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Mark Sefton QC

Called 1996Silk 2018

Mark Sefton QC

Mark is described in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as “outstandingly clever”, “incredibly bright”, “a tenacious fighter”, “practical and commercial”, and “a marvel”. “He has a remarkable gift for predicting what judges will say and do”, and is “fantastically good on the technical side as well as being great at the client facing”. His “grasp of property valuations and their methodology is second to none.”

Since taking silk in 2018, Mark has been instructed in a series of multi-billion pound valuation arbitrations concerning the largest residential property portfolio in England and Wales. He has also appeared in cases about Crown immunity, break options, development agreements, leasehold enfranchisement, overage, dilapidations, contractual interpretation, and the whole spectrum of other property-related work. As well as his mainstream commercial property work, he often acts in disputes about complex industrial assets: he was instructed by the landlord in the largest-ever open market rent review in Hong Kong, about a logistics facility in the Kwai Chung container port, and he was instructed by the tenant throughout the Humber Oil litigation about the Immingham Oil Terminal. He appeared for the landlord in the Supreme Court in Marks and Spencer v BNP Paribas, on implied terms, and he has appeared in leasehold enfranchisement cases in both the Supreme Court and, before that, the House of Lords. Before taking silk, he was the Real Estate Junior of the Year at the Chambers and Partners Bar Awards.

Mark’s practice covers the whole field of property work and property-related insolvency. He accepts direct professional instructions from surveyors. He acts as a legal assessor and as an arbitrator. He is widely recognised as having particular skill in disputes about valuation.

  • Education
    • Trinity College, Cambridge: MA in English (1994)
    • City University: Diploma in Law
    • Inns of Court School of Law: Bar Vocational Course
  • Professional
    • Called, 1996 by Middle Temple
    • Diplock Scholarship
    • Winning Pair, Middle Temple Mooting Competition 1996
    • Real Estate Junior of the Year, Chambers and Partners Bar Awards 2012
    • Silk - 2018
  • Recent Cases
    • Hicks v 89 Holland Park (Management) [2019] EWHC 1301 (Ch) (Whether a property owner had acted unreasonably in refusing consent for a development on an adjoining site). 
    • Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity v. Roupell & Anor [2018] EWHC 1873 (Ch) (Crown immunity, National Health Service Act 1946, Rent Act 1977).
    • Goldman Sachs International v. Procession House Trustee Ltd & Anor [2018] EWHC 1523 (Ch) (break options, construction).
    • Aspers UK Holdings Ltd v. Mofiv Swansea (GP) Ltd & Anor [2017] EWHC 1855 (Ch) (guarantees, releases).
    • The Co-operative Bank plc v. Hayes Freehold Ltd & Ors [2017] EWHC 1820 (Ch), [2016] EWHC 2068 (Ch) (surrender, implied conditions precedent, mistake, restitution).
    • John Lyon’s Charity v. London Sephardi Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 846, [2017] RVR 295, [2017] HLR 36 (leasehold enfranchisement, Interpretation Act 1978).
    • Minerva (Wandsworth) Ltd v. Greenland Ram (London) Ltd [2017] EWHC 1457 (Ch) (development agreements, overage, viability appraisals).
    • Marks & Spencer plc v. BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Co (Jersey) Ltd & Anor (Supreme Court) [2016] AC 742, [2015] UKSC 72, [2015] 3 WLR 1843, [2016] 4 All ER 441, 163 Con LR 1, [2016] 1 P&CR 13, [2016] L&TR 8, [2016] CILL 3779, Times, 12 December 2015 (contracts, implied terms, apportionment).
    • Queensbridge Investments Ltd v. Lodge & Ors [2015] UKUT 635 (LC), [2016] L&TR 19 (management orders)
    • British Overseas Bank Nominees Ltd v. Analytical Properties Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 43, [2015] PLSCS 38 (construction of contracts).
    • Saturn Leisure Ltd v. LB Havering [2014] EWHC 3717 (Ch), [2014] PLSCS 321, [2014] All ER (D) 167 (misrepresentation).
    • Westbrook Dolphin Square Ltd v. Friends Life Ltd [2014] EWHC 2433 (Ch), [2014] L&TR 28 (collective enfranchisement).
    • Hicks v. 89 Holland Park (Management) Ltd [2014] EWHC 2962 (Ch), [2014] PLSCS 252 (injunctions).
    • Venulum Property Investments Ltd v. Space Architecture Ltd [2013] EWHC 3948 (TCC), [2014] BLR 127 (professional negligence).
    • Baroque Investments Ltd v. Heis [2012] EWHC 2886 (Ch), [2012] PLSCS 213 (insolvency, surrender and dilapidations).
    • Day v. Hosebay Ltd; Howard de Walden Estates Ltd v. Lexgorge Ltd (Supreme Court) [2012] UKSC 41, [2012] 1 WLR 2884, [2012] 43 EG 116, Times 26 October 2012 (leasehold reform).
    • Humber Oil Terminals Trustee Ltd v Associated British Ports [2012] EWHC 1336 (Ch) (Sales J); [2012] EWCA Civ 596, [2012] 2 EGLR 59 (Court of Appeal); [2011] EWHC 2043 (Ch), [2011] L&TR 27, [2012] 1 P&CR DG1 (Vos J); [2011] EWHC 1184 (Ch) (Morgan J) (lease renewal and valuation of an oil terminal).
    • Frasers Islington Ltd v. Hanover Trustee Co Ltd [2010] EWHC 1514 (Ch); [2010] 27 EG 85; [2010] 2 P&CR DG20 (specific performance).
    • Nailrile Ltd v Earl Cadogan [2009] 2 EGLR 151; [2009] RVR 95; [2009] PLSCS 31 (valuation of intermediate leases).
    • Cameron Ltd v Rolls-Royce plc [2008] L&TR 22; [2008] PLSCS 53 (specific performance). 
    • Boss Holdings Ltd v Grosvenor West End Properties (House of Lords) [2008] UKHL 5; [2008] 1 WLR 289; [2008] 2 All ER 759; [2008] HLR 29; [2008] L&TR 10; [2008] 1 EGLR 51; Times, 4 February 2008 (leasehold reform).
    • Mohammadzadeh v Joseph [2008] 1 P&CR 6 (restrictive covenants).
    • Creditforce Ltd v Lay [2008] PLSCS 25 (leasehold reform).
    • Marine Court (St Leonards on Sea) Freeholders Ltd v Rother District Investments Ltd [2008] 1 EGLR 39 (collective enfranchisement).
    • Chelsea Properties Ltd v Earl Cadogan [2007] PLSCS 197 (jurisdiction).
    • JD Wetherspoon plc v Jay Mar Estates [2007] BLR 285; 113 Con LR 101 (arbitration appeal).
    • Peaceform Ltd v Cussens & Ors [2006] 3 EGLR 67 (options).
    • Kensington Heights Commercial Co Ltd v Campden Hill Developments Ltd [2007] Ch 318; [2007] 2 WLR 1040; [2007] 2 All ER 751; [2007] L&TR 30; [2007] HLR 35; [2007] 1 EGLR 130; Times, 20 April 2007 (statutory rights of first refusal).
  • Publications
    • Mark lectures and writes regularly.
    • Delivered a Blundell Memorial Lecture in 2014
    • Conducted workshops for the Chancery Bar Association and the Property Litigation Association; and has been invited to speak at both the Arbrix and Index conferences.
    • Published articles on a variety of topics (including on the Ramsay principle of statutory construction; shared ownership leases; the Pointe Gourde valuation principle; deferment rates; insolvency; and rent apportionment).
    • Used to be a contributor to Fisher & Lightwood’s Law of Mortgage, and was a joint author of Commonhold (OUP, 2004).
Mark Sefton QC is a skilled advocate whose practice concentrates on commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, including high-value dilapidations cases. He excels in complex issues of valuation. "He has a remarkable gift for predicting what judges will say and do." "He is truly a marvel. The speed with which he digests complex information and distils it into a detailed analysis is second to none."Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2022 (Real Estate Litigation)
‘ Mark has a depth of knowledge and a clarity of thought which is outstanding and makes him my first choice barrister for many of the knotty property issues that come across my path. He is especially good on issues of interpretation and his grasp of property valuations and their methodology is second to none. ’Legal 500 2022
A skilled advocate whose practice concentrates on property-related insolvency, as well as commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes. He excels in complex issues of valuation. Strengths: "He's a great combination of incredibly bright and fantastically good on the technical side as well as being great at the client facing in conferences." "Mark is outstandingly clever and considered and a tenacious fighter when he needs to be." "He really thinks laterally about things."Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2021 (Real Estate Litigation)
"He is a very helpful, notable QC."Legal 500 2021
A skilled advocate whose practice concentrates on property-related insolvency, as well as commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes. He excels in complex issues of valuation. Strengths: "He is practical and commercial and has a very good rapport with clients." "Really responsive and completely on it. He will always give a really realistic timeframe and stick to it." "A very good trial advocate and one of the best in valuation work."Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2020 (Real Estate Litigation)
"Highly rated for both commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters."Legal 500 2020
Mark Sefton QC is a key name in the field of real estate law who is well known for his adept handling of insolvency-related property issues, as well as landlord and tenant matters. Who's Who Legal UK Bar 2019 Guide
"A skilled advocate whose practice concentrates on property-related insolvency, as well as commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes. He excels in complex issues of valuation. Strengths: 'His advice is always down-to-earth, sensibly reasoned and practical.' 'A barrister of quality and intellect.' 'He has excellent judgement.' Recent work: Acted for the successful claimant in Minerva v Greenland Ram, a three-week trial in the Chancery Division concerning overage on the Ram Brewery development site in Wandsworth." Chambers UK Guide 2019 (Real Estate Litigation)
"He provides excellent advice in a thoroughly understandable and practical way."Legal 500 2018 (Property Litigation)
"Mark Sefton is considered “one of the pre-eminent juniors at the bar” and 'a delight to deal with in court'. According to a source, 'Sefton is calm, collected and able to tackle whatever is thrown at him'.”Who's Who Legal 2017
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