Riparian Rights, Watercourses and Harbours

In the law relating to riparian rights, rights over watercourses and the law relating to canals and harbours, Landmark’s strength in all aspects of real property law particularly integrates with our expertise in infrastructure and environmental expertise. Landmark is particularly well-placed to deal with these niche areas.


Our experience and expertise extends to all real estate aspects of riparian rights, rights over watercourses and the law relating to canals and harbours. We are involved in all forms of dispute resolution, dispute avoidance and advisory work in these areas and we act for everyone from private individuals who own land adjoining any form of watercourse, boat owners in respect of their moorings to the largest industrial port companies and statutory bodies with interests in ports, harbours and canals.

This area of law has many aspects, but Landmark has the expertise to assist in all of them. The nature of the cases in which we have been involved include mooring rights on tidal and non-tidal rights, the real estate aspects of the rights of navigation on non-tidal waters; fishing rights, including easements of piscary; proprietary rights to make use of the foreshore, including common rights; the right to receive a flow of water to mills or turbines; rights to use man-made bodies for water for recreational purposes; the law relating to reservoirs; rights arising from historic canal construction; the rights of land-owners whose properties abut watercourses to drain their land; the obligations of such owners in respect of flood defences, where tidal or riverine; and rights and liabilities in respect of private bridges and viaducts.

The conveyancing of real property rights in land covered by, or bordering, water has various complexities in respect of which Landmark can assist.

Landmark’s barristers have been involved in many high-profile cases in this area including:

  • Vauxhall Motors v Manchester Ship Canal Co [2019] UKSC 46
  • Manchester Ship Canal Co v United Utilities Water [2022] EWCA Civ 852
  • Lynn Shellfish v Loose [2016] UKSC 14
  • Bernel v Canal and River Trust [2021] EWHC 16
  • Hounslow LBC v Devere [2018] EWHC 1447
  • Pigot v Environment Agency [2021] EWCA CIv 213
  • Barton v Church Commissioners for England [2008] EWHC 3091
  • Rowland v Environment Agency [2004] EWCA Civ 37.

Practice Managers

Contact our friendly and helpful Practice Managers for more information about our barristers and services or to make an enquiry.

Mark Ball

Practice Director

020 7421 1308

Mark Ball new

Harry Feldman

Practice Manager

020 7421 2485

Harry Feldman

Connor McGilly

Practice Manager

020 7421 1304

Connor Mc Gilly new

Ruby Sims

Assistant Practice Manager

020 7421 1337

Ruby Sims new

Richard Bolton

Senior Practice Manager

020 7421 1392

Richard Bolton new

Charlotte Hockney

Assistant Practice Manager

020 7421 1303

Charlotte Hockney new

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