Partner & Head of Real Estate Litigation
"Paul Tomkins is an industry legend. Clever, canny and client focused."
(The Legal 500, 2024)
Paul has extensive experience in dealing with all Real Estate Litigation issues, including contested and uncontested lease renewals, dilapidations claims, break clause issues, service charge disputes and easement and covenant matters.
Paul ensures that he and his team understands their clients’ specific business needs – so that they do not simply offer the client a list of legal options, but a practical solution tailored to the clients’ specific business requirements. Paul’s focus is on the expense, time and risk of litigation and does not “get lost” in interesting legal points with no commercial impact.
Paul is listed as a Leading Individual in Chambers & Partners (2024 edition). He is listed as a Recommended Lawyer and Leading Individual in The Legal 500 (2024 edition) for Property Litigation.
Real Estate Litigation
- Advising a land owner where following the purchase of a property, it discovered the remains of equipment used as the set for the Robot Wars TV series in an unlocked building on site. The land owner ordered the removal of the equipment and destruction of it. The owner of the set brought a claim against our client for around £300,000 which it said was the value of a replacement set. Our client defeated the claim in the High Court on the basis it had made enquiries and was reasonably entitled to conclude no one was interested in the goods. Robot Arenas Ltd v Waterfield.
- An application to the Court made by a landlord against a tenant company in administration (our client) where the tenant had granted a third party licence to occupy the premises without the landlord’s consent. The landlord applied for the Court’s permission to commence proceedings to determine the licence. The administrators were successful in the Court of Appeal in resisting the landlord’s application. Sunberry Properties Ltd v Innovate Logistics (in Administration)
Paul regularly provides dependable and strategic advice to clients in the retail sector on their Real Estate Litigation issues, including the termination and renewal of business leases, dilapidations disputes and advice regarding break rights. His advice has a highly practical focus to ensure that retailers can swiftly deal with any disputes that arise.
- Acting for a retailer whose landlord opposed the grant of a new tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, on the basis of an intention to carry out substantial works of construction. Court proceedings were issued. Our client’s position was that the works the landlord intended to carry out were not substantial works of construction. A trial was listed, but in the week before the trial, the landlord agreed to grant our client a new lease.
- Acting for Aldi in connection with an application for an injunction made by its tenant, Iceland, where Iceland was seeking to prevent Aldi from carrying out an extension to its supermarket in Cambridge. We provided both legal and commercial advice throughout and pushed the matter on such that we got to a full trial within 6 weeks at which the High Court dismissed Iceland’s application. Iceland Foods Ltd v Aldi Stores Ltd.
- Acting for a retailer on a dilapidations dispute. The landlord’s claim was in excess of £1 million and had issued court proceedings. We worked closely with the client and their building surveyor and the matter was compromised at a without prejudice roundtable meeting for around 20% of the value of the initial claim.
- Advising a retailer on the acquisition of a portfolio of over 100 convenience stores and newsagents across the Midlands, North West, Yorkshire, South West and Wales. We advised on a number of property litigation issues throughout the transaction, including landlord’s unreasonably refusing/delaying granting their consent to assignments, ongoing and prospective lease renewals and dilapidations disputes.
- Freeths Bristol continues to bolster its offering with new appointment
- The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 received Royal Assent on Tuesday following an expedited passage through Parliament
- Freeths Sector Showcase
- Real Estate Blog: No concessions available for cinema
- Defaulting Tenants: What are a Landlord’s Remedies?
- Coronavirus Hub Webinar Series – Property Question Time – Paul Tomkins
- FAQs for Landlords and Tenants of Commercial Properties
- Moratorium on Forfeiture of Business Tenancies and Measures to Protect Tenants against Rent Collection
- Residential Properties – The easing of restrictions on evictions and additional protections previously afforded to renters
- Real Estate Law Blog: Is Going To Court Worth It?
- High Street Woe: Advice for Landlords
To contact Paul or for more information…
- Property Litigation Association
“All I can say is that as a solicitor dealing with contentious property matters I am glad that Paul works for us rather than against us! Over a number of cases I have found Paul to be responsive, knowledgeable and excellent value for money. His achievements in some cases have been far in excess of both hopes and expectations. Paul is dedicated to seeing the best outcomes for his client, with evidence of his knowledge of law balanced well with a strong commercial acumen. With a likeable character, I look forward to many years working together.”(Darren Nelson-Hall, Co-operative Estates)
“Having Paul Tomkins on your side is invaluable, he brings astuteness, clarity of thought and awareness of client needs second to none. Paul is an exemplary lawyer who has a friendly and attentive approach that is matched by his superb technical knowledge of the law. His tenacity to achieve a positive outcome and solid logic are strengths you will appreciate representing you.”(Nigel Channer, Head of Legal Services, Corby Borough Council)
“Paul Tomkins has an open, down to earth commercial approach. For me, one of Paul’s greatest strengths is that he is always contactable, quick to respond and pro-active.”(Daniel Gwynn, Head of Legal Services (Property), Travis Perkins)
“‘Paul Tomkins – A great client manager, always open to feedback and genuinely interested in the needs of our business and what matters to us.”(The Legal 500, 2024)
“‘Paul Tomkins is excellent. Pragmatic, decisive and adaptable.”(The Legal 500, 2024)
“Paul’s professionalism and expertise are a given, but what’s really impressive is his absolute dedication and his willingness to communicate the uncomfortable truth when necessary but equally provide commercial solutions to problems.”(Chambers & Partners, 2024)
‘The team is led by Paul Tomkins. Another great team leader who remains at the top of his game. A very skilled lawyer who gets his sleeves rolled-up when running the file himself. He has exquisite legal judgement.’(The Legal 500, 2023)
‘Paul Tomkins: he is known for being a commercial, pragmatic, and creative problem-solver. He excels at 1954 Act cases, dilapidations, and contentious property acquisitions. Paul is ably assisted by a strong team of associates.’(The Legal 500, 2023)
‘I have worked primarily with Paul Tomkins. He leads his team by example and gives clear uncomplicated advice. He has a great skill in being able to drill down to the main issue of complex matters and is clear at explaining the matter without technical jargon enabling those not familiar with property litigation on property law to be able to understand their position very clearly. I have always felt a valued client to Freeths property litigation team.’(The Legal 500, 2023)
“I have worked primarily with Paul Tomkins. He leads his team by example and gives clear uncomplicated advice. He has a great skill in being able to drill down to the main issue of complex matters and is clear at explaining the matter without technical jargon enabling those not familiar with property litigation on property law to be able to understand their position very clearly. I have always felt a valued client to Freeths property litigation team.”(The Legal 500, 2023)
‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.
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Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?
Contact: 03301 001 014