Mark Reading, Associate, Real Estate

Mark Reading

Managing Associate

Personal Profile

Mark is a Managing Associate in the firm's Real Estate Dispute Resolution group, practicing in all areas of commercial and residential property law. He has extensive Court experience at High Court and County Court level both at trial and in relation to interim applications.

Most recently, he acted at trial for a tenant in opposed lease renewal proceedings where the landlord was opposing on redevelopment grounds. This case is thought to involve the first application of the 'conditional intention' test formulated by the Supreme Court in the case of S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Limited. The claimant tenant has now been granted permission to appeal by the High Court and Mark will be acting for the tenant in the appeal which is due to be heard in April 2020. This year Mark also acted for the successful claimants in a six day possession trial, which dealt with both proprietary estoppel and constructive trust defences, as well the cross-examination of ten witnesses of fact.

In recent years, Mark also acted for successful claimants in two significant and high profile High Court actions: Vivienne Westwood Limited v Conduit Street Developments Limited (which considered the law of penalties in a landlord and tenant context); and Minerva (Wandsworth) Limited v Greenland Ram (London) Limited (which concerned a high-value overage dispute relating to a key development site in Wandsworth). Both cases were included in Estates Gazette's top ten cases of 2017. He has also had previous successes at trial in the fields of both rights of light and estate agency commissions.

In 2017 he was shortlisted as a Rising Star of 2017 at the Estates Gazette Awards and was the first lawyer to have been shortlisted following the Awards' inception. He remains the only property disputes lawyer to have been shortlisted. In 2018 Mark was described in the Legal 500 as "A superstar in the making" and this year he was ranked by Chambers & Partners as an "Associate to watch." He is described in Chambers & Partners 2020 as "a strong choice for portfolio managers… [who] knows every detail, has cases at his fingertips, does tremendous amounts of work and manages to retain control of it all."

In addition to representing clients in live proceedings, Mark also provides strategic advice on a range of property management related matters, including: business lease renewals (both opposed and unopposed and from a landlord and tenant perspective), dilapidations (whether interim or terminal), forfeiture (including relief applications), arrears recovery, applications for consent to assign/underlet and property related insolvency issues (from both from a corporate/individual and creditor/debtor perspective). He has particular expertise in advising serviced office/workspace sector clients on these issues. He also provides strategic advice to developer clients in relation to the effect of real property issues and third party rights upon their future development plans, including the impact of the Telecommunications Code.

Mark is also at home in a residential law context and regularly advises individuals on issues arising from statutory lease extensions and tenant's rights of first refusal, as well as real property and private nuisance disputes between neighbouring landowners.

Mark was a founding member of the junior arm of the Property Litigation Association and was a member of the Association's Executive Committee, a role he held for three years. From November 2019 he is returning to the Executive Committee and taking on the role of Chair of the Association's Website and Marketing Sub-Committee.

Mark regularly writes for the property press and has had articles published on topics ranging from consents in property contracts, to quiet enjoyment and non-derogation from grant, to agricultural tenancies.

Key Experience

  • Successfully acting for three claimants seeking possession of two valuable residential properties in Central London, where the claim was defended on proprietary estoppel and constructive trust grounds, result in a six day trial with the cross-examination of ten witnesses.
  • Acting for the claimant tenant in the case of London Kendal Street No3 Ltd v Daejan Investments Ltd, the first case to address a landlord's redevelopment intention under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 s.30(1)(f) since the Supreme Court, in S Franses Ltd v Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd. The tenant has been granted permission to appeal by the High Court and the appeal is due to be heard in April 2020.
  • Successfully acting for the claimant in Vivienne Westwood Limited v Conduit Street Developments Limited where the termination provisions in a rent concession letter were held to be penal and, therefore, unenforceable meaning the claimant continued to pay a reduced rent.
  • Successfully acting for the claimant in Minerva (Wandsworth) Limited v Greenland Ram (London) Limited in a claim for around £3.75 million relating to sums due under overage provisions in a sale and purchase contract.
  • Successfully represented a corporate landlord client at trial in its claim for dilapidations against a national firm of solicitors who were tenant where a favourable offer of settlement was made by them following the cross-examination of the parties' witnesses of fact and a settlement concluded swiftly afterwards.
  • Successfully defending a rights of light claim in the High Court brought by an adjoining landowner.
  • Successfully acting for an estate agent at trial in bringing a claim against a former client for non-payment of a commission.
  • Successfully defending a summary judgment application brought in relation to a case concerning the interpretation of a guarantee, and successfully obtaining a security for costs order against the same defendant.
  • Successfully represented a private individual in a rights of light mediation, where settlement was achieved.
  • Successfully represented a corporate client in a dilapidations mediation, where settlement was achieved.
  • Successfully represented a private individual in a residential lease extension claim, where a favourable determination for the client was obtained from the Tribunal.
  • Experience in acting for a range of high profile clients, both landlord and tenant side, including Capital & Counties Properties Plc and IWG Group Companies.

Career History

Managing Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Solicitor, Nabarro LLP
Trainee Solicitor, Nabarro LLP
BPP Law School, London
University of Essex Law (LLB)

Articles and Publications

Estates Gazette – "Franses test goes under the spotlight" - E.G. 2019, 1939, 54-55 - Comments on London Kendal Street No3 Ltd v Daejan Investments Ltd (CC (Central London)), the first case to address a landlord's redevelopment intention under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 s.30(1)(f) since the Supreme Court, in S Franses Ltd v Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd, adopted the conditional intention test.

Solicitors' Journal – "A matter of intention" - S.J. 2019, 162(8), 50-51 - Analyses EE Ltd v Chichester, the first case to apply the conditional intention test developed in S Franses Ltd v Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd, on whether a landowner could refuse an operator's application for rights to maintain telecommunications equipment on its land, in reliance on the Electronic Communications Code para.21(5), where it claimed it wished to replace the operator's masts with its own to provide better broadband services for the estate.

Estates Gazette – "Calculating code right values" - E.G. 2019, 1911, 53-54 - Examines EE Ltd v Islington LBC on the consideration and compensation payable to the local authority landowner, in accordance with the Electronic Communications Code, for the right to install telecommunications equipment on the roof of a block of flats. Highlights issues not considered by the tribunal which may require further clarification.

Estates Gazette – "Be mindful of the distinctions" - E.G. 2017, 1738, 81. – a consideration of the distinction in approach that needs to be adopted in dealing with applications for consent in real property contracts.

Estates Gazette – " A fashion disaster for landlords?" - E.G. 2017, 1717, 59. – an examination of the High Court decision in Vivienne Westwood Limited v Conduit Street Developments Limited.

Estates Gazette"Guidance needed to avoid costly disputes" - E.G. 2015, 1521, 73 – an examination of the current legal position on whether solar panels can acquire prescriptive rights to light.

Estates Gazette – "Agricultural tenancies: don't come a cropper" – E.G. 2014, 1422, 80-81 – an overview of the occupational rights of agricultural tenants.

Estates Gazette – "Loose talk could cost commission" – E.G. 2014, 1417, 117 – an examination of a case considering whether there was a sufficient causal connection between a property agent's performance of his duties under a retainer and the purchase of a freehold property.

Estates Gazette – "Seeking sanctuary from repairs" – E.G. 2013, 1342, 118-119 – an overview of the law relating to chancel repair liability, including a summary of the key characteristics of the liability and an update on the current legal position.

Estates Gazette – "Freedom from interference" – E.G. 2013, 1326, 100-101 an overview on the extent of a landlord's obligations under a covenant for quiet enjoyment.

Property Law Journal – "A question of timing" – P.L.J. 2012, 288, 2 – 5 – a discussion of Leisure (Norwich II) Ltd v Luminar Lava Ignite Ltd (In Administration).

Estates Gazette – "Don't be a Scrooge" – E.G. 2011, 1150, 56 – administrators' liability to pay rent as an expense of the administration.

Property Law Journal – "Disregarding tenant improvements" – P.L.J. 2011, 278, 6 – 9 – a discussion of the High Court decision in Cordoba Holdings Ltd v Ballymore Properties Ltd.

The Conveyancer and Property Lawyer – Issue 2 2008 – "Practise what you Preach" – a guide to the development of chancel repair liability in the twenty-first century.

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