Oliver specialises in commercial and residential property and agricultural law, and is recommended in Chambers and Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal. He has a “burgeoning reputation in telecoms” (Chambers UK Guide 2017), and regularly advises on, and litigates, issues affecting electronic communications operators under the Electronic Communications Code.
A list of selected decisions appears below. Most recently, he has appeared in cases concerning agricultural property partnership dissolutions, professional negligence (solicitor’s conveyancing issues under a commercial lease), insolvency (personal and corporate), adverse possession, easements, overage and development, enfranchisement (valuation, deferment rate, costs under the 1993 Act), the right to manage (validity of initial and claim notices, operation of the RTM), breach of covenant, restrictive covenants, succession to agricultural tenancies, and negotiating damages.
He has appeared in a number of significant cases including Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Limited v Ray (Court of Appeal; status of non-guidance Upper Tribunal decisions, Sportelli deferment rate); Taylor v Spencer (Court of Appeal; section 21 notices and omnibus clauses); numerous decisions in the Upper Tribunal on enfranchisement and RTM issues; Patel v K&J Restaurants (Court of Appeal; forfeiture and relief); Khans v Chifuntwe (Court of Appeal; nature of the solicitor’s lien on costs); Bridgewater Canal v GEO Networks (the only Court of Appeal decision on the Electronic Communications Code), Consolidated Finance v Cook (Court of Appeal; mortgages); and Sancheti v City of London (Court of Appeal, horizontal effect of bilateral investment treaties).
Oliver regularly writes for various periodicals, and lectures to professional organisations and individual firms of solicitors.
He is the co-author of four books, including Adverse Possession (2nd ed), Residential and Commercial Service Charges (1st ed), and Fisher and Lightwood’s Law of Mortgage (14th ed).
- Keble College, Oxford University BA (1999) (Law with German Law; 1st Class)
- Second, Winter Williams Prize 1997
- University of Regensburg, 1997 - 1998
- Visiting Researcher, Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign and Comparative Law, Hamburg
- Called 2003, Grays Inn (Bedingfield Scholarship).
- 2002 - 2003 BPP Law School: Very Competent (5th in year).
- 2001 - 2011 College Teaching Fellow, Pembroke College, Oxford.
- 2000 - 2001 Joint Stipendiary College Lecturer, Pembroke and Somerville Colleges, Oxford.
- 1999 - 2000 Research Assistant to the Property and Trusts Team, Law Commission, working on the Land Registration Act 2002, Trustee Act 2000 and Property Rights of Homesharers projects.
- Fluent German, basic French.
- 2009 - Appointed to Attorney General's C Panel.
- 2015 - Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown - B Panel.
- Downs v Kingsbridge  UKUT 0237 (LC): agricultural tenancies, Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, retirement and succession, period for establishing principal source of livelihood.
- Balogun v Boyes Sutton and Perry  EWCA Civ 75: Professional negligence; Conveyancing negligence allegation against solicitor in relation to restaurant underlease; rights of ventilation; ancillary rights to carry out fit-out works; solicitor’s duty to warn where wording of a lease causes difficulty; effect of risk arising out of difficulty not materialising; causation.
- Marshall v Scaman and others  (High Court, Bristol): s 68 challenge to an arbitrator’s award; use of legal assistance by the arbitrator; whether agreed procedures had been departed from; whether a procedural irregularity causing substantial injustice; s24 applications for removal of arbitrator.
- The Crown Estate v Wakley  (High Court, Bristol): misrepresentation, breach of covenant and unfair contract terms (UCTA) issues in relation to a Farm Business Tenancy of a dairy farm. Damages for s2 misrepresentations and causation and quantification of loss in a complex causation case involving expert veterinary and herd production evidence.
- Re Rae's Application  UKUT 0552 (LC): Restrictive covenants; discharge and modification; density covenants; scheme of development; modification to allow additional dwelling house.
- Heathcliffe Properties Ltd v Dodhia & Anor  EWHC 2628 (Ch): contempt of court, partnership dissolution, sentencing.
- Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Ltd v Avon Estates (London) Ltd  UKUT 317 (LC): residential leases, service charges, costs recovery, right to manage.
- Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Ltd v Wisbey  UKUT 0203 (LC): Individual lease extensions, costs under section 60, what costs are recoverable by a landlord.
- Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Limited v Ray  EWCA Civ 1231: Enfranchisement, Sportelli deferment rates, Non-PCL rates, status of non-guidance Upper Tribunal decisions.
- Burrows v Ward  EWHC 2287 (Ch): breach of contract, Wrotham Park damages, overage, negotiating damages, development agreements.
- West is West Distribution Limited v Icon Film Distribution Limited  EWHC 838 (Comm): breach of accounting provisions; material breach; contractual termination; breach of obligations taking effect upon termination; damages.
- Balogun v Boyes Sutton & Perry  EWHC 275 (QB): conveyancing negligence claim in relation to the grant of underlease of restaurant premises; rights of ventilation; whether a solicitor was bound to go behind his client’s instructions on matters of fact and expertise known to the client; scope of rights conferred by the grant of an easement.
- Elim Court RTM Co Ltd v Avon Freeholds Ltd  U.K.U.T. 0397 (LC): Right to manage under Part 2 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002; validity of notices inviting participation; whether statutory requirements were mandatory or directory; whether a defect could be overlooked on the basis of the substantial compliance test identified in Jeyeanthan, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department respondent  EWCA Civ 3010.
- TFL v Al-Amini (FTT(PC)) REF/2013/0655 (24th July 2014): adverse possession of highways maintainable at public expense, extent of highways and section 263 of the Highways Act 1980, concurrent Crown and non-Crown limitation periods, alteration of the register.
- Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Limited v Rae  UKUT 0079 (LT): Enfranchisement; Consideration of the generic Sportelli deferment rate outside PCL, and when adjustments to the rate are appropriate.
- Spencer v Taylor  E.W.C.A. Civ 1600: Notices under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. The case decided (a) that a section 21(1) notice can validly be given after the expiry of the fixed term of an assured shorthold tenancy, and (b) that the notice in the instant appeal was a valid section 21(4)(a) notice as its saving provision took effect.
- Ninety Broomfield Road RTM Company Ltd v Triplerose Limited  UKUT 0606 (LC): Consolidated appeal relating to the exercise of the right to manage in relation to multiple-block estates.
- Pineview Limited v 83 Crampton Street RTM Company Limited  UKUT 0598(LC): Right to manage claim notices under Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002; identity of signatory and whether appurtenant property must be specified; precedent value of earlier Upper Tribunal decisions.
- Miller v Gallo (High Court, ChD, Mann J), LTL 17/6/2013: Insolvency and constructive trusts, assignments and transfers of subsisting beneficial interests.
- Avon Estates (London) Ltd v Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Limited  UKUT 264 LC: residential service charges (test for assessing reasonableness of insurance; payments to agency for claims handling services); function of the Upper Tribunal on appeal by way of review.
- Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Ltd v 31 Croydon Road Ltd  UKUT 310 (Collective enfranchisement; rent review cap by reference to domestic rateable values of no further effect).
- HMRC v Thaoos and Lissenburg (Bankruptcy, 5770 and 5771 of 2011): whether offers made to secure petitioning creditor's debt under section 271(3) of the Insolvency Act 1986 were sufficient; whether the debtors had a human rights defence to a bankruptcy order, or could invoke such a defence by proxy.
- Khans Solicitors v Chifuntwe and the Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2108 (QB) (Costs, solicitor’s equitable “lien” over costs, validity of compromise agreements.
- Sinclair Gardens (Kensington) Investments Ltd v 2 Medina Villas  PLSCS 132: Collective enfranchisement, valuation of car parking spaces.
- Scottish Widows Fund & Life Assurance Society v BGC International (Formerly Cantor Fitzgerald International)  EWHC 729 (Ch): Construction and rectification of rent review provisions under the terms of a lease.
- Magrath v Parkside Hotels Ltd  EWHC 143 (Ch): Easements of fire escape, the common law rule against perpetuities, the rules relating to the variation of routes of rights of way.
- Extra MSA Services Cobham & Anor v ACCOR UK  EWHC 775 (Ch): Application of the principle of construction that a contracting party cannot rely on his own breach of duty to determine a site development agreement.
- Solomon (R on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2010) (Administrative Court) on the meaning and effect of the Dublin II Regulations, and whether the applicant for judicial review had established that his deportation to Malta would violate Articles 3 and 5 ECHR.
- Patel v K & J Restaurants Ltd  EWCA Civ 1211: Forfeiture for breaches of covenants against immoral user (by the activities of a sub-tenant; whether such breach was irremediable) and alienation (whether occupation by a third party under a “management agreement” was an “agency” relationship; whether breach remedied by trial). Also considers relief, and specifically whether costs on relief should be payable by the tenant on an indemnity basis.
- The Bridgewater Canal Company Limited v GEO Networks Limited  EWHC 548 (Ch);  1 W.L.R. 2576 (High Court, Lewison J): A decision on the operation of the Electronic Communications Code, specifically considering the rights of operators under the Code to cross linear obstacles (such as canals), and their obligations to pay consideration for such rights. The case also considered the aspect of the Code's compatibility with the ECHR;  EWCA Civ 1348 (Court of Appeal).
- Consolidated Finance v Cook, Court of Appeal,  EWCA Civ 369,  B.P.I.R. 1331 on the recoverability of fees and costs under a mortgage to secure sums advanced by a third party lender to secure the annulment of a bankruptcy.
- Bradley v Adams  EWLandRA 2008_1260 (Express and implied trusts of land; formalities for the release of beneficial interests under trusts, section 52(1)(c) of the Law of Property Act 1925).
- Schilling & Anor v Canary Riverside Estate Management Ltd  EWLands LRX412007 (Appointment of a manager under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987)
- Kshatriya v Choithram International SA  EWLandRA 2006_0170 (Limitation of actions, mortgages)
- Sancheti v The Mayor & Commonality & Citizens of the City of London  EWCA Civ 1283, (2008) 2 CLC 730 : (2009) 1 Lloyd's Rep 117 : Whether a bilateral investment treaty, granting inward investors of a foreign state a right to international arbitration against the United Kingdom, entitled such an investor to a stay under section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996 or under the inherent jurisdiction in proceedings for rent arrears brought by a local authority.
- Leriche v Cherry  U.K.P.C. 35 (Resulting and constructive trusts).
- Totton & Eling Town Council v Caunter  All E.R. (D) 133: Whether negotiations between the paper owner and the squatter for the sale of the land being adversely possessed gave rise to an implied licence which stopped time running in favour of the squatter, and whether and how such a licence could be brought to an end.
- Adverse Possession (2nd ed., with Stephen Jourdan QC)
- Residential and Commercial Service Charges (with Adam Rosenthal, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Nathaniel Duckworth and Philip Sissons)
- Fisher and Lightwood’s Law of Mortgages (14th ed., Wayne Clark co-ordinating editor)
- Fundamental Texts on European Private Law (with Professor Hugh Beale, Professor Reinhard Zimmermann, Professor Rainer Schulze)
- "Foisted Permission & Adverse Possession"  133 Law Quarterly Review 214
- Contributing Editor to Woodfall’s Landlord and Tenant Bulletin
- Contributor to The In House Lawyer
- “Right to Manage: Ironing Out the Kinks” (2014) L&TR 133 (with Adam Rosenthal)
- “Look Behind the Mast” (2007) EG 179 (Telecoms; with Jonathan Small QC)
- “Pye v UK – The View From England” (2007) European Review of Private Law 289 (Adverse Possession, Human Rights)
- “Tenants and Insolvency” (2007) 1 Woodfall Landlord and Tenant Bulletin
- “Civilized Squatting” (2005) OJLS 727 (Adverse Possession)
- “Section 15 of TLATA, or, The Importance of Being Earners”  5 Web JCLI (Trusts of Land, Co-Owners)