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TOSarah Finch

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    Sarah Finch is a Partner in the Real Estate Litigation Team.

    Sarah specialises in real estate litigation. She has a broad practice but with a particular focus on leasehold enfranchisement, rights of first refusal and disputes involving high value residential property.

    Her role is to provide advice, run lease extension and collective enfranchisement claims and conduct larger pieces of litigation in the courts and tribunals.  Her clients include ground rent investor landlords, overseas investors and high net worth individuals.

    Her practice also covers the full range of commercial landlord and tenant and real property law.  She acts in an advisory capacity and undertakes general management work. In particular, Sarah oversees the litigation work for an investor landlord with a portfolio of 15-17 shopping centres. She also conducts larger pieces of litigation in the county and high courts. In the landlord and tenant arena this includes business lease renewals (opposed and unopposed), dilapidations, telecoms disputes and tenant breach (including forfeiture and injunctive relief).

    Sarah’s experience in both the commercial and residential sectors means she is able to provide a full service to investor and developer clients.

    Sarah’s real property work covers, amongst other things, advice and litigation in relation to easements (including rights to light), restrictive covenants and trespass both in terms of squatters and boundary disputes.

    Sarah also advises and acts in relation to property related insolvency matters and contractual disputes; including claims for specific performance, rescission and claims in the administration of companies.

    Sarah is recognised by Legal 500 as a Recommended Lawyer and ranked by Chambers and Partners.


    ‘She’s extraordinary. She has endless patience and resilience, and her ability, despite an onslaught of things, to still stop and think and work out a strategy and not miss anything is very good.’

    Chambers & Partners 2024

    ‘Sarah is very supportive, efficient, completely on the ball, straightforward and logical. She’s extremely easy to work with and always gives you a straight answer.’

    Chambers & Partners 2024

    ‘Sarah Finch a tactical warrior of a litigator that you want on and by your side. Her mix of patience, tenacity and intellect make her a truly excellent solicitor.’

    Legal 500 2024

    ‘Sarah Finch has a razor-sharp legal mind, a keen and creative eye for tactics and always has her feet on the ground.’

    Legal 500 2023

    ‘Sarah Finch is more than just a good solicitor – she is business minded, personable, approachable and so pleasant to deal with. She gets stuck in to matters and does not shy away from putting in the time needed to consistently provide us with the best advice and service we could ask for!’

    Legal 500 2023

    ‘Sarah Finch is the go to person on property matters, especially in specialised areas like Suburb Trust restrictions. Nothing phases Sarah Finch.’

    Legal 500 2023

    ‘Sarah Finch is a great and supportive lawyer. She has excellent instinct and knowledge and understands her clients very well.’

    Legal 500 2023

    ‘Sarah Finch has a wonderful combination of knowledge of her area but also common-sense solutions to problems and an understanding of our priorities and issues as clients.’

    Legal 500 2022

    ‘Sarah Finch has guided us expertly through all the way. She has been able to put very complex legal process and language into understandable terms and also acted swiftly and decisively, and with strategic foresight that was impressive.’

    Legal 500 2021

    ‘Sarah Finch has an extraordinary knowledge of all things leasehold and she combines that with an excellent and tactical instinct. She is a consummate team player able to manage up and down. Sarah is a robust, skilled litigator with a sense of humour.’

    Legal 500 2021

    ‘Sarah Finch relishes the battle but never loses sight of her client’s best interests.’

    Legal 500 2020

    Noted for her ability to ‘combine good technical expertise with a sound commercial understanding.’

    Legal 500 2019

    Sarah is noted as ‘a formidable opponent and a force to be reckoned with’.

    Legal 500 2017

    Work Highlights

      Cases of note include:

      • Acting for a ground rent landlord in relation to an extremely contentious application for forfeit the long lease of a flat where the landlord has succeed both in the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal re-hearing in obtaining a declaration there was a breach of the lease. The Appeal on two points of law (including under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, the right to manage legislation) was heard by the Court of Appeal in May 2018. The parties are currently waiting for the Court to hand down Judgment.
      • Sarah is acting for the defendant right to manage company in relation to a mixed residential and commercial block. The commercial tenant is claiming that the RTM company is obliged to carry out extensive works to stop water ingress to their property. Not only does this involve extensive expert evidence as to the causes of the water ingress but involves an untested issue under the right to manage legislation as to when management functions relating to commercial premises pass to right to manage companies. The matter is due to go to trial in 2019, by which time Sarah is going to have been involved with two of the decisions relating to the right to manage legislation (an area where there are few reported decisions).
      • Acting for a landlord of a 100,000 square foot residential and commercial complex in central London in respect of disputed service charges totalling nearly £2 million where the landlord recovered the vast majority of sums claimed.
      • Advising a developer of a multi-million pound residential and retail development in Deptford about compliance with the various residential statutory regimes including creating various complex strategies to exit the development without triggering the tenants’ rights of first refusal.
      • Settling a complex dilapidations claim worth circa £500,000 for a major client at mediation. This involved complex issues relating to the appropriate standard of repair where the tenant was a Housing Association and the lease began in the 1990s.
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