Alistair Cantor specialises in commercial and regulatory, property and housing law. He undertakes a broad range of drafting, advisory and advocacy work for private litigants and public authorities.
Alistair began his career at UBS Investment Bank, before being called to the Bar in 2011 and has since built a successful practice. He combines his legal acumen with sound commercial expertise when advising his clients.
He holds long-standing instructions from the Dobbs Review, the ongoing high-profile independent review into the HBOS Reading fraud. He has a unique specialism in enforcement law, having regularly acted in enforcement proceedings concerning high value and foreign judgments.
Alistair is a mentor under the ‘Mentoring for Underrepresented Groups at the Planning, Public Law and Property Bar’ scheme. He is a member of Cornerstone Climate, our cross-disciplinary practice group for climate litigation and advice.
An alumnus of University College London, Alistair earned his Graduate Diploma in Law with Distinction at the University of Law and was awarded the Buchanan Prize from Lincoln’s Inn for Outstanding Performance on the BPTC.
- Commercial and Regulatory
Alistair is experienced in dealing with a wide variety of commercial disputes, and in personal and corporate insolvency. His expertise includes unfair prejudice petitions, director’s duties under the Companies Act and a broad range of contractual claims, including applications for injunctive relief. He has drafted statements of case and written submissions in complex actions proceeding in the Business and Property Courts. The quality of his drafting is such that he has been instructed on multiple occasions to provide non-contentious drafting of and advice on contractual documentation.
He is presently instructed by the Dobbs Review, the independent review into the HBOS Reading Fraud instructed by Lloyds Banking Group.
He has significant experience in enforcement law, including complex enforcement actions against high value and unique assets, such as aircrafts and antiquities, and involving foreign judgments and instruments.
Examples of Alistair’s past and ongoing work in this field includes:
- Claims for misrepresentation, fraud and deceit.
- Representing the company concerned by a complex unfair prejudice petition with an international aspect.
- Drafting complex Points of Defence in an unfair prejudice petition raising numerous allegations including misappropriation of company assets and diversion of income.
- Drafting an unfair prejudice petition on behalf of a shareholder regarding a tech start-up, prompting an advantageous settlement at an early stage.
- Acting for the defendant to a claim for specific performance of an alleged oral agreement to grant a major shareholding in a valuable company.
- Corporate and personal insolvency, including: winding up and bankruptcy petitions; validation orders; applications to set aside statutory demands and to restrain presentation of winding up petitions; annulments; adjustment of prior transactions; and applications for possession and sale of property.
- Consumer credit, including in respect of ‘unfair relationships’ under s140A CCA 1974.
- Drafting standard contracts and terms and conditions for a large vocational college, including ensuring compliance with consumer credit legislation.
Alistair has practised in property since the outset of his legal career and has gained wide-ranging experience in all types of disputes in the County Court, High Court, and Residential Property and Land Registration Chambers of the First-Tier Tribunal. His experience in the field includes: residential and commercial landlord and tenant; possession claims; civil fraud, misrepresentation and rescission; rent arrears and debt claims; forfeiture; trusts over land, co-ownership and ToLATA claims; service charge disputes; boundary disputes; nuisance; and dilapidations claims.
He currently writes as a specialist in property law for LexisNexis’ ‘Meet The Experts’ service.
Alistair has a particular specialism in Welsh landlord & tenant law. Over the course of 2022 and 2023, he undertook a major project of non-contentious drafting on behalf of a large number of landlords holding property in Wales, preparing ‘occupation contracts’ compliant with the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 for use in a wide range of contexts. These instructions were unparalleled in their breadth and complexity. As a result, Alistair has an expert knowledge of the legislation concerned and has acquired a unique level of experience of non-contentious drafting of occupation contracts / tenancy agreements.
His past work in this field includes:
- Mayor and Burgesses of the Brent London Borough Council and another v Malvern Mews Tenants Association Ltd  All ER (D) 192 (Apr);  EWHC 1024 (Ch): Alistair represented the successful respondent, a residents’ association, in a High Court appeal against a ‘negative declaration’. The case raised an important point as to the position of defendants to and evidential burdens in claims for negative declarations as to the absence of legal rights.
- Acting at trial for the respondent in a FTT (Land Registration) dispute as to the nature of a ‘common intention’ trust over land, the beneficial interests held under it, and the effect of charging orders on said interests.
- Advising on the likely nature of a ‘common intention’ trust of co-owned land, the quantification of the respective interests under it and the equitable accounting of respective contributions to the property.
- Acting for the claimant in a claim for a declaration as to and possession of a co-owned property held on trust, with associated claims for occupation rent and equitable accounting.
- Appearing for the claimant in an application for default judgment in a High Court claim for declarations that various properties were held on trust with associated relief such as the appointment of trustees and for accounts to be taken.
- Successfully obtaining summary disposal of a possession claim in favour of a local authority, the court dismissing defences based on adverse possession and various forms of estoppel.
- Providing non-contentious advice to a major private landlord on its standard tenancy documents and procedures.
- Acting for the defendant to a dilapidations claim valued at c. £370,000.
- Advising on the use of the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery process under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.
Alistair has garnered extensive experience within his practice in housing, acting for both landlords and tenants. He has a keen understanding of the challenges and pressures faced by housing litigants.
He has a particular specialism in Welsh housing law, having spent much of 2022 and 2023 drafting occupation contracts for a wide range of social housing providers with properties in Wales. He has an expert knowledge of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 and associated issues.
His expertise and past work encompasses:
- Local authority decision-making in the County Court and via judicial review, including proceedings on homelessness and allocation.
- Housing conditions claims, extending to proceedings under the Environmental Protection Act, disrepair and fitness for human habitation.
- Anti-social behaviour proceedings including applications for injunctions at the interim, final and committal stages.
- Possession claims, including those raising Equality Act and public law defences.
- Tenancy fraud and the right-to-buy and right-to-acquire.
- The non-contentious drafting of occupation contracts and tenancy agreements.
- Licensing and enforcement under the Housing Act 2004 including applications for rent repayment orders and prosecutions in the magistrates’ court.
- Cornerstone Housing Day presentation slides10 Oct 2023
- The Renters (Reform) Bill: a closer look at proposed changes to grounds for possession26 Jun 2023
- The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016: watch out, here it comes!25 Oct 2022
- Procedural rules for claims under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 – due to come into effect 1 December 202229 Jul 2022