes concerning rentcharges, ground rents and notice provisions. Jamal recently acted in the leading decision on AirBnB short-term holiday lets: Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd [2017] 1 P&CR 4, and has subsequently advised and lectured extensively in this area.

Recent cases

  • Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd [2017] 1 P&CR 4 – ‘The Airbnb ruling’: The Upper Tribunal held that a short-term let was in breach of a ‘private residence’ covenant. Jamal acted for the successful landlord at first instance and on appeal.
  • Sukhlall v Bansoodeb [2013] EWHC 952 (Ch): An appeal concerning the attempt to use a ‘collateral contract’ argument to circumvent the effect of s.2(1) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989.
  • Stern v Lawnpond – [2009] EWHC 268 (Admin) – High Court appeal on purported agreement concerning rent payable on an assured periodic tenancy.

Leasehold & Leasehold Management

Jamal frequently acts in disputes before the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), acting for freeholders, leaseholders, and management companies.  These disputes cover the full gamut of the Tribunal jurisdiction, including leasehold enfranchisements and lease extensions, appointments of managers and RTM companies, challenges to service charges and applications for determinations over breaches of covenant (often as a precursor to forfeiture). Jamal recently acted in the leading decision on AirBnB short-term holiday lets: Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd [2017] 1 P&CR 4.

Recent cases

  • Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd [2017] 1 P&CR 4 – ‘The Airbnb ruling’: The Upper Tribunal held that a short-term let was in breach of a ‘private residence’ covenant. Jamal acted for the successful landlord at first instance and on appeal.
  • Manson-Smith v Arthurworrey: LON/00AM/AM/2016/0028: A successful application to the FtT for a fault-based appointment of a manager, and the subsequent recovery of costs on a rule.13 basis against the landlord.
  • Woodlands Beulah Hill Ltd v Various: LON/00AH/LSC/2017: Acting for a freeholder on a series of claims against tenants for various breaches of covenant and failure to pay service charges over a number of years.

Real Property & Mortgages

Jamal’s practice encompasses the full ambit of real property, including: easements and covenants, trespass and nuisance, conveyancing and land registration, adverse possession and proprietary estoppel.  He has undertaken countless neighbour and boundary disputes, from first instance County Court claims, up to the Court of Appeal; he has been commended for his client-friendly and hands-on approach, especially in the context of mediations.

Jamal’s real property expertise sees him receiving frequent instructions in claims involving mistake and misrepresentation surrounding property transactions, and he is frequently asked to advise upon the construction of contracts in all settings.

Jamal is also regularly instructed in mortgage disputes; both by and against lenders, and frequently for LPA receivers. He has considerable experience in the related areas of relief from forfeiture of leases subject to mortgages and arguments over competing interests and priorities of registered land.

Recent work

  • Rogers v Humphrey [2017] EWHC 3681 (QB): High Court appeal concerning the judge’s discretion to refuse to award damages in lieu of an injunction in a breach of covenant case, and whether the Judge correctly considered the effect of Coventry v Lawrence on the traditional Shelfer test.
  • Graves v Brouwer [2015] EWCA Civ 595; [2015] All ER (D) 203: A ‘bizarre case’ according to the Court of Appeal, involving fire damage to property.
  • Genge v Sandle (2015, Unreported): A 10-day neighbour dispute involving every conceivable argument which may arise in these claims.
  • Higson v Guenault [2014] EWCA Civ 703; [2014] 2 P&CR D33: Court of Appeal decision on damages in lieu and interference with an easement leading to a tennis club.
  • Sukhlall v Bansoodeb [2013] EWHC 952 (Ch): An appeal concerning the attempt to use a ‘collateral contract’ argument to circumvent the effect of s.2(1) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989.
  • Harsten Developments Ltd v Bleaken [2012] EWHC 2704 (Ch); [2012] All ER (D) 77 (Oct): A two-week boundary dispute in the High Court involving allegations of misrepresentation and misdescription of development land following a sale at auction.
  • Dutta v Hayes – [2012] EWHC 1727 (Ch); [2012] 3 EGLR 1: The High Court construed the terms of a right of way and held that the Defendant’s use of the track for the purposes of a stud farm fell outside of the definition of ‘agricultural’.

Trusts of Land

Jamal has a wealth of experience in the law surrounding Trusts of Land, with his practice embracing areas such as s.14 TOLATA applications, co-ownership and constructive trusts of the family home, together with the related area of estoppel. He frequently appears, at trial and appeal level, in trusts of land claims following the breakdown of family or business relationships, and in disputed involving the division of assets arising out of joint ventures.

Recent work

  • Acting for a developer in a lengthy arbitration following the breakdown of a development agreement.
  • Acting for a daughter in a family dispute concerning the inter-relationship of resulting and constructive trusts.
  • Representing one brother against another in a long-running dispute concerning the fraudulent purchase of property in the name of another, from first instance, up to the Court of Appeal, and back down to the County Court.
  • Acting for two doctors surgeries following the dissolution of a partnership and the division of assets held on trust.

Property Professionals

Jamal undertakes all manner of professional negligence work and has developed particular expertise in property-related disputes against surveyors, valuers, and other property professionals.

His experience in relation to claims against legal professionals is dealt with in the Professional Liability – Legal Professionals section of his profile.

Recent Work

  • Acting in a multi-party dispute concerning a negligent survey following the purchase of a thatched-roof property.
  • Acting for a purchaser of commercial property in a claim against a negligent valuer.
  • Advising in a claim concerning an allegedly negligent valuation of residential property that was subject to numerous equitable interests.

Directory recommendations

Jamal is recommended in Chambers UK, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal for real estate/ property litigation.

  • Very approachable, user-friendly and good at communicating with lay clients in a way they can understand (Chambers UK)
  • Excellent to work with, he pulls together with the team and clients find him approachable and refreshing (Legal 500)
  • Impressive in both his pleadings and on his feet; Extremely pragmatic and personable; Client-friendly with an excellent approach to disputes (Chambers UK)
  • Highly respected by opponents and is noted by sources as a junior to look out for when it comes to land and real property matters (Who’s Who Legal)

Professional associations

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association
  • London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
  • Accredited Mediation Advocate

Publications

Contributor to Risk & Negligence in Property Transactions (The Law Society) – publication late 2018.

Qualifications

  • MA Jurisprudence (Oxon)
  • Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law, Very Competent
  • BVC Exhibition (Inner Temple, 2004)
  • Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Scholar (Inner Temple, 2004)
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