+44(0)20 7404 5055 | clerks@9stonebuildings.com

Christopher Cant

Call 1973

Overview

Christopher has over forty years experience in general chancery and commercial practice following his graduation from Cambridge with a starred first. He is a property specialist with a leading specialisation in Assets of Community Value and Community Infrastructure Levy.

As a 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.

His clients include local authorities, property developers, land owners, business undertakings and private individuals.

Qualified to accept instructions through Public Access scheme but not to conduct litigation.


Practice Areas

Property +

A significant portion of Christopher’s practice has always been focused on property. 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.

Throughout his years in practice there has been an emphasis on drafting and tackling complex issues.

Examples of work

Non-contentious

  • Refinancing by lending consortium secured on commercial property portfolio
  • Restructuring of Superstore leasing arrangement
  • Advice on enforceability of restrictive covenants
  • Advice on assignment of Sharia-law compliant lease
  • 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 and drafting overage provisions
  • Advice on drainage surface water from development site
  • Drafting of underlease for purpose of dividing up building
  • Assignment of interest in trust of flat
  • Advice on responsibility for state of cliff face
  • Advice for landlord regarding destruction of house let on long lease

 

Contentious

  • Rebutting claim to flat under section 423 Insolvency Act 1986
  • Application for title of registered land based on adverse possession
  • Enforcement of sharia-law compliant charge
  • Opposition to application to register public highway
  • Disputes over width of right of way to vacant factory and field
  • Enforcement of obligation to carry out works prior to completion of sale
  • 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
  • Amsprop Trading Limited v Harris Distribution [1997] 2 EGLR 78 – head landlord seeking to enforce covenants directly against a sub-tenant
  • Dolgellau Golf Club v Hett [1998] 2 EGLR 75 – Court of Appeal decision on landlord’s opposition to grant of new tenancy on ground that required for landlord’s business

 

Private Client +

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. On the contentious side he has acted in disputes over religious centres

Examples of work

Non-contentious

  • Advice on control of religious centre
  • Drafted documentation for division of properties held on trust by family

 

Contentious

  • Rebutted application to appoint management trustees running religious centre
  • Contested construction of gift in will
  • Dispute over ownership of registered land on termination of strict settlement
  • Dispute over division of properties held jointly by estates of two brothers

 

Commercial +

The nature of the transactions dealt with in Christopher’s 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 and the

Examples of work

Non-contentious

  • Drafting and advice on distribution agreements
  • Advice on shareholders agreement
  • Advice on pre-emption rights over shares

 

Contentious

  • Defence of claim for breach of warranty/misrepresentation relating to sale of company
  • Action to enforce guarantee in loan notes
  • Enforcement of obligation to carry out works prior to completion of sale
  • Directors disqualification proceedings

 

Other +

Assets of Community Value

Christopher is a specialist in the area of Assets of Community Value and advises listing authorities, landowners, property developers and community groups.

He has appeared in appeals to the First-tier Tribunal and advised on appeals decided on paper as well as on community nominations, listing decisions and review decisions and the consequences of an ACV listing.

Christopher has prepared a guide to Assets of Community Value providing a comprehensive   consideration of the statutory provisions and reported decisions up to 8th June 2018 – PDF copy. He has written many articles on the subject which are to be found under Further Publications.

Examples of work

Non-contentious

  • Advice regarding compensation claims
  • Advice whether community use is an ancillary use
  • Advice on selling development site which is ACV listed
  • Advice on impact of partial use of building for community
  • Advice on sale of part of listed ACV
  • Advice whether golf course qualifies as ACV
  • Advice on validity of notice to be treated as bidder.

 

Contentious

  • King v Chiltern DC – appeal to First-tier Tribunal concerning listing of public house as asset of community value which owner claimed to be residence
  • ZB Investments v Croydon LBC – acted on behalf of the successful authority in ACV appeal concerning conversion of ACV listed public house to flats without planning permission.
  • Registered Proprietors of Uptin House v Newcastle City Council – successful appeal on behalf of owners removing building in multiple use from ACV list
  • Adams v Ashfield DC – acted for successful authority on appeal by owner of Portland Arms
  • Application for leave to appeal to Upper Tribunal
  • Appeal of compensation claim

 

Community Infrastructure Levy

This subject is a particular expertise of Christopher which 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 of CIL Christopher has prepared a guide. The fifth edition covers the CIL regime up to 24th April 2015 – PDF copy.

The relationship between section 106 planning obligations and CIL has thrown up a number of issues adversely affecting infrastructure funding. Christopher considers these 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.

Examples of work

Non-contentious

  • Entitlement to exemption for residential extension
  • Complications arising from pre-CIL parent permission and post-CIL section 73 permission
  • basement development
  • chargeable developments under general consent
  • non-compliance and self-build exemption
  • construction of enclosed swimming pools
  • demolition of football stadium for residential development
  • demolition after grant of outline planning permission
  • whether conversion of barn self-build

 

Contentious

  • acted for successful authority in judicial review proceedings against decision to refuse demolition deduction – R (oao Hourhope Limited) v Shropshire CC [2015] EWHC 518 (Admin)
  • statutory appeal regarding application of indexation element in reg. 128A and subsequent judicial review
  • advice on whether to seek judicial review of appointed person’s decision on lawful use of building
  • advice on reply to response in surcharge appeal

 


Additional Information

 

 

MA (Cantab) first class with distinction
Senior Harris scholar (Downing College)
Walter Wigglesworth scholar
Lord Denning scholar

Chancery Bar Association
Property Bar Association

Former Head of Chambers

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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