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Matthew Bonye


Matthew Bonye is a specialist real estate litigator leading a team dealing with high value disputes in the commercial real estate sector. 



Matthew helps clients in achieving their objectives in matters such as development-driven land assembly claims, compensation for the compulsory purchase of land, and in handling other "big ticket" contractual disputes - for example in the context of acquisition/disposal transactions.  Matthew works with clients on large portfolio matters such as retail schemes, shopping centres and office developments in connection with service charge recovery, dilapidations claims, business lease renewals/terminations, break clause disputes and rent reviews.  Matthew's work involves cases that are heard in the High Court and County Courts, the Lands Chamber, and in private arbitrations and expert determination processes. 

Matthew's experience includes advising:

  • Hammerson and Brookfield in connection with the site assembly and development of two current, major City of London office schemes
  • Westfield in relation to tenant/service charge matters arising at their Shepherd's Bush shopping centre, London
  • Aberdeen Standard Investments (formerly Standard Life Investments), acting as appointed solicitor leading the Herbert Smith Freehills' team on all retail and office disputes for Aberdeen Standard Investments' retail and office portfolios in southern England, including County Mall Crawley, Gallions Reach Beckton, Parkway Newbury, Churchill Square Brighton and Whiteleys, Queensway
  • Church Commissioners of England and Wales in a dispute with their former managing agents in relation to a number of the Church's property portfolios
  • Chevron/Valero in its wholly successful defence of a High Court claim in 2013 for £50 million in damages made by Ridgewood Properties for alleged breach of covenant in relation to airspace agreements for residential development above petrol stations (Ridgewood Properties Group Ltd v Valero Energy Ltd [2013] EWHC 98 (Ch))


Ranked as a "Leading Practitioner" by both Legal 500 and Chambers directories, for many years.

"Led by the experienced Matthew Bonye, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is praised for its collaborative approach, and for being ‘consistently highly professional’."  (Legal 500 2015)

"Matthew Bonye handles large-scale and complex commercial matters, including development projects. Sources say he has a "great ability to cut through the jargon and explain matters in a measured and concise way."  (Chambers & Partners directory 2016)



Matthew joined this firm as a trainee in 1992. He qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and has been a specialist real estate litigator ever since. He gained full rights of audience as an advocate in the Higher Courts in 1998.

Matthew became a partner in 2006. He was appointed as head of the real estate dispute Resolution practice in 2007.


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