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Reeves v Blake [2009] EWCA Civ 611

DATE: 24 Jun 2009

This was an appeal from a decision of His Honour Judge Viljoen in the Wandsworth County Court on 14 November 2008 concerning an award under the Party Wall Act 1996. Ms Reeves and Ms Blake were adjoining  property owners. At the boundary between their properties Ms Blake started excavation works. Ms Rs solicitors and counsel prepared papers  for an injunction to prevent the work but the claim was never issued because Ms Blake gave undertakings to cease work pending an award under the Party Wall etc Act 1996. That award dealt with the issue of the works but also covered the costs of the prospective litigation. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of a judge that awards under the Act could not deal with costs of other prospective litigation between adjoining owners. Stephen successfully argued that party wall surveyors had no jurisdiction to include in their award costs relating to proposed proceedings for trespass arising from works which required authorisation under the Party Wall Act.

Stephen Bickford-Smith acted for the Respondent at first instance and on appeal.