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South East firm Vymans Solicitors has succeeded in reinterpreting the Land Registration Act to bring it in line with the Human Rights Act.
The three-partner outfit was acting for long-standing client Beaulane Properties in a case heard in the High Court in March. Beaulane was the owner of a 2.4 acre field near Heathrow Airport, valued at around £1m if planning permission were gained. The owner of a neighbouring field, Terence Palmer, claimed adverse possession of the field, as he had been using it for grazing, and renting it out for grazing, since 1986.
Palmer had been asked to leave the land in 1991, a year prior to Beaulane becoming the field's owner in 1992. Mr Justice Nicholas Strauss found the 12-year adverse possession period to run from 1991 to 2003. But he also found that Palmer's use of the land infringed the Human Rights Act as it meant he had taken it without paying the owners an amount equal to its value.
Jeremy Berg of Vymans said the case illustrated how the Human Rights Act can bring about an otherwise unachievable outcome.
He added: "I think it has brought about a just result in the case. It's a fair result and goes against some of the adverse publicity the act has had."
Vymans instructed Peter Knox of 3 Hare Court. Kenneth Seakens of Virginia Water firm Seakens instructed Steven Woolf of Hardwicke Building for Palmer.