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Leigh Shapiro

Partner

Biography

I deal with all issues relating to residential leasehold law. So, I act for a whole range of people who own an interest in a flat (or a leasehold house), whether they be leaseholders, landlords, developers, institutional investors, lenders or those involved in managing residential property.

As a result, I have acted on deals ranging broadly both in monetary value and in size and type of property. My work can involve a single flat to advising on developments of new estates and neighbourhoods.

I deal with:

  • lease extensions
  • enfranchisement (acquiring the freehold) of houses
  • collective enfranchisement (acquiring the freehold) of flats
  • rights of first refusal
  • right to manage
  • rights in relation to service charges

Failing to comply with the legislation can result in leaseholders being unable to exercise their rights; landlords losing their interests without proper compensation; and the potential for criminal sanctions for failing to comply with the rights of first refusal procedures correctly. It is my role to make sure my clients’ rights are protected in accordance with the legislation.

I have also spoken at a number of training events and seminars including the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) and CLT seminars and webinars.

What inspired you to get into law?

Growing up, I always saw law as something which required both knowledge and skill and that it was a challenge, but one where there were lots of different opportunities, both at the bar and as a solicitor. It was the potential for greater client relationships, on the solicitor side, that took me down the solicitor route.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?

I really enjoy making technical law work commercially for lots of different types of clients. There are very few other areas of law where you have the opportunity to be involved in litigation, transactional work and also giving pre-emptive advice on how the law may effect a property or a specific interest.

What do you do away from the office?

I have three young sons who keep me entertained when I am not in the office but, I have always loved being involved in sport, which these days involves playing netball regularly for a local team and supporting Chelsea, although I am outnumbered with 4 Spurs fans in the house! When I get a chance, I also love going to the theatre.

Publications

  • “How to unlock residential assets” – Estates Gazette - 25.2.12
  • “When is a flat not a ’flat’?” – Property Law Journal - 6.5.13
  • I have also been involved in articles in News on the Block