Head of Real Estate Disputes
Caroline DeLaney is the Head of Real Estate Disputes. She was previously head of real estate disputes at international law firm CMS and City law firm Kingsley Napley.
Caroline has over 20 years’ experience of dealing with a broad range of commercial, residential and agricultural problems including:
- Development disputes involving rights of light, restrictive covenants, easements, party walls and overage issues.
- Commercial landlord and tenant issues including service charge disputes, breaches of covenant and forfeiture, dilapidations, rent reviews, break clauses, and statutory lease renewals.
- Residential landlord and tenant issues including service charge and management disputes, enfranchisement, lease extensions, right to manage and rights of first refusal.
- Boundary disputes and possession actions, including trespassers, squatters and protestors.
- Planning challenges including CPOs, planning appeals and judicial review.
- Professional negligence claims.
- Environmental claims.
Recent work includes:
- Advising on the rights of light aspects of a major mixed use development project in East London, including the potential impact of the development on surrounding owners, their ability to seek an injunction to stop the scheme and the potential use of section 203 Housing and Planning Act 2016 by the local authority.
- Representing a corporate tenant in a dispute with its local authority landlord concerning a rent free period, an obligation to undertake repairs and a service charge dispute which culminated in a successful mediation.
- Acting for a professional regulatory body in a complex dilapidations claim relating to its former headquarters building.
- Representing a major national roadside retailer in the M4 Corridor around Newport local public inquiry.
- Acting for a major housebuilder in a retention dispute arising out of works to be undertaken under a development agreement.
- Acting for a real estate investor in defending a claim for specific performance of its obligation to take an assignment of a lease following proceedings for declaratory relief against a landlord who had withheld consent.
- Advising a landowner on a boundary dispute which included a claim for trespass, ownership based on adverse possession and a disputed right of way.
Caroline’s experience covers court proceedings and appeals, arbitration and mediation, Land Registry adjudications and tribunal applications (Property Chamber and Upper Chamber). She acts for a broad spectrum of clients, including developers, retailers and leisure operators, charities, public landowners, trusts, institutional investors and insolvency practitioners, as well as high net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs.
Caroline has been consistently recognised as a leader in the field of real estate disputes in the major legal directories, including The Legal 500 and Chambers UK. She has been described by them as “on the ball”, “impressive and client-friendly”, as someone who can be relied upon “to get to the bottom of legal problems”, “impressive and proactive”, “a good sensible negotiator” and “academic yet commercially minded”, and they have been “impressed with the level at which she operates”.
Caroline is a qualified commercial mediator and sits on the City of London Law Society Land Law Committee.