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James Hanham

Call: 1996
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Practice Summary

James specialises in real estate litigation and advice. He has appeared in a number of reported decisions demonstrating the breadth of his expertise.

His work in the Courts (Court of Appeal, Business and Property and County) and Tribunals has involved cases against leading silks in the field, both as sole Counsel and as a junior. His abilities as an advocate are regularly praised by clients and commented upon by Judges.

His clients range from large global commercial corporations, property development and construction companies, investors, banks and other organisations within the financial services industry and individuals.

He is experienced in arbitration work under the Arbitration Act 1996, ICC or LCIA Rules. Frequently, James will be instructed in the mediation process.

On behalf of clients, he is a very experienced in arbitration work (particularly in the context of rent review), expert determination and in the mediation process.

He was a Harmsworth scholar of the Middle Temple and began practice in the Temple before moving to 9 Stone Buildings in 1999, from where he joined Maitland Chambers in 2008 and moved to Landmark Chambers in 2022.

Real Estate

His extensive expertise in real property includes contracts for the development and sale of land, highways, restrictive covenants, easements and rights of light, overage and options, mortgages and land registration.

James’s many years of experience in the area of commercial landlord and tenant includes all of its aspects including renewal of business tenancies, forfeiture, dilapidations, service charges and rent review.

His residential landlord and tenant work revolves around instructions from management companies and freehold owners including breach of covenants, service charges and leasehold enfranchisement.

He is also regularly instructed in relation to professional liability cases in the real estate sphere, relating to the negligence of construction professionals, solicitors, surveyors, valuers and architects.

James’s practice also encompasses a significant cross-disciplinary element. That concerns company and/or insolvency law (both personal and corporate), directors’ duties, trusts, joint ventures, the law of partnership and LLPs, unincorporated associations, insurance, finance and fraud.

He has recently been instructed on applications for access orders, including the first application for a generation for access to carry out surveying under the Mines (Working Facilities and Support Act) 1966.

Some recent noteworthy cases include:


  • London Borough of Wandsworth v Persons Unknown [2021] (protest, parks, possession orders)
  • Hicks v 89 Holland Park Management Limited [2021] EWHC 930 (comm) (restrictive covenants, reasonable consent, development)
  • London Borough of Hackney v Persons Unknown [2020] EWHC 2102 (protest, trees, possession
    order and injunction)
  • BPT Ltd v Patterson [2016] (Order under Access to Land Act)
  • Aribisala v St James’ Homes (Grosvenor Dock) Ltd (No 2) [2008] 3 All ER 762 (resisting recovery of purchaser’s deposit)
  • Aribisala v St James’ Homes (Grosvenor Dock) Ltd (No 1) [2007] 37 EG 234 (CS) (lawfulness of exclusion of section 49(2) Law of Property Act 1925)

Landlord and Tenant

  • Ruby Triangle Properties Ltd v Jesus Sanctuary Ministries Limited [2020] EWHC 2247 (unlawful eviction, business tenancy renewal, conversion)
  • Pullman Foods Limited v Welsh Ministers & BFS [2020] EWHC 2522 (TCC) (asbestos; yielding up, licences)
  • Bermondsey Exchange v Koumetto [2018] 4 WLUK 619 (covenants, Airbnb ©, injunction)
  • Bullring Ltd Partnership & Ors v Laing O’Rourke Midlands Limited [2016] 170 Con LR 112
    (landlord and tenant, construction contracts, early/specific disclosure)
  • Eaton Mansions (Westminster) Limited v Stinger Compania de Inversion SA [2011] L&TR 24
    (CA) (trespass, landlord’s consents, air-conditioning units)


  • Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) Limited v Leatham Estates Limited [2020] (Power station, land registration; alteration of the Register; easements)
  • Ineos Upstream Limited v National Trust for Places of historic interest or Natural Beauty [2018] (fracking, application for survey rights under Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act 1966)
  • Shlaimoun v Mining Technologies International Inc [2012] 1 WLR 1276 (foreign proceedings,


  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association


  • MA (Oxon)
  • LLB (London)


Chambers and Partners 2022 recommends James in Real Estate Litigation “James impresses in the landlord and tenant sphere. He is a very solid performer.” “He holds his own with any silk and is superb on his feet and a great strategist.”

Legal 500 2022 recommends James in Property Litigation “James is very thorough and technically astute. His advocacy is brilliant and the best I’ve seen. James is also very approachable – you know you can pick up the phone and ask a question – as well as being very good with clients.”


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