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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 appeal Courts, County Courts, the Lands Chamber, and in private arbitrations and expert determination processes. Matthew has been qualified for over 20 years as a solicitor advocate with audience rights in the higher courts.

Matthew's experience includes advising:

  • various successful High Court and Appeal Court decisions that made new law and delivered a win for his clients, including Standard Life v Unipath – Court of Appeal (rent review), City Inn v Ten Trinity Square Limited – Court of Appeal (restrictive covenants), Johnston and others v TAG Farnborough Airport Ltd (compensation for runway works), Guinness v Railtrack – Court of Appeal (compensation for acquisition of land rights), Postel v Boots (large-scale development service charges) and Cerep v Menolly (practical completion under development agreement)
  • 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 its 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 its 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))


Matthew has been ranked as a Leading Practitioner by both Legal 500 and Chambers directories, for many years. He was inducted as a member of the Legal 500 "Hall of Fame" in 2018, and is ranked as a Band 1 Leading Individual in Chambers Directory

Matthew is contributing editor (Real Estate) to Flenley and Leech's Solicitors' Negligence and Liability (2020).

Clients appreciate Matthew Bonye's "calm and measured advice" and note that he "provides a balanced view of risk with an eye on achieving a commercial resolution." He continues to enjoy a strong reputation for his handling of complex disputes. (Chambers and Partners UK, 2020)

"Matthew Bonye is very knowledgeable and willing to assist clients at any time. He provides outstanding, clear and robust advice in a timely manner." (Legal 500 UK, 2019)


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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