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Thomas Rothwell

Called 2017

Thomas Rothwell

Thomas accepts instructions in all areas of landlord and tenant law, whether residential, commercial or agricultural, as well as the law of real property more generally. He has established a busy court and advisory practice, featuring regular appearances in the County Court, the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal and the High Court.

Rated as “Up and Coming” in both the 2023 and 2024 editions of the Chambers and Partners Guide to the UK Bar, Thomas has been described as having a “phenomenal work rate” and “an exceptional eye for detail”. His client care has been labelled “second to none”.

Thomas enjoys both the cut-and-thrust of the court room as well as puzzling out problems in chambers. His most recent cases have covered the following areas:

  • Easements, restrictive covenants, pre-emption rights and boundary disputes;
  • The law of land registration;
  • Mortgages;
  • Commercial landlord and tenant law, including lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, breaches of covenant, break clauses and forfeiture proceedings;
  • Residential possession proceedings including termination of assured shorthold tenancies, claims by mortgagees and forfeiture of long residential leaseholds;
  • The law of service charges and dilapidations;
  • Trusts of land;
  • Adverse possession;
  • Nuisance and trespass proceedings;
  • Leasehold enfranchisement; and
  • Proprietary estoppel.

Before coming to the Bar, Thomas read German and Russian at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he was also a choral scholar.  He continues to engage in musical life, including singing in his local parish choir and making regular visits to the opera. 

  • Education

    Modern and Medieval Languages (German and Russian), Jesus College, University of Cambridge, MA (Cantab.) – Double First Class with Distinction

    Graduate Diploma in Law, City Law School, London (Distinction)

    Foundation Scholarship, Jesus College, University of Cambridge (renewed annually, 2012-2015)

    Keller Prize awarded for one of the best finals results in any discipline at Jesus College, Cambridge, 2015

    Eliot Prize for the highest mark in Part II Modern and Medieval Languages at Jesus College, Cambridge, 2015

    Benefactor’s (2004) Prize for one of the highest non-finals marks in any discipline at Jesus College Cambridge, 2013

    Kurt Hahn Prize for the best performance in the Part IB German language examinations at the University of Cambridge, 2013

    Anthony Dorrell Prize for the best performance in the Part IA Russian examinations at the University of Cambridge, 2012.

  • Professional

    Bar Professional Training Course, City Law School, London (Outstanding)

    Called: 2017, Lincoln’s Inn (Lord Mansfield Scholarship, Lord Bowen Scholarship, Hardwicke Entrance Award)

    Lincoln’s Inn Student of the Year 2017 (highest BPTC mark at Lincoln’s Inn)

    The Scarman Scholarship, City Law School, London (2nd in year on the BPTC)

    Oxford University Press Prize, City Law School, London (highest aggregate BPTC mark in advocacy and civil procedure)

    Buchanan Prize, Lincoln’s Inn, 2017

    Maitland Advocacy Prize, 2015.

  • Recent cases
    • Re Rennie Court (LON/00BE/LSC/2022/0234 – 2 November 2023): Following a four-day hearing, Thomas successfully obtained a determination from the First-tier Tribunal that the vast majority of service charges claimed in respect of a prominent estate on the South Bank were payable. The case raised a wide range of legal issues, including contractual interpretation, the requirement for charges to be reasonably incurred, the application of consultation requirements and the validity of service charge demands.
    • Watson v (1) Cole (2) Komoda (HHJ Parfitt, Central London County Court, 7 July 2023): Thomas successfully represented the Defendants at a five-day trial concerning a boundary/party wall dispute between neighbours in west London. The case was widely reported in the national media.
    • Corpus Nostrum Limited v Buckinghamshire NHS Trust (Recorder Shepherd, Oxford County Court, 19 January 2023). Following a contested trial, Thomas successfully established the Defendant landlord’s opposition to the grant of new tenancy, relying on grounds (f) and (g) in section 30(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
    • Re Albion House (LON/00AU/LBC/2021/0084 – 19 May 2022): Thomas successfully represented the Applicant at a two-day hearing before the First-tier Tribunal relating to the excessive generation of noise and obtained a determination of breach under section 168 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform 2002.
    • Savill v Elkesley Parish Council & Ors (Sheffield County Court, HHJ Sadiq, 11 March 2022): Thomas successfully established the existence of a prescriptive right of way on behalf of the Claimants following a contested 2-day trial.
    • Ainscough v (1) Ainscough (2) Bank of Scotland Plc [2020] EWHC 2909 (Ch): This case related to the application of the law of abuse of process to decisions of HM Land Registry and also “exceptional circumstances” in which it is appropriate to refuse to rectify the title register. Thomas successfully represented the Second Defendant in a two-day High Court trial.
  • Publications

    “Fancy a Top Up? Rent Deposit Deeds and Company Administration: Re London Bridge Entertainment Partners LLP (In Administration) [2019] EWHC 2932 (Ch)” (2020) 24 L&TR Issue 3, pp. 104-108.

    “Howe v Gossop: useful insight on the circumstances in which s.2 of the Law of Property Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1989 will (or will not) amount to a defence to a proprietary estoppel” (NLJ, 7934 – May 2021) – Joint Article with Caroline Shea QC

"Thomas knew the facts of the case inside out and was prepared for any queries the judge raised. His client care was also second to none - he is very personable and the clients felt extremely comfortable with him."
"Thomas has an exceptional eye for detail, a phenomenal work-rate and is excellent on both paper and his feet."
"Thomas is a very bright, thorough and conscientious barrister."Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2024
"Thomas is extremely easy to work with and is willing to take on board our thoughts and views as well as his own. He will always make the time to speak with us."Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2023
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