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  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 3rd June 2017 – 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
- 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
- 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
- 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  EWHC 518 (Admin)
- University of East London Higher Education Corpn v Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council and others  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)  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).
- Continuing issues with CIL – Local Government Lawyer 15th December 2017
- Fresh Developments in Assets of Community Value Regime – Local Government Lawyer 1st December 2017
- Protection of public house – Open to attack? – PLJ November 2017
- Retrospective planning permissions and Community Infrastructure Levy – Lexology 11th July 2017
- Lessons for developers from CIL enforcement appeals – Lexology 26th June 2017
- CIL Indexation and variations of pre-CIL planning permissions – Lexology 8th March 2017
- Fresh points on Assets of Community Value – Local Government Lawyer February 2017
- Public houses and the ACV regime – Local Government Lawyer 15th September 2016
- Battles to convert ACV listed public houses to dwellings – Local Government Lawyer 11th June 2016
- Further development of the Assets of Community Value Regime – Local Government Lawyer 23rd June 2016
- Is it lawful to charge CIL by treating two planning permissions as a single planning permission? – Local Government Lawyer March 2016
- Infrastructure shortfall due to pooling restriction – Local Government Lawyer February 2016
- Easements – class still open Lexology January 2016
- Switching planning permissions – challenging pooled contributions” in Lexology 24th November 2015
- CIL regulation 123 limitations and planning obligations – an update of a paper first given to a Regional Planning Obligations Group meeting
- ACV- further guidance from two recent rulings – Local Government Lawyer 26th November 2015 [ PDF]
- Guidance gleamed from ACV appeals and Planning Inspectors’ decisions – Local government Lawyer 3rd September 2015
- Planning obligations – what contribution can they still make to funding infrastructure? Local Government Lawyer May 2015
- Judicial review of claim for CIL demolition deduction – Corporate Briefing March 2015
- Overage – Westlaw Insight On-line Encyclopaedia
- Community Infrastructure overview – Westlaw UK Insight On-line Encyclopaedia
- Property Cases update – Corporate Briefing February 2015
- Assets of Community Value – Westlaw UK Insight On-line Encyclopaedia
- Assets of Community Value under the Localism Act – Blighting of development or boosting the local community July/August Corporate Briefing
- The cost of nature – Local Government Lawyer 24th April 2014
- February Property Update – March and April 2014 Corporate Briefing
- Amendments to Community Infrastructure Levy – work in progress or overload? February 2014 Corporate Briefing
- Numerous ingenious attempts to reduce or avoid unoccupied property rates – October 2013 Corporate Briefing
- Merciless application of section 2 1989 Act – September 2013 Corporate Briefing
- Late completion tempts premature termination – September 2013 Property Lawyer
- Avoiding problems with easements on sales of part – June 2013 Property Lawyer
- Community Infrastructure Levy Reforms – May 2013 Corporate Briefing
- A minefield for the unwary litigant in person – Adverse possession and registered land (Corporate Briefing – June 2013)
- Unexpected CIL consequences from unimplemented permissions (28th January 2013 Property Law Journal)
- Community Infrastructure Levy – From the developer’s perspective
- Unnecessary traps when companies execute documents – (Corporate Briefing – February 2012)
- Problems for proposed development arising from public acquisition of drains (Corporate Briefing – September 2012)
- Construing conveyancing documents – a major change in the Court’s approach
- Can a criminal squatter acquire title by adverse possession? (2012 New Law Journal 1309)
- Don’t mess with parking rights (Corporate Briefing – September 2012)
- The imposition of fiduciary obligations in property ventures (Corporate Briefing – September 2012)
- Beware Break Clauses (Corporate Briefing – June 2012)
- Protecting developers from protests (Corporate Briefing – May 2012)
- Transfer to public ownership of private sewers and lateral drains (Corporate Briefing – June 2011)
- Warning to developers to act as a good neighbour (Corporate Briefing – November 2011)
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 email@example.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.