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Property Law Journal: 24 January 2011

Tom Hubbard examines the powers of a liquidator to disclaim leases and strategies for landlords faced with tenants who are in liquidation

In these hard times many companies are struggling, and those that lose the battle will eventually be placed in liquidation (whether compulsorily or voluntarily). In essence, liquidation is the process whereby the assets of a company are realised and distributed to its creditors.

Forsters LLP

Natasha Rees reviews a decision of the Upper Tribunal concerning the correct rate to be applied to leases under 20 years

On 3 December 2010, the newly formed Upper Tribunal gave judgment on eight conjoined appeals concerning the correct deferment rate to be applied when calculating the premium payable on enfranchisement where the leases in question have less than 20 years to run. The appeals, known as Cadogan Square Properties Ltd v Earl Cadogan [2010], arose because the guidance given in the well-known case of Sportelli only relates to cases where the leases are in excess of 20 years.

Simon Keen and Angus Coulter assess what it means when land agreements are brought within the confines of competition law.

Tenants often seek to include an exclusivity covenant within a lease, by which the landlord agrees not to let any competing retailer into nearby premises. These covenants may be limited in time or geographical extent. Land agreements have been substantially outside the scope of competition law, but from April 2011 this will no longer be the case. The law will apply to new agreements entered into from that date, and also to existing agreements. Landlords and tenants will need to be aware that such exclusivity clauses may well be unenforceable and also unlawful, carrying the risk of onerous penalties.

Matthew Cox considers a recent case where a personal license had ended but the use continued. At what point did a prescriptive easement arise?

What happens when a personal licence to use a roadway ends, but no one realises? If the use carries on for more than 20 years, the user can obtain a prescriptive easement. The effects of a prescriptive easement are potentially far reaching, impacting on the future use and redevelopment value of land. Consider the recent case of London Tara Hotel Ltd v Kensington Close Hotel Ltd [2010].

Heath Marshall looks at recent challenges to the decisions of adjudicators and how the financial position of the winning party can affect their outcome

The decisions given by adjudicators are binding and enforceable through the Technology and Construct Court (TCC). The TCC has, however, entertained numerous challenges to the jurisdiction of adjudicators since the enactment of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (the Construction Act).

Paul Stafford explains why those who hold a manorial title, or those who challenge it, must examine the foundations on which the particular title stands

Manorial law continues to be a distinct and significant branch of the English law of property.

John Starr

With the imminent introduction of the Bribery Act, John Starr outlines the new offences it creates and its implications for the construction industry

The Bribery Act comes into force soon, and introduces new offences, including an alarming offence of failing to prevent bribery. This could affect everybody, especially those doing business abroad. Bribery is widespread in many parts of the world where UK businesses operate, but any involvement will soon risk massive penalties. The annual total of bribes paid worldwide is estimated at over US$1tn. The cost of corruption in Africa alone has been estimated at more than US$148bn a year (thought to represent 25% of Africa’s GDP and to increase the cost of goods by as much as 20%).