Howard Kennedy represents successful leaseholders in service charge dispute

"Three colleagues meeting with one taking writing

On 8 December 2023, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the case of 89 Holland Park (Management) Limited v Dell in which Howard Kennedy LLP acted for the successful Respondents.

The most recent appeal follows our clients' successful result in a previous appeal to the Upper Tribunal in July 2022. In the previous hearing, it was reported to be the largest service charge dispute to ever come before the First Tier Tribunal.

The case relates to a service charge imposed by 89HPML, the freeholder of 89 Holland Park, on five leaseholders in the building. The firm represented one of the leaseholders concerning an individual charge of over £430,000.

The dispute arose from litigation fees totalling in excess of £2.7 million, which were incurred by 89 HPML in a previous dispute with the next-door neighbour, the architect Sophie Hicks, in relation to her plans to redevelop the piece of land adjoining 89 Holland Park. The landlord, a resident-owned freehold company, passed the expense on to the leaseholders as a service charge under their lease.

The Court of Appeal determined that our clients were not liable for the costs under the sweeper provision in the lease nor under the General Expenditure provisions, which was a new point raised on appeal. In their decision, the judges described the costs as "ruinous and extraordinary".

Amanda McNeil and Hollie Jordan-Wright of Howard Kennedy LLP acted for the successful Respondents, with Mark Loveday of Tanfield Chambers as lead counsel and Mattie Green of Landmark Chambers as junior counsel.


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