John has a busy and varied practice predominantly in Property & Real Estate and Commercial Dispute Resolution.
Very much in demand, John is developing a considerable following of clients both regionally and nationally. He deals with complex and high value litigation in the High Court and County Courts. John acts on behalf of companies, private individuals and government departments, having been appointed to the Attorney General’s Regional Panel of Counsel in 2020.
John read law at the University of Leicester and graduated with a First Class Honours degree. He was awarded a Harmsworth Scholarship and completed a common law pupillage in London.
He is also direct access qualified and is happy to accept instructions from businesses and individuals looking for advice and representation.
Away from the Bar, John is a keen (if not accomplished) sportsman and musician, an active member of his local Round Table and an avid Leicester City fan.
Property & Real Estate
Property and real estate work makes up more than half of John’s practice.
He has a considerable following of specialist practitioners in the Midlands and beyond and enjoys a thriving and busy paper-based practice.
John is frequently instructed to advise in complex matters involving easements, covenants, boundary disputes and adverse possession. He regularly acts for and advises holders of agricultural land, commercial and residential property owners as well as investors and developers.
He also deals with a range of contentious actions, particularly in co-ownership/cohabitation disputes in the courts and Property Tribunal involving constructive and resulting trusts, severance, proprietary estoppel and equitable accounting.
He also has considerable experience in actions for rectification and/or alteration of the register.
Examples of recent work include:
- Successfully representing a landlord of a block of apartments at first instance and on appeal in a claim for disrepair brought by a tenant which turned on whether, on the proper construction of the relevant lease, a roof terrace was part of the landlord or tenant’s repairing covenant.
- Acting for the successful appellant in an appeal before the Residential Property Tribunal against the decision of a local housing authority declaring that a hotel housing asylum seekers was an HMO.
- Successfully representing a well-known entertainment company at trial and on appeal in a long-running dispute over
John also has a wide range of experience in related areas, including housing and planning law, enabling him to offer a complete solution to commercial clients, developers, landlords and indeed public authorities.
John is a seasoned practitioner for both claimants and defendants in claims for possession, disrepair, matters relating to deposit protection, forfeiture, leasehold enfranchisement and anti-social behaviour, including contested committal proceedings.
He regularly deals with residential and commercial landlord and tenant disputes in both the private and public sectors, as well as homelessness appeals in the County Courts and the full range of service charge and property management disputes in the Property Tribunals.
Planning & Environmental
John maintains a busy practice in contentious planning matters and has wide-ranging experience of appeals, public inquiries and applications for statutory or judicial review.
He appeared on a Direct Access basis in the High Court on a statutory review concerning the scope and limits of a “conversion” for the purpose of permitted development rights – Hibbitt v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government  EWHC 2853 (Admin).
He also recently acted for the successful Rule 6 Party in a high profile 6 day public inquiry concerning a proposed 75 hectare solar farm in Alfreton (APP/M1005/W/22/3299953).
Commercial Dispute Resolution
John deals with a range of commercial disputes and is sensitive to the wider business implications of litigation. He is noted for his straight-talking demeanour and giving pragmatic, direct and tactically astute advice to companies from the board level down.
He acts for companies of all sizes as well as partnerships, unincorporated associations and private individuals in consumer disputes.
While a robust and fearless trial advocate, John “thinks on his feet and sees all possible solutions in a case” (Legal 500) and is committed to finding a positive outcome for clients outside the courtroom wherever he can.
Examples of recent work include:
- Acting for a household name in the retail industry defending a £5m claim for destruction of business, negligence and unjust enrichment.
- Successfully defending a substantial claim for conversion against a commercial landlord, involving questions of abuse of process and res judicata.
- Representing an international IT consultancy in a long running dispute, including on appeal, involving a claim for breach of “tapping up” restrictions.
John’s insolvency practice encompasses the full range of litigation from simple petitions for bankruptcy and winding up to more convoluted matters involving annulment, statutory demands, validity of service, appointment and supervision of trustees/receivers and disposal of property, including transactions at an undervalue and/or defrauding creditors.
By way of recent example, John successfully defended a £1.3m claim against the Official Receiver which involved allegations of negligence, misfeasance, complex questions of causation and detailed forensic accountancy evidence. The claim was abandoned after John successfully debunked the Claimant’s claim over two days of cross-examination.
Trusts, Wills & Estates
Wills, Probate & Inheritance
John’s contentious probate practice is busy and on the grow. He regularly appears in the High Court Chancery Division in cases involving intestacy, challenges to the substantial validity of wills, allegations of fraud, incapacity, undue influence and other CPR Part 64 claims.
He acts for both professional and lay executors and administrators, as well as beneficiaries in contentious and non-contentious matters and has a busy advisory practice.
He is also frequently instructed to draft and appear in proceedings under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and
Dependants) Act 1975.
Qualifications / Education
- LLB (Hons), University of Leicester
- Attorney General’s Regional B Panel from 2020
- Property Bar Association
- Direct access
What the directories say
“John is a good all-round solid counsel. He is dependable, reliable and approachable. His advice is always sound.”
Legal 500 UK Bar 2024 – Commercial Litigation; Tier 1 (Midland Circuit)
“John provides effective, clear and concise advice. He follows that through to trial and is always ready for combat in the courtroom.”
Legal 500 UK Bar 2024 – Property and Construction; Tier 2 (Midland Circuit)
“John is incredibly experienced and knowledgeable. His drafting is very precise and well-articulated and he is always on hand to assist with queries that arise.”
“John is a great all round counsel with an excellent manner.”
Chambers UK Bar 2024 – Commercial Dispute Resolution; Band 3 (Midland Circuit)
“John’s strength is his ability to relate to the client without compromising on advice. He is very commercial and calm and logical on his feet.”
Legal 500 UK Bar 2023 – Property and Construction
“John is very helpful, friendly and bright. His attention to detail and clarity of advice makes him stand out.”
Chambers UK Bar 2023 – Commercial Dispute Resolution
“Approachable and articulate with an excellent analytical mind.”
Legal 500 UK Bar 2022 – Property and Construction
“Committed and commercial in his approach, with an articulate and personable nature that instils confidence.”
Legal 500 UK Bar 2021 – Commercial Litigation