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Nicholas Dowding KC

Called 1979Silk 1997

Nicholas Dowding KC

Nicholas Dowding QC specialises in all aspects of property law, with particular reference to commercial property disputes. In recent years, he has appeared in the Supreme Court in two leading cases concerning implied terms in break clauses and residential service charges, and in the Court of Appeal and the High Court in cases concerning (among other things) leasehold enfranchisement, forfeiture, unreasonable withholding of consent, terminal dilapidations, business tenancies and rights of way. He is frequently instructed in large rent review matters and dilapidations claims, in both of which he has particular expertise, and he is often appointed as an arbitrator or legal assessor.

  • Education
    • St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. BA (Cantab.) 1978 MA (Cantab.) 1982
  • Professional
    • Winner of The Chambers Bar Awards 2005, 2009 - Real Estate Silk of the Year
    • Included in The Chambers 100 UK Bar 2014
    • Honorary Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
    • Member of RICS Dilapidations Practice Forum
  • Recent Cases
    • Shipleys Foodservice Ltd v London Borough of Hounslow (unreported decision of Nugee J dated 28th November 2016) (application to set aside award in rent review arbitration under s.68(2)(d) of the Arbitration Act 1996)
    • Dooba Developments Ltd v McLagan Investments Ltd [2016] EWHC 2944 (Ch.) (construction of development agreement) 
    • Marks & Spencer Plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Co (Jersey) Ltd [2016] A.C. 742 (Supreme Court) (whether term to be implied into commercial lease requiring the landlord on repay rent and other sums paid in advance of the termination of the lease under a break clause)
    • Westbrook Dolphin Square Ltd v Friends Life Ltd [2015] 1 W.L.R. 1713 (Mann J) (application for collective enfranchisement under the Leasehold Reform, Housing & Urban Development Act 1993)
    • Hicks v 89 Holland Park (Management) Ltd [2014] EWHC 2962 (Ch.) (Rose J) (application for interim injunction to restrain the making of an application for planning permission)
    • Daejan Investments Ltd v Benson [2013] UKSC 54 (Supreme Court) (principles applicable to the grant of dispensation from the consultation requirements under s. 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985)
    • Hammersmatch Properties (Welwyn) Ltd v Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics Ltd [2013] 2 P. & C. R. 13 (Ramsay J) (damages for terminal dilapidations) and [2013] 5 Costs L.R. 758 (costs)
    • Ansa Logistics Ltd v Towerbeg Ltd [2012] EWHC 3651 (Ch.) (consent to underletting, forfeiture, waiver and relief)
    • Humber Oil Terminals Trustee Ltd v Associated British Ports [2012] L. & T. R. 28 (Sales J.) (determination of interim rent under Pt. II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 for large oil jetty and premises on the River Humber)
    • Westbrook Dolphin Square Ltd v Friends Provident Life and Pensions Ltd [2012] 1 W.L.R. 2752 (Court of Appeal) (whether the making of a further application for collective enfranchisement following the withdrawal of an earlier one was an abuse of process)
    • Humber Oil Terminals Trustee Ltd v Associated British Ports [2012] L. & T. R. 27 (Court of Appeal) (opposition to the grant of a new business tenancy under s.30(1)(g) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954)
    • London Tara Hotel Ltd v Kensington Close Hotel Ltd [2012] 1 P. & C. R. 13 (right of way dispute)
    • Geo Networks v Bridgewater Canal Co [2011] 1 W.L.R. 1487 (Court of Appeal) (basis of assessment of consideration payable by operator to undertaker under the linear obstacles regime of the Telecommunications Code)
    • Humber Oil Terminals Trustee Ltd v Associated British Ports [2011] EWHC 1184 (Ch.) (Morgan J) (application for disclosure in interim rent dispute)
    • Crest Nicholson (Londinium) v Akaria Investments [2010] EWCA Civ 1331 (whether a letter amounted to an offer for the purposes of a development agreement; principles to be applied in deciding whether a document is an offer)
    • Somerfield Stores v Spring (Sutton Coldfield) (in administration) [2011] L. & T. R. 8 (relevant date for assessing the landlord’s intention under s. 30(1)(f) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 on a tenant’s application for summary judgment)
    • Frazer v Brown [2010] 1 P. & C. R. 13 (Lewison J) (dispute as to the boundaries of registered land)
    • Pierse Developments v Liberty Property Investment [2009] EWCA Civ 1423 (Court of Appeal) (interpretation of development and sale agreement) 
    • Artworld Financial Corporation v. Safaryan [2009] L. & T. R. 20 (Court of Appeal) (whether lease surrendered by operation of law; review of relevant principles)
    • Orchard (Developments) Holdings v. Reuters [2009] 1 P. & C. R. DG21 (Court of Appeal) (Whether break clause in commercial lease validly exercised)
    • Nailrile v. Earl Cadogan and others [2009] 2 E.G.L.R. 151 (Lands Tribunal) (Principles to be followed when valuing intermediate leasehold interests under Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform etc Act 1993)
    • Cobbe v. Yeoman’s Row Management [2008] 1 W.L.R. 1752 (House of Lords) (whether an agreement in principle between a property developer and a property owner under which the developer would obtain planning permission and then enter into a formal contract to buy and develop the property gave rise to a proprietary estoppel or constructive trust in favour of the developer in circumstances where he had expended time and money in obtaining planning permission but no contract resulted)
    • Leonara Investment Co. v. Mott MacDonald [2008] 2 P. & C. R. DG15 (Court of Appeal) (Construction of service charge provisions in commercial lease)
    • Commission for the New Towns v. Terrace Hill (Stockton) [2007] EWHC 3094 (Ch.) (Blackburne J) (Whether claimant estopped by convention from relying on date of commencement of an option period)
    • Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government v. Standard Securities [2008] 1 P. & C. R 23 (Blackburne J) (Whether presumption that time is not of the essence of a time stipulation in a rent review clause rebutted by clear contra-indications in the wording of the clause)
    • Yewbelle v. London Green Developments [2008] 1 P. & C. R. 17 (Court of Appeal) (Whether seller of development land has used all reasonable endeavours to enter into a s. 106 agreement with the local planning authority; whether sale agreement had ended)
    • Kilmartin SCI (Hulton House) Ltd v. Safeway Stores [2006] 1 E.G.L.R. 59 (Warren J) (construction and effect of the RICS Code of Measuring Practice for the purposes of a claim for specific performance of an agreement for lease of supermarket premises)
    • Crane Road Properties LLP v. Hundalani [2006] EWHC 2066 (Ch.) (whether servient owner’s costs of works to right of way were recoverable from dominant owner; whether there had been an actionable infringement of the right of way)
    • Cadogan and another v. Escada AG [2006] EWHC 78 (Ch.) (construction of rent review provisions in a lease of a shop in Sloane Street)
    • Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs v. Feakins and another [2007] B.C.C. 54 (Court of Appeal) (whether an arrangement entered into by a landowner was a transaction at undervalue for the purposes of s. 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986)
    • Hemingway Realty Ltd v. Master Wardens and Commonalty of Freemen of the Art or Mystery of Clothworkers of the City of London [2005] 2 E.G.L.R. 36 (Patten J) (whether tenant had the right to require a rent review against the will of the landlord)
    • Riverside Property Investments Ltd v. Blackhawk Automotive [2005] 1 E.G.L.R. 114 (Technology & Construction Court) (whether roof of an industrial building was in disrepair at the termination of a lease; extent to which various disputed fees recoverable)
    • Sargeant and another v. Macepark (Whittlebury) Ltd [2004] 4 All E.R. 662 (Lewison J) (whether the landlord had unreasonably withheld its consent to a change of use)
    • PW & Co. v. Milton Gate Investments and others [2004] Ch. 142 (Neuberger J) (effect on permitted sub-tenancy of termination of head tenancy; whether rule in Pennell v. Payne ousted by contract or estoppel)
    • Marklands Ltd v Virgin Retail Ltd [2004] 2 E.G.L.R. 43 (Lewison J) (whether valuer can assume when assessing rental value that the hypothetical willing landlord has other options)
    • Mason v. TotalFinaElf [2003] 3 E.G.L.R. 91 (Blackburne J) (construction of repairing covenant in lease of service station and assessment of damages for breach)
    • Warborough Investments v. S Robinson & Sons (Holdings) [2003] 2 P. & C. R. 6 (Court of Appeal) (appeal under section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 against arbitrator’s award on rent review)
    • Goldmile Properties v. Lechouritis [2003] 2 P. & C. R. 1 (Court of Appeal) (whether landlord’s covenant for quiet enjoyment broken by the carrying out of repairs pursuant to landlord’s covenant to repair)
    • Westminster City Council v. HSBC [2003] 1 E.G.L.R. 62 (whether landlord had served a valid notice to reinstate alterations; construction of covenant against alterations)
    • Maunder Taylor v. Blaquiere [2003] 1 W.L.R. 379 (Court of Appeal) (whether tenant entitled to set-off damages for breach of landlord’s repairing covenant against claim by manager appointed under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 for unpaid service charges)
    • Gribbon v Lutton [2002] Q.B. 902 (Court of Appeal) (entitlement of vendor to payment of non-refundable deposit held by stakeholder; abuse of process for solicitor-stakeholder to assert in negligence proceedings that vendor was entitled to return of deposit contrary to decision in interpleader proceedings)
    • Single Horse Properties v. Surrey County Council [2002] 1 W.L.R. 2106 (Court of Appeal) (whether business tenancy continues under Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 where tenant has applied for a new tenancy and ceased occupation prior to the contractual term date)
  • Publications
    • Past editor of the Handbook of Rent Review 
    • Editor of Woodfall on Landlord and Tenant 
    • Joint author of `Dilapidations - The Modern Law and Practice' (fifth edition published 2013) 
    • General Editor of The Landlord and Tenant Reports.
  • Related Practice Areas
“Remains the top-ranked silk in the Real Estate Litigation Bar. He is an expert in all areas of property law and is regularly selected to act as an arbitrator. Strengths: ‘Nick's in a league of his own.' 'He remains a firm favourite. He has an outstanding brain and an excellent client manner.' 'He is clever and an incredibly persuasive advocate, who is kind and courteous. Judges listen to him and clients trust him.’ Recent work: Handled a five-day valuation arbitration linked to a major distribution centre in Hong Kong.” Chambers UK Guide 2017 (Real Estate Litigation)
"Nicholas Dowding QC is seen as 'a star of the property bar'. He is particularly well versed in commercial property disputes, appearing regularly before the Supreme Court, High Court and Court of Appeal".Who's Who Legal 2017
"In a class of his own."Legal 500, 2016

Listed in Chambers 100: UK Bar, a ranking of the UK's top 100 barristers

"Nicholas Dowding QC is 'quite simply the best property QC at the Bar.' 'His knowledge is encyclopaedic, he is exceptionally user-friendly,' and 'he wins more cases than the merits warrant - the acid test of a superb advocate.' He recently acted for Daejan Investments in a landmark Supreme Court case relating to residential service charges under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985."
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