Hazel Hobbs

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Hazel Hobbs

"I am impressed by Hazel’s exceptional communication skills and her ability to grasp such complex matters with ease. "

Instructing solicitor 2021

"Hazel carries herself with confidence and speaks logically, with meaning and is extremely engaging."

Judge 2021

"Hazel has a good reputation with us, and we have been impressed with her work on previous occasions. "

Instructing solicitor 2021

"A street fighter"

Instructing solicitor 2021

"I recently used Hazel Hobbs’ services and found her to be thorough, efficient and professional but also friendly and approachable which was important and helpful in what was a very stressful day for me."

Client 2020

"Hazel can’t come recommended enough by me. She’s a strong advocate, quick on her feet and has good costs knowledge and recovery rates. "

Instructing Counsel 2020

"A rising star. "

2019

"Was very impressed and, importantly, so was client."

2019

"We felt quite at ease talking with her. Would certainly recommend her to others. "

2019

"Hazel really fought our corner. "

2019

"We have used Hazel Hobbs on several occasions and have been impressed at her handling of various cases we have put to her and Hazel’s excellent communication skills both with ourselves and our clients."

Client, 2017

"A fearless advocate."

2019

"Hazel is always a real pleasure to deal with."

Client, 2017

“Hazel has an excellent bedside manner.”

Client, 2021

Practice Overview

Hazel practises predominantly as a commercial and property barrister, although she has a vast amount of experience in a number of areas. Hazel goes over and above for each and every one of her clients and is sensitive to their needs. She is a tenacious advocate and a formidable opponent. She has a remarkable talent to think on her feet. Hazel has a unique ability to persuade seemingly unwavering judges to support her clients’ cases and interests. Hazel is readily able to roll her sleeves up and hit the ground running with any case sent to her.

Hazel always bears a thought to the future and has an arsenal of tactical tools at her disposal to ensure favourable outcomes. In doing so she provides clients with a variety of options to tailor the best approach for their case; she possesses a foresight for variables throughout a matter and her advice covers all bases. From dealing with an array of clients and businesses, including extremely high net-worth individuals and international corporations, she has a strong commercial awareness.

Her experience in the tax and accountancy industry has allowed her to develop an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of a range of different businesses enables her to tailor her approach to each client’s specific needs. Hazel always endeavours to put her clients at ease in their stressful journey throughout litigation.

Hazel is a seasoned advocate and prides herself on meticulous preparation and her ability to think on her feet. Her previous experience practising in criminal law has given her extensive experience in advocacy and working under pressure. Hazel has received awards for her advocacy abilities including a bursary from the Criminal Bar Association for an “outstanding performance in advocacy.” Hazel’s advocacy is not only eloquent but tenacious.

Hazel enjoys working in Sussex and the Southeast, having established a strong client base amongst a range of clients.

Hazel received a scholarship from the Pegasus Scholarship Trust in 2020 to work in Dubai. During her time in Dubai, Hazel worked in the DIFC Courts assisting in the hearing and judgment of many international disputes. She worked with the Registrars and the Deputy Chief Justice to draft the new jurisdictional law, as well as drafting new practice directions in Court procedure.

Hazel also spent a time at the well renowned international law firm, Al Tamimi, in which she dealt with international disputes spanning a range of jurisdictions. Hazel worked closely with Patrick Dillon-Malone SC. Whilst working as an associate in the International Litigation Group at Al Tamimi, Hazel worked on a variety of construction disputes, including one of the first cases to be issues in the DIFC Technology and Construction Court. As such, Hazel is very familiar with FIDIC’s Construction Contract Red Book.

Hazel continues to accept instructions in international disputes and maintains her expertise in DIFC law and procedure. Hazel regularly undertakes work with the DIFC Court, working closely with the Deputy Chief Justice.

Hazel is currently working towards her Chartered Tax advisor’s qualification specialising in trusts, IHT and owner-managed businesses.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Hazel has acted in a number of mediations, having been instrumental in obtaining settlement and helping her clients to achieve their specific goals. Hazel’s background in tax and accountancy allows her to obtain a quick and in-depth understanding of the evidence, ensuring that she obtains a workable settlement for her clients. Hazel has also undertaken a number of adjudications, from consumer based to the construction industry adjudication process.

Commercial Chancery

Hazel has a breadth of experience dealing with commercial matters having advised in a number of contractual disputes involving ROT clauses, guarantees, recession, repudiatory breaches, fraud and misrepresentation.

Hazel has acted in a number of contentious and non-contentious company law matters including resurrection of companies, breach of director’s duties and bona vacantia property.

Hazel accepts instructions in insolvency matters, Hazel has previously assisted in advising a creditor involved in a large German corporate insolvency case. In addition Hazel has also advised creditors in a high value CVL in relation to the insolvency of a large development company, which combined issues of wrongful trading and preferences. Hazel has also dealt with matters involving pre-pack agreements and assignment of assets. Hazel further assists in matters of personal insolvency, acting and advising in cases involving IVAs, bankruptcy and statutory demands.

Hazel accepts instructions in both contentious and non-contentious taxation matters including IHT, trusts and estates taxation, corporation tax, personal taxation, capital gains and VAT.

Construction

From the onset of her practice, Hazel has had experience in a variety of construction disputes. Hazel has advised and worked on a variety of construction matters, including multi-million dollar complexes and commercial refits.

Hazel provides on-going services to a highly regarded interior design firm in Dubai. She also assist the Deputy Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts in his determination of various high value construction disputes.

She has also been involved in Technology and Construction cases, most notably a high value case involving the defective construction of a swimming pool.

Hazel is familiar with construction contracts, even in an international setting, and with the UK Construction Industry Adjudication Scheme.

Working in Sussex, Hazel has also worked on a number of cases involving historic properties, in particular disputes involving leaded lights and sash windows.

Property

In dealing with numerous real property law matters including easements, boundary disputes, access to neighbouring land disputes, accretion and adverse possession matters, Hazel hasdeveloped fantastic knowledge of Property law. Her experience ranges across commercial and domestic disputes.

Hazel has experience in commercial landlord and tenant matters, including forfeiture, breach of covenant, injunctions and service charge disputes in both the County Court and the First Tier Property Tribunal.

Hazel has acted in hundreds of possession proceedings and has developed a wealth of experience in landlord and tenant law, acting for both tenants and landlords. This has given Hazel a vast amount of experience in the social housing sector, including ASB injunctions. This experience has enabled Hazel to anticipate an array of potential defences that may be raised against her landlord clients. Hazel has also acted in appeals against local authority homelessness decisions, appeals against possession orders and emergency injunctions in the High Court in Judicial Review proceedings.

 

Trusts, Probate, Estates & Private Client

Hazel advises in both contentious and non-contentious matters, including the interpretation and rectification of trusts, in addition to the rectification of Wills.

 

In probate, Hazel accepts instructions in Hazel receives regular instructions in Will disputes. Her experience encompasses disputes involving lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraud, fraudulent calumny, removal of executors and Inheritance Act claims. Hazel also has experience in disputes involving lifetime gifts. In the non-contentious sphere, Hazel also advises on general estate planning and administration issues, such as missing or non-compliant beneficiaries.

 

TOLATA disputes is another area of Hazel’s expertise, having assisted numerous clients throughout the litigation process and in achieving settlement. Her astute interpersonal skills allow her to see the wide context of this form of dispute and she recognizes that no two cases are the same.

Local Government

Hazel regularly represents a number of local authorities in a plethora of areas, including regulatory prosecutions, landlord and tenant disputes, enforcement proceedings and contractual disputes.

Hazel has also undertaken training workshops for local authorities and is able to provide bespoke training packages in any of her areas of practice on request.

Reported and cases of interest

Arun District Council v H [2021] – Hazel successfully prosecuted a Defendant in the Criminal Courts for running a HMO without a licence, who was sentenced to a fine of £17,500.

L v S [2020] – Hazel successfully obtained a freezing injunction on behalf of her client in the High Court in relation to a fraud of £200,000. Hazel was able to persuade the Judge that there was a real risk of the Defendant dissipating his assets. In this case, there was very little evidence available to demonstrate the fraud, although Hazel was able to utilise the information and her knowledge of financial investments to demonstrate that the investment manager was acting fraudulently. Hazel was able to not only protect the interests of her client but she was also able to secure return of her client’s funds.

S v B [2020] – Hazel obtained an emergency mandatory injunction in the High Court in a case of homelessness. Within hours of receiving the brief which due to urgency contact scant detail, Hazel was able to advise and put together the application and draft grounds for judicial review. The matter was heard at 1am, the Judge initially considered that the matter was not urgent and could be dealt with in the morning. As stated in his judgment, Hazel convinced the Judge that in a case such as this “every night matters and every day matters”. Mr Justice Fordham stated in his judgment “During the evening, in the run up to the application before me, Ms Hobbs of counsel for the Claimant was able to formulate in some considerable detail and at top speed some draught grounds for judicial review.”

C v B Ltd [2020] – After full trial, Hazel obtained a substantial judgment in her client’s favour in relation to a bespoke roofing dispute.

M v G [2019] – Hazel was successful at trial in bringing a claim for substantial damages in tort and breach of contract in a construction dispute. As well as successfully defending the Defendant’s counterclaim.

Childescu v Gheorghiu and Others [2019] CFI 074 (DIFC Courts) – A multi-million dollar fraud case in Dubai involving complex trust and corporate structures in which Hazel worked with and was led by Patrick Dillon-Malone SC to obtain a worldwide freezing injunction. This case was highly complex due to the web of corporate structures and trusts used to conceal the fraud. These structures also spanned multiple jurisdictions and the assets were also held in separate jurisdictions.

Regina v H [2018]- Hazel successfully obtained a declaration of interest on behalf of an interested third party in proceeds of crime proceedings.