About



Digging the Dirt is a blog on recent developments in property law in England and Wales, mostly dealing with commercial property, but also touching on planning, residential property and housing.

During the pandemic I have regularly posted details of the various property-related emergency measures the government has passed.

I started this blog in 2011, and so this year is its 10th anniversary!

As well as writing on this blog, I also use twitter regularly to post legal updates and links to articles which may be of interest.

Click on the twitter icon opposite and follow me to see those updates.

You can also subscribe using the link opposite if you want to be alerted to new blog posts by email.

I've been a property lawyer for over 30 years, but I certainly don't think I've got all the answers. If I've made any howlers, let me know - preferably in a nice way, a novel approach for the Internet, I know!

Why Digging the Dirt?

I worked for some years as an associate in the London office of an American law firm. I discovered whilst I worked there that in the US attorneys who specialise in “real estate” law are often called “dirt lawyers”, whether that was a term of affection or derision seemed to depend on the context, or who was saying it!

So, when I started the blog, way back in 2011, I decided on a whim to call it Digging (as in appreciating) the Dirt (as in dirt law). And so it's been ever since, but no, I'm not trying to dish the dirt on anyone!

When I started it, there were very few, if any, commercial property law blogs around. This blog was even mentioned in dispatches in the Guardian back in 2011. Now all the major law firms have armies of writers posting material on their websites, and I often tweet links to articles that catch my eye.

In the early years of this blog I tried to use my own photographs as much as possible to illustrate the posts.

I tend to use my photos less often on here now though, especially if I’m in a hurry to publish and don't want to waste time trawling through thousands of images in a forlorn attempt to find the one weird shot that screams Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

I have set up a photography website at jondickinsphotography.com. If you would like permission to use any of my photos, or if you would like to purchase any of them, please contact me through that website or through this blog.

I occasionally get requests but sorry, I'm unable to advise anyone individually on any specific matters or problems directly through this blog – please see the disclaimer at the foot of the page for more about that - and I don't respond to anonymous enquiries.

If you would like to get in touch about my consultancy practice, then please see my Consultancy page.

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