ASDA, The Causeway, Billingham – September 2009

ASDA occupy the town centre supermarket in Billingham. This case involved an outstanding rent review from December 2005 where we were instructed by the landlord WMT Entertainments Ltd to advise.

The case was not straight forward because the property is held on a lease from 1964, that is subject to 21 yearly rent reviews. The rent review clause is also very vague about the definition of rent and there were also issues about the user clause.

The tenant was represented by the London office of an international firm of surveyors and the review was referred to an Arbitrator for determination. The case became very complicated and involved meetings with a barrister as well as considerable correspondence between solicitors. It took over 3 years for the job to be completed.

On behalf of the landlord, we asked the Arbitrator to award a rent of £202,900 per annum and the tenant’s surveyor proposed a rent of £42,402 per annum. The awarded rent was £146,000 per annum. The Arbitrator also awarded the costs in our favour.

Our client, Max Testo of WMT Entertainments, stated “there is always some apprehension when you give a job to a small local firm. However, my solicitor Henry Cave had every confidence in Johnson Tucker. My main worry was that an international firm of surveyors would be far better resourced and have the personnel able to win over an Arbitrator. My apprehension turned to concern when we realised they were asking the Arbitrator to award a rent that was less than it was over 21 years ago!”

“As the case progressed my concern turned into confidence because Andrew Tucker was able to deal with the very technical, legal and valuation points, which the other side clearly had difficulty with. The end result was so heavy weighted in our favour and it was clear the Arbitrator has attached so much more weight to our case than the other sides.”

I was delighted with the outcome and would have no hesitation recommending Johnson Tucker LLP for this type of work. The costs of the case for both sides was enormous but I was the one who got value for money. The outcome was much better than I had originally hoped and it was well worth every penny using Johnson Tucker LLP for this job.”

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