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Home / Our People / Judith Smyth
Judith Smyth Judith Smyth

Judith Smyth

Associate

Profile

Services

Judith is an experienced litigator whose practice covers dispute resolution and advisory work on a wide range of contentious property matters.

She acts for both landlords and tenants in commercial leasehold disputes at all stages from pre-action negotiations through to settlement or trial. Her landlord and tenant work includes lease renewals and terminations (including forfeiture and break notices), dilapidations, enforcing lease covenants, applications for landlord consents, arrears recovery, rent review and service charge disputes. She has substantial experience advising creditor landlords on tenant insolvency issues including company voluntary arrangements, administration and Part 26A schemes.

Judith also advises regularly on other contentious property matters, particularly nuisance, rights of way, restrictive covenants, trespass, property-related professional negligence and enforcing or terminating property sale contracts. As well as progressing and defending claims, she provides strategic advice to property owners on development projects and asset management, including vacant possession advice, rights of light advice and assisting with transaction structuring and drafting from the litigation risk perspective.

Alongside litigation, Judith has experience of arbitration proceedings and a wide variety of alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation and expert determination. She is a solicitor advocate with full rights of audience in the civil courts in England and Wales.

Career Highlights

  • Lead associate acting for a well-known cultural institution in its successful defence in the High Court of a high-profile nuisance claim raising novel points of law regarding the interaction of the law of nuisance and privacy rights.
  • Advised a leading theatre operator on the settlement at mediation of a factually-complex seven-figure dilapidations claim regarding a regional theatre for a small fraction of the sum claimed by the landlord.
  • Prepared a detailed vacant possession strategy for a warehouse site in East London for a leading asset manager to facilitate a proposed mixed-use residential and light industrial redevelopment, including creating multiple alternative phasing strategies to suit different development timeline permutations. Subsequently pursued the redevelopment strategy through Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 proceedings, advising on renewal lease negotiations and dealing with tenant insolvency matters.
  • Advised a leading commercial asset manager on tenant claims and related matters arising out of a water leak incident in a city centre office tower block, including health and safety issues, asbestos management liability, the scope of insurance and negotiating a settlement with a tenant impacted by water damage.
  • Advised a long leaseholder on a complex application for consent to alter to facilitate a major redevelopment of a set of prime commercial buildings in Canary Wharf, including advising on the scope of works permitted under the lease, preparing the application and advising on responses to queries from the landlords.