Edwin Johnson was called to the Bar in 1987 and joined 9 Old Square in 1988. He joined Maitland Chambers on its merger with 9 Old Square in 2004.
Edwin was appointed Standing Counsel to the Rent Assessment Panel in 2000, was Chambers UK Bar Awards Real Estate Junior of the Year in 2005, was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2006, was nominated for the Chambers UK Bar Awards Real Estate Silk of the Year in 2012 and 2013 and was Chambers UK Bar Awards Real Estate Silk of the Year in 2018.
In 2017 Edwin was appointed a Deputy Judge of the High Court, sitting in the Business and Property Courts, and a Barrister Member of the Bar Tribunals & Adjudication Service.
Edwin appears regularly in Courts and Tribunals at all levels. He was successful in the Supreme Court in Hosebay. This followed consecutive successes in four House of Lords cases Shalson, Boss Holdings, 26 Cadogan Square and Atlantic Telecasters. With these five victories Edwin has never lost a case at the highest level. More recently Edwin has been successful in First Tower, a key decision of the Court of Appeal on exclusion clauses in misrepresentation claims, and in Car Park Services Limited, a decision of the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland, which has major implications for the distinction between a lease and a licence.
Edwin’s practice is in property, chancery and commercial litigation and advisory work. His experience includes property disputes (including all aspects of landlord and tenant, leasehold enfranchisement, break clauses, development contracts, conveyancing, mortgages, easements, restrictive covenants, noise nuisance, rights of light and mineral rights), professional negligence (solicitors, surveyors, valuers, architects, other construction professionals, accountants and insurance brokers), and general commercial and chancery work including trusts disputes, insolvency, development and other commercial contracts, building and construction work, insurance work and competition law.
Clients range from individuals and small companies through to large estates, global corporations, public authorities, pension/life/equity funds, and nation states. Edwin has particular experience of acting for public authorities in relation to their property holdings, including the complex area of service charges in leases of public authority housing stock. Disputes over break clauses and conditional contracts/development contracts are other areas of particular expertise, as are cases involving noise nuisance and interference with rights of light. Another area of specialisation (an area of increasing legal importance), is the impact of consumer protection legislation on the letting of residential properties.
Edwin was also the subject of extensive media coverage concerning the case of Lepic v Clarke, where Edwin secured a possession order in respect of a property in Cheyne Mews against a former solicitor who claimed a statutory tenancy of the property dating from 1968. The case was one of several cases in which Edwin has advised on claims for possession against persons claiming statutory tenancies. Most recently Edwin acted for the successful claimant in the appeal in Fouladi, a noise nuisance case which has also been the subject of extensive media coverage.
Edwin also has experience of acting for clients in Northern Ireland, where he has appeared in the High Court and the Lands Tribunal. He represented the successful appellant in Car Park Services Limited in the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland, a case involving the distinction between a lease and a licence in the commercial context, which has considerable implications for agreements labelled as business licences in England and Wales.
The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Edwin will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Edwin accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.
Edwin’s current and recent workload ranges across the full spectrum of property related disputes, through rights of light disputes, disputes over the operation of break clauses, disputes over conditional contracts/development agreements, and collective enfranchisement and other enfranchisement claims. Current and recent matters include noise nuisance claims, advice on a multi-million pound development agreement, securing the release of a restrictive covenant affecting a two billion pound residential development site, advice on manorial mineral rights affecting thousands of properties, advice on service charge and management issues for one of the principal London estates, and advice on stamp duty in respect of a major property portfolio.
Edwin has most recently acted in appeals in the Court of Appeal and the High Court in cases concerning the constructions of rent review provisions, the effect of covenants requiring a landlord to take enforcement action against a tenant, and the interrelationship between the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 and the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
Edwin was also the subject of extensive media coverage concerning the case of Lepic v Clarke, where Edwin secured a possession order in respect of a property in Cheyne Mews against a former solicitor who claimed a statutory tenancy of the property dating from 1968.
Most recently Edwin acted for the successful claimant in the appeal in Fouladi, a noise nuisance case which has also been the subject of extensive media coverage.
Recent cases include:
- Reiner v Triplark Ltd  EWCA Civ 2151(whether equitable assignment of a lease breached a covenant against parting with possession and, if so, whether consent unreasonably withheld to such parting with possession)
Duval v 11-13 Randolph Crescent Ltd  EWCA Civ 2298 (whether a landlord’s covenant to enforce obligations of other tenants in a building prevents the landlord from waiving or varying tenants’ covenants)
Aldford House Freehold Ltd v Grosvenor (Mayfair) Estate  EWHC 3430 (Ch) (meaning of a flat in the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993)
Fouladi v Darout Ltd  EWHC 3501 (Ch) (appeal in a noise nuisance claim raising questions of what constitutes an actionable noise nuisance, what remedies are available, and the ability of an appeal court to review findings of fact made by the trial judge)
H Company 2 Limited v Spitalfields Small Business Association Ltd  EWHC 2065 (Ch) (construction of a rent review provision in a lease)
First Tower Trustees Ltd v CDS (Superstores International) Limited  EWCA Civ 1396 (claim for damages for misrepresentation arising out of the presence of asbestos in warehouse units, distinction between exclusion clause and clause defining primary rights and obligations of parties, reasonableness of exclusion clause)
Great Dunmow Estates Ltd v Crest Nicholson (2018 WL 02887296) (jurisdiction of the Court to interfere with an expert determination in respect of a matter agreed in the expert determination)
Car Park Services Limited v Bywater Capital (Winetavern) Limited  NICA 22 (whether an agreement described as a licence to occupy a car park was in fact a lease)
Warborough Investments Ltd v Lunar Office SARL  EWCA Civ 427 (construction of an alienation covenant in a commercial lease)
Mundy v Trustees of the Sloane Stanley Estate  EWCA Civ 35 (whether the traditional methods for determining relativity in enfranchisement valuations should be replaced by a new method based on transactions unaffected by rights of enfranchisement)
Grosvenor (Mayfair) Estate v Merix  EWCA Civ 190 (whether a property was a house within the meaning of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967)
First Tower Trustees Ltd v CDS (Superstores International) Ltd  EWHC 891 (Ch) (claim for damages for misrepresentation arising out of the presence of asbestos in warehouse units)
Lunar Office SARL v Warborough Investments Limited  EWHC 19 (Ch) (construction of an alienation covenant in a commercial lease)
Reiner v Triplark  UKUT 524 (LC) (whether equitable assignment of a lease breached a covenant against parting with possession and, if so, whether consent unreasonably withheld to such parting with possession)
Ingram v Church Commissioners for England  UKUT 0495 (LC) (recoverability through service charges of VAT charged to landlord by third parties)
Snowball Assets Ltd v Huntsmore House (Freehold) Ltd  UKUT 338 (LC) (right of landlord to retain property in a collective enfranchisement pursuant to Section 1(4) of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993)
Merie Bin Mahfouz v Barrie House (Freehold) Ltd  UKUT (LC) (right of landlord to claim leasebacks in a collective enfranchisement)
Kutchukian v Free Grammar School of John Lyon  EWCA Civ 90 (construction of the break provisions in Section 61 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993)
Kim v Chasewood  EWCA Civ 239 (estoppel as a defence to a ground rent claim and the relationship between proprietary estoppel and Section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989)
Morshead Mansions Ltd v Mactra Properties Ltd  EWHC 801 (Ch) (costs payable in service charge dispute)
Morshead Mansions Ltd v Mactra Properties Ltd  EWHC 224 (Ch) (construction of service charge provisions and obligation to provide an annual account of the service charge)
Day v Hosebay  UKSC 41 (whether properties are houses within the meaning of Section 2(1) of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967)
Hosebay Ltd v Day  EWCA Civ 748 (whether properties are houses within the meaning of Section 2(1) of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967)
Hotgroup plc v Royal Bank of Scotland plc  EWHC 1241 (Ch) (whether service of a break notice effective)
Earl Cadogan v Atlantic Telecasters Ltd  UKHL 71 (whether hope value included in valuation of price on leasehold enfranchisement)
Howard de Walden Estates Ltd v Aggio; 26 Cadogan Square Ltd v Earl Cadogan  UKHL 44 (whether a tenant of a flat and other premises not included in the flat was a qualifying tenant of the flat for the purposes of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993)
Boss Holdings Ltd v Grosvenor West End Properties  UKHL5 (whether a property was a house within the meaning of Section 2(1) of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967)
Warborough v Central Midlands Estates  PLSCS 139 (validity of a notice in a rent review)
St. George’s Investment Co. v Gemini Consulting  1 EGLR 5 (setting aside of award in rent review arbitration for misconduct)
Fattal v John Lyon’s Charity  1 All ER 466 (valuation of price on leasehold enfranchisement)
Shalson v John Lyon’s Charity  1 AC 802 (disregard of improvements on leasehold enfranchisement)
Muscat v Smith  1 WLR 2853, (exercise of right of set off against assignee of reversion)