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Freeths - Law firm

David Shakesby


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"David's strength is in grasping and advising on complex litigation matters with a focus on achieving results which are commercially optimal."
(Chambers & Partners, 2023)

David is a property litigator who specialises in advice and disputes relating to energy networks and renewables, development land and complex real property issues.

David regularly advises utilities, landowners and developers on issues relating to energy networks, land rights and issues relating to the exercise of statutory powers, compulsory purchase and the way in which these rights impact on access, other rights and the development of land.

David also regularly advises developers and landowners on issues relating to the development of land, both for commercial and residential development, from the land acquisition stage through to post development. David specialises in complex contractual disputes, particularly relating to conditional contracts, options and overage agreements. David also advises on a full range of real property disputes and issues relating to easements, restrictive covenants, registered and unregistered title, highways and other public rights of way, public and other access rights (including common land and town and village greens), agricultural tenancies, and rights of light and other neighbourly matters.

As well as acting at all levels of the Court and Tribunal systems, David also regularly advises clients involved in arbitration and other forms of ADR and in relation to mediation.

Legal Services

Real Estate

  • Advising a range of national housebuilder clients on strategic land sites and a range of contract and option disputes, many of which were resolved by negotiation, or in arbitration, expert determination, or through the Courts.
  • Advising various national housebuilder clients on disputes with water and sewerage companies, particularly in relation to capacity and connection difficulties. Advising in relation to disputes and complaints via the Courts and via Ofwat’s regulatory processes.
  • Advising various developers on title and real property issues affecting the acquisition of land, including rights of way, easements, restrictive covenants, public rights of way and highways, title and other issues.
  • Advising various developers on issues relating to common land and village greens, including defending applications at inquiry and advising on applications for works, or exchange of common land.
  • Advising landowners and developers on issues relating to agricultural tenancies (both AHA’s and FBT’s) and dealing with disputes at arbitration and in the Courts.
  • Advising developers in relation to disputes with local authorities and acting in a number of judicial reviews relating to property development issues and particularly in relation to the exercise of local authority powers in relation to land.



Clean Energy, Waste & Sustainability

  • Advising electricity DNO’s on all aspects of land rights and the acquisition of land rights by agreement and via statutory powers / compulsory purchase. Advising on relationships with landowners and other relevant parties.  Advising on the exercise of statutory powers, access to land and in relation to compensation and other claims.  Advising on the acquisition of wayleaves and advising at inquiries and other hearings.
  • Advising a gas transporter in relation to their land rights and the exercise of statutory and compulsory purchase powers, including compensation and other issues. Advising on contractual and land rights disputes.
  • Advising an electricity DNO in relation to their interactions with HS2 and the diversion / alterations of their apparatus in order to facilitate the construction of HS2.
  • Advising an electricity DNO on the land rights and associated issues arising from the compulsory purchase of a route for a 20km underground cable route.
  • Advising various renewables clients (mostly wind and solar) on land rights, related property queries arising from connection agreements (when connecting to grid) and in relation to highways, planning, permitted development and other associated issues.
  • Advising various utility and energy clients on the interaction with their land rights (and the potential need for diversions, or alterations) with various DCO schemes and the promoters of such schemes.
  • Advising energy clients in relation to trespasser and protest issues, including obtaining injunctions against “persons unknown” on an urgent basis.



To contact David or for more information…

Call: 0345 030 5202
Mobile: 0788 020 2733
Or email: Send an email



Barrister (non practicing); Property Litigation Association; Agricultural Law Association.

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