Leading Property Lawyer On M&S Landmark Property Case

Leading Property Lawyer On M&S Landmark Property Case

Marks and Spencer has lost a landmark property case in the Supreme Court. In a unanimous decision, the court dismissed M&S’s challenge to an appeal court judgment which could have far-reaching implications for contracts across all industries.

Find a comment below from Richard Brown, property dispute specialist and partner at Thomas Eggar LLP (recently confirmed to be merging with Irwin Mitchell):

“Marks and Spencer has lost its fight to recover part of the rent it paid to its landlord before breaking its lease under the lease terms, even though the rent claimed covered a period after the break date. 

“The Supreme Court yesterday unanimously dismissed M&S’s argument that a term should be implied into its lease requiring the “excess” rent to be repaid, notwithstanding that M&S had been required, as a condition of exercising the break, to pay the equivalent of a year’s rent (nearly £1m) as a premium.

“The decision reflects what had, at least until the earlier High Court decision, been regarded as the likely legal position, despite a lack of direct legal authority on the point. Had the Supreme Court decided otherwise, this would have resulted in a major re-examination of leases broken over recent years, where the exercise of early lease breaks has been commonplace. The decision also reflects the reluctance of the courts to interfere with a bargain by implying additional terms just because it may appear unfair in its operation.

“It is now common practice to provide expressly in leases containing early break clauses for return of any excess rent paid before the break date.” 

Leading Property Lawyer On M&S Landmark Property Case

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