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Stephanie Tozer QC

Called 1996Silk 2019

Stephanie Tozer QC

Stephanie took silk in 2019, after several years in the top band for property litigation juniors, and is already ranked in Silks Band 3 by Chambers and Partners for both Real Estate Litigation and Telecommunications. She is regarded by the market as a “robust advocate”, who “provides quality advice” and is “extremely bright” and “very easy to work with”. She appears in Courts at all levels, from the Supreme Court to First-tier Tribunal.  She is also qualified as a mediator.  

Stephanie litigates a wide range of property-related disputes, including all aspects of commercial landlord and tenant work (including in particular dilapidations cases) and property-related professional negligence claims. She is known for getting up to speed on unfamiliar areas quickly: as a result, she has advised about the law relating to topics as diverse as allotments, markets and compulsory purchase compensation.  She has particular expertise in the following areas:

  • Real property / development/ land registration:  construction/rectification of documents of all types, including leases, charges, overage provisions and sale contracts; valuation issues; specific  performance; site boundary issues; adverse possession; easements; restrictive covenants; beneficial interests and proprietary estoppel; priorities/title problems and alteration of the register. Stephanie sits as a part time Judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (Land Registration), where she determines cases raising some of these issues.  She is not precluded from accepting briefs to appear in the FTT, or appeals from the FTT.   
  • Telecoms: Stephanie appeared in the first case in which the Court of Appeal considered the present Code: Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited v Compton Beauchamp Ltd [2019].  She successfully secured permission to appeal from the Supreme Court, the first time in which permission to appeal had been given for an electronic communications code matter.  She is looking forward to the appeal hearing, due summer 2021. In addition, Stephanie has advised about most of the key issues (and some more obscure ones) under the Code, and has appeared in the Upper Tribunal and County Court on Code litigation matters.  She also appeared in important cases under the Old Code, including Crest Nicholson v Arqiva [2015] (service of a paragraph 21 notice during the fixed term) and Vodafone v Brophy [2017] (consideration payable when rights granted by the Court.  Stephanie generally acts for operators.
  • Mortgage and fixed charge receivership: Stephanie has litigated mortgage shortfall claims (including West Bromwich v Wilkinson [2005] in the House of Lords), claims arising from mortgage or conveyancing fraud and claims brought by receivers, or otherwise as a result of a receivership.  She is a co-author of a new, detailed text on Mortgage Receivership Law and Practice.  

She has a wide range of clients, from private individuals to multinational corporations, and is experienced in dealing with high value complex claims.  She enjoys working in a team.  

  • Education
    • MA (Oxon) - Jurisprudence (BA First Class)
    • ICSL - Outstanding (3rd overall)
    • French - Diplome de Francais des Affaires 2eme degree (DFA2) avec Mention Tres Bien (2008) (Diploma in Advanced Business French with Distinction).
  • Professional
    • Called 1996 - Lincoln's Inn; silk 2019
    • Judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (Land Registration)
    • CEDR Accredited Mediator
    • Chancery Bar Association (former committee member)
    • Property Bar Association
  • Recent Cases

    These are some of Stephanie’s cases which have reached a contested hearing:

    • Ghai v Maymask (228) Ltd [2020] UKUT 293 (LC) Whether a transfer signed by a director whilst the vendor company was in receivership was effective to convey title to the purchaser; termination of receiverships
    • EE Ltd v Edelwind Ltd [2020] UKUT 272 (LC) Whether Notices served under Part 5 of the Electronic Communications Code were valid, where the site provider relied on a conditional break right in its own tenancy; whether a Secondary Code agreement (by which the freeholder agreed to be bound by code rights granted by its tenant) would come to an end with the main code agreement.   
    • Dreams Ltd v Pavilion Property Trustees Ltd [2020] EWHC 1169 (Ch) On the proper interpretation of an agreement for the surrender of a commercial lease, the tenant's obligation to pay “any money due” on completion did not include an unresolved claim for unliquidated damages for breach of a repairing covenant; however, the tenant was obliged to give vacant possession before the landlord could be obliged to accept a surrender.
    • Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd v Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd [2109] EWCA Civ 1755The Court of Appeal upheld the Upper Tribunal's ruling that an agreement conferring code rights could not be imposed on a site provider under Part 4 of the Electronic Communications Code where the operator was already in occupation of the site. 
    • 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. 
    • Rashid v Nasrullah [2019] 2 WLR 1310 - Fraudster becoming registered as proprietor of land belonging to another - Whether fraudster's subsequent occupation of land giving rise to adverse possession claim. 
    • CDS Superstores v Place Road Properties (2018) - a rare case in which the Court was persuaded to rectify a long lease on the grounds of both common mistake and unilateral mistake, due to the way in which the defendant’s solicitor had interacted with his opponent prior to completion. 
    • Lowe v William Davis (2018) – Upper Tribunal resolved controversy over the scope of the FTT’s jurisdiction in boundary disputes 
    • Rashid v Rashid (2017) – Upper Tribunal considered the scope of the rule in Parshall v Hackney, and the ex turpi causa defence in the context of a claim to adverse possession by a claimant who had been involved in a fraud
    • Vodafone v Brophy (2017) – County Court – Court determined consideration payable for rights under paragraph 5 of the Electronic Communications Code 
    • Ittihadieh v Metcalfe (2017) – Ch D Master – important case on practice relating to charging orders: consideration of what information needs to be disclosed and the consequences if it is not
    • Mendoza v Quinn [2016] – High Court – successfully resisted an application for a stay of enforcement of a possession order relating to a nightclub, on the basis that there was no real prospect of its appeal against a decision to lift a stay for breach of conditions succeeding.  
    • Lowe v William Davis [2016] – FTT (Property Chamber)(Land Registration) – successfully persuaded the Judge to determine the location of the boundary on a determined boundary application, despite the plan being inaccurate.
    • Ittihadieh v Metcalfe [2016] – High Court – application for pre-action disclosure in conspiracy claim 
    • Unique v Quinn [2015] – Court of Appeal – acted on behalf of pubco in successfully resisting an application for permission to appeal
    • Crest Nicholson v Arqiva [2015] - Cambridge CC – successfully argued that a notice cannot be served under paragraph 21 of the Telecommunications Code during the contractual term of a tenancy. Leading case on the interpretation of paragraph 21.
    • Rathlin Energy (UK) Ltd v Persons Unknown [2014] – High Court - Stephanie obtained summary orders for possession against protestors occupying well sites used for oil and gas exploration (in face of the protestors’ claims that such an order would infringe their human rights)
    • Patley Wood Farm LLP v Brake [2013] EWHC 4035 – High Court decision as to the correct test to be applied when the Court is asked to enforce a peremptory order made by an arbitrator
    • Parshall v Bryans [2013] EWCA Civ 240 - Court of Appeal – case raising important issues about adverse possession, and land registration.
    • Bower Terrace Student Accommodation Ltd v Space Student Living [2012] – High Court - receivers appointed by land-owner’s chargee seeking an interim injunction against student housing operator for possession
    • Unique Pub Properties v Fitzpatrick [2012] – High Court - acting for pubco in seeking (and obtaining) an order for committal against its tenant who had breached an undertaking not to continue buying out of tie
    • Estafnous v London & Leeds [2009] – High Court - a claim for estate agent’s commission.
    • Clarke v Murphy & ots [2009] – Lands Tribunal - an application to modify restrictive covenants where a building scheme existed.
    • Crown Estate Commissioners v Mark Roberts & Trelleck Estate [2008] – High Court - a claim to manorial rights.
    • Parksite Limited v Jackson and Ors [2008] – High Court - a substantial claim for professional negligence against conveyancing solicitors.
    • In re Estate of K, deceased [2007] – High Court - whether a retention was required in respect of potential claims against a deceased’s estate.
    • St Paul's Travellers Insurance Co v Okporuah and others [2006] – High Court - a mortgage fraud case, where the borrower’s uncle had acted as conveyancing solicitor and had taken the money.
    • Donnelly and others v Weybridge Construction Ltd and Brohoon and others [2006] – a TCC claim involving a residential development carried out by a joint venture, whose partners had subsequently fallen out, and where the purchasers were claiming to rescind their contracts because of discrepancies between the way the flats were described and the way they had been built.
    • Kamal v Redcliffe Close (Old Brompton Road) Management Ltd [2006] – High Court – the appropriate test on an application to set aside judgment.
    • West Bromwich Building Society v Wilkinson & Anor [2005] – House of Lords - the leading case on the limitation period for mortgage shortfall claims.
    • West Bromwich Building Society v Crammer [2002] – High Court - appropriation of mortgage payments as between capital and interest.
    • Barclays Bank v Bee [2001] – Court of Appeal – validity of notices served under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954
  • Publications

    Books

    Mortgage Receivership Law and Practice by Stephanie Tozer and Cecily Crampin 

    The Electronic Communications Code and Property Law Practice and Procedure (contributing author)

     Charging Orders: Law and Practice (contributing author) 

    Articles

    2018

     A new line of attack? A master class in litigation under the new Electronic Communications Code (NLJ), with Toby Boncey

    2017

    Charging Orders on Land: Recent Practice Points (Solicitors Journal), with James Tipler 

    2016

    Compensation under temporary possession provisions (JPL), with Jonathan Karas QC and Barry Denyer-Green: considers how temporary possession should be compensated for under compulsory purchase provisions

    2015

    "Reasonable belief" in adverse possession (EG), with Kester Lees: considers Schedule 6 of the Land  Registration Act 2002

    Licence to assign: some practical tips (IHL), with Ciara Fairley

    Earlier articles:

    Renewing a business lease: a step-by-step practical guide (IHL, 2013) with Joe Ollech

    Making the break (NLJ, 2010) with Nathaniel Duckworth: break clauses

    Put to rights (NLJ, 2009) with Nathaniel Duckworth: easements

    A safe space for tough negotiators? (EG, 2008): mediation

    On borrowed time (Legal Week, 2005): mortgage shortfall claims

     

Handles a plethora of property-related disputes, and is recognised for her skill in handling residential and commercial landlord and tenant disputes. Her clients include multiple multinational corporations. Strengths: "Stephanie is extremely bright and commercial and her advice is always accessible." "Quick and responsible, Stephanie always takes care to give careful consideration to all angles of a case." "She is very astute, straight-talking and looks at the whole picture."Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2021 (Real Estate Litigation)
Tozer is noted for her expertise in handling disputes concerning the installation of telecoms apparatus on land. Combining her strong skills in property litigation and her expert understanding of the Electronic Communications Code, she frequently represents high-profile service providers and mobile infrastructure companies in their disputes with landowners. Strengths: "An excellent advocate with a methodical eye for detail. She presents complex arguments in a persuasive, digestible manner and never becomes flustered even when subject to a number of interrogations from Court of Appeal judges." "She is impressive, and a leading light in code cases."Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2021 (Telecommunications)
"Provides good commercial advice at short notice and good with clients."Legal 500 2021
Recommended for Real Estate and Professional Negligence.Who's Who Legal 2021
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