James Hargreaves, Rights of Light Associate Director at Anderson Wilde & Harris

Over the past couple of months, we have made some incredible additions to the AWH team, and in November 2023 we enhanced our Rights of Light team even further with the appointment of James Hargreaves, who has joined us as Rights of Light Associate Director.

James is a specialist in the area of practice known as Neighbourly Matters. This covers anything where adjoining properties or land may be affected by planned development work, so includes areas such as:

  • Rights of Light surveying,
  • Daylight/Sunlight consultancy,
  • disputes under the Party Wall etc. Act,
  • access licenses, and
  • boundary disputes.

James has been working in the field for over 12 years, although it was not something he had originally considered. Whilst studying towards his master’s degree in building surveying, he was also working part-time as a land surveyor and was approached with a job offer as a graduate level Rights of Light surveyor.

I fell into it almost by accident, to tell the truth. I don’t actually think anyone wakes up as an A-level student and thinks ‘I want to be a Rights of Light surveyor’. But it is a very interesting part of the surveying profession.

One of the aspects that James finds most appealing is the legal side of the cases. Much of work carried out in neighbourly matters requires a good understanding of the related laws, which James really enjoys, as it makes the cases both fascinating and intellectually stimulating.

I actually used to debate whether I would become a solicitor, but I realised that I prefer the balance of being involved in both the surveying as well as the legal sides of the cases.

James explains that Rights of Light law in particular is quite archaic, founded on case law dating back 50-100 years or more.

As times change, the existing case law can become outdated, and you find that occasionally a case comes through the courts that redresses something or pulls out a point that has been debated in the industry for a while. It keeps you on your toes, ensuring you stay abreast of what’s changing.

While the legal element is something James loves, another of his favourite things about the industry is the people. He really enjoys being able to get out and about and meet with clients and other professionals, and this is something he is looking forward to doing at AWH.

Having known Peter Spence from previous employment, James is excited to be able to help continue to grow and streamline the Rights of Light team.

To find out more about how we can help you with any of the Neighbourly Matters outlined above, call James or another member of the team on 0800 071 5517 or email us at admin@awh.co.uk. We look forward to working with you.