David Stockill
Call: 1985
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Real Estate Profile

The mainstay of David’s practice is property and property development, nearly always of a litigious nature. He regularly acts for property developers and housebuilders of varying sizes, often involving disputes over contracts for the sale, development and funding of property purchase and land acquisition. Such contracts can be simply for the sale and purchase of land or conditional contracts, options or other arrangements. He has for some time had a particular speciality in overage and clawback (and disputes arising therefrom). In addition, the disputes in which David has acted include issues relating to mortgages and other financial charges, land charges, and title queries and the omnipresent boundary problems. As and when the property market picks up, experience dictates that David’s instructions will turn to the avoidance of hindrances to development and associated litigation (with such topic headings of restrictive covenants, easements (rights of way, rights to light, service media, legal and equitable easements, registrations and claims for interference), towns and village greens and commons. He is particularly well versed in restrictive covenants, their enforceability and construction, applications for discharge and modification in the Lands Tribunal. In addition David has acted in compensation claims under the various statutes (although his practice falls short of planning and public law). One of his first claims of this nature concerned compensation for disruption caused by the extension of the M40 motorway onto the M42 and damage that was done to the amenity and prospect of a particularly beautiful and valuable house. Staple disputes featuring include claims for the possession of land, adverse possession; beneficial interest disputes – constructive and resulting trusts, proprietary estoppel; and common law nuisance and trespass. David’s practice has traditionally been vented in the High Court Chancery Division, various County Courts as well as the Court of Appeal. More recently, many appearances have started before the Land Adjudicator. David is enthusiastic about alternative dispute resolution. He is an accredited mediator; has taken part in early neutral evaluation (and would be more than prepared to work as an ‘evaluator’) and he has given several binding opinions as expert on points such as the construction of documents (for example, rent review clauses) which have resolved matters.

  • What the Directories Say

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      • Highly regarded senior junior with a broad practice which covers both traditional and commercial cases. He is noted for his expertise on disputes concerning breach of fiduciary duty. Expertise: "A very sensible counsel, who provides practical advice and is good with clients." CHAMBERS UK 2015.
      • David has been rated in all directories since they started, as a leading light outside of London.  Most recently (Chambers & Partners 2014) he was listed as having "the highest skills and capacity and is sound as a bell. He has the gravitas and knowledge that is required". In Chambers UK Guide 2013, he was commended for his “wealth of experience in commercial Chancery matters”
      • In addition, “David Stockill is [a] barrister who ‘rolls his sleeves up and immerses himself in the case,’ his preparation ‘is always of the first order.’ He ‘never fails to impress clients with his immediate grasp of the problem at hand.’" Chambers UK Guide 2012
      • In the last few years David has been described variously as "having great intellectual ability and skill in Court", having a chancery practice "with a real company flavour ... with great experience in minority shareholder disputes and section 459 matters and is praised as a very strong writer". He is also “intelligent, confident and a good creative thinker”.

  • Recent Experience

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    • The very recent experience, as a snapshot and guide to David’s property practice:

      • Extricating (through litigation) clients from a lease under a break clause where the continuing rental and other claims would be in excess of £1 million
      • Resisting a winding up (by obtaining an injunction) for a property portfolio owning client (£90 million of assets) where the underlying dispute was over the quarter’s payment of rent just before a break took effect
      • Advice on whether a joint tenancy has been severed (by course of conduct)
      • A boundary dispute and right of way dispute (two disputes for one loyal client) in the North West
      • Advising on a construction  of a will which would determine whether a piece of land belonged to one family member or another
      • A couple of cases for well known estate agents and property professionals, seeking commission on central London properties sold for in excess of £10 million
      • Obtaining an injunction and steering a settlement of a dispute for a local ennobled Landowner
      • Countless cases advising on boundaries, easements and restrictive covenants
      • Involved in several recent determinations within the ever enlarging jurisdiction of the Land Adjudicator

  • Reported Cases

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    • Relevant to property work:

      • Quirkco Investments Ltd v Aspray Transport Ltd [2011] EWHC 3060(ch); [2012] L&TR 19 Break clauses
      • Wilkinson v Farmer [2010] EWCA 1148 (Civ); [2010] NPC 105 Interpretation, rights of way
      • Wright v Wright [2010] EWHC 1808 (Ch) [2011] 1 FLR 387; Property ownership and breach of trustee obligations
      • Gilbert (Woods Farm Christmas Trees) v British Waterways Board [2005] EWHC 3094 (TCC) Losses for trespass to land, including future losses, and loss of profits
      • Hughes v Riley [2005] EWCA (Civ) 1129; [2006] EnvLR 12; [2006] P&CR 29 Breach of restrictive covenant, nuisance
      • Severn Trent Water v Barnes [2004] EWCA Civ 570; [2004] 2 E.G.L.R. 95; [2004] 26 E.G. 194; [2005] R.V.R. 181; (2004) 148 S.J.L.B. 693; [2004] N.P.C. 76 ‘Negotiating damages’, damages in lieu of an injunction for alleged trespass by the building of a water main
      • Inglewood Investments v Baker (2002) EWCA Civ 1733 – adverse possession
      • Di Luca v Juraise Springs [1998] 2 EGLR 125 – option agreements
      • R v Trent RHA ex parte Westerman (1996) 72 P. & C.R. 448 the Crichel Down Rules
      • Bannocks v Secretary of State for Transport [1995] 2 EGLR 157 – Compensation for Compulsory Purchase
      • Covent Garden Group Limited v. Naiva (1995) 27 HLR 295 – leasehold enfranchisement
      • Snell &Prideaux Limited v. Dutton Mirrors Limited(CA) [1995] 1 EGLR 259  - easements
      • Re Fisher and Gimson (Builders) Limited's Application(1993) 65 P&CR 312  - restrictive covenants
      • Hammond v. Allen [1994] 1 AllER 307 – agricultural holdings

  • Specialist Areas

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  • Qualifications and Appointments

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      • MA Cantab (St John’s College)
      • Barrister at law
      • Accredited mediator

  • Professional Associations

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      • Chancery Bar Association
      • Midland Chancery Bar Association (founder member and one time secretary)

Related News

Negotiating Damages in the Supreme Court - David Stockill

Morris-Garner v One Step (Support) Limited [2018] UKSC 20 A couple of weeks ago (18 April 2018) the Supreme Court decided a landmark case on damages.  It was unusual in that it appears a unanimousdecision in the result, but Lord Sumption dissented…

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Further Information

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