Find out more about our team
- Charles Knapper LLB (Hons) IEng IMarEng MIMarEST Senior Partner
Charles Knapper is the Managing Partner and is the firm’s litigation specialist. Having acted for numerous clients across a wide range of litigation matters he is now an experienced advocate. Charles also has an extensive and loyal client base in residential and commercial conveyancing as well as residential and commercial landlord and tenant matters. In recent years he has seen success in relation to leasehold holiday properties and in particular the case in the High Court that determined that Leasehold Holiday Homes had the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. In an article published on Landlord and Tenant law it was said that the three most important recent cases were Arnold v Britton, Phillips & Goddard v Francis and Johnson v County Bideford and Charles was involved in all three. Charles continues to break new ground in this important area of law.
Additional qualifications include being an Incorporated Engineer with the Council of Engineering Institute and he is a Member of the Institute of Marine Engineers Science and Technology. As a professional engineer Charles has an insight into many commercial and industrial engineering disputes and is able to undertake specialist litigation work including catastrophic steam plant failures, marine engine and gearbox failures as well as general mechanical and electrical engineering disputes including motor vehicle repair disputes.
Charles obtained his engineering qualification having served over 12 years in the Royal Navy with the majority of his time spent on Nuclear Submarines. Charles is experienced in all form of propulsion systems including steam, gas turbine, diesel and nuclear. Charles is also qualified in the field of electrical generation and distribution as well as control electrical systems.
Cases of note include
Aly & Aly v Wickham and Walker  EW Misc 12 CC – Landlord and Tenant the true construction and the lease and the question of the true construction of the meaning of s18 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and whether or not the second part of the reddendum in the lease this created a service charge within the meaning of the Act. This was an important appeal as the judge at first instance found that the Act did not apply and therefore the lease had a fixed service charge. On appeal this was overturned meaning that the landlord could no longer charge a fixed sum increasing each year by the increase in the retail price index regardless of the expenditure.
Arnold -v- Britton  UKSC 36 – Landlord and Tenant Lease Construction service charge. The court must identify the parties’ intentions by reference to “what a reasonable person would have understood them to be using the language in the contract to mean”. While some reliance can be placed on commercial common sense, this cannot override the language used in the contract. The court is not responsible for saving a party from a bad bargain, or from poor advice.
Phillips & Goddard -v- Francis  EWHC 3650 (Ch) – Landlord and Tenant Lease Construction Management Charges Double Recovery Lessor not Professional Agent, Qualifying Works Landlord & Tenanct Act 1985 s20ZA(2) Fragmentation of Works Financial Limit by Reference to Contribution not Costs of Works no Triviality Threshold all Qualifying Works entered into Calculation.
Lancefield -v- Lancefield  BPIR 1108 – Insolvent Partnership – No winding-up petition presented – Whether jurisdiction to make winding-up order – Insolvent Partnerships Order 1994, Sch 3 – Insolvency Act 1986, s 221(7), (8)
Phillips & Goddard -v- Francis QBD 24/03/2010 – Landlord and Tenant Holiday Lettings – Houses – Service Charges – meaning of “Dwelling” in S.18 LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1985. A chalet the use of which was restricted to providing holiday accommodation was a dwelling for the purposes of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 s.18. King v Udlaw (LT L 29/5/2008) not followed.
Smith -v- Cawse and Crawford 15/07/1997 (unreported) Costs – Indemnity provision in tenancy – Tenant on benefits – Financial hardship – Possession of an assured shorthold pursuant to s21 Housing Act 1988 – Church Commissioners for England -v- Ibrahim (1996) EGCS 25 followed – Party not to be deprived of a contractual rights to costs unless good reason to do so – Financial circumstances of the tenant not a reason to interfere with contractual right to costs
Sinclair-Steadman -v- Beak 2005 (unreported) Costs – Landlord recovering legal costs from deposit – Contractual right to costs on indemnity basis – No order for costs at possession hearing – Landlord seeking to recover the costs of possession proceedings and costs of serving Statutory Demand under the Insolvency Act 1986 from tenancy deposit – Can a “no costs order” interfere with the landlord’s contractual right to costs – Church Commissioners for England -v- Ibrahim (1996) EGCS 25 followed – Rent was in arrears therefore statutory demand was justified as were the possession proceedings – No good reason to interfere with contractual right – Landlord entitled to deduct costs from deposit – Landlord’s costs found to be perfectly reasonable as hourly rate was within scale for Grade A Solicitor – Tenant’s claim for the return of the deposit dismissed
Scottish & Newcastle Plc -v- MacPherson 22nd September 2010 (unreported) Undue influence – whether the wife being a joint licencee and company secretary created a commercial relationship for the purpose of a personal guarantee given by the wife – Royal Bank of Scotland -v- Etridge  UKHL 44 followed – wife had no proprietory interest in husband’s company and was a mere cypher – neither the position of company secretary nor the holding of the premises licence created a commercial relationship so as to disturb the undue influence argument.
Charles Cross Centre Limited CHI/00HG/LIS/2011/0144 29th June 2012 S20B Landlord Tenant Act 1985 whether or not demands were served more than 18 months after expenditure incurred. Preliminary issue as to whether demands found to be invalid could reasonably escape the 18 month period. Valid demands found to have been served more than 18 months after expenditure was incurred. Invalid demands could not take advantage of s20B (2). Gilje v. Charlegrove Securities Limited (No. 2)  EWHC 1284 and London Borough of Brent v. Shulem B Association Limited  EWHC 1663 (Ch) both applied.
- Amanda Knapper LLB (Hons) Partner
Amanda is a Senior Partner and specialises in the firm’s Wills Trusts and Probate department as well as assisting in the Immigration department. In addition to being an experienced solicitor, Amanda with her many years of experience is a formidable advocate. Amanda considers that her advocacy skills combined with an attention to detail have resulted in her remarkable success rate.
Amanda was a political agent for several years before embarking on a career in law in 1990. Having obtained an honours degree in law at Plymouth University, Amanda then went to Exeter University where she completed her post graduate studies and qualified in 1998.
Following her admission as a solicitor, Amanda initially practised as a family and children’s solicitor. After moving from Bude to Plymouth Amanda initially worked at Plant Haynes Solicitors before becoming one of the original partners of the firm and has ongoing responsibility for our administration, management and recruitment.
Amanda is a committed Christian and has a wide client base from all over the United Kingdom. Amanda has close connections with other senior human rights lawyers and other organisations in both Plymouth and London. Her commitment to the legal profession can be summed up in the words “do right fear no one”.
- Natalie Roberts LLB Partner
Natalie completed her degree at Plymouth University obtaining an upper second class (2:1) honours degree in law and is local to the Plymouth area. Natalie joined Fursdon Knapper in 2009 after completing her Legal Practice Course at the University of Plymouth and was admitted as a solicitor in 2011.
Natalie has a broad range of skills but particularly specialises in residential conveyancing.
Natalie has assisted many hundreds of clients in property transactions ranging from first time buyers, assisting property developers in expanding their property portfolio, and dealing with re-mortgage and transfer of equity transactions. Natalie has proven to be very popular with our clients who find her to be very friendly and approachable. Prior to joining Fursdon Knapper, Natalie worked in the hospitality industry for six years and brings a high level of customer service to the firm. Married with a son and daughter Natalie also has a miniature dachshund called Pixie who regularly features on our Facebook page.
- Louise Dickinson BSc (Hons) Partner
Louise joined Fursdon Knapper in July 2008 and was admitted to the roll of solicitors in July 2010.
Louise graduated from the University of Bath in 2006, obtaining a 2:1 degree in International Management and German. Louise speaks fluent German and spent a year working in marketing and business management in Munich, Germany during the third year of her degree. Louise completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Law at the University of Plymouth in 2007 and the Legal Practice Course at the University of Plymouth in 2008.
Louise has a large client base in immigration and asylum law and represents clients throughout the South West and nationwide in this area of law. Louise has many years of experience in advocacy before the First-tier and Upper-tier Immigration Tribunals and represents clients in court on a regular basis. Louise also has expertise in civil litigation and has worked on a number of high profile cases.
- Adrian Gerson LLB (Hons)
Adrian joined the firm in 2002 and was admitted as a solicitor in 2005. Adrian is a property specialist and carries out both residential and commercial work for his loyal clients who have stayed with him over the years. Adrian believes in maintaining a strong relationship with his clients and ensures that not only is the job completed but the client is also well protected. Married with two children and a family that includes a miniature dachshund called Milly, Adrian has lots to occupy him when not dealing with your property affairs.
- Danielle Nichols LLM LLB (Hons) Solicitor
Danielle joined Fursdon Knapper in 2014 as a paralegal whilst reading law at the University of Plymouth. Danielle then completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Danielle also undertook a Master’s Degree in Advanced Legal Practice in 2016 at the University of Exeter. Danielle was admitted as a Solicitor in 2019 and works in our Plymstock office and specialises in all areas of family law, including relationship breakdown, divorce, family finances, child contact issues and parental alienation. Danielle is a member of Resolution and adopts a constructive approach when dealing with all family matters. Danielle is local to Plymouth and in her spare time she enjoys travelling and is a mixed martial arts enthusiast.
- Kayleigh Whiting Paralegal
Kayleigh is a paralegal who has experience in litigation and personal injury work. Kayleigh studied at Callington Community College obtaining 4 high grade A levels and is now studying to become a Chartered Legal Executive. With an eye for perfection Kayleigh is an important member of our litigation department working closely with Charles Knapper.
- Laura Calvert Garner Trainee Solicitor
Laura is a trainee solicitor who joined the firm in 2020 having previously worked for another firm local to Plymouth for just over two years. Laura read law at the University of Exeter and completed her post graduate legal practice course also at Exeter. Laura is currently in our family department at our Plymstock office working closely with Danielle Nichols. Laura intends to specialise in a mix of family law including divorce, relationship breakdown and family finances alongside wills and probate.
- Donna Kiely Paralegal
Donna has a wealth of experience in conveyancing having previously worked in firms around Plymouth for most of her working life. As a Legal Assistant/Paralegal, she now supports Natalie and Adrian at our Keyham office with their Conveyancing workload.
- Emily Brailsford Paralegal
Emily joined the firm in October 2019 and is currently studying with CILEx to become a Chartered Legal Executive. Having previously worked in firms around Plymouth since 2015 as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal, she now supports Natalie and Adrian at our Keyham office with their Conveyancing workload.
- Jode Ruggiero Private Client Practitioner
Jode is our Private Client Practitioner, working under the supervising partner, Amanda Knapper LL.B. He specialises in wills, probate (contentious and non contentious), lasting powers of attorney, trusts and general private client matters. Jode is currently reading law at the Open University.
- Gemma Langdon Paralegal
Gemma is a paralegal who has experience in conveyancing having worked for one of our competitors from 2018 joining the firm in January 2020. Gemma is particularly experienced in the conveyancing of new build properties but assists with all aspects of conveyancing including commercial work. Gemma is an important member of the conveyancing department and works closely with Natalie Roberts, Adrian Gerson and Charles Knapper
- Jo Crook BA (Hons) Cashier
Jo is an experienced cashier having previously worked for one of the local Plymouth firms from 1992 joining this firm in 2009. Jo has two children and lives locally.