Couple Facing £130,000 in Legal Costs over Boundary Issue
BY TRISTAN KIRK, EVENING STANDARD
Have you ever been in an escalating dispute with a neighbour? A couple faces a £130,000 legal bill over a minor boundary issue that could have been resolved through mediation. The judge has urged them to settle their differences without wasting more money on legal fees. What can we learn from this situation? How can we use mediation to resolve conflicts in a peaceful and cost-effective manner?
Couple who won £200 damages are urged to end feud with neighbour after £130,000 bill
The neighbours accused Debbie Ranford of “trespassing” on their East Dulwich property when she built a roof extension to her flat
A millionaire couple who face a £130,000 legal bill after a disastrous court battle over a wall have been urged by a judge to make peace with their neighbour to end the feud.
Liz Peck, who runs a gender-neutral organic children’s clothing business, and her singer-songwriter husband Adam accused neighbour Debbie Ranford of “trespassing” on their East Dulwich property when she built a roof extension to her flat.
Mrs Ranford’s builder used “infill” material on the Pecks’ side of the boundary, prompting the couple to sue to try to force her to dismantle the entire extension. In a ruling last June, Judge Simon Monty QC concluded there had been a “very minor” trespass across the boundary and awarded the Pecks just £200 in damages. Suggesting the couple had used a “sledgehammer to crack a nut”, he left them to shoulder lawyers’ bills totalling around £130,000.