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Rating and Compulsory Purchase Law

Matthew has a busy rating practice and regularly appears in the magistrates’ court and advises in relation to council tax and non-domestic rates. Recent work includes:

  • Serpes v City of London [2017] EWHC 1241 (Ch): successfully resisted an appeal in the High Court brought by a ratepayer in respect of unoccupied commercial property rates.
  • Regular appearances in the magistrates’ court for rate payers on cases raising questions in relation to charitable exemption; empty property relief; unoccupied property exemptions; rateable occupation; and jurisdictional questions.
  • He is currently acting for Aldi in relation to a valuation appeal which raises interesting issues as to the weight to be given to a lease, granted at a reverse premium.

His compulsory purchase practice involves both advisory and inquiry work, in which respect he has previously appeared at:

  • Ealing Filmworks Scheme CPO: appeared for London Borough of Ealing (as Promoting Authority) on a ten day inquiry into a CPO brought forward to enable the Land Securities’ mixed use leisure, retail and commercial scheme to be built (with Neil King QC). Key issues included the benefits which the scheme would deliver and whether an alternative to the CPO had been properly considered.
  • Brentford Football Stadium CPO Inquiry: appeared for First Industrial Ltd, statutory objectors to the Brentford Football Stadium CPO, over a nine-day inquiry (as junior to Neil King QC).

Matthew’s practice frequently involves issues of valuation (whether in the context of CPO, rates, leasehold enfranchisement, or commercial rent review).