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

Timothy Cowen

Call 1993

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Timothy is a real estate litigator and Judge of the Land Registration Division and the Residential Property Division of the First-tier Tribunal, Property Chamber. He has particular expertise in landlord and tenant, including commercial leases, residential tenancies and leasehold enfranchisement. Other specialties include mortgage disputes, all aspects of real property, questions of title, conveyancing problems, property-related insolvency and professional negligence cases.

Property-related litigation is often associated with highly emotional and personally difficult situations. His clients seek Timothy out because he is very good at delicately handling situations like that and has the ability to explain what is often a complex case, in understandable layman terms. Timothy deals with technically complicated and challenging cases.

Timothy has been recommended by Legal 500 as a leading junior for property litigation for a number of years. The 2024 edition states “Tim is a delight to work with at all times. Professional and well organised. He is extremely knowledgeable on property law.”

The 2023 Edition states: ‘Tim is extremely professional and knowledgeable in his field, his opinions and strategies are always spot on.’

The 2016 edition states he is ‘a brilliant landlord and tenant Barrister.

The 2015 edition says ‘He gives sound commercial advice and has a prompt turnaround speed’.

The 2014 edition says: ‘Highly experienced in mortgage disputes and landlord and tenant issues.

Practice Areas

Land & Property +

Selected Reported Cases:

  • Ralph Kline Limited v Metropolitan and County Holdings [2018] L&TR 19 Ltd [2018] EWHC 64 (Ch): Tim represented the headlessee of a block of flats and retail units on the Finchley Road in London. The client wanted to build further storeys on top of the building. The issue was whether the headlease demise included the roof and/or airspace on a true construction of the title documents. (2018)
  • Sukhlall v Bansoodeb [2013] EWHC 952 (Ch). Also reported in Emmett & Farrand on Title (para 2-030.11). Tim succeeded at trial and on appeal in this case in which the court decided that an alleged collateral contract could not be used to evade the requirements of s2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 and rejected allegations of fraud. (2013)
  • John Ewetuga v (1) Derbyshire Home Loans (2) Beth Estate Agencies Ltd [2013] EWHC 3544 (Ch): acted for the successful mortgage lender. The judgment in this case is an important illustration of the conclusiveness of the register at H M Land Registry. (2013)
  • Allen v Matthews CA [2007] EWCA Civ 216: successful appeal acting for claimant in this adverse possession claim with fraud elements in the Court of Appeal. (2007)
  • Painter v Hutchison HC ChD Lewison J [2007] EWHC 758 (Ch): successfully acted for claimant in this property/offshore trusts/tax evasion case. A number of legal issues on trust law arose including (1) the effect of the offshore trust company having no knowledge of the signing of the deed by Mrs Painter in their favour (2) whether the deed signed by Mrs Painter was a sham and (3) whether the illegal purpose of that deed (tax evasion) and the fact that Mr painter had come clean to the tax authorities affected the Painters’ case. (2007)


Samples of other recent matters:

Represented a major home builder in High Court proceedings to declare restrictive covenants unenforceable, thereby clearing the way for a large-scale new housing development in the South East of England

Successfully represented off-shore investors against a developer for the return of 60% deposits paid for off-plan residential units in the Midlands

Obtained a freezing injunction on behalf of the owner of a restaurant business against a family relation who is alleged to have defrauded the owner out of various properties and company shares

Advised on a buyer’s misrepresentation claim after the discovery of asbestos on site

Appeared in the Land Registration Division on a claim for adverse possession of a highway verge

Landlord & Tenant +

Selected Notable Cases:

  • Termhouse (Clarendon Court) Management Limited v Al-Balhaa [2021] EWCA Civ 1881: Tim represented the successful appellant in the Court of Appeal in this case. It is an important decision about the enforcement of First-tier Tribunal (“FTT”) determinations of residential service charges. (2021)
  • Majestic Court Management Limited v Primesight Limited (2021) CA ref: BF-2021-0019: In the Court of Appeal, Tim successfully represented the landlord in this residential L&T forfeiture case. The issues in the case concerned the question whether a default judgment obtained by a landlord constituted a “determination” for the purposes of s81 of the Housing Act 1996 to allow forfeiture to take place. The issue is the subject of conflicting first instance decisions. The tenant’s appeal was struck out by the Court of Appeal before the substantive hearing. (2021)
  • Brar v Thirunavukkrasu [2020] L&TR 3, [2019] EWCA Civ 2032: Tim represented the landlord at the Court of Appeal in this commercial L&T matter. The landlord had forfeited the lease by physical re-entry after previously exercising CRAR (Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery).  The Court of Appeal considered the interaction between CRAR and s210 of the Common Law Procedure Act 1852 and held that the exercise of CRAR did waive the right to forfeit the lease. Tim and Philip Rainey KC later made an application for permission to the Supreme Court (2019-2020)
  • Re Chapper (Jackson v Mitchell): acted for the tenant in second attempt by landlord’s trustee in bankruptcy to expunge tenant’s proof of debt for costs order in previous litigation (2009).


Samples of other recent matters:

Advised the landlord of a muti-storey block of flats on the recovery of service charges for the replacement of cladding in the wake of the Grenfell disaster

Succeeded on a leasehold enfranchisement appeal on the issue whether an application was deemed withdrawn under section 48(4) of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993

Obtained summary judgment for the tenant of a retail unit operating a souvenir business at a major London landmark whose landlord had unlawfully forfeited the lease for breach of the user covenant

Additional Information

BA (Liverpool)

Judge of the Land Registration Division and the Residential Property Division of the First-tier Tribunal, Property Chamber.

Timothy Cowen is an independent self-employed barrister registered with the Bar Standards Board of England (ref. no 30579 ); 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 2930/071) (details of the world-wide cover are provided at www.barmutual.co.uk); is registered for VAT (reg. no. 678 0001 47); and can be contacted during chambers opening hours by telephone at 02074045055 or by e-mail at clerks@9stonebuildings.com.

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