History of the Land Registration Division

The office of Adjudicator to HM Land Registry was created by the Land Registration Act 2002, on the recommendation of the Law Commission. It was intended to be a judicial body, wholly independent of HM Land Registry, which would determine disputed applications made to the Registry. Mr. Edward Cousins, a Chancery barrister and Chief Commons Commissioner served as the first and only Adjudicator.

The work of the Adjudicator grew rapidly, principally from the high volume of disputed applications referred by the Registry. Full-time salaried Deputy Adjudicators were also appointed, along with a large number of part-time and fee-paid Deputy Adjudicators. They were drawn from the ranks of specialist property law barristers and solicitors. The Adjudicator quickly acquired a reputation and practice as a highly specialised and expert property law tribunal, producing detailed and high quality written decisions which were often cited by the higher courts and in professional textbooks.

The decisions of the High Court and Court of Appeal in Jayasinghe v Liyanage [2010] EWHC 265 (Ch) and Silkstone v.Tatnall [2011] EWCA Civ 801 confirmed that the Adjudicator’s jurisdiction extended to full substantive determination of any referred “matter”.

With effect from 1st July 2013, the office of Adjudicator to HM Land Registry was abolished, and its jurisdictions were transferred to the First-Tier Tribunal, Property Chamber.

Since that date, the former work and practice of the Adjudicator has continued largely as above, now in the specialist Land Registration Division of the Property Chamber (see the “Work” section of the Land Registration Division).

Judges and members of the Land Registration Division.