George Woodhead

Call date: 2009
Telephone number: 020 7400 9600

George Woodhead

Call date: 2009
Telephone number: 020 7400 9600

Practice areas

Business Property & private client

A busy and experienced junior, George specialises in property, commercial and contested probate cases.  He is Deputy Head of the Property and Private Client Group and editor of Chambers’ Property and Private Client Newsletter.

George brings clear advice, strategy and energy to each case. Whilst most of George’s work is on paper or in conference, he appears in court every week, either in the County Court, FTT or the High Court, where he has enjoyed trial success against two leading silks.

The vast majority of George’s practice is repeat work from solicitors who value George’s hard-working, reliable and user-friendly attitude to the modern Bar


George is regularly instructed by commercial clients, often where there is a property or trust element to the issue in question.

George has particular and recent experience in the following areas:

Business: share purchase agreements; freezing injunctions; partnership disputes; s. 994 petitions and director disputes; sale of goods and services; building and construction disputes; commercial leases and renewals; claims arising out of the sale of land; contractual interpretation and rectification; insurance disputes; and general contractual litigation.

Recent trials/hearings:

Platinum VIP London Limited v Amari Lifestyle Limited (2018) (Central London County Court) – successfully defended a dispute concerning ownership and conversion of a Ferrari F355 super car.

Arabi v (1) Arabi (2) JK Estates (High Court, ChD) (2018) – successfully represented C in a claim for an account following trial.  The case concerned complex accounting between two brothers and an estate agency following the trial of a dispute concerning a number of properties and trusts.

Lydon Contracting Limited v (1) Lombard Finance Limited (2) Electro Services Limited (Northampton County Court) -successfully represented D2 at 5-day trial with issues including: rejection of goods; collateral contracts; total failure of consideration; and competing live expert evidence.  Obtained all budgeted costs for D2 at the conclusion of the trial.

(1) Cladern Limited (2) Makar v LDC Partners Limited (2018)(High Court, QBD) – successfully obtained undertakings following application for freezing injunction which led to subsequent settlement of substantial debt claim and proposed s. 994 petition.

Atlas Cleaning Limited v A firm of solicitors (2018) (High Court, ChD) – professional negligence claim concerning the sale of companies.  Settled the week before trial. Led by Russell Stone.

Other reported decisions:

Eastenders Cash & Carry plc and another company v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2010] All ER (D) 52 (Nov): concerning the power of detention contained in the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, s. 139(1).

Property & private client

The bulk of George’s practice falls in this practice group. George has particular expertise in the following:

Real Property: trusts of land and family-owned property/cohabitation disputes; proprietary estoppel; nuisance; boundary disputes; easements and rights of way; claims arising out of the sale of land; property-related professional negligence; and mortgages (including fraud and undue influence).

George is adept in cases requiring urgent action, where injunctions, declarations and/or specific performance are sought.

Landlord & Tenant: (residential and commercial): commercial lease renewals; possession and forfeiture; dilapidations; lease interpretation and analysis; and lease extensions.

Contested Probate: Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claims; trusts of land applications and cohabitation disputes; trustees’ duties and powers; the removal and appointment of trustees; and challenges to the validity of wills and testamentary capacity.

George is increasingly involved in cases in which capacity is an issue and handles such matters with care, sensitivity and experience.

Recent trials/hearings

Hills & 11 others v A firm of solicitors (2019) – professional negligence case against a well-known national firm of solicitors, currently in pre-action stage.  The proposed claim concerns an onerous, compounding ground rent clause which the leaseholders say they were not properly advised on by the proposed defendant firm of solicitors and which renders the value of their long lease as nil.  Each claimant’s claim will be between £250,000 and £350,000.

Folarin v Folarin (2019) (Central London County Court, Chancery List) – case concerning claim for a declaration as to beneficial interest, order for sale, account and inquiry in respect of a joint venture started between two brothers in 1995.  The assets of the Joint Venture are now estimated to be worth between £2 million and £3 million and include residential property, securities, motor cars and cash.  Issues including: Pallant v Morgan equity; partnership and joint venture; express trusts; constructive and resulting trusts; promissory notes; and accounting (over 20 years’ worth) with likely forensic accounting evidence.

Suckling v Suckling (2019) (High Court, ChD) – successfully represented C in a Part 8 claim seeking the removal of an executor de son tort.  Continue to be instructed in ancillary committal proceedings

Burgess v Baynton (2018) (Hertfordshire County Court) – advised and represented the Claimant in a Part 8 claim for a declaration of beneficial interest and order for sale of former family home in Hertfordshire.  Hard fought litigation which, after an unsuccessful application by the Defendant to adjourn the trial date, led to the Defendant accepting a Part 36 offer 2 days before trial.  Successful pre-trial application for an order for sale.  Issues including: equitable accounting (and whether property can be sold beforehand); express and common intention constructive trusts; Trust of Land and the Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

Squirrel v Arron (2018) (Central London County Court) – ToLATA dispute concerning residential property with attached business with issues including rectification of share register.  Settled at mediation.

Daejan Properties Limited v O’Loughlin (2018) (Willesden County Court) – Claim for possession against Rent Act tenant.  Issues concerning who the tenant was for the purposes of the Act and whether the property had been vacated owing to illness.  Settled at mediation.

 Patel v Patel & ors (2018) (Central London County Court) – successful ToLATA claim concerning property lived in by large family over past 30 years.  Issues concerning bilateral mistake and common intention constructive trusts.

Whittaker v Whittaker (2018) (High Court, ChD) – represented one of two brothers bringing a proprietary estoppel claim against mother’s estate relying on assurances given over 20 years prior.  Claim settled favourably at mediation.

Platt v Bryden (2017) (Brighton County Court) – successfully defended a ToLATA claim to beneficial interest in 4 properties owned by the defendant: claim struck out.  The claim concerned a long and unusual relationship between the parties.

Harrington v Euesden (2017) (Chelmsford County Court) – ToLATA/proprietary estoppel claim successfully setting aside express declaration of trust.

Other reported decisions:

Hackney LBC v Smith & Ors (2012): the appeal, before Mr Justice Vos, concerned adverse possession and the Adjudicator to Her Majesty’s Land Registry (Practice and Procedure) Rules 2003, r. 42.


George began practice at the Bar with three major scholarships from Lincoln’s Inn. He is a member of the Property Bar Association, Chancery Bar Association and the Association of Contested Trusts and Probate Specialists. George is the Editor of Chambers’ Property newsletter and ‘Proprietary Estoppel’ on Westlaw’s Insight.

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Vat number: 156 6922 81

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