June 17, 2024

LKP / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation wins second press award

Award2014picAward2014Sebastian O’Kelly, Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation chairman and director of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, last night won a press award for his coverage of leasehold for the second year running.

O’Kelly won the “Scoop of the Year” category for his report into the scandalous forfeiture of the £800,000 flat belonging to Dennis Jackson, at Plantation Wharf in Battersea.

Thanks to the efforts of O’Kelly, Martin Boyd, LKP co-director, and Sir Peter Bottomley, the forfeiture was overturned. The dispute, which began over £9,000 in unpaid service charges, has cost Jackson more than £100,000.

The report can be read here

In winning the award, O’Kelly defeated competition from the Sunday Times, Inside Housing and Estates Gazette.

The award was presented at a ceremony in central London hosted by Julia Somerville, the TV news presenter.

She said: “Please acknowledge the work of Sebastian O’Kelly, from The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership and of course the former property editor of the Mail on Sunday for over 12 years, this year’s Gold Award winner for his scoop on Plantation Wharf.

“The case of leasehold pensioner Dennis Jackson, who would have lost his £800,000 flat in Battersea had not Sebastian himself taken up the case, persuading politicians and the CEO of Prudential to intervene. For his trouble, he was thrown out of Wandsworth County Court by the judge hearing the case. Gutsy stuff!”

Coincidentally, the award category was sponsored by the Property Ombudsman, which will shortly be one of the ombudsman services to which all leasehold managing agents will have to belong.

O’Kelly said:

“Saving Dennis Jackson from total ruin was an LKP team effort and thanks must go to Peter Bottomley, who did not hesitate to wade in to do the necessary even though Jackson was not a constituent.

“The case demonstrates the injustices of the leasehold system in stark clarity.

“It is extraordinary, and a major issue, that the decision on lifting Jackson’s forfeiture – his entire life assets – was held in a closed court from which the public (myself and Martin Boyd) were ejected.

“Yet the deputy district judge did this without a second’s hesitation. In what other area of law would such a decision with such consequences have been possible, except leasehold?

“The rest was equally unedifying: the pleased-with-themselves lawyers who racked up outrageous fees; the remorseful freeholders insisting on meeting LKP to say that they did not know how to stop what they had started and did not want to take away a pensioner’s £800,000 home; the residents of Plantation Wharf, who at a certain point could have stopped this litigation but sat on their hands.

“The awfulness of this case needs reading in entirety, and the OFT should read it to see the wrongs that can happen in leasehold.

“Jackson is now completing the sale of his flat and, although £100,000 poorer, he can carry on with the rest of his life.

“He doesn’t need to give Plantation Wharf a second’s thought, and it certainly doesn’t deserve it.”


  1. Michael Epstein says

    Congratulations! Very well deserved.
    It is a shame your award was not announced on the Cirrus/Careline/Peverel website.
    All i ask Sebastian, is that the award does not go to your head, after all it it is not an EAC or News On The Block award is it?

  2. No, this is a proper award Michael and one that has been well earned and not bought…!!

    • Michael Epstein says

      How very odd!
      Why would the EAC put an “amended, version 2” video of the EAC awards ceromony on their website?
      What, i wonder was on version 1 that they don’t want to be seen now?

  3. The LKP/Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation budget does not stretch to buying a table at the EAC or Property NoTB awards.

    Talking of which its Deep disappointment time as we’re not invited to the LEASE conference again -wonder why??

  4. I think we should arrange our own for leaseholders……I have the time if somebody out there can offer a free venue…

  5. M. Epstein says

    From little acorns!
    Can you imagine the day in which there is an Insitute of Leaseholders, for which freeholders/managing agents must be accredited?
    A pipe dream? Not when you consider how far we have come.!

  6. Karen,
    Thank you for the support.
    I will send you some worthwhile info, and would appreciate your comments.

    Michael was asking could you imagine the day when freeholders / managing agents must be accredited?

    I think with support from other MPs and the good people who help Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation / LKP / About Peverel and others such as James Charles of The Times and of course our hero’s Sebastian and Martin along with Susan, and your self, we will get there.

    I have gone into training???

  7. Congratulations Sebastian … it was a great pleasure reading about this award! You have already helped our Residents’ Association with both your and Martin’s interest. The work that Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation / LKP are doing is invaluable and we wish you continued success and recognition!

    Very well done … and ‘thank you’!

  8. A Reviewer says


    it is all so simple;

    iso 9001 is the INTERNATIONAL standard for management.

    but is MORE than that. a document setting forth what has to be done and so on is also required.

    then a simple rule – if an organisation / firm / person is not accredited then not allowed in the business.


    happy days

    • If regulation is required… that will be no obstacle – believe me…..
      If it is good enought for the Peverel’s, Tchenguiz’s and the Adderstones of this world to get by on, then it is good enough for us……

  9. Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation says

    Sir Peter Bottomley writes:

    “Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation / Leasehold Knowledge Partnership helped me to give assistance to my elderly frail constituents.

    “As a result I was able to give advice and help to others.

    “Law and practice in leasehold disputes must change for the better.”

  10. Two years running …… YESSS!!!