Ruby joined Carter Lemon Camerons LLP as a Solicitor in the Property department in June 2018.
She specialises in commercial property, including sales and purchases for leading property developers, office leases and secured lending.
Prior to joining Carter Lemon Camerons LLP, Ruby was at Clyde & Co LLP, where she acted on a wide range of property deals.
Away from the office, Ruby plays badminton and is learning to play the saxophone.
Hannah-Louise joined Carter Lemon Camerons LLP as a Legal Assistant in the Property department in November 2017.
She is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and specialises in residential property and secured lending.
She has experience of development and plot sales, short-term lending and general residential conveyancing. Hannah-Louise is the firm’s resident Help to Buy expert.
Prior to joining Carter Lemon Camerons LLP, Hannah-Louise spent five years working at a high street firm in East Sussex, starting as a secretary before moving on to become a Legal Assistant, primarily working on residential and commercial property matters.
Away from the office, Hannah-Louise is a keen baker, enjoys watch football and rugby league as well as music, having recently seen UB40 and Bryan Adams.
Hinna Hussain joined Carter Lemon Camerons LLP as a Trainee Solicitor in September 2017. She is currently in the Property Department.
Prior to joining Carter Lemon Camerons LLP, Hinna was a Real Estate Paralegal at another London-based law firm.
She graduated from City University with an LLB Law degree and obtained her LPC with Distinction from the University of Law.
Hattie joined the Litigation team at Carter Lemon Camerons LLP in October 2017 as a Team Assistant and Paralegal.
She holds a law degree and has completed the Bar Professional Training Course.
Prior to joining Carter Lemon Camerons LLP, Hattie was a Paralegal at another London-based law firm.
Away from the office, she enjoys running.
Kimberley joined the firm as a Trainee Solicitor in September 2017. She is currently in the Property department.
Prior to joining Carter Lemon Camerons, Kimberley was the Office Manager at a niche law firm specialising in alternative assets and following this worked as a paralegal at a leading litigation law firm.
Kimberley graduated from the University of Dundee with a 2:1 degree in English Law, and studied the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law.
Outside of work, Kimberley enjoys warm holidays, running and going to the theatre.
Michael is a consultant based in the private client department and advises on a wide range of UK and international tax issues. He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners and is an expert on wealth structuring, having been responsible for this area at Barclays Wealth for 13 years. He has also been authorised under the financial services legislation since it was introduced in the 1980s and advises on investment and financial services matters.
Ian West is a partner in the Private Client team. He deals with a wide range of matters including commercial and residential conveyancing, will drafting, trusts and probate and powers of attorney.
Private Client Matters
As well as obtaining grants of probate for UK estates, Ian has assisted personal representatives of foreign estates in resealing foreign grants to administer UK assets held by a deceased domiciled outside the UK. He has dealt with resealing foreign grants in jurisdictions as diverse as Holland and Iran. He has also advised on domicile in respect of deceased’s’ estates.
Recent property transactions include:-
- Advising in a complex transaction involving the construction of an extension to a house occupied by both the landlord and the tenant including a preliminary agreement to share construction costs and the grant of a new lease of the extended flat to the tenant.
- Acting on behalf of a land owner in connection with the grant of an option for a lease of a solar farm.
- Acting on behalf of a land owner in connection with the sale of land for use as an electricity sub-station in connection with a wind farm project and grant of options for related easements.
- Acting for both landlords and tenants in respect of statutory claims for extension leases of flats.
Ian was educated at Brentwood School Essex, Manchester University and the College of Law London. He qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and joined Metson Cross in 1982 becoming a partner in 1990.
Ian is married with two children.
As former Honorary Secretary of the Society of Old Brentwoods, Ian takes a keen interest in the affairs of the School and in various events and functions organised by the Society. He is also a keen follower of football and helps with his son’s junior football team. Ian has also been learning to play the guitar (for the past 40 years!).
Duncan Tuft is the Head of our Church and Charity Team. He advises charities on their constitution, their rules and procedures, formation and change, reorganisation and merger and on their property needs and opportunities, especially the redevelopment of the large central properties many charities find a burden.
Include a major reorganisation and modernisation of a national charity which had operated through a lot of unincorporated associations but converted to run as 8 regions each of which was established as a company limited by guarantee.
More recently Duncan’s professional interest has regularly been aroused in property projects which bring up all sorts of individual issues to face: he has needed to deal with burials under a site which is to be developed, listed building complications, overage provisions and to explain to charities that they may well be due to pay tax on certain receipts from projects given the complexity of taxation of charities which is often misunderstood to mean simply that they are exempt from paying any!
Duncan Tuft was born in England but spent his early years in Sudan.
Duncan qualified in 1976 after being articled to the senior partner of a City of London firm. He was senior partner of Camerons before joining Carter Lemon Camerons in April 2000.
Duncan has acted for many years for the trust corporation of a major Free Church denomination and many of its churches and other charities. Few solicitors have as much experience as Duncan in acting for churches and their trustees. Duncan has also seen these things from the client view-point – for 9 years he was a board member of one of the largest Housing Associations in the country, he has been a school governor and Duncan is currently the lay leader of a Baptist Church. Duncan also acts for YMCA’s, Housing Associations and other charities both Christian and secular.
Outside the office, Duncan is a family man (husband, father and grandfather), an active member of his church, a keen gardener and walker.
Prior to re-training as a solicitor, Sharon Tay had a decade long career as a media academic. Desiring a career change and deciding to fulfil her legal ambitions, she spent three years studying a part-time law degree with The Open University before leaving her job to study the Legal Practice Course.
Sharon joined Carter Lemon Camerons in March 2018 as a trainee solicitor, after having gained legal experience paralegalling at a Magic Circle firm. She uses the experiences from both her previous and current vocations to analyse problems, find solutions, and help clients manage their affairs.
She is currently working in the Private Client department.
Outside of work, Sharon practices Ashtanga yoga, enjoys the theatre, and studies Arabic.
Seamus Smyth is head of litigation and arbitration. His practice is primarily commercial with an emphasis on arbitration, financial services and work for South African and Italian clients.
His reported cases include RH Green & Silley Weir v BR (limitation period against 3rd party), de Bry v Fitzgerald (security for costs), Hartt v Newspaper Publishing (libel concerning a work by Michelangelo), Pearson v Sanders Witherspoon (valuation of loss of chance), Siebe Gorman v Pneupac (status of consent orders), Senate Electrical v NTL (liability of an employee for acquisition warranties) and Bendell v Smith & Others (a successful recovery action by a lender on a shared appreciation mortgage equity release – the only such case to go to trial).
Recently involved in enforcement of foreign arbitration awards, claims arising from the banking upheavals since 2007, a successful claim against a high street bank resulting from a banking error and a successful claim against estate administrators and their solicitors for wasting the estate funds on irresponsible litigation.
Educated (BA, LLB, Wits) and first qualified as an attorney in South Africa, he requalified in England, took an LLM at UCL and a Diploma in International Arbitration at QM, and became an FCIArb. He is chairman of the British South African Law Association (for the second time), chairman of Michaelhouse UK Trust, a trustee of Global Leadership Foundation (UK), a former President of the London Solicitors Litigation Association and Trustee and President of Town Malling Cricket Club (established in 1827!). He was until 2012 a Visiting Senior Lecturer in International Commercial Arbitration at London Metropolitan University. When work and domesticity permit he plays some cricket and more golf (but – which is immediately obvious – not nearly enough).
Peter joined Carter Lemon Camerons LLP as a Trainee Solicitor in May 2016.
He specialises in commercial real estate matters, including commercial lettings for both landlords and tenants, acquisitions and disposals, development projects, real estate aspects of company acquisitions, commercial and residential estate management and secured finance for both funders and borrowers.
Peter’s experience includes acting for a large institutional investor taking security over prime real estate in central London with a market value of £20 million. He has acted for a large institutional investor in a refinance of a UK-wide property portfolio, comprising industrial, retail, office, leisure and residential premises for a facility in excess of £10 million. In a further matter, he acted for property developers in London on a project for the development of 77 units.
Prior to joining Carter Lemon Camerons LLP, Peter was a co-director of a family-run building contracting, property development and property management business. He was also a paralegal at the Financial Conduct Authority in the Enforcement and Market Oversight Division, assisting primarily with high profile enforcement cases relating to maket abuse and manipulation of LIBOR.
Away from the office, Peter is a keen diver, rugby player, snowboarder and motorcyclists. He also enjoyed boxing at an amateur level as a pastime.
In 2013, he undertook a six-month world tour, including South America, Australasia, the South Pacific and South East Asia.
Prod is an Associate in our property team and Carter Lemon Camerons’ foremost residential conveyancer. He joined the firm in 2008, bringing with him a substantial client base from the North London area – where he previously worked for over 15 years.
He has considerable expertise in residential and commercial conveyancing and landlord and tenant matters, handling sales, purchases, mortgages, transfers, shared ownership, declarations, equity release, guarantees, lease assignments, renewals and variations.
Prod is known and trusted by clients for his exceptional understanding of property matters. He represents property investors, developers, landlords, managing agents, lettings agents, surveyors and residents’ associations, and is also retained by an overseas private bank to act on secured lending on high-value Central London and West End residential properties
- Representing over 30 leaseholders on a proposed collective enfranchisement of a freehold residential block in Queensway;
- Successfully organising a collective approach by a number of leaseholders in the same block for lease extensions to their respective flats under the 1993 Act;
- Acting on the purchase of a multi-million pound property by acquiring ownership of shares in the selling company; dealing with first registration of agricultural land affected by a number of rights, settlements and trusts created over a number of years;
- Successfully completing a high-value purchase transaction within 10 days of receipt of papers;
- Successfully bringing a claim to preserve and uphold a right of way thought to have extinguished many years earlier;
- Representing a leading mobile telecommunications operator in connection with acquisitions, renewals and transfers of mobile masts; and
- Acting for one of the largest private property investment groups in the UK in connection with the grant, renewal and surrender of commercial leases.
Prod was born in North London to Greek Cypriot parents and enjoys close links to the local and overseas Greek and Greek Cypriot community. He speaks the Greek language reasonably well.
Despite his youthful looks, Prod has vast experience in his areas of practice, gained in a career of over 23 years. He is a firm believer in a non-nonsense approach to his work and the importance of using plain English when dealing with clients and others.
Outside the office, Prod is a devoted husband and father. He is a member of the governing committee of his local Greek Language School, with responsibility for over 120 pupils aged between 4 and 17 years. He is also active in his local Orthodox Church. Prod enjoys DIY and believes he is really good at it, having helped renovate five houses. He is also a keen gardener and boasts to have a garden with the best figs, grapes, olives, cherries and plums. In contrast to his mild nature, Prod is an avid sports-bike enthusiast and enjoys a daily commute to work on his cherished Kawasaki Ninja bike, dressed in full leathers.
Chris Picardo is a partner in the Commercial Property team specialising in transactional property work and property management advice. Chris advises investors, developers, business occupiers and individuals on a variety of commercial property transactions including acquisitions, disposals, property finance, the negotiation of business leases and portfolio management. Chris is regarded by a number of clients as a member of their team. He adds value for those clients by retaining a knowledge of and an interest in their portfolio of investments, and their business needs, so that he can efficiently see ways to get results for them.
Recent projects have included acting for a City of London investment management company on its exit strategy from leasehold premises and its acquisition of more than 23,000 sq ft of leasehold premises in Bishopsgate; acting for an investment management company on the lettings of its multi-let City office buildings; the sale of a freehold property investment in the City of London, the purchase of a London headquarters building by a leading UK telecommunications services provider and acting on the £10m refinance with a leading UK bank of a client’s commercial property portfolio.
Chris graduated in Law from the University of Reading and studied the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Guildford.
Chris was admitted as a solicitor in 1999 and joined Carter Lemon working in the Commercial Property team.
In his free time Chris enjoys travel abroad (more recent destinations including Peru, Chile, Argentina, San Francisco and the South of France), reading, running and spending time with his family.
James joined Carter Lemon Camerons in 2009 and works in the Commercial Property team on a variety of Real Estate and related Corporate transactions with a particular focus on Real Estate Development and Development Finance.
- ‘Off-plan’ purchase of flagship office buildings to be constructed as part of a large-scale urban redevelopment – value circa £25m.
- Acting on the purchase and financing of several town-centre development sites in the South-East for the construction of between 25 and 102 residential units.
- Acting on corporate purchases of ‘enveloped’ properties both for investment and development.
- Significant experience on acting for both borrowers and lenders in relation to both commercial and residential development, bridging and mezzanine finance in relation to sites from 2 to 100+ units.
- Acting on a large portfolio refinancing for a commercial property investor involving a wide variety of properties all over the Country.
- Advising property developers on development opportunities and land acquisitions throughout the life of a project: from the taking of options over sites, through to the eventual unit sales and commercial pre-lets.
- Advising on lease transactions involving retail, industrial and warehouse properties.
- Advising on joint ventures, share buy-outs and buy-ins and investment structures; mostly for South African based investors.
James recently spent several years on the board of a Commercial Real Estate investment group in a non-executive capacity and then subsequently a year during which he split his time between legal work at Carter Lemon Camerons and an executive position at the group where he played a major role in the planning, negotiation and execution of a sale of the portfolio to a large pension fund.
Away from the office James’ main passion is travel (usually by motorcycle). He has explored most of Western Europe on his bike and his most exciting trip was a 20,000 mile journey from Argentina to Alaska. He also enjoys (watching) sport and spending time with his young family.
Aleksandra is a Registered European Lawyer in the Commercial team. She joined the firm in April 2017 with 10 years’ experience working in law firms, advocates’ offices and non-governmental organisations in Poland and in the UK.
Her practice is highly varied and she is experienced in matters including immigration, criminal, civil and cross-jurisdictional cases.
Aleksandra regularly advises companies and high net worth individuals on Tier 1 Investor, Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Tier 2 visa applications, and advises EEA nationals on permanent residence, naturalisation, and EEA family permit applications.
Her practice has also involved representing Polish and international companies establishing businesses in Poland and in the UK, drafting and negotiating contracts and advising on suitable business entities and company formation.
Aleksandra graduated from the University of Gdansk with a master’s degree in Law, before qualifying as an advocate and has also achieved degrees in EU law and American law. Away from the office, Aleksandra enjoys tennis, classical music and Italian language and culture.
Aleksandra is a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.
Sanya joined Carter Lemon Camerons LLP in April 2018 as a Trainee Solicitor in the Private Client department.
Prior to joining Carter Lemon Camerons LLP, Sanya did a one-year work placement at Westminster City Council in the Planning and Property team. She subsequently worked as an Assistant Editor in the Property team for the legal database, Practical Law at Thompson Reuters.
Sanya graduated from Brunel University with an LLB in Law and undertook her Legal Practice Course at the University of Law, achieving a distinction.
Away from the office, Sanya enjoys going to the gym and attending fitness classes.
Lisa Ginesi is a partner in our commercial litigation and dispute resolution team. Her practice covers a wide range of commercial disputes and predominantly relates to all forms of property disputes. The clients Lisa acts for range from large corporate property developers and investors to private property owning individuals.
Lisa regularly advises on a wide variety of issues affecting both residential and commercial properties and an extensive range of contractual disputes. Lisa has particular expertise in landlord and tenant disputes, the 1954 Act, dilapidation issues, nuisance claims; boundary disputes, possession claims, construction and development contracts, party wall disputes, trespasser proceedings and all aspects of enfranchisement.
In every case, Lisa actively looks for ways to reach practical and cost-effective solutions, whether that is through negotiation, court proceedings, self-help remedies or alternative dispute resolution. She works with her clients as part of a team, often alongside surveyors, engineers and a variety of other experts.
Recent Transactions include;
- Successfully appealing against two Party Wall Awards and securing costs for our client in a case relating to a substantial development in Shoreditch.
- Acting for a corporate property developer in a dispute to enforce the terms of a sale and construction agreement, to enable our client to complete their development and sell a number of flats.
- Acting for a sole trader tenant, of a commercial shop in Great Russell Street in a claim against his landlord for unreasonably delaying and withholding consent to an assignment of his lease.
- Acting for a residential property developer who intended to carry out underpinning works and was served with an injunction obtained by the Council to stop works for alleged breach of planning regulations and starting excavation for basement works.
- Advising on a complex lease renewal of commercial premises under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, involving; disputed terms for a new lease; unauthorised sub-lettings and breach of planning legislation.
- Advising a client who owns the freehold of a large residential block of flats in London in relation to a number of applications to extend leases under the 1993 Act, including dealing with applications to the First Tier Tribunal. Conversely, advising a number of tenants, in a different block of flats, on their rights to extend their leases.
- Advising on a range of enfranchisement issues, including lease extensions and purchases of freeholds under the 1993 and 1967 Acts, and rights of first refusal under the 1987 Act.
- Acting in a number of contractual property disputes including; disputed joint venture agreements; breaches and termination of JCT contracts; claims against insurers for losses and claims for unpaid fees and defective works.
Early in her career, Lisa had the privilege of being part of the team which took a highly technical lease renewal case to the House to Lords (P&O v Graysim).
Some notable and reported cases include;
- Sai Ventures Ltd v Compar Properties Ltd  – an appeal against two Party Wall Awards in a case relating to a substantial development in Shoreditch.
- H Waites Ltd v Hambledon court Ltd and others  – landlord and tenant dispute concerning air space and extent of the tenants’ demise.
- Anslow and others v Norton Aluminium Ltd  – a GLO claim for multi million pound damages in nuisance, claimed to be caused by smell, noise and dust.
- Delgable Ltd v Perinpanathan  – landlord and tenant dispute concerning the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 Act and liability to repair roof.
- P&O Property Holdings Limited v Graysim  – dispute on the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. This was a Supreme Court decision.
Lisa was educated at Haydon Bridge High School in Northumberland and then studied law at the University of West London. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992, having trained and qualified at Carter Lemon Camerons. Lisa is a member of the Property Litigation Association, Women in Business, Women in Property, the Association of Women Solicitors and the Law Society.
Andrew Firman is a partner in our corporate & commercial team. His employment practice covers both contentious and non-contentious work for both employers and employees. His corporate and banking practice concentrates on contractual and advice work given mainly to SMEs and charities.
In his work, Andrew looks for proactive and pragmatic solutions derived from a proper understanding of the client’s perspective and against the background of the commercial constraints.
Career highlights include
- running a David v Goliath style battle for a former employee of a US based bank related to the late vesting of share options following that employee’s termination at a time when the US markets were in freefall
- negotiating, finalising and drawing down for an off-shore SPV borrower at £310M facility to buy a group of companies which owned, as an investment, the London HQ of a multinational corporation
More recently, Andrew has advised upon
- the sale of a leading clinician–led healthcare consulting and IT services group to a global technology and services company specialising in the healthcare field
- the restructuring and relocation of a nutritional supplements business within the UK
- settlement of a long running shareholders dispute concerning a company running a niche members’ gym in a close knit area of London
- finalisation of the UK legal aspects to a cross border merger with an Italian company
- the negotiation of departure terms for the CEO of a leading interdealer broker
Andrew has over the years enjoyed advising many owner-managed SMEs on the range of their needs for commercial, employment and dispute related legal advice. He is delighted that the firm has recently received recognition through the award by Acquisitions International of “UK Most Trusted Law Firm of the Year to SMEs 2013” because it goes to the depth of the relationships the firm has with its clients and its target market in terms of size of business clients.
Andrew was educated at Nailsea School and holds degrees in law from Manchester and Leicester Universities. He qualified as a solicitor in 1995. He is a co-author of a Practical Guide to Drone Law.
Away from the office Andrew, married to a local GP and of occasional use to his three teenage children, runs and is heavily involved in his local church.
Stuart Brennan is senior partner and a partner within the Company Commercial team at Carter Lemon Camerons dealing with businesses and other non-litigious work and specialises in commercial property, company commercial and associated employment matters.
Previously Senior Partner at Metson Cross, Stuart has extensive experience in all aspects of commercial property matters including portfolio sales and purchases, development, security work leases and other landlord and tenant matters. Stuart has significant experience in acquisitions and disposals of businesses either by the sale also purchase of shares or assets, including TUPE issues as well as dealing with company, LLP and partnership formations, shareholders agreements and company restructuring including purchasing of own shares and revisions to memorandum and articles of association.
- Disposal of a 50% stake in a printing company to American investor involving not only the usual sale and purchase agreement but also shareholders agreement/compromise agreements new contracts of employment and property matters.
- Setting up of a representative office for in Moscow for a UK company setting up business in Russia; liaising with Moscow lawyers satisfying the stringent regulatory requirements of the Russian State Authorities.
- Liaising with litigation team in advising client on taking action against former employee setting up competing business utilising the clients’ valuable intranet based database and other know-how.
- Restaurant and pub sales purchases, leases and other leisure matters.
- Acquisition at auction of tenanted industrial estate to be held under declaration of trust taken by varying entities to (2 individuals, a limited liability partnership and SIPP trustees). Also power of attorney enabling an individual owner to manage the property.
- Directors and Shareholders disputes, Shareholders Agreements, including unfair prejudice, breach of directors duties, breach of authority and derivative actions.
Stuart has over the years been involved in many substantial property and business acquisitions and disposals including the acquisition of 87 public houses for a regional brewer, the compulsory purchase of a property as part of a dock reconfiguration together with representations to a public enquiry. He also represented a client against the Environment Agency following alleged pollution of a waterway.
Stuart was educated at Glasgow High School and Wilmslow Grammar School and Liverpool Polytechnic, trained in Manchester but has worked in London since admission as a solicitor in 1973.
Outside the office Stuarts interests are golfing, skiing, watching football and rugby, music of all kinds and playing the piano (in private). Also supports a well-known northern football club.
Katarzyna (Kate) Boguslawska is a Partner in our corporate and commercial department.
Kate’s clients range from start-up owners through to SMEs and some global main-players who need advice on business-related matters. These range from advice on employment and company matters to contract drafting and disputes. Kate understands her clients, their needs and goals. Her clients often praise her pragmatic approach and tailored practical advice.
In her employment practice Kate:
- drafts contracts, handbooks and company policies
- provides regular Employment/HR Advice
- negotiates contracts
- drafts and negotiate settlement agreements
- helps to navigate through TUPE, restructure and redundancies
- advises and represents in claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of contract, unlawful deduction from wages, etc
- advises on injunctive relief and restrictive covenants
Notable employment work included:
- advising a well-known English designer in company restructure and redundancies;
- advising employers and high net worth individuals on settlement agreements and severance packages;
- regular HR advice to a number of company clients;
- advising media company on contracts and issues relating to confidentiality, IP and restrictive covenants;
- representing high earning claimants in ‘Stress at Work’ personal injury matters.
In her commercial and company practice Kate:
- advises on suitable business entities and company formation;
- advises on company and directors’ duties;
- drafts necessary company documents including amended articles and resolutions;
- drafts and negotiates contracts and shareholders’ agreements;
- advises on shareholders disputes.
Notable commercial work included:
- advising and representing foreign companies establishing business in the UK;
- advising companies on matters involving directors’ duties and shareholders’ disputes;
- advising a Polish PLC on contract matters and negotiating on its behalf with an English PLC;
- representing an international cosmetics company in injunctive relief and restraint of trade matters;
- representing hauliers in representations against Border Force and HMRC in excise duty matters;
- advising EU nationals on immigration issues, residency and citizenship applications in the UK.
Kate has strong links in the Polish community and is recommended by the Polish Embassy in London, having co-written a Guide for Polish Investors in the UK that was published by the Embassy. She has a broad network of international connections and has been instructed by law firms in Poland to assist their clients in matters involving English jurisdiction.
Rufus Ballaster specialises in secured lending for both lenders and borrowers, within Carter Lemon Camerons LLP’s commercial property team.
Rufus’ team is able to assist lenders with putting in place effective protection for their loans, including advising on the form of security that is needed, arranging reporting systems between lawyer and lender, preparing documents, raising enquiries, examining title and making the appropriate searches.
Rufus is also experienced in assisting borrowers, advising on the risks involved in the transaction and negotiating the best possible terms.
Where appropriate, having carefully looked at professional rules governing conflict of interest, Rufus can act for both the lender and the borrower in a single transaction.
His detailed technical legal knowledge and ability to crunch numbers are great assets both transactionally and as Carter Lemon Camerons LLP’s spreadsheet obsessive.
Recent transactions include:
- Secured Lending Portfolio Refinance for a group of clients shifting lending from one international Private Bank to another international Private Bank with full Certification of Title across 7 Central London Properties both commercial residential (or mixed) use – aggregate value £30M approx.
- Phased purchase with development finance of site for over 40 new homes in SW London for a group of clients which has also bought and sold many other units in the region with Rufus and his team acting.
- Short term (2 to 18 month) lending by a Wealth Management company into a variety of development projects taking first or second charge security over those sites or collateral security elsewhere.
Career highlights include:
- Stepping into the panel of speakers at a course for which he was understudy – at only 3 years qualified
- Representing most of the sets of barristers’ chambers at one of the Inns of Court in lease renewals with that Inn
- Drawing down finance to purchase a SW1 development opportunity (offices to flats) by an off shore company at a price exceeding £120M (for a group of clients for whom previous deals were at values ranging from £7M to £220M)
- Drawing down finance to purchase a group of off-shore vehicles which owned of a City office block let to a blue chip investment bank – loan exceeding £300 million, split into senior and junior debt.
Rufus combines client focused views of legal issues with more holistic ones. This is clearly visible from his writing (having contributed to many journals and been a co-author of the Landlord and Tenant Factbook and more recently of a Practical Guide to Drone Law) and from his lectures and seminars on banking, commercial property, artificial intelligence and other topics.
Asked what he likes most in his work, Rufus will talk of his role as a “trouble-shooter”. He enjoys being asked by clients and colleagues what he thinks about something and trying, with them, to work up structures or strategies achieving a desired result at the lowest sensible cost/ tax-hit/ risk. He travels within Europe and beyond (Arabian Gulf, South East Asia, Southern Africa) to see clients and contacts face to face and says working with people he has met is always preferable to hiding behind email and telephone for client contact!
Rufus was educated at Reading School, Wadham College Oxford and Chester College of Law, qualifying as a solicitor in 1988.
Outside the office Rufus has a full and active life with commitments to two Christian Churches, family (wife and three now adult children), RBS Rugby Football Club (for whom he plays as a second row forward) and RBS Lawn Bowls Club which is more suited to his age.
Graham is a Partner in the litigation team and has specialised in professional negligence claims for over 20 years. He trained at Trowers & Hamlins, qualifying in 1992.
His recent successful cases include over 30 professional negligence claims arising out of an elaborate mortgage fraud, recovering over £5million on behalf of borrower/purchaser clients who have been defrauded into buying substantially overvalued “buy to let” properties.
He has also acted for a group of investors who had purchased properties ‘off plan’ in the Philippines that were either not built or were sold twice. In this case the investors brought successful claims against the negligent solicitors who failed to ensure that the purchase contracts were backed with the promised performance bonds that should have protected the buyers from default by the developer.
He has also acted in various other professional negligence matters, relating to solicitors, barristers, valuers/surveyors, accountants, financial advisors, banks and insurance brokers.
Graham takes pride in providing clear, concise and practical advice and is regularly contacted to offer expert comment on media reports relating to professional negligence and property.
He is on the register maintained by the London Solicitors Litigation Association of solicitors with experience of supervising and executing civil search orders.
Reported cases and cases of interest include:
- Laib v Aravindan  EWHC 2521 QBD, The Times [13/11/2003] – Claim against solicitors for loss of chance to pursue a negligence claim against a mortgage lender involving complex issues relating to limitation.
- Vinayak v Lovegrove & Eliot  EWHC 9009 – Claim against solicitors arising out of failure to advise that break clauses in leases could only be exercised by original lessee. Court held that losing solicitors could not compel disclosure of conditional fee arrangement.
- Tavistock Repertory Guarantors Ltd v Gregory Rowcliffe Milners HQ02X2325 – Claim against solicitors who lost client the right to renew lease of theatre premises resulting in agreed damages of £2,020,000. This is believed to be possibly the highest sum ever recovered from a solicitor who has acted “pro bono.”
- Ayton v RSM Bentley Jennison  QBD Lawtel – Held defendant in fraud and negligence claim not entitled to rely on defence of tender before claim (action), which is a defence still only available in liquidated claims.
Professional Negligence Lawyers Association
Shooting, badminton, skiing and motorcycling.
Neil Acheson-Gray is a partner and head of the private client department. He has specialised in matters including contentious probate for more than three decades.
He trained at a leading firm in Holborn and then spent 25 years as a partner in the family firm with offices in Marble Arch and Richmond. This gave him a wealth of experience in estate planning, Wills, estates and trusts and carrying out the role of Executor and Trustee.
Neil has subsequently spent 6 years with a firm in Fetter Lane where he successfully developed the firm’s contentious probate capability, bringing his wealth of experience of private client work to the cut and thrust of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975 and contested Wills.
- Acting for the family of an elderly lady seeking to prove the validity of an allegedly forged or fraudulent Will in her favour
- Acting for several children of a lady whose other daughter was alleged to have forged her mother’s Will
- Acting for a widow whose stepchildren children were claiming provision from his estate
- Acting for a widow whose own son inherited all her late husband’s estate
- Representing a child whose siblings were seeking her removal as Executor
- Acting for the beneficiary of an estate in the removal of one of the Executors
- Acting for the surviving partner of the man she lived with who remained married to his wife and left his entire estate to her and he children
- Acting for a surviving husband in relation to a claim made by a friend he had allegedly maintained
- Opposing a Will made by someone who took her own life whilst suffering from serious mental illness
- Advising a daughter whose stepmother left her share in a family property to her nephew contrary to her late husband’s wishes
Alongside this, Neil has continued his established practice in the field of Wills and Probate, dealing with a variety of interesting estates and meeting a wide range of clients from all walks of life, with estates large and small, complex and straightforward.
Neil looks forward to the next challenge in his career and the opportunity to continue to represent those he has met along the way.
Neil is married and lives in Surrey. Outside of the office he enjoys all forms of sport, travel, cookery photography and the arts. His greatest inspiration and his greatest critics are his wife, three children and above all his grandson who together provide all the distraction needed from an absorbing and rewarding career which he is pleased to continue as a Partner at Carter Lemon Camerons LLP.