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Property Disputes and the importance of expert legal advice

You may have seen the recent £200,000 legal battle that saw a dream home become a nightmare when Japanese Knotweed was discovered growing behind the garden shed.

Mr Downing had purchased the south-west London home in 2018 for £700,000 with plans to renovate, only to discover the weed growing. Japanese knotweed is an invasive species, notorious for its propensity to spread and cause damage to building structures, as well as the difficulty and expense of getting rid of it.*

Mr Downing has successfully sued the seller damages for misrepresenting whether there was knotweed at the property when he sold it.The case concluded with Mr Downing being owed £32,000 damages and his lawyers bills of up to £95,000, as well as the seller paying his own costs, estimated at almost £100,000.

Why is this case important?

Cases such as this highlight the importance of obtaining expert legal advice as well as completing thorough searches, checks and surveys before completing on your dream property, preventing disputes like this arising.

However, if you do find yourself in a similar position, our dispute resolution lawyers can help to resolve this. Clients come to us when workmanship has been shoddy, where costs and timescales have escalated wildly, or where the end product doesn’t match the agreed specifications. Essentially, where you’ve been let down by architects, surveyors, builders and contractors. 

In each case that is brought to us, we analyse the problem and evaluate in depth any contractual or other liabilities. We will design a way of sorting out the situation as quickly as possible, because we recognise that more delay and more cost is the last thing you’ll want or need.

Please contact us today if you have any queries, our team are here to help. Please call us on 01788 579579 or email You can also visit our insights where we have blogs on other topics that may be useful.

 David Richards, Partner - Dispute Resolution & Litigation