Sarah Finch

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

Sarah specialises in residential real estate litigation, with a particular focus on leasehold enfranchisement, rights of first refusal and service charge and estate rentcharge disputes.  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.

Cases of note include:

  • 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.
  • 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 case is due to go to the Court of Appeal on two points of law in April 2018 (including under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, the Right to Manage Legislation).
  • 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.

Career

Trained Nabarro LLP; qualified 2007; associate Nabarro LLP; senior associate Fladgate LLP; principal associate Hamlins LLP since October 2016.

Education

Sarah attended King’s College, London, City University and BPP Law School.

Sarah is recommended in the Legal 500 2017 directory as ‘a formidable opponent and a force to be reckoned with’.