SBP Law recently acted for the Defendant in London College of Business Ltd v Tareem Ltd  EWHC 437 (Ch). David Pritchard led the matter on behalf of SBP Law; represented at trial by Gary Blaker QC of Selborne Chambers.
Amongst other issues, the matter concerned the terms of occupation of a premises and whether the Defendant was entitled to exclude the Claimant for lack of service charge payments by changing the locks.
The Claimant occupied the premises over a number of years through a series of Agreements which were described as licences. The Court looked beyond the form and wording of the Agreements and placed greater importance on the practical arrangements between the parties in deciding whether the Claimant was a licensee or tenant, and therefore the rights they were entitled to.
The purpose of the Agreements were to provide the Claimant with exclusive possession of the premises to run its business. In return the Claimant was expected to keep up with their service charge payments and the Defendant had a right, which they exercised, to enter the premises for termination of the Agreement for breach of covenant and non-payment of service charge.
It was held that the Agreements therefore took effect as a tenancy rather than a licence. SBP Law were successful in defeating the claim for over £1 million for loss of business and reputational damage arising from the lockout, ultimately securing a substantial Judgment in the Defendant’s favour for non-payment of service charges.