Chevron pointing up icon

EMA Decision: Brexit Does Not Frustrate Commercial Property Lease

Solicitors in London

News article published on: 13th August 2019

The largely anticipated decision in the case of Canary Wharf v The European Medicines Agency has now been given.

Judge Marcus Smith ruled in favour of the Canary Wharf Group and said that the EMA would have to honour their 25 year lease even if they are relocating to Amsterdam as a result of the UK’s departure from the European Union. The lease would not be frustrated.

The case involved an application by the Canary Wharf Group for a declaration that Brexit would not frustrate EMA’s lease. The EMA claimed that there its 25 year lease of offices in Canary Wharf would be frustrated as a result of Brexit and the key issue between the parties was over the question of whether Brexit was “foreseen” or “foreseeable” in 2011 when the EMA entered into a lease of the premises in Canary Wharf.

The case was widely publicised because of the vast implication of the decision on the property sector and the likelihood that other tenants would try and make the same arguments.

Shilpa Mathuaradas, head of property litigation at Osbornes Law Comments:

“The judgment will be welcome news to landlords up and down the country as well as the property sector generally. This was the first case which considered the commercial realities of the UK’s departure from the European Union. It appears for now the decision will not result in opening the floodgates with other tenants trying to use Brexit to end their leases of office space which would have been particularly damaging to landlords with large portfolios of commercial property”.

However, there is still a possibility of an appeal by the EMA which we are told is being considered.

To speak with Shilpa about your situation contact us by calling 020 7485 8811 or fill in an online enquiry form.  

arrow pointing down

"Naomi Angell leads the market in cross-border children law matters. Sources confirm that she is "at the cutting edge of changing law and policy" when it comes to international adoption"

Chambers & Partners 2013


Livery House, 9 Pratt Street, London NW1 0AE
Tel: 020 7485 8811 Fax: 020 7485 5660
DX Number 57053 Camden Town


28A Hampstead High Street, Hampstead, NW3 1QA
Tel: 020 7485 8811 Fax: 020 7485 5660

Your Privacy | Cookies Policy

Contact a Lawyer

Enter your details below to receive a call from Osbornes:

    Request Callback