In Oakley v Harper McKay Developments Paul Ashwell, instructed by Cole Francis, succeeded in establishing the sellers’ right to serve a completion notice on the buyer of an office block ripe for conversion into residential flats and duplexes.

The judge rejected the buyer’s arguments that denial of access was a breach of contract and that section 2 of the Law of Property [Miscellaneous Provisions] Act 1989 prevented waiver of a contractual term to assign copyright of plans in a particular form. So the sellers could rescind the contract, keep the deposit of £222,500 and redevelop the block themselves. For more details see Robert Oakley v Harper McKay Developments Ltd. [2018] EWHC 3405 (Ch).