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TfL fends off £500,000 squatters' claim

DATE: 16 May 2005

Transport for London successfully resisted a claim by two scrap dealers that they had established title to 10 arches under the A13 Canning Town flyover by adverse possession since 1985.

The arches were owned first by the GLC, then the Highways Agency, an agency of the Crown, and finally TfL. One of the issues was what limitation period applies to successors in title to the Crown. A successor has the benefit of the Crown's extended 30 year limitation period if the cause of action "first accrued to the Crown". The Judge accepted Thomas Jefferies' submission that "first" meant "previously", so that it did not matter whether the cause of action accrued during or before the ownership by the Crown.

Counsel : Thomas Jefferies