Knights Solicitors is a law firm comprised of a number of experienced, attentive experts. Working indefatigably, our approachable team utilises their appreciable skill to perform a variety of quality services. More information about each member is available below.
Colette Chapman (Practice Manager at Knights)
Colette has extensive Legal Accounts and Management experience, having worked for two major London law firms. Initially, she worked with Denton Hall, and then Lovells (now Hogan Lovells) for many years as part of the Finance Management team. Colette has also had local firm experience as a senior legal finance professional with Berry & Lamberts LLP and Thompson Snell and Passmore. She has previously been practice manager at Castles Law in West Sussex. Within a law firm, the practice manager oversees internal processes, policies, and financial matters. These include collection, budgeting, financial controls, payroll, client, and office accounts, as well as solicitors’ accounts rules compliance. Colette also deals with marketing and development of the business plans, strategies, and facilities management. Additionally, she provides overall leadership to the business support and administration team across the firm. She is also a member of Knights Management Committee. Colette is a member of The Institute of Legal Finance and Management ™, the Solicitors Regulation Authority™, and is the firm’s COFA (Compliance Officer Finance and Administration).
Peter attended the College of Law before completing his articles with Lawrence Graham in 1977. After qualifying, Peter specialised in property, commercial, and insurance litigation. He joined Chethams in 1984, where he became a partner. He then moved to Brachers LLP in 2000, and then to Griffin Law in 2010 where he served as managing partner. Peter joined Knights Solicitors in January 2012 and became a partner in April 2012. He currently heads the firm's contentious property practice. As a highly experienced property litigator, Peter specialises in commercial and private landlord and tenant disputes. He also specialises in vendor and purchaser disputes, and real estate disputes including adverse possession, boundaries, easements, and rights of way. He also has extensive experience in contested commercial lease renewals, interpretation issues, and rent review provisions in leases. In his commercial litigation work Peter has experience in contractual disputes, including freezing order injunctions. He has particular experience in professional negligence claims, acting both for and against professional service providers, including accountants, architects, surveyors,and solicitors. Other specialised experience includes internet litigation involving Norwich Pharmacal orders. Peter’s pastimes and interests include marathon running, mountain biking, gardening,and Formula 1™.
Making Clients Happy
In July 2015, a client wrote regarding Peter: "Your advice was first class, timely, accurate, and cost effective. There is not much more you could fairly expect as a client."
- Agricultural Law Association™
- Property Litigation Association™ (click here to see his profile)
Peter’s Reported Cases
Peter has taken part in many cases throughout his career. Some of these include:
• Baxendale Walker v Middleton & Ors EWHC 998 (QB) Findings: It is an abuse of process to initiate court proceedings for the purpose of mounting a collateral attack upon a final decision which had been made in disciplinary proceedings in which the intending claimant had a full opportunity of contesting the decision in the tribunal it was made.
• Stacy v Player  EWCA Civ 241 Findings: Costs awards in civil legal aid cases where third party funding has also been provided.
• Jaison Property Development Co Ltd v Roux Restaurants Ltd (1997) 74 P&CR 357 Findings: It is unreasonable to with hold consent to the assignment of a lease on grounds that have nothing to do with the landlord and tenant relationship, the subject matter of the lease.
• Hindcastle v Barbara Attenborough Associates Ltd  1 All ER 737
Findings:The guarantor of a tenant remains liable for rent accruing after disclaimer if the landlord does not resume possession. The Court of Appeal decision in Stacy -v- Hill  1QB 660 has been overruled (Times, 23 February 1996).
Vicky obtained a law degree from Southampton University and went on to The College of Law in Guildford, where she passed the Law Society finals. Vicky joined Judge & Priestley Solicitors in Bromley as a trainee in 1990 and qualified as a solicitor in 1992. She joined Judge & Priestley’s family department as an assistant solicitor and later became an associate solicitor in their civil litigation department. Vicky moved to Wade Stevens & Co in Petts Wood in 1999, dealing with their family and civil litigation cases. In 2009, Vicky joined Vance Harris in Crowborough, which later became a part of Core Law Group LLP. Here she dealt with their family and civil litigation matters. Her family work covered divorce, dissolution of civil partnership, court applications for financial remedies, negotiating financial settlements, advising on, and drafting consent orders. It also involved deeds of separation, negotiating arrangements for children, court applications for injunctions – to regulate occupation of the family home and advise on property disputes between cohabitees – and more.
Vicky joined Knights Solicitors on 1st January 2016 as an associate of the firm to launch our family department.
Family Law Specialist
Vicky is a member of Resolution, which requires members to adhere to a code of practice that promotes a sensitive, cost-effective, and constructive approach to resolving family law issues.
Vicky will always seek to reduce or manage any conflict and confrontation, support and encourage families to put the best interests of any children first and act with honesty, integrity and objectivity.
As a Resolution member, Vicky has signed up to a Code of Practice that promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family, and in particular the best
interests of children. This means that I
· Listen to you, be honest with you and treat you with respect.
· Explain your options and give you confidence to make the right decisions.
· Help you focus on what is important in the long-term.
· Help you balance financial and emotional costs with what you want to achieve.
· Work with others to find the right approach and the best solutions for you.
· Help to manage stress in what can be an already stressful situation.
Vicky is proud to be a member of Resolution and among family justice professionals who work to resolve issues in a constructive way.
Richard Atkins attended the former Polytechnic of Central London (LLB), Kings College London, (LLM), and the former City of London Polytechnic (MA Business Law). After completing his articles with Anthony Gold, he remained there for five years before joining the Crown Prosecution Service. He served in the London Area at the Central Casework Unit Headquarters, becoming head of a special casework unit. Richard moved to the former DTI™ and HMRC™ as both a manager and special casework lawyer. He then joined Knights Solicitors after nearly 25 years of public service, becoming a Partner on 11 June 2012. Richard also served on the Law Officer’s Confiscation and Delivery Board, and was a former Chair of the Whitehall Prosecutors Group on Confiscation.
Richard qualified as a higher court advocate (crime) in 1998 and is able to represent clients in any criminal court. He regularly appears in magistrates’ and crown courts, and has appeared in the High Court Queen's Bench Division and the Court of Appeal. He is one of only a few solicitors on the CPS Advocacy Panel assessed at level 2.
In March 2012, Richard was invited by the Commonwealth Secretariat as a designated criminal law mentor to assist as a mentor in a working group appointed by the DPP of Mauritius. This was in order to make recommendations for the creation of a new asset forfeiture unit, and
participate as a key speaker on a series of seminars. In 2014 and 2015, Richard was the UK delegate for the European Criminal Lawyers Association conference in Trier to protect the financial interests of the E.U. In January 2016, Richard decided to reduce his management responsibilities with Knights Solicitors but remains as an associate of the firm. Richard’s pastimes include renovating his seventeenth century cottage and research into the English Kingdom of France.
• London Criminal Solicitors’ Association™
• Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association™
• EU Criminal Bar Association™
Richard’s Reported Cases
Richard has served capably in many cases. Some of these include:
• R v Baden Lowe  EWCA Crim 194
Confirming the appropriateness of double recovery (compensation and confiscation) and limiting scope for abuse of process arguments in confiscation proceedings (Crown Court advocate led by Andrew Mitchell QC).
• Seager v Blatch  EWCA Crim 1303
Lifting the corporate veil in confiscation proceedings.
• R v Hashash  EWCA Crim 2518
Disclosure, abuse of process, and substitution of another offence in the Court of Appeal.
• R v May (Raymond George)  EWCA Crim 97
• R v SL & Ors  EWCA Crim 1829
Surveillance and disclosure requirements for undercover operations.
• R v John Palmer  EWCA Crim 892
Time share fraud.
• R v Bow Street Metropolitan Stipendiary
Magistrate Ex p. Pinochet Ugarte (No.1)  1 AC 61
Extradition application for General Pinochet.
• R v Jonathon Aidan Tokeley-Parry (1998) CA (Crim Div)
Egyptian antiquities smuggling.
Graham joined the firm of Routh Stacey Pengelly & Co in 1969 and qualified as a legal executive; in 1983, he qualified as a solicitor. Until December 2008, Graham was an associate partner with Davies Arnold Cooper LLP in its London office. Graham joined Knights Solicitors in March 2009, and became a partner in February 2010. He is an experienced non-contentious property lawyer, dealing in particular with all aspects of residential property work. He also deals with many other aspects of non-contentious private client work, including the preparation of wills and codicils. He facilitates the preparation, execution, and registration of lasting powers of attorney, dealing with both property and financial affairs. He also deals with health, welfare, and obtaining grants of probate, and letters of administration. This includes the preparation of inheritance tax returns and the subsequent administration and distribution of estates. Graham’s outstanding work is valued highly by clients, as seen below:
"A short note to commend the outstanding work of Graham Dorman during my flat purchase near Fleet Street – This was a complicated purchase involving a complex lease and many parties, including a managing agent and a residents' management company. The central location also meant the searches threw up an enormous volume of planning applications. Graham's
recommendation of an exclusivity agreement brought confidence throughout the process.
His extensive knowledge of London residential conveyancing was both obvious and critical at certain pivotal moments. For instance, when his personal knowledge of the people involved allowed me to take the necessary calculated risks to close the purchase.
He dealt with matters quickly and I always felt he was looking after my interests. I have already recommended Graham to other people buying property and I fully intend to use his expertise again for the forthcoming lease extension.” - Martin Tate, IT and Management Consultant
- Agricultural Law Association™
- Kent Law Society™
Deborah attended the College of Law in London before qualifying as a solicitor in 2001. She has worked as a residential and commercial property solicitor for Thackray Williams and as a probate solicitor for Wellers Law Group LLP, two leading law firms in the London Borough of Bromley.
On qualification as a solicitor, Deborah joined Thackray Williams as a commercial property solicitor handling renewal of leases, section 106 agreements and business acquisitions and sales. She has also handled a diverse range of residential property work, including, high value transactions, the purchase of properties bought at auctions, residential lease enfranchisements, lease extensions, residential sales and purchases, new build properties, equity-releases and re-mortgages.
Deborah’s past clients have ranged from public limited companies in the construction sector, private limited companies, retailers, developers and private individuals.
Deborah joined Knights Solicitors in January 2018 and became a Partner in April 2018.
Lisa joins Knights Solicitors from 3 April 2018 bringing 11 years’ experience in Residential and Commercial Conveyancing gained with Graham Waite of G A Waite Solicitor, in Crowborough.
Lisa will be supporting the firms thriving and increasingly busy Property Department. She is looking forward to furthering her career with Knights and to gaining her CILEx Conveyancing Practitioner qualification in the very near future.
Christopher became a consultant at Knights Solicitors in 1999. After Trinity College, Cambridge, he worked for Clifford Turner (as it then was), joining Cripps Harries Hall in 1964. Having built up a practice in equestrian and sports law, he became senior partner of that firm in 1991. Also a farmer, he is a former chairman of World Horse Welfare™, the South of England Agricultural Society™, Jockey Club Disciplinary Committee, and the Arab Horse Racing Committee. He remains a valued member of the Jockey Club. Christopher was a director of Brighton Racecourse™, chairman of the Olympia™ Christmas Horse Show, and trustee of the charity Racing Welfare. He has now fully retired from his work at World Horse Welfare™ and, on account of his long service to the charity, was awarded an OBE for welfare to horses.
Christopher has recently published a book; please see a brief synopsis below:
Horse Welfare, Use Not Abuse Hardcover – 27 Apr 2015
by Christopher Hall (Author)
Authoritative first-hand account from a lifetime working with horses and their owners in the UK and worldwide; an inside story on the high stakes racing world where winning is everything Highlights the challenges facing developing countries whose people depend on their horses, donkeys, and mules reveals the brutal transportation of horses and ponies by unscrupulous traders from market place to slaughter. This book is dedicated to the protection of horses, ponies, and donkeys, and is based on first-hand international experience from a lifetime spent with horses -
hunting, racing, and welfare - whether with The Pony Club, The Jockey Club™, or international horse charities. The UK alone has more than one million horses and ponies, which indicates we like them, and yet we also have more sanctuaries and welfare centres for horses than any other animal, which suggests we also abuse them. Horse Welfare, Use Not Abuse is about all equines from The Pony Club to the highest levels of performance -
racing, show jumping, eventing, and endurance riding. The book challenges all horse and pony owners to better care for their animals. In the developed world we abuse our defenceless horses because we can, while in the developing world there is also abuse, but it is out of desperation for survival and ignorance of how to do better. In his travels, Christopher has met the leaders of most of the equestrian sports both nationally and internationally. Stories about some of these are featured, as well as anecdotes about the work of World Horse Welfare, calling on his role as a leading regulator, chairman of World Horse Welfare and lifelong horseman. From a position of authority - he held one of the highest profile jobs in The Jockey Club™, steward in charge of enforcing the rules of horse racing - he provides an insight into the high stakes world of racing where winning is everything. In a sport where controversy is never far away, he calls for tougher measures to fight drug abuse. He condemns outright all those who use drugs to achieve victory, suggesting that cheats are banned for life from equestrian sport. He believes the real victims are the horses. There is a warning to the professionals in the sport that they have a duty of care not just for the horses, which are the real stars, but for the sport they enjoy. The author calls for closer attention to be given to horses, donkeys, and mules in the developing world as they are the backbone of the poorest countries; they are often the only means of transporting people and goods, the only power with which to work the land and, far from being a luxury, are an absolute necessity for their owners' survival. Horses are beautiful animals that can work with their owners to the best effect; it is only right that they should all be cared for with respect so that the partnership is more equal, one of working together and free from abuse.
Jonathan graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2009 with an upper second-class bachelor’s degree in law with business studies (LLB Hons). He has recently passed his Level 6 CILEx qualification and is currently a Graduate Member, working towards Fellow Membership. Jonathan started working for Knights Solicitors in 2013.
- Kent Law Society
- Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and District Law Society
- Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
Busola attended the University of Hertfordshire graduating in 2015 with a First Class Bachelors Degree in Law (LLB Hons). She went on to complete the Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School Holborn in 2016. Busola joined Knights Solicitors as a Paralegal in 2017 and started her Training Contract in April 2018.
- Law Society Junior Lawyers Division Kent
- Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and District Law Society
An Unparalleled Team
Combined with the efforts of our founder, Matthew Knight, our team delivers unrivalled legal advice. With so many areas of law represented by our company, we are sure to offer the guidance you are in need of.
Contact us today, in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, to appoint the reputable services of our skilled law firm.