Edward Cousins

(Door Tenant)


Practice Overview


Professional Background

For over 30 years Edward Cousins pursued a successful career as a Barrister with expertise in property and land law and associated litigation. In March 2002 he was appointed as the Chief Commons Commissioner dealing with disputed commons registration issues. This was a part-time post abolished in December 2011 by the implementation of the Commons Act 2006.

In September 2003 he was appointed by the Lord Chancellor to the newly created salaried judicial role of the Adjudicator to HM Land Registry established under the Land Registration Act 2002. The jurisdiction deals with land registration applications referred by HM Land Registry where there are disputes over title. The cases involve consideration of most (and often somewhat complex) areas of land law, ranging from beneficial interest and rights of way cases, boundary disputes and adverse possession claims, to more esoteric disputes involving market rights, commons and town and village greens, aspects of planning law, easements, priority of mortgages and charges, and compulsory purchase. In effect this jurisdiction deals with any land law issue where there is a dispute as to title.


More recently a contractual mediation scheme was established within the jurisdiction designed to persuade the parties to reach settlements before the cases reach trial, and so as to avoid the costs of litigation.


On 1st July 2013 this jurisdiction was subsumed into the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal as the Land Registration Division, and Edward Cousins became the Principal Judge of the Land Registration Division of the Property Chamber. He has now retired from that position and has joined Temple Tax Chambers as a Door Tenant with the view to developing his practice in mediation, early neutral evaluation, and alternative dispute resolution.



Unique selling point


As the former Adjudicator to HM Land Registry specialising in land registration property disputes for 11 years, and prior to that as a Chancery Barrister for 32 years with expertise in land law and associated litigation, and as a mediator, Edward provides a valuable and unusual combination of experience as a practitioner, judge and mediator.  He is sensitive to needs of all participants in the legal process, and looks for robust but fair and inclusive outcomes in land disputes which participants often find completely bewildering.


Other Experience


Edward Cousins is published in the following fields:


Mortgage Law - Cousins on Mortgages, Third Edition Sweet and Maxwell (December 2010); Fourth Edition is forthcoming, publication date in 2015;


Commons and Greens - Gadsden on the Law of Commons and Greens, with Richard Honey Second Edition Sweet and Maxwell (January 2012);


Markets and Fairs - Pease and Chitty’s Law of Markets and Fairs, Sixth Edition Bloomsbury Publishing (August 2012);


He has also produced the section on Markets in Volume 71 of the new Fourth Edition of Halsbury’s Laws of England (published in April 2013), and also an article for the April edition of the Conveyancer on land registration and the registration of manorial and franchise rights. It is anticipated that the publication of the Third Edition of Gadsden and Cousins on Mortgages within the next two years or so.