Michael has been in practice for over thirty years and, having resisted the pressure to deal with only one aspect of the law, he has been determined to remain a multi-disciplinary practitioner and as a result is very experienced in matters relating to property, litigation, insolvency and company commercial work.
Working with developers on sites with a GDV of up to a hundred million pounds and dealing in litigious and insolvency matters often involving tens of millions of pounds, he brings his sense of humour to all situations and ensures that he does not take an hour to do ten minutes worth of work.
He is the ideal lawyer for clients who want a sharp commercial view delivered in a very straight talking fashion to let them know their position and their options going forward.
Michael and his family operate an equestrian centre in north London and he lives with two dogs, a cat and sixty horses.
A very experienced solicitor who, as is evidenced by his very large number of personal clients, an ability to quickly and easily to relate to them and their problems and give very practical and original advice.
The fact that in the days of non-specialisation he dealt in many fields has served him well in advising on the matters in which he now concentrates, namely conveyancing, both residential and commercial, landlord and tenant, wills and probate and to give at least initial non-specialist general advice as a result of his lateral thinking. He is always available to respond promptly, sympathetically and practically to clients’ problems.
Brenda is a dynamic member of our property department and prides herself in making your property transaction run as smoothly and as stress-free as possible. She has established a highly–respected reputation for her speed and efficiency and for keeping all parties (including lawyers, agents and brokers) fully appraised and employs her technical and commercial expertise in a down-to-earth manner that clients appreciate.
As well as providing day-to-day liaison with clients and advising on the ever more complex aspects of property law, she specialises in residential real estate and commercial leases for investors and investment acquisitions for developers and private clients. The complete service that she offers from acquisition through to development whether it is small sites, larger developments or the sales of completed homes or acquisition of off-plan plots, is often commented on following completion leading to referrals from clients, agents, brokers and lenders alike.
Brenda’s organisational skills bring to the firm the ability to streamline systems for the practice and for clients, ensuring smooth exchange and completion procedures for clients’ sales, purchases and re-mortgages. Her niche sector is entertainment industry licensing.
freehold and leasehold conveyancing including sales, purchases and re-mortgages
commercial real estate including acquisitions and disposals for housing and mixed use schemes, lease renewals and break clause
transfers of equity
help to buy loans and ISA Bonus Scheme
equity release schemes
landlord & tenant to include disputes, lease extensions, deeds of surrender and regrant
all aspects of the Licensing Act 2003 on hotels, bars, pubs and night club acquisitions
Brenda’s friendly personality means that she has the ability to quickly and effortlessly establish good personal relationships and understanding with her clients.
Stala is a family lawyer with extensive experience in all areas of family law. Her career has included being the head of family law departments with two City of London law firms following her practising as a sole practitioner for over 15 years having set up her own law firm in 1996 dealing with family & matrimonial and civil litigation matters.
In addition to advising clients in relation to divorce, financial remedies on divorce and separation, Stala advises in respect of a range of children issues, to include acting for a parent or other family members. Her cases have included complex international payment structures and assets worldwide (including trusts), child matters including advising grandparents, cross border litigation and advising in respect of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Stala’s clients cover a wide spectrum both in the UK and abroad, to include international clients, business owners, directors of large corporations, professionals and celebrities.
With a keen eye for detail, Stala has successfully acted in applying for and defending applications for urgent court orders, including worldwide freezing orders, injunctions, expediting Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute, Prohibited Steps Order applications to stop children from being removed from the jurisdiction and international and domestic relocation cases in relation to children.
Stala graduated with a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of London, completed the Law Society Finals course at the Guildford College of Law (now known as The University of Law), and was admitted as a solicitor in 1989. She is registered with the charity ‘Care for the Family,’ and her membership of professional bodies /organisations include: The Law Society of England & Wales; Resolution-First for family law; Lawyers Christian Fellowship; The Legal Sector Alliance on climate change.
Impartial advice is given to her clients specific to their needs and requirements in a friendly, sensitive, and professional manner. Stala works as a team with her clients to find the best solutions for them and their family and quickly becomes the ‘go to trusted advisor’. Stala is also fluent in the Greek language and a skilful negotiator and litigator.
As a member of Resolution -first for family law – (previously known as the Solicitors Family Law Association) and in accordance with their code, clients are encouraged to adopt a constructive and non-confrontational approach to keep the channels of communication open. This assists to identify and narrow the issues, progress negotiations and for matters to be resolved as amicably and as speedily as possible to avoid the costs and stress of a contested court hearing. This has resulted in most of Stala’s cases being resolved without the need for a final trial. Notwithstanding this, a tough approach is taken when required and Stala is determined and tough when the situation requires to defend her clients’ interests.
Stala is married with two adult sons. Outside of the office she enjoys spending time with her family, practising her culinary skills, going to the theatre and is a keen charity fundraiser which has included running the 5K in The Race for Life for Cancer Research UK.
Jane is an insolvency law specialist. She is an expert in personal and corporate recovery and insolvency, mainly acting for office holders, companies and individuals in difficulty. Her practice covers business rescue, business and asset disposals and acquisitions, insolvency and recovery litigation. She has expertise in asset-freezing and other injunctive relief in this jurisdiction and worldwide, international tracing and recovery of assets and is regularly instructed on fraud claims.
Jane also advises companies and individuals in respect of commercial litigation and regularly acts on shareholder dispute claims. Notable reported cases in the Commercial Court:
Brown & Others v. Innovatorone PLC & Others  EWHC 1321 (Com) (18 May 2012)
Michela Hughes is our matrimonial and family partner.
Her areas of practice include:
financial claims arising from divorce;
Children Act (with a particular focus on international relocation);
co-habitation disputes; and
pre- and post-nuptial agreements.
Michela has a strong reputation in her field with a significant part of her practice focused on financial claims arising from divorce. Her recently reported case of SS v NS (Spousal Maintenance)  EWHC 4183 is ranked as one of the most pivotal family law cases of 2014 and demonstrates clearly her shrewd commercial approach. She is extremely client focused with an approachable, warm manner and a tenacious attitude.
Michela’s interests outside the law include fine art, yoga and travelling.
Tim has been involved in varied property matters for several decades. Over the past twenty years he has facilitated the projects of some of the UK’s largest developers, particularly in the fields of industrial and office leasing and funding. Many of Tim’s clients are from Europe or further afield making their first foray into the English property scene.
Tim is accustomed to working on complex cases, especially those with difficult ownership or planning issues, and site assembly for commercial and residential development.
He says that he is still happy to act for clients buying their first house or flat and enjoys making the call to tell them that they can collect their keys.
Away from the office Tim is a scuba diver, choral singer, and rugby aficionado.
David has over ten years’ experience bringing and defending claims on behalf of corporate clients, individuals and insolvency practitioners, ranging from small-claims County Court matters right through to complex multi-track High Court litigation and appeals. David has enjoyed several recent successes at trial in the High Court and can happily say he has never lost a case to date. Equally he is a pragmatic operator with a keen commercial approach where the situation demands, having a proven track-record of settling difficult claims which are often challenging and emotive. In the normally stressful process of litigation, David is a calming and reassuring influence who will work tirelessly to ensure his clients’ interests are protected.
Outside of the office, David enjoys rugby, squash and boxing (a fighter, even in his spare time). When he is not looking after his two young children, David is also a gigging-guitarist.
Grant is a leading insolvency solicitor and specialises in all aspects of insolvency and corporate recovery work including cross border restructuring, administrations, liquidations, receiverships, company voluntary arrangements, bankruptcy, individual voluntary arrangements and directors` disqualification. He acts for Insolvency Practitioners, banks, companies, directors and other individuals.
Grant was the editor of the Insolvency Bulletin and regularly lectures to Insolvency Practitioners. His main cases include:-
the administration of the second largest furniture retailer in Ireland.
the sale of a chain of 22 bookmaking shops in administration.
acting for the buyer of a chain of 160 women`s clothing retailers in administration.
advising a prospective buyer of BHS.
advising a director of Glasgow Rangers Football Club.
advising the charge holder in the disputed administration of a major music publisher.
Simon has built a busy practice as a general litigator. Having obtained a first class honours degree with an award for obtaining one of the highest grades in all degrees for that academic year, Simon completed the Legal Practice Course with distinction. Simon subsequently joined a niche litigation firm where he proceeded to practice for nearly nine years. Leaving as a partner Simon joined SBP Law in April 2019.
Since qualification Simon has taken an active decision not to specialise in any one area of litigation. This has enabled Simon to incorporate different areas of the law into each of the cases thereby ensuring that all avenues are considered.
Clients comment on Simon’s personal touch, desire, tenacity and passion when acting for his clients. Simon is often aggressive but yet commercially astute and pragmatic. He never gives up trying to pursue the best possible result for his clients.
Simon always offers a personal approach to each client whether as the sole solicitor, leading a team or overseeing a more junior fee earner. Simon prides himself on always be available to talk personally to every client about their case. The size of the case is not an issue since he deals with small claims matters to multi million pound cases.
The areas of practice Simon deals with include, but are not limited to the following:
Dr. Donald Macfarlane is a leading international corporate and commercial solicitor-advocate with nearly 20 years’ experience working within large multinationals like IBM, BP, US Law Firms and high tech British start-ups. Having worked both in-house and in private practice Donald is able to bring extensive business experience from diverse business’ to benefit all his clients at SBP Law.
In addition to 10 years’ real-world corporate executive experience (including roles as VP, Director and General Counsel), Donald’s strong technical background provides invaluable insight into negotiation, drafting and delivery of all types of corporate and commercial transactions/operations.
Typical work includes drafting and negotiating all Corporate Commercial, Technology and IT contracts often involving complex licensing, SaaS, joint ventures, partnerships, acquisitions, commercial loans, governance, risk & compliance/security documentation plus internal business support for personnel/marketing and sales functions.
Donald serves as a mentor and a non-executive director to a number of up-and-coming technology start-ups. Don has published books, articles and is a frequent speaker on commercial matters globally especially with through the global Masters’ Conference Programme.
He enjoys cricket, hockey, reading and dinghy sailing.
“Regarded as an experienced, highly technical and commercial lawyer who can help you solve complex business issues. A respected business adviser with excellent technical IT, technology and corporate/commercial experience; our trusted strategic partner.”
Ryan was trained and qualified at a corporate City firm located only a stone’s throw from the Royal Courts of Justice. Ryan has extensive experience of property litigation, commercial litigation, contentious probate and insolvency. Ryan has also acted as head of litigation at a regional firm before joining SBP Law.
Ryan has a wide-ranging practice encompassing most aspects of commercial, property, and “modern chancery” litigation. Ryan also has strong expertise in domestic and international insolvency. His cases range from small matters in the County Courts and other Tribunals, to multi-million pound disputes in the High Court and overseas. He has a growing portfolio of commercial matters and his work often has an international flavour. He combines intellectual rigour and attention to detail with a down-to-earth, common sense approach to litigation.
Much of Ryan’s work cuts across traditionally defined disciplines, and as a result he is often praised for his ability to think outside the box. Whilst a fierce litigator, he is ever conscious of the practical and commercial needs of clients and is regularly instructed to assist in Mediations and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Ryan frequently advises on complex litigation and has a wealth of experience in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Ryan has worked on numerous high profile cases and his experience far exceeds his years of call as a solicitor. Ryan is very dedicated and will go out of his way to ensure that his clients receive the best possible outcome.
Hanina v McSpadden and others  County Court at Central London
The Court determined that each of the parking spaces in a development of three properties in Hampstead, London should be 2.1m wide as was argued by Ryan, on behalf of his client, throughout. Acting for the Third Party, Ryan also successfully argued that they had acquired rights to use a communal bin store situated on the Defendant’s land by the law of prescription. The Court also addressed issues relating to the construction of a restrictive covenant and dismissed claims for damages against Ryan’s client for trespass in relation to the use of the forecourt.
The High Court granted summary judgment where it had been clear beyond doubt that defences to a company’s proprietary claim would fail as even if it could have been established that company funds used to purchase property had been repayments for funds personally loaned to the company, it was not possible to set off those amounts against the company’s continuing proprietary claim.
The Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the High Court. Ryan acted for the appellant, Mrs Elia, who appealed against a declaration made on an application for summary judgment ( EWHC 1256 (Ch)) that the respondent limited company (E) was the beneficial owner of 35.5 per cent of a London flat and against an order for its sale.
E processed credit card payments and had been profitable. Mrs Elia’s son, Mr Elia, was a director and beneficial owner of E who had caused it to pay a 10 per cent deposit on the £4 million flat. The remainder was funded by a mortgage and the flat was registered in R1’s name. Some six months later, Mr Elia assigned his interest to Mrs Elia for £25,000 subject to the existing mortgage and a personal loan of £785,000. The subsequent failure of two of E’s customers left it liable to cover chargebacks of some £57 million and E was placed in administration. The administrators sought to recover a total of £4.206 million, alleged to have been paid by E to Mr Elia in breach of his fiduciary duties. Mr Elia maintained that the payments had been made while E was solvent and in repayment of director’s loans he had made to it.
Ryan, on behalf of Mrs Elia, contended that the orders had been made before disclosure and oral evidence and that she had a realistic prospect of defending the claim on the basis that no breach of fiduciary duty had been involved in Mr Elia’s purchase of the flat with monies paid to him by the Company.
The Court held that whether the payments were a preference and whether Mr Elia had acted in breach of fiduciary duty were tied up with the question of E’s solvency and should be investigated at trial. The judge had been wrong to find E’s insolvency was beyond reasonable doubt. He could not have been sufficiently certain that E had been either insolvent, or on the brink of insolvency, when the money had been paid to Mr Elia and that Mr Elia had been aware of pending insolvency at the time. Although the contemporary management accounts had provided strong evidence that E had been balance sheet insolvent, an excess of liabilities over assets was not a bar to E continuing to trade, provided that its liabilities could be met as they fell due. Mrs Elia had been entitled to rely on the survival of E for a further year as evidence that it had the necessary financial support to continue and that might have justified Mr Elia in taking an optimistic view of the future. Those were issues for a trial and not for a Part 24 application (see para.30 of judgment). Appeal allowed
Wiseman -v- Sullivan 2013 – High Court
Ryan represented a senior partner of a law firm whose former client, a property millionaire, parked his Range Rover outside the client’s office. The car had various placards which made libellous comments against Ryan’s client.This matter was a high profile libel matter.
The High Court heard the Defendant read out an apology to Ryan’s client and also approved a settlement whereby the Defendant agreed to pay Ryan’s client substantial damages.
R (Vuciterni and Alsat UK Ltd) v Brent Magistrates Court and Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Service  EWCA 2140 (Admin)
The Administrative Court quashed a warrant which had been issued by a magistrate allowing its officers to enter home of Ryan’s client and his company’s business premises in order to search for evidence of sale of satellite decoder cards imported from Albania.
The trading standards officer who had applied for the warrant had alleged that Mr Vuciterni (Ryan’s client) was guilty of offences of dealing in unauthorised decoder cards contrary to section 297A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 but had failed to make the magistrate aware of the decisions of the High Court Chancery Division (Kitchin J), of the High Court (Administrative Court), or of the Opinion of the Advocate General in FAPL v QC Leisure/Murphy v Media Protection Services Joined Cases C-403/08 & C-429/08, all of which indicated that using a lawfully issued satellited decoder card in a different country contrary to the wishes of the broadcaster or its licensors would not amount to an offence under section 297A.
Melissa is an assistant solicitor in our litigation department with a varied practice in numerous contentious and non-contentious matters. Day-to-day, Melissa assists with commercial litigation ranging from debt recovery to without-notice applications for freezing injunctions. She has extensive experience in property litigation advising on possession proceedings (mainly acting for landlords) against private tenants and trespassers, forfeiture and collective enfranchisement applications.
Her experience also extends to matrimonial and Children Act proceedings including applications for financial orders, enforcing or varying financial orders, child arrangements orders and leave to remove children from the jurisdiction.
Melissa also regularly acts on behalf of insolvency practitioners, corporate clients and individuals in relation to bankruptcy and winding-up proceedings.
Outside the office, Melissa enjoys cooking, travel and religiously watching the Eurovision Song Contest.
Nick has over 45 years of experience and expertise as a partner in charge of a litigation department, in the West End and City, covering:
commercial and civil litigation
landlord and tenant
Nick has appeared in County Courts, the High Court, Court of Appeal and the House of Lords (now the Supreme Court), including a number of leading cases. Now specialising mainly in Landlord and Tenant disputes, Employment and Compliance, he is known for his scrupulous organisation and his sympathetic and commercial approach to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients.
Mark joined SBP Law in January 2019 and has over 13 years’ experience of insolvency related investigations and litigation. Mark was formerly an examiner at the Insolvency Service and then worked for a further 8 years at a large regional firm acting on behalf of the Secretary of State with regard to directors disqualification investigations.
Given his experience he is able to provide detailed advice to directors in respect of investigations commenced by the Insolvency Service. He has extensive experience of the public interest criteria the Insolvency Service takes into account when deciding whether to commence proceedings against directors. Mark then worked for three years at a niche firm acting for insolvency practitioners in relation to recovery investigations and proceedings prior to joining SBP and has a number of IPs as clients
Rozia deals with registration and Stamp Duty Land Tax and has 15 years of experience in Conveyancing. She appreciates a methodical approach to Post Completion matters and loves to provide simple solutions to complex title queries enabling a smooth transaction for clients.
Outside of work, Rozia enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Marianne is a Trainee Solicitor, currently working in the busy family law department. She is a member of Resolution – First for Family Law.
She has completed the LPC (passed with a Distinction) and the GDL (passed with a Commendation) at BPP Law School, London. Previously, she graduated with a First Class Degree in BSocSc Politics and International Relations (with Honours) from The University of Manchester.
Outside of the office, Marianne enjoys socialising with family and friends. She particularly enjoys spending time with her young nephews and niece.
Tami works mainly within the Dispute Resolution team but assists in various matters across the firm. Tami has a First Class degree in Politics and Sociology BSc at the University of Bristol and was awarded a Distinction from the University of Law for her Masters in Law. Tami is currently studying for her LPC whilst working full-time at SBP Law.
In her spare time Tami likes to read, go the theatre, and pretend to like running.
Hector – born 19th August 2016 – has spent his entire working life at SBP Law having commenced as the junior security consultant from six months of age.
Since then he has risen to become head of security and is committed to a full time career in the law. Seen here in his office, Hector is on duty virtually every day from about 8 am until 7pm and is a much respected figure on his daily patrols in the St Paul’s area of the City of London.
Hector spends much of his free time in the study of investigation and tracing of biscuits (he can smell one from thirty paces) and his ambitions are to become head of the Solicitors Regulation Authority ….or to catch a pigeon outside St Paul’s Cathedral.