EMI and after: How to make hay from, and how to avoid being sued in relation to, the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995

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Speaker(s): Jonathan Seitler
CPD Time: 1.5 hours
Duration: 1 hour
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This is a lecture which explains the sometimes uncommercial and often unexpected workings of the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 on any assignment of a lease from a tenant to a related party. Jonathan Seitler QC explains in inimitable style the surprisingly touching, disturbingly complex and notoriously uncommercial workings of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1995.  His focus is on an understanding of the Act in order to take advantage of its operation and to avoid being sued under it. Jonathan appeared as Counsel in the leading cases under the 1995 Act – K/S Victoria Street v House of Fraser (Stores Management) Limited in the Court of Appeal and EMI v O&H Q1 Ltd in the Chancery Division in which he was also due to appear in the Court of Appeal in May 2017.  This course will be relevant to surveyors and solicitors involved in the assignment of leases.

Learning Objectives

On completion of this video you should have:

  • An understanding of the mischief which the Act was meant to address, and what it was seeking to achieve
  • An understanding of its key clauses and in particular the ‘catch-all’ anti-avoidance provision
  • An understanding of the findings made and surprising outcomes in Good Harvest Partnership LLP v Centaur Services Ltd [2010] EWHC 330 (Ch) and K/S Victoria Street v House of Fraser (Stores Management) Limited [2011] EWCA Civ 904 which cases first alerted solicitors and surveyors to the enormous risks that arose on such an assignment and how the Act was capable of rendering an assignment in breach of its provisions void (and the meaning and commercial implications of it so being rendered so void)
  • An understanding of where the law now rests, following the settlement in EMI Group Limited -v- O & H Q1 Limited [2016] EWHC529 (Ch) shortly before the whole subject was to be reviewed by the Court of Appeal
  • Guidance to practitioners as to how they can avoid being sued for negligence when the Act operates to the disadvantage of their clients and how they obtain leverage on behalf of their clients should it be in the interests of their clients to use it



Jonathan Seitler QC is a barrister at Wilberforce Chambers  He has been named as Chambers & Partners Real Estate Silk of the Year for an unprecedented three times and is the author of several books: ‘Claims against solicitors and valuers’, ‘Commercial Dispute Resolution’ and the bestselling ‘Leases: Covenants and consents’. He also authors EG’s ‘Potted Guides’ and hosts the associated ‘Podded Guides’ on the EG podcast platform.  Jonathan appeared as Counsel in both K/S Victoria Street and also EMI, the two leading cases on the topic.

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