Ben Hatton specialises in property litigation and dispute resolution and litigation risk-avoidance.
Ben has expertise in all aspects of property disputes and landlord and tenant issues, with particular expertise in development issues including rights of light, rent review advice and arbitrations, property-related insolvency, professional negligence on property matters, asset management disputes including expert determinations and disputes in relation to contracts and issues arising out of Brexit.
His expertise includes rent review opinion writing, service charge disputes, fit-out disputes, dilapidations, alienation disputes, forfeiture, enfranchisement issues, easements, restrictive covenants, possession actions, contract and joint venture disputes, mortgage & charge portfolio enforcement and foreclosure, property finance disputes, 1954 Act disputes, and advising lenders and developers on risks on developments.
Ben is experienced in County Courts, High Court, Court of Appeal, Mediations, Expert Determinations and Arbitrations.
- Acting for owners of property portfolios in both the UK and in Europe in relation to asset management disputes and terminations, including both Court proceedings and expert determinations
- Acting for a developer in advising on a high-profile central London development, with multiple third party rights of light claims including rights to injunctions and successfully resolving all issues;
- Acting for both Landlords and Tenants in high-level rent review arbitrations, in both the City and Canary Wharf Estate, including dealing with the process up to and including Arbitration hearings;
- Acting for Landlords and Administrators in multiple high-profile insolvencies in issues arising out of Administration and Liquidation of Tenants of prime office and retail premises, including dealing with issues such as forfeitures and claims for rent as expenses;
- Acting for clients against negligent solicitors and surveyors on property transactions for example failure to register options and mistakes in serving break notices or in lease drafting.
- Acting for clients in contractual disputes arising out of issues connected with Brexit, including acting for Canary Wharf Group in its dispute with the European Medicines Agency ((Canary Wharf BP4) T1 Ltd v European Medicines Agency). The team have instructed Joanne Wicks QC and Jonathan Chew of Wilberforce Chambers to act for the client in relation to matters of Property Law, whilst Lord Anderson KBE QC is dealing with European Law issues. The Agency is arguing that its 25-year lease of premises at Canary Wharf will be frustrated (come to an end automatically) when the UK leaves the European Union. Canary Wharf Group is seeking a declaration so that the Agency is clear that its lease obligations will not be affected by Brexit.
Clifford Chance successfully concludes high-profile Brexit lease dispute for Canary Wharf Group
5 July 2019
Clifford Chance's property litigation team leads Canary Wharf Group to victory in high-profile Brexit commercial lease dispute
20 February 2019
Clifford Chance advises CK Asset Holdings on the £1 billion acquisition of 5 Broadgate, London
15 June 2018
Clifford Chance advises Deloitte on major pre let of 1 New Street Square
30 March 2015
Conservation Covenants and their potential future use by Developers
13 August 2019
Brexit Will Not Frustrate The European Medicines Agency's Lease at Canary Wharf
27 February 2019
Career and qualifications
- The University of Sheffield (LLB Law) 1997
- Nottingham Law School (Diploma in Legal Practice) 1999
- Trainee solicitor, Eversheds 1999
- Admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales 2001
- Passed Law Society Advocacy & Evidence, Ethics & Procedure Exams for Solicitor Advocacy 2002
- Associate, Linklaters 2005
- Joined Clifford Chance as Senior Associate 2006
- Director since 2016
- Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales
- Member of the Property Litigation Association
- Member of the Education & Training Committee of the Property Litigation Association
Awards and citations
- A leading individual in Legal 500 UK for Property Litigation
- "Ben Hatton leads the team and is ‘capable of handling the biggest disputes’"
Legal 500 UK 2019
- "At ‘strong firm’ Clifford Chance LLP, the ‘impressive and concise’ Ben Hatton, who is ‘an experienced and able property litigator’, heads the practice, advising across the full gamut of property litigation with particular expertise in development disputes"
Legal 500 2017
- "Clifford Chance LLP provides ‘excellent-quality’ contentious advice through experienced director Ben Hatton"
Legal 500 2016
- "Ben Hatton often advised on insolvency-led property litigation matters. Sources say: 'He has a good combination of technical legal skills and an ability to get under the skin of what the issues are and what matters to the client'".
- "Ben Hatton and Jane O'Leary are recommended"
Legal 500 2015
- "Ben Hatton works extensively with major clients on property insolvency cases and fit-out disputes".
- "Ben Hatton is regarded by sources as 'very, very technically competent'. He has a wide-ranging knowledge of all aspects of real estate litigation, with particular natural resource sector expertise".
- "Ben Hatton is respected by market observers for his broad property litigation skills and noted knowledge of property-related insolvency matters. He recently acted for one of the firm's prestigious international clients on a complex freehold and leasehold enfranchisement and lease extension claim".
- "Ben Hatton recently acted...in complex negotiations with the Administrators of an insolvent tenant...concerning the high-profile forfeiture of the lease".
- "Ben Hatton has extensive insolvency expertise, which has led to him being instructed on a number of high-profile matters recently".
- "Ben Hatton...exhibits an 'impressive level of skill', particularly in rent review matters".
- "The 'bright and practical' Ben Hatton catches market attention with his involvement with a contested rent review. Peers describe him as 'the kind of lawyer that clients just love'".