Party Wall Disputes

Child & Child are renowned industry experts in the field of party wall disputes. It is important if you are involved in a party wall dispute that you instruct a party wall solicitor with experience and knowledge of what is a very technical and fact-specific area of law.

Child & Child specialise in resolving party wall disputes, whether it be through informal negotiation, mediation, expert determination or, only where necessary, court proceedings. We have a number of party wall solicitors with specialist training and years of practical experience in this highly specialist area.

There are a number of options available to determine a boundary dispute and we will always try and provide the most cost effective and conciliatory solution in what can be a very emotive area of the law.

Andrew Smith is recognised as one of the most qualified and knowledgeable party wall solicitors in this area. He has been resolving party wall disputes arising out of the Party Wall Act 1996 (PWA) for many years.

Party wall disputes are increasingly common, especially in London and other urban environments where property owners share common (or ‘party’) walls. Problems often arise when one of the owners of such neighbouring properties needs to carry out building works that involve the party wall in some way, and the PWA was intended to provide a simple but robust procedure to enable such party wall disputes to be settled by independently appointed surveyors.

In the majority of cases no legal involvement is required in party wall disputes, and the party wall surveyors will agree on how the works should be executed, avoiding the need for a party wall solicitor to become involved. However, when things do go wrong and either works have been carried out in breach of the strict procedures of the PWA or the surveyors cannot reach agreement then it is important to consult a party wall solicitor who has an in depth understanding of the complex law relating to this area.

Not only are Child & Child expert in resolving party wall disputes but we also have close links with associated professionals in the field, such as specialist party wall surveyors and structural engineers and party wall barristers who are recognised authorities on this area of the law.

Some examples of Child & Child’s successes in this area include:

  • Obtaining a party wall injunction to restrain developers from constructing their development on a client’s party wall in the City of London.
  • Successfully defending an appeal to the Court of Appeal against a successful party wall appeal regarding the treatment of legal costs in party wall awards.
  • A substantial claim against developers for damage caused by subsidence to a large property in Liverpool, as a result of breaches of the PWA.
  • A significant reported case in the Technology & Construction Court concerning damage to residential property caused by inadequate piling works carried out in breach of the party wall award.
  • Dealing with numerous claims in respect of breaches by contractors of the PWA, including successful claims for party wall injunctions and associated damages.
  • Numerous party wall appeals to the county court, including referrals to the Technology & Construction Court.
  • Advising party wall surveyors and structural engineers in relation to the requirements of the PWA and associated construction matters. Advising in relation to submissions made to the third surveyor in relation to legal aspect of the PWA.
  • Successfully bringing numerous party wall appeals against party wall awards on the basis they are defective for failure to comply with statutory requirements, including obtaining a declaration that a building owner was not entitled to access to the client’s property for the purpose of carrying works under section 1 of the PWA.
  • Successfully challenging unreasonable party wall awards relating to unfair payment of fees, expenses and damages.

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