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Ashfords LLP

Work 020 7544 2424

Ken Smith

Work 020 7544 2445
Ashfords LLP

Work Department

Property Litigation & Real Estate.


Partner in the Real Estate Team. Ken specialises in property litigation and has over 30 years' experience of resolving real estate disputes.


Ken has developed an extensive and specialised understanding of dealing with the complex issues that arise on major development schemes, commercial, residential and mixed use and has a strong reputation for cutting through situations that would otherwise lead to deadlock and in resolving matters commercially and pragmatically by negotiation.

Ken is regularly instructed by housebuilder, developer clients and land owners on all aspects of complex development schemes to head up the delivery and project manage the legal services integral to the success of any scheme.

Ken also has extensive experience of dealing with and resolving landlord and tenant disputes in particular complex dilapidations claims, service charge issues and opposed tenancy renewals. He is highly experienced in conducting litigation for both landlords and tenants in the retail industry and licensed trade and is regularly instructed by house builder clients on arbitrations involving overage and option agreements.

Relevant experience:

  • Developer: Advising the client on general development issues and managing the delivery of legal services in relation to the development of a large student housing scheme. Subsequently managing the disposal of the asset into a JV investment company with Chinese investment partner.
  • Developer: Advising a developer and managing the delivery of the legal services in relation to the proposed development of a new marina on the South Coast. The scheme is a regeneration scheme, with Central and Local Government involvement, in what is currently a deprived seaside town. Together with the creation of a new marina and connecting roads, it will involve the delivery of in excess of 1,000 housing units, (including Affordable) offices, retail, an education campus, elder living and engineering workshops.
  • Major utility company and large scale developer: Negotiations in relation to a development agreement on behalf of a major utility company and a large scale developer relating to development land in prime residential area of London as regards to rights over land, previously disposed of by the utility company and the obligation of the developer to construct infrastructure for a cable duct serving a key sub-station.
  • Housebuilder clients: Acting for housebuilder clients on complex arbitrations and expert determinations involving overage and valuation disputes. Retained by this client to provide all "trouble shooting" advice on developments and day to day issues affecting the business, with particular regard to issues as to long term reputation of the company.
  • Housebuilder client: Acting for a Housebuilder client on a dispute with a national Housebuilder in relation to rectification of an Option Agreement and alsoadvising on matters as to professional negligence of former solicitors.

London: Real estate

Property litigation

Within: Property litigation

Paul Dunbar heads the group at Ashfords LLP and delivers ‘thorough and effective work’ for clients including the Corporation of London, Hastings Harbour Quarter and Maxwells Properties. Dunbar is leading on a Court of Appeal matter which raises the question as to whether a freehold company has the authority to consent to structural works on a property. Other highlights include acting for Harvey White Properties on rent arrears and forfeiture issues arising from the client's property portfolio and advising a client on issues stemming from mines and minerals rights. Partner Ken Smith has expertise on development schemes and dilapidations claims while associate Alison Oates specialises on lease renewals and adverse possession claims. Other core strengths for the team include commercial landlord and tenant matters, rent-reviews, professional negligence and collective enfranchisement claims.

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