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James Souter, Partner

James is recognised as an expert in the fields of enfranchisement and rights of light.


James specialises in all disputes relating to the use and occupation of land. He also has a significant advisory practice aimed at dispute avoidance. He has a wide-ranging client base which includes developers, investors, corporate, leisure and retail occupiers and high-net-worth individuals. He has considerable experience acting for clients in the higher courts and specialist property tribunals. James is recognised as an expert in the field of leasehold enfranchisement which has been developed through acting for one of the largest London estates as well as other landlords and a wide variety of tenants. He heads the firm’s enfranchisement group comprising 20 lawyers across three UK offices.

James is also recognised as an expert on rights of light and has developed a significant practise, advising developers on this and other neighbourly matters. His work in this field is regularly published in the property and wider press and he has a following of developer clients and contacts to whom he provides frequent updates on important cases and developments.

James is a member of the executive committee of the UK chapter of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. He is ranked as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ in Legal 500.

James is admitted to practise in England and Wales.


  • Advising Derwent London on a large central London development site, including devising and implementing a vacant possession strategy and mitigating a significant rights of light risk
  • Acting for Scottish Widows on a multi-million-pound damages claim by a tenant of a trading estate on the outskirts of London. The tenant succeeded in the High Court but the decision was subsequently reversed by the Court of Appeal
  • Acting for the Howard de Walden Estate on a variety of ground-breaking claims which have helped to clarify the law in relation to the enfranchisement of flats
  • Advising the Direct Line Group in relation to the successful exercise of a complex conditional break clause in the lease of a large office building in Bristol.