Law firm Bishop & Sewell launches specialist building safety group as demand for advice surges

Law firm Bishop & Sewell announces the launch of its specialist building safety group as demand for advice surges.

With yet more changes to building safety law on the horizon, London law firm Bishop & Sewell has launched a new cross-departmental Building Safety Group, a multidisciplinary team to help clients navigate complex issues of building safety and fire safety. 

The firm has witnessed a considerable increase in enquiries related to building and fire safety since the Building Safety Act 2022 was introduced, with the bulk of enquiries to date originating from landlords and their agents, as well as leaseholders.

The new Building Safety working group brings together specialists in construction, residential property, commercial property, leasehold enfranchisement, and property litigation to provide clients with comprehensive advice on a wide range of issues. 

Law firm Bishop & Sewell launches specialist building safety group as demand for advice surges

Mark Chick, Senior Partner, Bishop and Sewell

Mark Chick, Senior Partner and Head of the Landlord and Tenant team at Bishop & Sewell, said:

“Since the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) came into force we’ve seen a massive surge in enquiries across various of the firm’s departments, including our residential and commercial property, enfranchisement and litigation teams. 

“We took the decision to establish a Building Safety working group to help streamline the process for our clients, share best practice across the firm, and deal with the sheer weight of enquiries we’ve witnessed due to the BSA legislation.

“By pooling our knowledge and resources, the new group aims to provide our clients with an effective one-stop-shop for all building and fire safety legal matters.” 

Looking ahead, the BSA is set to undergo a series of amendments by virtue of the commencement of certain provisions of the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act 2024 (the LFRA), starting on 24 July 2024. The LFRA will clarify and extend protections in specific areas to further prevent freeholders and developers from escaping their liabilities to fund building remediation work.  

Mark said:

“These changes will have a huge impact as the current remedies available to parties applying to the First-Tier Tribunal [‘FTT’] to resolve building safety defects under the BSA will increase. 

“Amendments such as the new definition of relevant steps, and changes to allow recovery of legal costs by residents, are likely to increase the number of claims for remediation orders and remediation contribution orders faced by landlords.

“Implementing these changes is also likely to add considerably to the cost faced by landlords and developers as relevant steps can include waking watches and/or fire detection and alarm systems, although the sector has had time to prepare for the changes. 

“The forthcoming amendments should both clarify and strengthen the scope of protections under the BSA and correct certain defects in the original Act that had prevented these changes being implemented sooner. 

“As is the case with most provisions contained within the LFRA, many of these provisions will not be enacted until a later date to be specified by the Secretary of State.

“Commencement dates for the other provisions in the LFRB will be confirmed after the General Election and can be counted on being carried through under the new Labour government.” 


Kindly shared by Bishop & Sewell LLP