Introduction

Naomi has a broad chancery and public law practice with a particular emphasis on property, private client and judicial review. Her practice encompasses the law relating to property and trusts in many guises, from issues arising between neighbours over boundaries and rights of way to disputes between landlords and tenants over business tenancy renewals and the right to forfeit; from the distribution of property in the administration of estates and the settlement of property in the Court of Protection to advising individuals and local authorities in appeals against refusals of planning permission or the issuance of enforcement notices. As an appointee of the Government Legal Department’s panel of regional counsel since 2007 (re-appointed 2010 and 2015), Naomi has variously advised the Secretaries of State for Justice, Transport, and Communities and Local Government on issues arising from the management of ministerial property, and represented them at planning enquiries in respect of the green belt, conservation areas and sites of archaeological interest, and at appeals to the High Court. The latter often involve elements of Judicial Review, in which Naomi has a wealth of experience through her representation of the Secretary of State for the Home Department at both oral permission and substantive hearings. Naomi has recently been appointed an Examiner of the Court and Deputy District Judge. She is an accredited mediator in civil and commercial mediations and is particularly suited to mediating property and wills and trust disputes. She is also accredited to accept instructions under the Bar public access scheme. Naomi speaks good French, Spanish and Italian.


Contentious Wills, Trusts & Probate

Naomi accepts instructions in the full range of contentious probate and trust matters, including the construction and validity of wills, duties of executors, the appointment and removal of trustees, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, actions for breach of trust in the administration of estates, claims for rectification of wills; and claims based on common intention trusts, proprietary estoppel and the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. Naomi also has a substantial Court of Protection practice focusing on Property and Affairs including applications for the appointment of deputies and for statutory wills. She frequently represents clients at both mediations and the increasingly popular court-based FDRs. She frequently delivers seminars within Chambers and in-house to solicitors on topics related to wills trusts and probate.

Recent Cases:

  • Appearing in the High Court in a 3-day trial over testamentary capacity, want of knowledge and approval and undue influence.
  • Advising and representing at FDR in respect of validity of a will and beneficial interests in related property.
  • Advising in respect of an application by the Deputy to the Court of Protection seeking retrospective permission to sell a patient’s property, the Deputy having acted outside its authority.
  • Advising and drafting Particulars of Claim for debt both against the estate and personally in devastavitagainst the executor of the estate of the deceased, who had been in the local authority’s residential care prior to her death and had owned property in addition to her former main residence.
  • Appearing in the High Court in an application for an injunction to prevent the attorney for a personal representative from dealing with the estate.
  • Appearing in the Court of Protection at the Royal Courts of Justice in respect of the removal of apersonal representative and the approval of a statutory will.
  • Advising in respect of numerous Inheritance Act claims for claimants and defendants of all categories.
  • Mediating in respect of Inheritance Act application including claims for proprietary estoppel and business maladministration.

Real Estate

Naomi’s broad real estate practice covers all types of real property and landlord and tenant disputes and also incorporates significant expertise in town and country planning and business rating. She regularly advises and represents in respect of matters concerning boundaries and easements, restrictive covenants, mortgages, land registration, rectification, co-ownership disputes, trespass, nuisance and party wall matters. She has recently delivered a talk to the Property Law Association on the evidential burden in establishing easements by prescription. In respect of Landlord and Tenant, she is familiar with both commercial and residential matters and is regularly instructed in respect of lease renewals, breach of covenant, service charges, relief from forfeiture and dilapidation claims. She advises in respect of long residential leases and enfranchisement and has appeared in the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. As an appointee of the Government Legal Department’s panel of regional counsel since 2007 (re-appointed 2010 and 2015), Naomi has variously advised the Secretaries of State for Justice, Transport, and Communities and Local Government on issues arising from the management of ministerial property, and represented them at planning enquiries in respect of the green belt, conservation areas and sites of archaeological interest, and at appeals to the High Court. She has advised and represented the landlord in respect of the liability of a large national charity to pay business rates at a hospital outlet.

Recent Cases:

  • Representing a Local Authority at a 3-day planning appeal against the refusal of permission for development including a canal marina for up to 150 berths and up to 170 dwellings. The Inspector recommended granting the appeal but the case was recovered and declined by the Secretary of State as it concerned significant development in the Green Belt.
  • Advising and representing a Local Authority at the mediation of a claim in nuisance, negligence and breach of Human Rights involving 6 experts in respect of flooding from local Council parkland onto private properties. The mediation concluded with Heads of Agreement and thereafter drafting the complex technical and logistical terms of the final agreement.
  • Advising and representing in respect of sundry claims concerning trusts of land and proprietary estoppel, including a claim in the County Court in respect of shared property in France, in which jurisdictional issues were raised, and a claim in the High Court in respect of family-owned agricultural land used by way of a partnership agreement for an equestrian school.
  • Advising in respect of an application by the Deputy to the Court of Protection, Property and Affairs, seeking retrospective permission to sell a patient’s property, the Deputy having acted outside its authority.
  • Drafting proceedings, advising and representing at mediation a local authority market operator in respect of lease renewals, service charge disputes, forfeiture proceedings and enforcement of proprietary rules and regulations.
  • Advising and representing the landlord in respect of the liability of a large national charity to pay business rates at a hospital outlet.

Published Journals

The Queen (On the application of Sensar Limited and Azdar Limited) v The Chief Land Registrar [2018] EWHC 888 (Admin): challenge to refusal to register a restriction pursuant to a joint venture agreement.

San Investments Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2016] EWHC 2830 (Admin): challenge to the refusal of permission to convert commercial units in the Jewellery Quarter, a Conservation Area, to residential use.

Kershaw v Roberts [2014] EWHC 1037 (Ch); [2015] 1 All E.R. 734; [2014] 3 Costs L.R. 536; [2014] W.T.L.R. 1395; (2014) 158(16) S.J.L.B. 57: case management hearings and cost budgeting for Part 8 claims.

Infocus Public Networks Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2010] EWHC 3309 (Admin); [2011] J.P.L. 1048; [2011] N.P.C. 2: appeal pursuant to section 289(1) Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in respect of enforcement action against the installation of telephone kiosks in the City of London.

Ashcroft v Bradford & Bingley Plc Court of Appeal [2010] EWCA Civ 223: [2010] 2 P. & C.R. 13; [2010] N.P.C. 30: claim for repayment of an outstanding mortgage debt was not time-barred as time had started to run again under s29(5) Limitation Act 1980.

Education

BA (Hons), Trinity College Cambridge, Classics, 1st Class, 1994: Chancellor's Medal and Verheyden de Lancey prize
MA Classics, UCL, 1995: British Academy Award
Yale University, Henry Fellowship, 1996
Dip Law (City) 2002: Lord Bowen and Lord Denning scholar of Lincoln's Inn
Bar Vocational Course (BPP London) 2003: Lord Nottingham scholar of Lincoln's Inn

Appointments and Memberships

Regional A Panel Counsel, appointed 2007, re-appointed 2010 and 2015
Regional Representative of the Bar International Committee 2016
Examiner of the Court 2017
Accredited Mediator 2018
Deputy District Judge 2019
Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association (MCCBA)
Midland Circuit