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Bryan Johnston

Work 020 7320 4059

Work Department

Real estate, dispute resolution, litigation.


Bryan is a partner and deals with all aspects of property litigation. He liaises extensively with colleagues across the firm in the Real Estate, Planning, Environment, Construction, Restructuring and Insolvency, Energy, Corporate and Banking and Finance. Bryan is experienced in dealing with all of the unique aspects of real estate litigation in a contentious and advisory context. Bryan has built a specialist rights of light practice and is an expert in that field. Bryan is also highly experienced in dealing with the RE aspects of major insolvencies, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, tenant default, party walls, easement and covenant disputes, business rates, neighbourly disputes, service charge disputes, dilapidations disputes, professional negligence in the property context (including legal and surveying professional negligence), document construction, title disputes, negligence and nuisance.


Trained Clifford Chance LLP, qualified 2004, made partner in present firm 2013. Publications of note: Multiple articles for the commercial property and legal press. Seminars provided to various industry bodies (BPF, RICS etc) and clients.


French (intermediate).


Law Society of England and Wales; Property Litigation Association; Vice-Chair of the Property Litigation Association; Honorary Secretary of the Property Litigation Association; Law Reform Committee of the Property Litigation Association.


University of St Andrews (MA 1997); University of the West of England (pg diploma 2001); Oxford Institute of Legal Practice (LPC 2002).


Hill walking; cycling; ski-ing; ice-skating; ice-hockey; rugby.

London: Public sector

Local government

Within: Local government

Dentons has some long-established local authority clients such as the Greater London Authority, Essex County Council and Transport for London, and has a focus on large-scale regeneration projects. Stephen Ashworth is valued for providing 'a comprehensive service' and other key team members specialise in real estate (Virginia Glastonbury) and strategic acquisitions and disposals as part of redevelopment projects (Roland Gray). Bryan Johnstone handles real estate disputes and counsel Mark Bassett is a lead on public procurement work.

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London: Real estate

Property litigation

Within: Leading individuals

Bryan Johnston - Dentons

Within: Property litigation

The 'technically superb' team at Dentons is 'well integrated with other disciplines within the firm' and draws on a wealth of experience in representing its large blue-chip client base, including major retailers and banks, as well as public sector bodies and local authorities, in a wide range of property litigation. Recent instructions include business rate matters, vacant possessions, rights of light and other development-related issues as well as property issues arising from insolvency situations and landlord and tenant relationships. The 'exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced' Bryan Johnston heads the team; he 'is able to seize short-game gains while playing the long game, has a great strategic mind and knows when different or additional resources are needed'. Handling all areas of property litigation, he is also experienced in rating and valuation issues.

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South East: Real estate

Property litigation

Within: Property litigation

Bryan Johnston heads up Dentons' 'commercially aware' real estate litigation group, which has 'superb technical knowledge'. The 15-strong team regularly acts for global banks, residential developers, insurers, retailers and public sector bodies. In 2018, the firm handled cases at the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. Senior associate Gemma Hunter-Barnes has experience of acting for clients such as Network Rail and Sports Direct in contentious property matters.

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