Royal Assent announced at ALEP’s sell-out Spring Conference

14th ALEP Conference a sell-out success


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The ALEP Spring Conference took place on 20 March to a full house at the Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The event was once again sponsored by Kerry London Ltd, which was represented on the day by Managing Director of Corporate, Commercial and Private Clients, Dean Calaz, Business Executive, Tom Russo, and members of the firm’s Private Client team.

The conference, ALEP’s 14th, was attended by over 250 delegates, who were welcomed by Honorary President, Damian Greenish of Pemberton Greenish.

The exclusive line-up of speakers included Robert Orr-Ewing, partner at Knight Frank, and barrister and renowned enfranchisement specialist, Anthony Radevsky.

First on stage with a panel session entitled ‘Formal vs Informal’ were Mark Chick, ALEP director and head of Landlord and Tenant at Bishop & Sewell, and Mark Wilson, Managing Director of myleasehold. Their lively session discussed the pros and cons of informal deals with transactions taking place under the legislation.

The Association was delighted to welcome Robert Orr-Ewing to the conference. Entitled ‘Room for Development’, this joint presentation with Piers Harrison, Barrister at Tanfield Chambers, provided an in-depth look at the concepts of Development Value and Development Marriage Value.   Comparing the theoretical with the actual, Robert looked closely at Development Value and the sale of ‘airspace’ leases with development rights.

Piers, whose practitioner text on leasehold enfranchisement is due for publication next month, considered the concept value of ‘Development Marriage Value’ and the recent case law on this, including 31 Cadogan Square, Grove End Gardens and Caroline House, London, W2.

Mark Chick returned to the stage after the refreshment break to update delegates on the LEASE Pilot scheme, with which ALEP has been involved. He was joined by Anna Bailey, ALEP founder and director, and committee member, John Midgley of Seddons. Anna updated delegates with all-important details of the Association’s 2014 social calendar – which includes a Quiz and Fizz night at Searcys Champagne Bar, St Pancras Grand, and a special event to mark ALEP’s 15th Conference in October – as well as news about an all-new website, due to launch in the autumn. 

John Midgley formally announced news of the Leasehold Reform (Amendment) Bill 2014, which received Royal Assent on Friday. The news follows months of lobbying by Seddons and ALEP – a great achievement for all involved.

Mark Chick – Chair ALEP working party on legislative reform, commented on news of the Royal Assent: 

“As an organisation, ALEP has always sought to engage government on anomalies and inconsistencies in the Leasehold Reform Legislation and has been in dialogue with the government over the last five years or so on these issues. Although there are a number of other points that still need to be addressed, and we are keen to be involved in any consultation on future legislative reform in this area, this particular change has been achieved by an action led by John Midgley from Seddons, who has been particularly involved in the passage of this private members’ bill.

He continues

‘This collaborative effort is consistent with our aim of being a member organisation, run by professionals working in the sector, seeking not only to promote excellence within this particular field, but also to make it easier for flat owners to exercise their rights, and to improve awareness of the rights of flat owners generally.”

The Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 was the subject of Anthony Radevsky’s presentation. A knowledgeable and popular speaker, he outlined when it might be used as an alternative to the 1993 Act and why it should be considered.

Christopher Heather of Tanfield Chambers presented the traditional case update which cited City & Country Properties Ltd v Yeats, Voyvoda v Grosvenor West End Properties, Cravecrest Ltd v Trustees of Duke of Westminster, among others.

At the conclusion of the conference, delegates retired to the Hunterian Museum for a drinks reception and networking.

The ALEP Autumn Conference will take place at the Royal Institution in Mayfair on 21 October 2014.