Christopher Cant

Overview

Christopher has forty years experience in general chancery and commercial practice following his graduation from Cambridge with a starred first. Throughout his years in practice there has been an emphasis on drafting and tackling complex issues. He enjoys the research and analysis required for such matters but endeavours to provide his work speedily within the time limits imposed by the commercial needs of the professional and lay clients.

A significant portion of his practice has always been focused on property in which subject he is a specialist. He advises on difficult points, the structuring of transactions and preparing drafts. In recent years transactions involving overage and planning promotion agreements have played a greater role. The spectrum of transactions he is instructed on run from large scale residential and shopping developments to single dwellings or offices. Clients range from large scale developers, niche builders and local authorities to individual householders. In addition he acts in contentious property matters including disputes over easements, restrictive covenants, enforcement of charges and guarantees, leases and sales of land

The nature of the transactions dealt with in his practice is not limited exclusively to property matters but ranges much wider in the commercial field. It includes drafting distribution agreements and agreements for sale and purchase of shares. On the contentious side it includes matters such as disputes over the sale of companies bringing in issues such as the enforcement of guarantees.

As a general chancery practitioner Christopher’s practice includes trusts, wills, charities, professional negligence, partnership and company. He acts in such matters in contentious and non-contentious cases. In recent years on the contentious side he has increasingly acted in disputes over religious centres.

Christopher has a particular expertise in the Community Infrastructure Levywhich fits in with his general advisory work on behalf of developers and authorities. As well as advisory work Christopher appeared in the Planning Court for the successful authority in the first judicial review case on the operation of the CIL regime – R (oao Hourhope Limited v Shropshire CC [2015] EWHC 518 (Admin).

To assist with a better understanding Christopher has prepared a guide to the new CIL and this is the link to the fifth edition which covers the CIL regime up to 24th April 2015 – PDF copy.

The role of section 106 planning obligations was intended to be reduced by the CIL regulations. However, the relationship between section 106 planning obligations and the CIL limitations has thrown up a number of issues adversely affecting infrastructure funding which are considered in a paper arising from a series of presentations given at seminars arranged by the Planning Advisory Service. This paper is up to date to 11th March 2016 – PDF copy.

Currently there are more than one hundred authorities in the process of introducing CIL. Just over 120 have introduced CIL by 12th April 2016 and are listed in this PDF.

The Community Right to Bid is having an impact on owners’ rights. Christopher has prepared a guide to Assets of Community Value including consideration of the reported decisions up to 8th June 2018 – PDF copy.

These Guides and list of authorities can also be found at www.christophercant.co.uk which website also contains additional material relevant to developments and to wider conveyancing and property issues.

Examples of Recent cases

Non-contentious

  • Refinancing by landing consortium secured on commercial property portfolio
  • Restructuring of Superstore leasing arrangement
  • Drafting regime for carrying out substantial works prior to completion
  • Drafting and advising on planning promotion agreement with regard to horticultural land
  • Advice on operation of overage agreements
  • Advice on drainage surface water from development site
  • Drafting of underlease for purpose of dividing up building
  • Advice on control of religious centre
  • Drafting and advice on distribution agreements

Contentious

  • Judicial review of authority’s decision to refuse CIL demolition deduction
  • Opposition to nomination of property as ACV
  • Enforcement of sharia-law compliant charge
  • Opposition to application to register public highway
  • Setting aside default judgment in professional negligence claim
  • Defence of claim for breach of warranty/misrepresentation relating to sale of company
  • Action to enforce guarantee in loan notes
  • Rebutted application to appoint management trustees running religious centre
  • Contested construction of gift in will
  • Dispute over width of right of way to vacant factory

Decisions

  • Adams v Ashfield DC CR/2017/0010 appeal concerning listing of Portland Arms as an Asset of Community Value (view decision)
  • Registered proprietors of Uptin House v Newcastle CC CR 2017 0006 – appeal to FTT concerning ACV listing of Uptin House
  • ZB Investments v Croydon LBC (CR/2016/0009) appeal concerning the listing of the Ship, South Norwood.
  • King v Chiltern DC (CR/2015/0025) – appeal to First-tier Tribunal concerning listing of public house as asset of community value
  • R (oao Hourhope Limited) v Shropshire CC [2015] EWHC 518 (Admin)
  • University of East London Higher Education Corpn v Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council and others [2004] EWHC 2710 (Ch) dispute over validity of restrictive covenants affecting Dagenham;
  • University of East London Higher Education Corp v Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council and others (No 2) [2004] EWHC 2908 (Ch) – confirming costs of local authorities on indemnity basis;
  • Lau -v- Redpalm (Groucho Club – rent review)
  • Amsprop Trading Limited v Harris Distribution (head landlord seeking to enforce covenants directly against a sub-tenant)
  • Dolgellau Golf Club v Hett (Court of Appeal – landlord’s opposition to grant of new tenancy on ground that required for landlord’s business).

Recent publications

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Christopher Cant is an independent self-employed barrister registered with the Bar Standards Board of England (ref. no 11136); whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales which code can be found at www.barstandardsboard.org.uk; has full professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Limited (ref BM 2930/007) (details of the world-wide cover are provided at www.barmutual.co.uk); is registered for VAT (reg. no. 234 5450 77); and can be contacted during chambers opening hours by telephone at 02074045055 or by e-mail at clerks@9stonebuildings.com.

When instructed through solicitors his usual terms of service are to be found at www.9stonebuildings.com/terms but those terms do not apply to instructions accepted on the basis of a conditional fee agreement, damages-based agreements, publicly funded work, or on instructions received from direct access clients.

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