Paul Tapsell

Paul has practiced from Canterbury for over 24 years and has extensive experience of a range of areas of work and local Courts and Tribunals. His specialisms include Proceeds of Crime, Local Government, Planning, Employment, Land Law (especially boundary disputes), and Landlord and Tenant. He acts for the Home Office (NCA, Customs, etc.), businesses or private individuals in connection with cash seizure and forfeiture proceedings and/or condemnation cases involving intercepted excise goods (tobacco and/or alcohol).

Paul is instructed in a wide range of disputes arising from parties’ interests in land, e.g. boundary disputes between neighbouring properties, claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, etc., and in Landlord and Tenant matters, involving commercial and residential property cases.

He represents Local Authorities, developers and individuals involved in planning disputes, planning applications, inquiries and hearings and is particularly experienced in dealing with issues related to Listed Building status and the environmental impact of developments.

He also acts in employment cases, either for an employer or employee, dealing with matters including unfair dismissal, redundancy, discrimination and Transfers of Undertakings.

In addition Paul is a Grade 3 CPS Prosecutor and regularly appears in criminal matters in the Crown Courts and/or Magistrates Courts across the South East.

He has a particular reputation for objective, pragmatic and realistic advice and has been ranked as a leader in his fields of work in Chambers and Partners for 4 years:

“Housing and planning disputes form the mainstay of his practice and he is a popular choice of counsel for advising local authorities. He is also noted for his expertise in boundary disputes. Recent work: Advised in Ashford Borough Council v Brunger, a possession action involving a substantial counterclaim alleging illegal eviction.” Chambers and Partners 2016

Expertise: “He’s got a good bearing in court, and a very convincing manner.” “He is very approachable, and he can pick up and run with any matter he is instructed on. He is a very persistent advocate.” Chambers and Partners 2015.

Condemnation & Cash Forfeiture

Paul regularly appears in various Magistrates and Crown Court cases dealing with matters involving the interception of vehicles travelling to or from the continent where cash, excise goods (alcohol or tobacco) and/or the vehicle is seized by Customs officers.

He has considerable experience in representing businesses or private individuals as well as acting for the Home Office (NCA, Customs, etc.) in connection with cash seizure and forfeiture proceedings and/or condemnation cases involving excise goods (tobacco and/or alcohol) arising from interceptions at Dover or the Channel Tunnel. Many of his cases have involved foreign nationals so he is experienced in working with clients where the additional services of an interpreter are required.

In addition he is often instructed in confiscation hearings arising from Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) Orders made following on conviction.

Paul Tapsell's Condemnation & Cash Forfeiture Cases

Condemnation of a luxury car

Paul acted for the Border Force in a matter where an individual had his Porsche Cayenne seized under sections 88 and 139 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 as having been ‘adapted’ by the construction of two concealed voids in the sills of the vehicle. The vehicle had been purchased second hand by Continue reading

Successfully defending a Crown Court appeal

Paul acted for the Border Force, responding to an appeal in the Crown Court against a condemnation (and costs) order made by the Magistrates’ Court. Mr A had travelled into the United Kingdom with 10,400 cigarettes in a car belonging to his brother, and was stopped by the Border Force, who seized the cigarettes and Continue reading

Cash seizure on leaving the UK

Paul represented the Home Office in a case concerning a cash seizure of approximately £40,000 from foreign nationals leaving the UK through Dover Docks. The concealed and undeclared cash was claimed to be the profits of online gambling and/or foreign property transactions, however the lack of sufficient audit trail or evidence of currency exchange suggested Continue reading

Articles by Paul Tapsell

Paul Tapsell's Testimonials for Condemnation & Cash Forfeiture

“…My sincere thanks again for your great work as ever, and delivering a very positive result…”

Mr S from a firm of Solicitors instructing Paul Tapsell – October 16

Planning & Rating

Paul acts for Local Authorities, developers and individuals involved in planning disputes, assisting with initial advice in connection with planning applications, undertaking planning inquiries and hearings, and appeals to enforcement proceedings (in either the criminal courts or as part of civil proceedings for injunctions and/or damages) in the High Court or County Court.

His cases have involved consulting and instructing experts including leading authorities in Listed Building status, English Heritage and specialists in assessing environmental impact of developments.

Paul Tapsell's Planning & Rating Cases

Long–standing use of agricultural land for parking (Re CF)

Paul represented the Local Authority in a Planning Inquiry concerning the use of an extensive site for off-airport car parking. This long-running case involved a company which had been granted initial permission to use farmland to park 200 cars, and had subsequently extended their multi-million point operation to accommodate 1400-1500 vehicles without additional permission. The Continue reading

Retaining right of way to a local footpath (Re HSM)

Paul represented a Local Authority in a footpath inquiry involving access across private land owned by a wild fowl conservation (shooting) club. Local walkers had historically used the footpath as it joined two other paths approximately ¾ mile apart to create a circular walk. They asked the Local Authority to take action when the shooting Continue reading

Property & Land Law

Paul is instructed in a wide range of disputes arising from parties’ interests in land, e.g. boundary disputes between neighbouring properties, claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, etc.

He has developed particular expertise in dealing with the stress and emotional impact that boundary issues can have on his clients, and his pragmatic, common sense approach leads him frequently to advise his clients to attempt to seek alternative ways of resolving their issues before resorting to court action.

 

Paul Tapsell's Property & Land Law Cases

Securing damages and costs for a Claimant Landlord

Paul acted for the Claimant landlord in a claim for damages for disrepair and rent arrears at the termination of a commercial lease. The Defendants/Tenant had failed to engage in the pre-action process or the claim resulting in judgment in default and the matter being listed for assessment of damages. The Defendants failed to engage Continue reading

Order for sale of property

Paul acted for the Defendant in a case where the parties had separated several years previously. They had agreed a consent order where the Defendant would give up his interest in the former matrimonial home and the Claimant would use her best endeavours to remove him from the mortgage and the deeds. However, she did Continue reading

Prosecuting a landlord

Paul acted for the local authority in a prosecution of a landlord who had failed to obtain a licence for a property within a selective licensing area (under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004, section 95). The landlord claimed that she had a ‘reasonable excuse’ defence under section 95(4) in that she had managing Continue reading

Articles by Paul Tapsell

Boundary Disputes – lines in the sand

Many boundary disputes arise from misunderstandings or a lack of communication between neighbours, but rapidly escalate into cripplingly expensive litigation. It’s essential that if you’re affected (whichever side of the fence you’re on) you get proper legal advice from a Solicitor or Barrister before getting sucked into what could become acrimonious, stressful and lengthy proceedings. This article Continue reading

Paul Tapsell's Testimonials for Property & Land Law

“Good result. Thanks for all your help on this. From ‘car crash’ to success.”

Mr M from Solicitors Instructing Paul Tapsell – January 18

 “Could you pass on my grateful thanks to Paul Tapsell.  He certainly helped me a great deal and I am extremely grateful to you for that.”

 

Ms H Instructing Paul Tapsell through Solicitors – December 17

“…Thank you so much again for your excellent work in this matter especially on the very short notice of the hearing of the injunction application!…”

Mr S from a firm of Solicitors instructing Paul Tapsell – August 16

Employment

Paul is often instructed in employment cases, either by an employer or employee, dealing with matters including unfair dismissal, redundancy, discrimination (by reason of sex, race, disability, etc.) and Transfers of Undertakings. In addition he is able to assist on an advisory basis at an early stage of any work-place disputes so as to ensure that litigation can be avoided. If proceedings are issued, he can ensure that suitable evidence is obtained to support the client’s position, or assist in reaching a suitable compromise settlement.

Paul Tapsell's Employment Cases

Compensation for unfair dismissal

Paul represented an employee sacked for speeding, in a case where a vehicle tracker had recorded evidence of over 1000 occasions in a 6 month period when the speed limit had been exceeded. The Tribunal found that the dismissal was procedurally and substantively unfair and in breach of contract (wrongful dismissal), and awarded compensation of Continue reading

Articles by Paul Tapsell

Paul Tapsell's Testimonials for Employment

“….the benefit of instructing a barrister was far less hassle and it kept the costs down….value for money….i was very happy with all the dealings i had with Becket Chambers from start to finish….”

Mrs R instructing Paul Tapsell through the DPA scheme – April 14

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“…. The whole process of using your company was faultless…..my initial contact was through Arron Smith, who’s service was outstanding from start to finish….”

Mr L instructing Mr Thistle & Mr Tapsell through the DPA Scheme – January 2014

“….Excellent advice given….value for money….helpful team”

Mr G instructing Paul Tapsell through the DPA scheme – January 14