Philippa Seal
Barrister

MA (Oxon)
Call: 2008

Philippa Seal

Philippa has a property and general commercial practice with particular expertise in the field of landlord and tenant.

She represents claimants and defendants at all levels including in the High Court in the Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions, in the Companies Court, and in the County Courts throughout England and Wales. She undertakes fast track and multi-track trials, applications and interlocutory hearings.  Philippa also accepts work under the Bar’s Direct Public Access Scheme.

 

Qualifications

MA, Modern and Medieval Languages (Christ’s College, Cambridge & University of Vienna)

Post Graduate Diploma in Law (City University)

Bar Vocational Course (City University)

Sir Thomas More Award

 

Languages

French, German, Spanish

 

Real property

Philippa deals with all real property disputes and appears before specialist tribunals including the Property Chamber. She undertakes forfeiture claims, claims arising under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, lease extensions, and applications under The Trusts of Land and Appointments of Trustees Act. She also undertakes cases involving nuisance and easements. 

Related cases of interest

  • 2016 [UKUT] 0290 LC – Representing the appellant leaseholder in an appeal against the First Tier Tribunal’s award of costs against her on the basis of unreasonable behaviour under rule 13(1)(b), Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules 2013, which award was set aside on appeal.
  • Representing the wife in a 5 day trial resisting an order for sale and claiming a constructive trust of her family home against which her husband, the sole registered owner, had taken out a loan agreement and defaulted on payments.
  • Bhathal v Mistry & Anor [2014] EWHA – Representing the wife, whose signature had been forged by her husband on a mortgage deed in a claim for possession in a claim brought by the mortgagee.
  • Representing the freehold owner of a property in relation to an encroachment by an extension built by his neighbour. The issues included non-compliance with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, damage to the property, and a claim for adverse possession.

Housing

Philippa has an extensive practice in residential landlord and tenant and acts on behalf of landlords (private and social), tenants and local authorities.  In particular, she deals with disrepair, anti-social behaviour, and committal proceedings both prosecuting and defending.  Philippa’s previous experience at the AIRE Centre has given her invaluable experience when dealing with cases involving the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010.

Philippa undertakes possession hearings (including multiple day trials) in relation to all grounds for possession.  Recent trials have involved subletting, anti-social behaviour, obtaining a tenancy by deception, abandonment, and acts of waste.

Related cases of Interest

  • Representing a housing association in a lengthy possession trial. In addition to rent arrears, possession was sought on the basis of anti-social behaviour (violent and threatening behaviour which caused neighbours to be re-housed), and committing an indictable offence in the locality.
  • Representing a local authority in a vigorously contested claim for possession on the ground of under-occupation lasting several days.
  • Representing a housing association in a possession trial against a tenant represented by the Official Solicitor on the basis of anti-social behaviour (prolonged and disturbing noise nuisance), defended on the basis of unlawful discrimination.
  • Mediation on behalf of a local authority in respect of a possession claim on the ground of abandonment and acts of waste. There was a counterclaim for disrepair.
  • Numerous cases involving section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and issues in relation to tenancy deposits.

Philippa has a busy appeals’ practice.  Her recent appeals have included:

  • Representing the respondent landlord in an appeal brought by the tenant against a possession order made on ground 8 of schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988. The basis of the appeal was that the district judge had erred in making an order for possession rather than giving directions, when a counterclaim for disrepair was handed up at the hearing.  The appeal was dismissed.
  • Representing the appellant landlord in relation to an appeal against the order of a district judge who made a declaration that the landlord was in breach of the Equality Act 2010 following the landlord’s failure to serve a defence to the counterclaim.  The order was overturned on appeal.
  • Representing the appellant landlord in relation to the refusal of a deputy district judge to make an order for possession on the basis of anti-social behaviour, and committing an indictable offence in the locality, and rent arrears on discretionary grounds.  The matter settled following the grant of leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Commercial

Philippa practises in all areas of Commercial Law including breach of contract, insolvency and sale of goods.

Related cases of interest

  • Representing the petitioning creditors in Reeves and Anr v Sandhu [2015] EWHC 985 (Ch) an long running application for bankruptcy  which had involved two attempts to set aside the original judgment debt,  an application to set aside a statutory demand and an application to dismiss the bankruptcy which, although initially successful before the district judge, was overturned on appeal in the High Court
  • Representing a party in a substantial multi-track claim for money had and received involving a constructive trust, lasting several days.
  • Successfully resisting an application to strike out the defence to a claim for £17m for fraudulent misrepresentation.
  • Advising and defending a number of parties in relation to claims for alleged breach of contract of timeshares of properties in Spain. The issues involved misrepresentation, breaches of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, and breaches of the Timeshare Act 1992.
  • Numerous cases involving credit hire, both for claimants and defendants. Issues have included the enforceability of the contract, and the appropriate level of damages for loss of use, diminution in value, and loss of profit.

Articles

“The Absent Tenant. The Only or Principal Home Test” Landlord and Tenant Review 2015 (7/12/2015)

Hobbies

Skiing:  Austrian qualified ski instructor, ski leader for the Ski Club of Great Britain

Yoga: yoga instructor