Phil Copley

phil.copley@legalstudio.co.uk

Solicitor

After graduating from University with a Masters degree in English Literature, Phil worked in-house at a specialist financial services company for a number of years before converting to law. He qualified as a solicitor in July 2018.

Covering all aspects of property disputers and property litigation, Phil has advised an array of clients, both corporate and individuals, on a wide range of issues, including possession and rent recovery, lease renewals and terminations, HMOs, boundary disputes, and adverse possession.

Phil takes a commercial approach to his advice, seeking to resolve disputes without the need for potentially expensive litigation wherever possible, all whilst obtaining the best possible result for his client.

In his free time, Phil enjoys reading, going to gigs, and watching his beloved Bradford City.

Specialist Areas of Interest

Property Litigation

Property Disputes

Phil's Latest Blogs

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 come into effect on 1 April 2018.
 
From that date, all landlords must ensure that their properties (both residential and commercial) must be at least For all new tenancies created from 1 April 2018, all landlords must ensure that their properties (both residential and commercial) must be at least an Energy Performance Certificate rating of ‘E’.
 
For all tenancies already existing before 1 April 2018, the requirement applies to all residential properties from 1 April 2020 and all commercial properties from 1 April 2023.
 
While there are limited exemptions to these requirements, it is important that all landlords start taking steps to get their properties into shape.

For help getting your properties into shape, contact our experts today.
 
2018 30 14
Phil Copley

A boundary dispute often includes two parties fighting over a small strip of land, where neither party changes its standpoint and legal costs quickly increase due to their unwillingness to use ADR. When establishing a boundary, complex questions arise such as:
 

  • Is the boundary marked by a physical feature?
  • Is the boundary defined in legal documents?
  • Is the physical boundary followed exactly the same as the legal boundary?
  • Is there an agreement between the owners, a statute or legal presumption that defines the boundary?

These disputes can be notoriously complex and the final outcome can be uncertain. But there must be some other way to resolve this efficiently.

Now, there is.

A new Boundary Disputes Protocol has been created by the Property Litigation Association. The Protocol applies to both commercial and residential property within England and Wales and assumes that informal discussions have failed, and a more structured resolution is required. It is a FREE resource online for parties alongside relevant guidance.
 

What does the Protocol do?

There are a number of time limits and processes that the Protocol implements for parties in order to exchange information and resolve the dispute efficiently and consensually. Failure to comply with the Protocol could result in costs being awarded at court against the non-complying party.
 

What does the Protocol say?

1. When a dispute arises, neither party should interfere with the boundary or the disputed land, until the dispute is resolved.

2. Neither party should do anything which may impair the relationship between the parties or increase costs unnecessarily.

3. Both parties should agree to use the Boundary Dispute Protocol.

4. The First Conveyance should be interpreted to determine the location of the boundary. The words used, and the physical features referred to on the First Conveyance can assist the dispute. In some circumstances, subsequent conduct and services could be relevant.

5. Each party must consider the evidence that they can use. They must exchange documentary evidence they have, identify proposed witnesses and what they will say.

6. When appropriate, a joint expert should be instructed. If separate experts are justified, the experts need to write reports, meet up, identify the issues in dispute and set a strict timetable.

7. There should be an on-site meeting with the parties in dispute and any surveyors that have been instructed. An agreement on what the issues are needs to be made.

8. Any agreement reached must be set out in a written document and state clearly what has been agreed or what is required. It may refer to physical features on the ground. This will prevent future disputes. For certainty, it is wise to ask a lawyer to draw up this agreement.

9. Each party should apply to the Land Registry to note the agreement against their titles.

Following this Protocol will help you solve a dispute earlier, avoid unnecessary costs and can preserve a relationship between neighbours. We therefore suggest that you seriously consider the Protocol before pursuing litigation.

The easy to read Protocol can be found here

2018 08 22
Phil Copley
In our latest blog, Legal Studio reflect on lawyers, working conditions and chickens…

Is your lawyer happy?

There have been numerous reports popping up in the legal news recently regarding the unspoken issue of anxiety, depression and stress within the legal industry.

This is down to a number of factors, including:

•    The expectation of long working hours. Many lawyers feel that they have to stay in the office just to be seen by superiors, at the expense of their family or social life;

•    Additional responsibilities outside of the day job. There are always pressures and deadlines to be managed, but the additional management meetings, projects and constant need for existence justifying spreadsheets get in the way of meeting them without a last-minute panic;

•    Constant, ever-increasing, targets. These are often outside the individual’s control, but any failure to meet them is attributed to them; and

•    Lack of appreciation. Doing all of the above but receiving no thanks for any of it.


Free Range Lawyers: Good for Clients

Why should our clients care if we are happy? We are, after all, paid for the advice we give and documents we produce. Our happiness is of no concern to our clients…or is it?

Here at Legal Studio, a parallel has been made with battery hens. They both see little natural light, are often overworked and have had their freedom restricted. In short, just like the battery hens, many lawyers are unhappy.

There is a large backlash against battery hens in today’s food market, with consumers paying slightly more to know that their products have come from happy hens. This is where the parallels shift…by engaging a happy lawyer with more freedom, you are likely to pay less and the end quality of work is likely to be improved.

It is impossible to focus properly for hours on end, and everyone works better in different ways and at different times of day. When forced to sit at a desk from 7am until 7pm, a lawyer is not generating their best work and they are likely to be inefficient.

At Legal Studio, our lawyers all work freelance. Yes, we have an office. Yes, we are contactable between 9 – 5 Monday to Friday (and beyond). But no, we don’t sit at our desks trying to look busy or force our brains to complete a document when, in reality, we are struggling to focus any longer. There is a lot to be said for the ability to leave the desk to take a proper lunch, catch up with a contact, or go to the gym. Not only doesn’t it have a huge impact on our personal wellbeing, it also has a big impact on our ability to focus and reflect on our work.

Each of us has the ability to choose which cases we accept. It is not dictated to us. This means that the work we do is through choice, and our clients have a new level of importance to us. Of course, if we are busy we will work long hours, but this won’t be imposed upon us for no recognition.

So, the answer to the question of whether you should care if your lawyer is happy is yes. It will impact on your relationship with them, their work ethic, and their productivity. By being able to work efficiently, we are able to work cost-effectively.

Free-range lawyers – it’s a novel concept but it works on both sides. If you are interested in either joining us, or in finding out how we are able to assist you, please get in touch via our website.
 
2018 53 08
Phil Copley