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John Clargo
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Exceptional at providing clear, commercial innovative advice; a very effective advocate

Legal 500

John’s practice is primarily based on advice and representation in relation to the law of property, dealing regularly with owners of freehold and leasehold interests in land.

He also handles professional negligence litigation in relation to property professionals as well as commercial insolvency and general contractual disputes, where his property expertise gives him the edge

An extremely capable and experienced advocate”, the legal directories recommend him not only as “the quality of his work is excellent” but also because he is “very easy to deal with” and “highly approachable”.

In a previous life John was a civil servant working in matters concerning defence and foreign affairs.

Commercial Landlord & Tenant

John regularly deals with all aspects of commercial landlord and tenant work, covering the construction, assignment, termination and renewal of leases and the enforcement of leasehold covenants.

Recent examples of work

  • advice in respect of ability to recover cost of estate-wide improvements from tenants
  • trial in respect of unreasonable refusal of consent to alterations
  • trial in respect of Jervis v Harris clause
  • advice in respect of claims for unlawful alterations
  • business lease renewal trials
  • trials relating to forfeiture of commercial leases and relief therefrom
  • advice on ownership of tenancies subject to agricultural occupation

Development

John regularly deals with conditional sale agreements, options, overage provisions, easements and restrictive covenants:

Recent examples of work:

  • interference with rights of way by proposed development;
  • restrictive covenants inhibiting development;
  • options to purchase development land
  • overage provisions in respect of development land
  • condition precedent in agreement for lease

Housing (Social & Privately Rented)

John has experience of short-term tenancies and housing cases (including some homelessness) as well as cases involving non-tenant occupiers of land (licensees and squatters).

Recent examples of work:

  • advice in respect of ability to recover cost of estate-wide improvements from tenants
  • trial in respect of unreasonable refusal of consent to alterations
  • advice in respect of claims for unlawful alterations
  • forfeiture of leases following FTT determination
  • Secretary of State for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs v Meier & Ors [2009] UKSC 11; [2009] 1 W.L.R. 2780; [2010] P.T.S.R. 321; [2010] 1 All E.R. 855; [2010] H.L.R. 15; [2010] 2 P. & C.R. 6; [2010] 1 E.G.L.R. 169; [2009] 49 E.G. 70 (C.S.); (2009) 153(46) S.J.L.B. 34; [2010] N.P.C. 3; Times, December 4, 2009 (House of Lords & Supreme Court) (Possession orders in respect of land not occupied by squatters; injunctions against persons unknown).
  • St Ermin’s Property Co Ltd. v Draper [2004] EWHC 697, White Book § 39.37.2 (High Court) (Setting aside judgment; failure to attend trial; absence of medical certificate).
  • Courtney Lodge Management Ltd v Blake [2004] EWCA Civ 975; [2005] 1 P. & C.R. 17; [2005] L. & T.R. 2; (2004) 101(31) L.S.G. 26; (2004) 148 S.J.L.B. 908; Times, July 15, 2004 (Court of Appeal) (Forfeiture of leases; difference of meaning between ‘permit’ and ‘suffer’.

Leasehold & Leasehold Management

John handles a wide variety of leasehold work including the construction, assignment, termination and renewal of leases. He also has experience of enfranchisement (including of places of worship) and the enforcement of covenants.

Recent examples of work:

  • advice in respect of ability to recover cost of estate-wide improvements from tenants
  • trial in respect of unreasonable refusal of consent to alterations
  • advice in respect of claims for unlawful alterations
  • trials relating to forfeiture leases and relief therefrom
  • St Ermin’s Property Co Ltd. v Draper [2004] EWHC 697, White Book § 39.37.2 (High Court) (Setting aside judgment; failure to attend trial; absence of medical certificate).
  • Courtney Lodge Management Ltd v Blake [2004] EWCA Civ 975; [2005] 1 P. & C.R. 17; [2005] L. & T.R. 2; (2004) 101(31) L.S.G. 26; (2004) 148 S.J.L.B. 908; Times, July 15, 2004 (Court of Appeal) (Forfeiture of leases; difference of meaning between ‘permit’ and ‘suffer’.

Real Property & Mortgages

John deals with easements, restrictive covenants, conveyancing and registration issues, boundaries, adverse possession, mortgages (including LPA receiverships – acting for both banks and receivers), trusts (including cohabitant TOLATA cases), options and overage agreements and nuisance cases.

Among the more unusual matters John has dealt with are riparian rights, river bed licences and insurance claims under the Riot Damages Act 1886.

Recent examples of work:

  • Nuisance arising from the presence of Japanes Knotweed on land
  • dispute in respect of reserved easements said to arise on a transfer of part
  • application for injunctive relief in respect of development across right of way
  • claims for undue influence
  • mediated settlement of claim for damages in lieu of injunction in respect of development across right of way and encroachment across boundary
  • advice on a lease of a right of way to a quarry
  • advice in respect of Place of Worship (Enfranchisement) Act 1920
  • advice in respect of equitable charge arising by reason of vendor’s lien
  • a number of trials relating to residential and agricultural boundaries
  • Hayling v Harper [2003] EWCA Civ 1147; [2004] 1 P. & C.R. 35; [2003] 3 E.G.L.R. 5; [2003] 39 E.G. 117 (Court of Appeal) (Easements prescriptive acquisition)
  • Twinsectra Ltd v Yardley & Ors [1999] Lloyd’s Rep. Bank. 438; [2000] Lloyd’s Rep. P.N. 239; [2000] W.T.L.R. 527 (Court of Appeal)  (Trusts; breach of trusts; knowing receipt; knowing assistance; dishonesty)

Commercial Litigation

John handles a wide variety of general commercial litigation, often where there is a property element

Recent examples of such work:

  • advice and representation in respect of breach of sale of floristry business and allied lending of money
  • advice in respect of recovery of moneys owed to major clearing banks
  • Murthy & Anor  v Sivajothi & Ors [1999] 1 W.L.R. 467; [1999] 1 All E.R. 721; [1999] I.L.Pr. 320; Times, November 11, 1998; Independent, November 11, 1998 (Court of Appeal)(Conflict of laws; enforcement of foreign judgments.

Corporate Insolvency

John handles corporate (and personal) insolvency work usually in property-related matters.

Recent examples of such work: 

  • representing subjects of IVAs opposing supervisor’s petitions for bankruptcy (including the obtaining of costs order against supervisor personally)
  • advising in respect of threatened petition based on guarantor’s obligations under unregistered lease
  • advising and appearing for LPA receivers in respect of application to note impliedly reserved easements over secured land

Personal Insolvency

John handles personal (and corporate) insolvency work usually in property-related matters.

Recent examples of such work:

  • representing subjects of IVAs opposing supervisor’s petitions for bankruptcy (including the obtaining of costs order against supervisor personally)
  • advising in respect of threatened petition based on guarantor’s obligations under unregistered lease
  • advising and appearing for LPA receivers in respect of application to note impliedly reserved easements over secured land

Property Insolvency

Please see John’s corporate and personal insolvency entries.

Directory recommendations

John is recommended in both Chambers UK and Legal 500 for Property/Real Estate Litigation. He is also recommended for Commercial Dispute Resolution in Chambers UK.

  • “He delivers succinct and relevant advice for the client. He’s very pragmatic and approachable, and keeps an eye on the end result. He’s an excellent advocate.” (Chambers UK)
  • “Very bright. His written work is always of an excellent calibre and he is accessible to clients.” (Chambers UK) 
  • “A first-rate advocate, who is well liked by clients.” (Legal 500)
  • “His ability to handle figures and details are a particular strength.” (Chambers UK)

Professional associations

  • Property Bar Association
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association

Publications

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

Qualifications

  • MA (Oxon)
  • Post-graduate certificate in Law
  • Postgraduate certificate in Russian
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