Are you planning a new development or currently in dispute with a third party?

Solicitors Specialising in Building Disputes and Right of Light

Regardless of whether you’re building a small residential development or commercial business complex, you’ll want to avoid disruption at all costs. Our specialist team of solicitors understand this and adopt an innovative and dynamic approach to litigation and dispute resolution for both building disputes and right of light matters.

Building Disputes

Building disputes can range from a straightforward contract for a small extension or the construction of a conservatory. They can also involve large scale rebuilding projects involving many different contractors, other professionals, architects, structural engineers, and they can become more complex when dealing with listed buildings.

Fortunately, our team of litigation and dispute resolution solicitors have dealt with all types of building and construction disputes. We have experience of using all methods that are available within this highly technical area of the law. We’ve litigated in the Technology & Construction Court, we’ve dealt with Adjudications, Arbitrations, Mediations, Joint Settlement Meetings, and we’re always here to protect your interests and property.

Right of Light

No matter how experienced your construction team is, developing a building can take a lot of planning and sometimes certain elements of a project can get overlooked. Constructing a building that obstructs or reduces a neighbouring property’s natural light could lead to you having to pay a large compensation settlement. Your construction project may also need to come to a halt, or a judge could order a complete demolition of it.

We have a team of Litigation & Dispute Resolution Solicitors in Essex, and we have offices across the region and in London. If you require legal advice relating to a right of light issue or building dispute, please contact us by calling 03300 585 222 or by sending an email to [email protected].

Why Instruct Our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Solicitors?

Our team of Litigation & Dispute Resolution Solicitors are highly experienced with helping those involved in right of light claims and building disputes. We can provide the professional advice and representation you need to be successful.

Our highly experienced Litigation & Dispute Resolution Solicitors will:

  • Help you assess and manage your risks in relation to the costs of the dispute.
  • Seek to minimise the likelihood of any future litigation issues.
  • Work closely with specialist surveyors, who will work with us to achieve the right outcome for you.
  • Represent you in court should your case need resolving via this avenue.

Whilst we’ll tirelessly work to resolve your right of light or building dispute matters, in the event it’s necessary to take court action or defend injunctive proceedings issued against you, we’ll guide you throughout the process and fight your corner with the utmost tenacity.

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How is loss of light measured?

Interference or a reduction of another home’s right of light is formally known as a “legal nuisance”. But not all inferences/reductions give rise to make a claim; each are treated on a case by case basis. This is because the law surrounding right of light is very complex and reliant on historical measurements involving something called “lumens”. This is the level of illumination by a single 1 foot candle over a square foot.

However, right of light does not give a landowner the legal entitlement to receive the same amount of natural light before a nearby development is constructed as the law does state that a certain level of light reduction is allowed.

The courts recognise an infringement if a room is left with less than half of its area receiving 1 lumen, which legally known as the “50/50 right of light rule”. If a new development is found to reduce the amount of light in a room below the 50/50 minimum, they’ll be a strong argument that a right of light infringement has occurred. However, a landowner can only raise a claim if they’ve lived at their premises for at least 19 years and 1 day otherwise, they will not have acquired any legal right of light.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is generally a private, enforceable, and binding method of dispute resolution. In the days of vastly expensive litigation, it is thought to provide a cost-effective way of dealing with complex and highly technical disputes. We know the best arbitrators in the business and know the preparation required to deal with this method of dispute resolution. We work with the best barristers at the top chambers to ensure that your case is prepared properly and to give you the best chance of success.

How can a right of light be protected?

Rights to light are rarely registered at the Land Registry. However, if a property has enjoyed a passage of light over a neighbouring 1 for at least 19 years and 1 day, then an application can sent to the Land Registry supported by a statutory declaration to register a right of light over the property. This could stop a neighbouring property or construction company from building on nearby land.

What is Adjudication?

Adjudication is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism that applies to the UK’s construction industry on the basis that it’s a quick solution which helps to minimise the impact of a dispute on a construction project. It refers to specific processes of decision making that involve an unbiased third party who has the legal authority to determine a binding resolution through an award or form of judgment.

At BTMK, we use specialist barristers where necessary who understand the nature of this type of alternative dispute resolution, aiming to provide a quick and relatively cost-effective dispute mechanism. This often allows parties to move on after dealing with a dispute.

What is the Technology and Construction Court?

The Technology and Construction Court (TCC) is a leading forum of dispute resolution. It deals solely (except for limited exceptions) with technology and construction disputes. This specialist court typically only handles cases with a value of less than £250,000 unless a case involves a difficult point of law or if international matters need to be dealt with.

If my case needs resolving in court - can you represent me?

If the gloves have to come off, then we’re in your corner to obtain the result you’re after. Our advantage is in our team, with strength in depth at all levels and with experience of litigating over complex construction projects, working with other professionals and really concentrating on the parts of the litigation that will make a difference to your case.

We’ve litigated highly complex design projects in the City of London, pursued claims in negligence against architects over a cooling facility in Essex and pursued various contractors in a multiple-owner site with competing building interests. We really have the litigation know-how to deal with court-based litigation, working with you and with tightly controlled budgets. We are insurance backed where necessary to ensure your project is properly protected.

What is Litigation?

Litigation is the process of taking a dispute to court. If 2 parties cannot agree or resolve a dispute themselves or through mediation, they’ll present their respective cases to a court for judgement. Litigation can be long drawn out and complex process, which is why you must always have a solicitor fighting your corner.

Fiona McAnaw

Litigation & Dispute Resolution , Employment | BTMK Solicitors

Emily Aylott

Litigation & Dispute Resolution | BTMK Solicitors

Makayla Phillips

Resolution, Insolvency & Insolvency Litigation | BTMK Solicitors

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