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Edward Cousins

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Edward Cousins is an Associate Member of Chambers having joined FTB in October 2013 as a Legal Adviser, Mediator and Arbitrator. Prior to that he was in practice as a Chancery Barrister in Chambers in Lincoln's Inn until September 2003, when he was appointed to the salaried full-time judicial role as the Adjudicator to HM Land Registry.

Unique selling point:

His position as a legal adviser is unusual in that he provides a valuable combination of experience as a former Barrister, as a judge and as a mediator.

He is available to sit as an Inspector on Town and Village Green Inquiries and as an Examiner for Neighbourhood Development Plan Examinations.

He is sensitive to needs of all participants in the legal process, and looks for robust but fair and inclusive outcomes in land disputes which participants often find completely bewildering.

His Practice:

Edward Cousins was called to the Bar in 1971 and pursued a successful career with expertise in property and land law and associated litigation. This area of law included conveyancing and land registration, markets and fairs, commons and town and village greens, covenants affecting land, easements, and the construction, interpretation and drafting of documents, and aspects of planning and local government law. He also became practised in the field of landlord and tenant law. This involved the consideration of the Rent Acts and Housing Acts, business tenancies, leasehold enfranchisement, mortgages and Building Society law, and aspects of bankruptcy and insolvency law. Many cases, particularly in the field of planning and local government law and markets and fairs had a public law element. His practice further developed in the specialist areas of mortgage law and the law of markets and fairs after he was published in these fields.

His Former Judicial Roles:

In March 2002 Edward Cousins was appointed as the Chief Commons Commissioner dealing with disputed commons registration issues. This was a part-time post abolished in December 2011 by the implementation of the Commons Act 2006.

In September 2003 he was appointed by the Lord Chancellor to the newly created judicial role of Adjudicator to HM Land Registry established under the Land Registration Act 2002. The jurisdiction deals with land registration applications referred by HM Land Registry where there are disputes over title. The cases involve consideration of most (and often somewhat complex) areas of land law, ranging from beneficial interest and rights of way cases, boundary disputes and adverse possession claims, to more esoteric disputes involving market rights, commons and town and village greens, aspects of planning law, easements, priority of mortgages and charges, and compulsory purchase. In effect this jurisdiction deals with any land law issue where there is a dispute as to title.

More recently a contractual ADR/mediation scheme was established in the jurisdiction designed to persuade the parties to reach settlements before the cases reach trial, and so as to avoid the costs of litigation.

On 1st July 2013 the jurisdiction was subsumed into the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal as the Land Registration Division, and the Land Registration Act 2002 was amended to facilitate this process. Edward Cousins was then transferred into the new jurisdiction as the Principal Judge of the Land Registration Division of the Property Chamber. The constitutional basis of the new jurisdiction continues to remain substantially the same as before.

Edward Cousins has now retired from that position and joined FTB as an Associate Member with the view to specialising in planning and related property issues. To that end he has been appointed to the Panel of NPIERS as an Examiner. He is also qualified as a non-statutory Inspector and has been retained in that role on a number of town and village green inquiries.

He is an accredited mediator and has been retained in a number of property mediations, and matters involving early neutral evaluation and other aspects of ADR.


Mortgage Law - Cousins on Mortgages, Third Edition Sweet and Maxwell (December 2010); Fourth Edition is forthcoming, publication date in 2017;
Commons and Greens - Gadsden on the Law of Commons and Greens, with Richard Honey Second Edition Sweet and Maxwell (January 2012);
Markets and Fairs - Pease and Chitty's Law of Markets and Fairs, Sixth Edition Bloomsbury Publishing (August 2012);
Works of reference - include the following the section on Markets in Volume 71 of the new Fourth Edition of Halsbury's Laws of England (published in April 2013), and also an article for the April edition of the Conveyancer on land registration and the registration of manorial and franchise rights. It is anticipated that the publication of the Third Edition of Gadsden and Cousins on Mortgages will occur in 2017.
He has also recently been retained to contribute one chapter to the forthcoming edited collection of essays to be published by Hart entitled 'New Perspectives on Land Registration: Contemporary Problems and Solutions'. The chapter is to be called'A Judicial Perspective: The Land Registration Jurisdiction: Lessons from the First Twelve Years'.

Writes Local Government Law

Author of Pease, Chitty and Cousins: Law of Markets and Fairs

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