Elizabeth Shaw

Management Board & Director and Head of Litigation


Property Litigation and Dispute Resolution


28 years


Elizabeth studied in Leeds for her Bachelor of Laws (2.1) and then attended Chester Law College to complete the Law Society Finals.

Main Areas of Work:

  • Disputes between landlords and tenants both commercial and residential (dilapidations/disrepair claims/contested lease renewals/contested rent reviews/arguments over breaches of covenants/allegations of unreasonable withholding of consent/possession actions/forfeiture).
  • Professional negligence claims against Solicitors, Surveyors and Architects arising out of property transactions.
  • Disputes about the ownership of land/beneficial interests in land or about rights over land both in relation to commercial land and residential land.
  • Contractual disputes.
  • Partnership disputes
  • Disputes arising out of the sale and purchase of companies and businesses including warranty claims.
  • Advising both individuals and companies in relation to options when in financial difficulty. Able to recommend/and work together with Insolvency Practitioners when necessary

    Acting for Insolvency Practitioners both Trustees in Bankruptcy and Liquidators/Administrators in investigating and setting aside transactions at undervalue/preferences/possession actions relating to property interests. 

    Great / Notable achievements at Wake Smith:

    • Acting for the Canal Undertaker in arbitration with a telecoms operator under The Telecommunications Code about whether consideration is paid for crossing the Canal. This case went all the way to the Supreme Court.
    • The Court of Appeal overturning the first instance Judgment which went against one of my clients who lost half of his partnership to a purported former partner. This case is properly reported at [2012] EWCA Civ 289.
    • Acting on all litigious transactions for Salvation Army Trading Company Limited; dealing with dilapidation claims, Lease renewals and any other property disputes.
    • Winning at first instance a breach of duty case alleged against my landlords clients. The tenant appealed but the Court of Appeal upheld the first instance decision.
    • Tenant’s solicitor in the reported case of H Turner & Son Limited v. Confederation Life Insurance Co (UK) Ltd (2002) EWHC 2949/(2003) 2 E.G.L.R. 11 in which the Court determined in favour of tenant when determining the date from when rent payable under the review clause.
    • Recently settling two very complicated contested lease renewals at mediation for two very different clients; fraught and complicated but both clients very relieved to avoid very expensive and time consuming court proceedings to trial.
    • Arguing a novel breach of trust argument to assist one half of a jointly owned property partnership to obtain an order for sale of jointly owned properties.
    • Acting for one party in very rare proceedings under section 17 of the Married Women’s Property Act 1882.

    Elizabeth has been a member of the Property Litigation Association for over 10 years.

    What clients say about you:

    Liz Shaw is always available and quick to respond. Her advice is very detailed and perfectly explained.’ - Quoted in The Legal 500 2024

    ‘Liz Shaw – vastly experienced, able to deal with ease with all aspects of commercial property litigation. Good communicator with me and with clients.’ Quoted in The Legal 500 2022

    Property-focused director Elizabeth Shaw, has ‘great interpersonal skills, excellent legal knowledge and always communicates in a clear way' & Elizabeth Shaw is ‘a highly driven individual with vast experience and knowledge’ - Quoted in The Legal 500 UK 2019

    Recent articles by Elizabeth Shaw

    Landlord Responsibilities when renting accommodation to students
    New Renters' Reform Bill - Potential affects for landlords
    Japanese Knotweed in the news again
    Commercial Landlords - Options when tenants fall in to arrears
    More bad news for commercial landlords
    Victory for commercial landlords in two recent judgments
    Phased easing of emergency measures for residential tenancies
    CVAs and the retail industry– a landlords’ perspective
    Parliament to abolish "no fault" evictions
    Landlords - how does the Tenant Fees Act 2019 affect you?
    Radical proposals in the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill 2021-2022
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