James Khakpour-Smith


St Albans Office

01727 818513

Recent work

James Khakpour-Smith is a Partner in the Commercial Real Estate Department advising on a wide range of property

James successfully acts for a broad spectrum of clients, from a multi-national law firm and various large off-shore property investment companies to local owner-managed businesses, in a wide range of matters which include the acquiring, disposal, financing and leasing of commercial freehold and leasehold property.

James is utilised by Taylor Walton’s Corporate team to support with Corporate transactions where they involve real estate issues including advising on warranties and disclosures and conveyancing documents.

James has a wealth of experience in acting for developers in small to medium sized development finance and refinance, site acquisitions, assembly and sales-off.

James also specialises in collective enfranchisement and lease extension work for both landlords and tenants and is listed by the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners as having expertise in these areas.


Outside of work James is a very keen sports enthusiast and has competed nationally in both sprint and cross country running and has played football at a semi-professional level. James now manages and runs a local football club. When James is not involved in sports he likes to spend time with his friends and family.

No change in VAT rules for dilapidation payments – but be careful

By James Khakpour-Smith | 5 April 2022

HMRC has always treated dilapidation payments as compensation from a tenant to the landlord, for not returning the property in the condition it should be, according to the lease agreement being terminated. Importantly, these compensation payments were not subject to VAT. In September 2020, HMRC stated it was considering this long-held view, with a mind to combine…

London Trocadero (2015) LLP v Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd

London Trocadero (2015) LLP v Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd

By James Khakpour-Smith | 7 October 2021

The government’s recent announcement, that it intends to introduce a binding arbitration scheme for commercial landlords and tenants dealing with the issue of rent arrears following the COVID-19 crisis, has been seen by many as a blow to landlords. This promise of arbitration, combined with the existing restrictions on the actions open to landlords, makes…

Ground Rents – What does Countryside Properties’ withdrawal of fees mean for leaseholders in the UK?

By James Khakpour-Smith | 21 September 2021

Countryside Properties has become the latest housebuilder to announce its intention to scrap the “unfair” contract terms that saw the ground rents of its leaseholders double every 10 to 15 years. The move comes following increasing pressure from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) who launched enforcement action against four major housing developers, including Countryside, back in…