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Gavin Bennison

Called 2015

Gavin Bennison

Gavin Bennison practises in all areas of residential, commercial and agricultural landlord and tenant and real property law. He joined Chambers in October 2017 following successful completion of his pupillage under the supervision of Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Nathaniel Duckworth, Oliver Radley-Gardner and Mark Sefton.

As a pupil, Gavin was involved in cases concerning (amongst other areas) adverse possession, forfeiture, marine rights, agricultural tenancies, collective enfranchisement, the right to manage, easements, restrictive covenants, mortgages, overage and land registration.

Led by Janet Bignell QC, Gavin appeared in the Chancery Division on three occasions culminating in INEOS Upstream Ltd & Ors v Persons Unknown [2017] EWHC 2945 (Ch). Acting on behalf of the claimants, Gavin was part of the counsel team which successfully secured the long-term continuation of interim injunctions restraining unlawful activities by protestors against hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’). The injunctions were unprecedented in restraining, on a quia timet basis, unlawful protest targeting the claimants’ suppliers and contractors. Gavin has a particular interest in trespass claims and in addressing human rights arguments as they arise in relation to property disputes.

  • Education

    MA Geography (Part I) and Law (Part II), St John’s College, Cambridge: First with Distinction (Geography), First Class (Law)

    BPTC, City Law School: Outstanding

    Eastham Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn, 2015)

    Buchanan Prize (Lincoln’s Inn, 2015)

    Lord Denning Scholarship, Harwicke Entrance Scholarship, Accommodation Award (Lincoln’s Inn, 2014)

    McMahon Law Studentship (St John’s College, Cambridge, 2014)

    McAulay Scholarship, Wright Prize, named Year Prize for highest achieving undergraduate (St John’s College, Cambridge, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)

    Andrew Hall Prize (highest achieving first year student, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, 2011)

    Philip Lake Prize (highest attaining second year student, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, 2012)

  • Professional

    Whilst undertaking the BPTC, Gavin taught equity and trusts to final-year undergraduates at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He also volunteered as a trainee duty advisor at Willesden County Court, representing defendants in residential possession hearings.

    Prior to commencing pupillage, Gavin worked as a paralegal for the property litigation team at Stephenson Harwood LLP. He gained experience of all stages of the litigation process prior to and following instruction of counsel. He was also separately part of the team which successfully prepared the £70m civil fraud claim, Latvijas Krajbanka v Vladimir Antonov [2016] EWHC 1262 (Comm) for trial.

    He is a member of the Property Bar Association, the Chancery Bar Association and the Agricultural Law Association.

  • Publications
    • “Springing interest or successive re-grant? The nature of a periodic tenancy” (2018) L&TR 22(2) 60-64.
    • "Possession claims against trespassers (Part 2) – Occupation of part” NLJ (2 March 2018)
    • “Possession claims against trespassers (Part 1) – Injunctions” NLJ (23 February 2018)
    • “A very bold fraudster”, co-authored with Stephanie Tozer; UK Finance legal issues e-zine, September 2017
  • Recent Advisory Work

    Landlord and Tenant

    Advice on:

    • The proper construction of a covenant against alterations and its implications for the contemplated conversion of a property in West London.
    • Apportionment of rent following the compulsory purchase of part of commercial premises under the Compulsory Purchase (Vesting Declarations) Act 1981.
    • The proper construction of a licence to use a roof adjacent to a residential flat as a roof garden, including the division of responsibility for repairs and questions of derogation from grant. 
    • Prospects of forfeiture of a long residential lease for non-payment of service charge and unneighbourly conduct.


    Real Property

    • Advising (i) a purported tenant and (ii) a prospective applicant for adverse possession as to the consequences of escheat of freehold land following corporate insolvency
    • Advising and drafting statements of case in a complex possession claim against trespassers involving defences of adverse possession, prescriptive profits à prendre of grazing, prescriptive rights of way, and land registration/rectification issues.
    • Ongoing conduct of a complex mortgage possession claim concerning the definition of ‘regulated mortgage contract’ under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, raising further issues concerning sham transactions, conditions precedent, waiver, estoppel and restitution for mistake of law. Two-day trial listed for August 2018.
    • Advising as whether an express right to park created  an easement or contractual licence and the implications for enforceability against successors in title, including via a Lyus v Prowsa constructive trust.
  • Recent Cases
    • INEOS Upstream Ltd & Ors v Persons Unknown [2017] EWHC 2945 (Ch): led by Janet Bignell QC, Gavin successfully obtained the long-term continuation of interim injunctions restraining a wide range of unlawful conduct by protestors opposed to hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’). The injunctions were initially obtained on an ex parte basis in July 2017 and then continued with only minor modifications at an opposed hearing on 12 September 2017. At a three-day hearing in November 2017 which attracted considerable media interest, the claimants resisted applications to discharge the injunctions brought by two well-known “anti-fracking” campaigners. Gavin appeared on behalf of the claimants at all three hearings, including twice whilst a second-six pupil.