Introduction

John’s practice encompasses a broad range of chancery and commercial work.  He is described by the editors of the current edition of Chambers and Partners as “An exceptional senior junior” and “Standout junior known for his known for his broad chancery and commercial practice” reported to be, amongst other things, “enormously bright and extremely hardworking”, “outstanding in his advocacy before the court” and “a delight to work with.”  He is a past winner of the Birmingham Law Society barrister of the year award.

His aim is to provide clear, reliable advice and provide a user-friendly service.

In his spare time, John enjoys sport and keeping abreast of current affairs.

Recent Cases:

John is currently acting for a litigant seeking to set aside a judgment on the grounds that it was obtained by fraud; the victim of a brain injury in relation to a professional negligence claim against a property and affairs deputy arising from the negligent investment of an award of damages; and a major manufacturer in relation to a number of multi-million warranty claims.

John’s recent court work includes a 5 day trial in which he appeared on behalf of the beneficiaries of a family trust in their successful action to remove a trustee from office; and a 10 day trial in which the director and shareholder of a SME on whose behalf he appeared proved that he had been the victim of a conspiracy orchestrated by his fellow director and shareholder.

Banking & Financial Services

John has wealth of experience acting for banks, building societies, finance companies and their customers.  He has considerable experience in matters which concern mortgages, guarantee and indemnity agreements, hire-purchase agreements, leasing agreements and conditional sale agreements.   He is also very familiar with the intricacies of consumer law, being regularly instructed to act on behalf of Jaguar Land Rover and its dealers.

John has a particular interest in breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by lenders against solicitors having appeared in the Supreme Court as junior counsel for a mortgage lender in one such claim.

John’s recent work includes advising a guarantor who sought to recover the losses he suffered following the collapse of a company in which a bank manager held a undisclosed interest; and advising guarantors who sought to enforce their right to a contribution from a rogue co-guarantor.

Reported cases:

Davies v Revelan Estates (Wigston) Ltd [2019] B.P.I.R. 1102 – Insolvency / Landlord and Tenant (Bankruptcy; damages; debt; guarantees; indemnities; liquidated sums; statutory demands; sureties)

AIB Group (UK) Plc v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors [2015] A.C. 1503[2014] 3 W.L.R. 1367, [2015] 1 All E.R. 747, [2015] P.N.L.R. 10, [2015] W.T.L.R. 187 –  Banking and finance / Professional Liability / Trusts (Banks; breach of trust; compensation; completion; equitable principles; misapplication; mortgages; redemption; solicitors)

Bulic v (1) Harwoods (2) Santander Consumer (UK) Plc (3) Jaguar Cars Ltd [2012] EWHC 3657 (QB) – Civil Procedure (Expert evidence; single joint experts)

Davies v AIB Group (UK) Plc [2012] EWHC 2178 (Ch), [2012] 2 P. & C.R. 19 – Banking (Guarantee agreements; loan agreements; undue influence)

Office of Fair Trading v Ashbourne Management Services Ltd [2011] EWHC 1237 (Ch); [2011] E.C.C. 31; [2011] C.T.L.C. 237 – Consumer Law (Consumer credit agreements; consumer protection; credit reference agencies; unfair commercial practices; unfair contract terms)

Toor v State Bank of India [2010] EWHC 1097 (Ch) – Banking, Real Property: (Mortgagors’ rights; residential property; possession orders)

Commercial & Chancery Litigation

John regularly advises and appears on behalf of clients in substantial commercial disputes in both the High Court and in arbitral proceedings.  He regularly handles applications for interim relief, including applications for freezing orders.

John is ranked in Chambers and Partners in band 1 for both commercial dispute resolution and chancery work amongst junior counsel in the midlands; and is identified as a leading junior in the midlands in both commercial litigation and chancery, probate and tax in the Legal 500.

In the most recent edition of Chambers and Partners the editors observed that John is “An exceptional senior junior who receives accolades for his sharp intellect and detailed knowledge of commercial and chancery law. He is recognised for his provision of high-quality advice and adept representation in litigation arising out of fraud and breach of contract, as well as property and construction disputes. He is also well regarded for his handling of professional negligence actions.”  According to a contributor cited in that publication: “He is leading light in this area and he’s readily capable of engaging in huge litigation.”

The editors of the most recent edition of Legal 500 observed that John is “a delight to work with” in commercial litigation and “highly recommended” in chancery work.

John has recently been involved in long running minority shareholder’s petition and a number of multi-million pound warranty claims brought by a renowned manufacturing business against its suppliers.

Reported cases:

Seekings v Moores [2019] EWHC 1476 (Comm), [2019] Costs L.R. 689 – Civil Procedure (Costs budgets; costs management orders; variation)

Davies v Revelan Estates (Wigston) Ltd [2019] B.P.I.R. 1102 – Insolvency / Landlord and Tenant (Bankruptcy; damages; debt; guarantees; indemnities; liquidated sums; statutory demands; sureties)

Levett-Dunn v NHS Property Services Ltd [2016] Ch. 637[2016] 3 W.L.R. 773,  [2016] L. & T.R. 26  [2016] 2 P. & C.R. DG18 – Landlord and tenant (Break clauses; estoppel; notices; service; surrender)

Stratford on Avon DC v Persimmon Homes Ltd [2015] EWHC 3593 (QB) – Planning / Local Government (Construction sites; injunctions; planning conditions; planning control; residential development)

AIB Group (UK) Plc v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors [2014] UKSC 58, [2015] A.C. 1503[2014] 3 W.L.R. 1367, [2015] 1 All E.R. 747, [2015] P.N.L.R. 10, [2015] W.T.L.R. 187 –  Banking and finance / Professional Liability / Trusts (Banks; breach of trust; compensation; completion; equitable principles; misapplication; mortgages; redemption; solicitors)

Aster Healthcare Ltd v Shafi [2014] EWCA Civ 1350, [2016] 2 All E.R. 316, [2016] W.T.L.R 395 – Capacity (Care costs; care homes; community care assessments; dementia; local authorities’ powers and duties; long-term care; payments; residential accommodation; residential care)

Knatchbull-Hugessen (Trustee) v SISU Capital Ltd [2014] EWHC 1195 (QB) – Contracts / Company law (Agreements; costs; interpretation; share purchases)

Knatchbull-Hugessen v SISU Capital Ltd [2014] EWHC 1194 (QB) – Contracts /Company law (Breach of contract; expenses; fees; implied terms; share purchases)

Bywater Properties Investments LLP v Oswestry Town Council [2014] 2 P. & C.R. 1 – Landlord and tenant (Business tenancies; interpretation; rent reviews)

Hellard v Irwin Mitchell [2013] EWHC 3008 (Ch) – Professional Liability (Causes of action; financial advice; limitations; pensions; professional negligence; risk; solicitors)

Bulic v (1) Harwoods (2) Santander Consumer (UK) Plc (3) Jaguar Cars Ltd [2012] EWHC 3657 (QB) – Civil Procedure (Expert evidence; single joint experts)

Edginton v Sekhon [2012] EWCA Civ 1812 – Civil Procedure (Calderbank letters; conduct; costs orders; counterclaims; discontinuance; legal advice and funding; limitations; settlement; solicitors’ remuneration)

Davies v AIB Group (UK) Plc [2012] EWHC 2178 (Ch), [2012] 2 P. & C.R. 19 – Banking (Guarantee agreements; loan agreements; undue influence)

Hutchinson v Neale [2012] EWCA Civ 345, [2012] 2 P. & C.R. DG1 – Real Property (Boundary Dispute; costs)

Quirkco Investments Ltd v Aspray Transport Ltd [2013] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 55, [2012] L. & T.R. 19 – Landlord and Tenant (Breach of covenant; break notices; business tenancies; date of termination; insurance premiums; interpretation; rent arrears; validity)

Office of Fair Trading v Ashbourne Management Services Ltd [2011] EWHC 1237 (Ch), [2011] E.C.C. 31; [2011] C.T.L.C. 237 – Consumer Law (Consumer credit agreements; consumer protection; credit reference agencies; unfair commercial practices; unfair contract terms)

Walsh v Singh (Costs) [2011] EWCA Civ 80, [2011] 2 F.L.R. 599, [2011] Fam. Law 344, [2011] 4 Costs L.O. 429 – Civil procedure (Abandoned claims; conduct; costs; counterclaims; no order for costs; part 36 offers; unreasonable conduct)

Corr v IBC Vehicles Ltd [2008] 1 A.C. 884[2008] 1 A.C. 884[2008] 1 A.C. 884[2008] I.C.R. 372[2008] P.I.Q.R. P11, Times, February 28, 2008 – Personal injury (Causation; consent; contributory negligence; depression; duty of care; fatal accident claims; foreseeability; insanity; intervening events; remoteness; suicide; volenti non fit injuria)

Commercial Fraud & Asset Tracing

John’s reputation in the field of commercial fraud is based upon the experience he gained in the Crown Court in the early days of his practice and the breadth of his civil litigation practice. He seeks to combine an understanding of human nature and knowledge of the technical requirements of the law. He is often instructed in cases that feature death or insolvency. He has a particular interest in claims involving allegations of breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence.

In the most recent edition of Chambers and Partners it was said of John: “He is recognised for his provision of high-quality advice and adept representation in litigation arising out of fraud”.

John has recently advised the owners of a development company from whom the managing director misappropriated large sums of money; the vendor of a solicitor’s practice accused of deceit; and a company that suffered loss as a result of a director subsequently proven to have conspired against it.

 Reported cases:

Davies v AIB Group (UK) Plc [2012] EWHC 2178 (Ch), [2012] 2 P. & C.R. 19 – Banking (Guarantee agreements; loan agreements; undue influence)

Morgan (Deceased), Re [2008] W.T.L.R. 73 – Probate (attestation; knowledge and approval; undue influence)

Micro Design Group Ltd v Norwich Union Insurance Ltd [2005] EWHC 3093 (TCC); [2006] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 235 – Insurance (fraud)

Company & Partnership

John has a considerable experience of partnership disputes, especially those relating to farming partnerships and family businesses.  John has also advised in and appeared in a number of minority shareholder’s petitions.

John recently acted on behalf of the respondent to a minority shareholder’s petition in a 10 day trial and is currently engaged in a substantial partnership dispute concerning a family business.

Reported cases:

Knatchbull-Hugessen (Trustee) v SISU Capital Ltd [2014] EWHC 1195 (QB) – Contracts / Company law (Agreements; costs; interpretation; share purchases)

Knatchbull-Hugessen v SISU Capital Ltd [2014] EWHC 1194 (QB) – Contracts /Company law (Breach of contract; expenses; fees; implied terms; share purchases)

Davies v AIB Group (UK) Plc [2012] EWHC 2178 (Ch), [2012] 2 P. & C.R. 19 – Banking (Guarantee agreements; loan agreements; undue influence)

Shirt v Shirt [2010] EWHC 3820 (Ch) – Real Property / Partnership (Proprietary estoppel; constructive trust; breach of fiduciary duty; dissolution of partnership).

Kelly v Hussain [2008] EWHC 1117 (Ch) – Company Law (Conduct; directors; Dismissal; Exclusion; Petitions; Shareholders; Unfairly prejudicial conduct)

Contentious Wills, Trusts & Probate

John accepts instructions in both non-contentious and contentious probate matters. He has acted in cases in which the capacity of the testator, the validity of the will and the administration of the estate have been in dispute. He has made and resisted applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. John accepts instructions in both non-contentious and contentious trust matters. He is regularly instructed in disputes over the beneficial ownership of property allegedly held on trust. He has a particular interest in cases that concern allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, knowing assistance and receipt, tracing, rectification and mistake.

John is ranked in Chambers and Partners in band 1 for chancery work amongst junior counsel in the midlands.  He is also ranked in the Legal 500 in band 1 for chancery, probate and tax amongst junior counsel in the midlands and is considered by the editors of that publication to be “highly recommended”.

John recently acted on behalf of beneficiaries of a family trust in a successful action to remove a trustee from office.  He is currently acting on behalf of an appellant who is seeking to set aside a judgment obtained in a contested probate action on the grounds that the judgment was obtained by fraud.

Reported cases:

Aster Healthcare Ltd v Shafi [2014] EWCA Civ 1350, [2016] 2 All E.R. 316, [2016] W.T.L.R 395 – Capacity (Care costs; care homes; community care assessments; dementia; local authorities’ powers and duties; long-term care; payments; residential accommodation; residential care)

Morgan (Deceased), Re [2008] W.T.L.R. 73 – Probate (attestation; knowledge and approval; undue influence)

Professional Liability

John regularly acts for claimants seeking to prosecute professional negligence claims against solicitors, surveyors and valuers. He also acts in cases against other professionals such as accountants, architects, barristers, consulting engineers and financial advisors. John has been instructed on a number of occasions to represent professionals against allegations of professional negligence including, in particular, solicitors.

John’s expertise in this field has been recognised in the directories.  He is ranked in band 1 amongst junior counsel in the midlands for professional liability work; and is a recommended junior in  professional negligence in Who’s Who Legal.

In the most recent edition of Chambers and Partners (2021), the editors describe John as a “Standout junior” who is “especially strong at handling professional negligence claims brought against solicitors.  He is also frequently instructed in claims against engineers and property professionals.”

John’s recent work includes a claim brought by a Property and Affairs Deputy against his predecessor arising from the latter’s negligent failure to invest a substantial award of damages following the conclusion of a claim for catastrophic personal injuries; and the defence of an execution-only stock broker against allegations brought against it by the victims of a dishonest financial advisor.

Reported cases:

AIB Group (UK) Plc v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors [2015] A.C. 1503[2014] 3 W.L.R. 1367, [2015] 1 All E.R. 747, [2015] P.N.L.R. 10, [2015] W.T.L.R. 187 –  Banking and finance / Professional Liability / Trusts (Banks; breach of trust; compensation; completion; equitable principles; misapplication; mortgages; redemption; solicitors)

Hellard v Irwin Mitchell [2013] EWHC 3008 (Ch) – Professional Liability (Causes of action; financial advice; limitations; pensions; professional negligence; risk; solicitors)

Knight v Haynes Dufell Kentish & Co [2003] EWCA Civ 223 – Professional Liability (Solicitors, Quistclose trusts, share purchases, delay, interest)

Restraint of Trade & Confidentiality

John has regularly been instructed to prosecute or defend claims in which a former employer seeks to enforce post-contractual restrictions against a former employee. John is also regularly instructed to appear in analogous cases in the High Court and County Court such as claims in which a purchaser seeks to enforce post-contractual restrictions against a vendor of a business; claims to enforce duties of confidentiality; claims in which a company to enforce a former director’s fiduciary duties; and claims under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993. He is conscious of the need to act swiftly when applications for interim injunctive relief are sought pending trial and is prepared to work intensively at short notice in order to do so.

John’s recent work includes acting on behalf of an employer against a former employee for misuse of confidential information.

Real Estate

John is regularly instructed in real property disputes including, in particular, constructive trust/proprietary estoppel claims in relation to the family homes, easements, restrictive covenants, adverse possession claims, boundary disputes and Party Wall Etc Act 1996 claims. John has considerable experience in the construction of sale and purchase agreements, development agreements and overage agreements. His practice encompasses cases in the High Court, the County Court and proceedings before the Adjudicator to HM Land Registry.  In recent years John has regularly acted on behalf of a nationwide housebuilder in relation to a number of property related disputes.

John is ranked by the editors of the Legal 500 in band 1 amongst leading juniors at the midland bar in the field of property and construction work.  He is also considered by the editor of Chambers and Partners as a leading junior at the midlands bar in the field of real estate litigation.  The editors observed that he was “Experienced in commercial property … His broad practice includes acting for private clients on easements and proprietary estoppel claims, as well as developers in relation to development matters.”

Reported cases:

Davies v Revelan Estates (Wigston) Ltd [2019] B.P.I.R. 1102 – Insolvency / Landlord and Tenant (Bankruptcy; damages; debt; guarantees; indemnities; liquidated sums; statutory demands; sureties)

Levett-Dunn v NHS Property Services Ltd [2016] Ch. 637[2016] 3 W.L.R. 773,  [2016] L. & T.R. 26  [2016] 2 P. & C.R. DG18 – Landlord and tenant (Break clauses; estoppel; notices; service; surrender)

Stratford on Avon DC v Persimmon Homes Ltd [2015] EWHC 3593 (QB) – Planning / Local Government (Construction sites; injunctions; planning conditions; planning control; residential development)

Bywater Properties Investments LLP v Oswestry Town Council [2014] 2 P. & C.R. 1 – Landlord and tenant (Business tenancies; interpretation; rent reviews)

Hutchinson v Neale [2012] EWCA Civ 345, [2012] 2 P. & C.R. DG1 – Real Property (Boundary Dispute; costs)

Quirkco Investments Ltd v Aspray Transport Ltd [2013] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 55, [2012] L. & T.R. 19 – Landlord and Tenant (Breach of covenant; break notices; business tenancies; date of termination; insurance premiums; interpretation; rent arrears; validity)

Walsh v Singh [2009] EWHC 3219 (Ch), [2010] 1 F.L.R. 1658, [2010] 1 F.C.R. 1777, [2010] W.T.L.R. 1061, [2010] Fam. Law 247 – Real Property (Constructive trusts; contributions; estoppel; promises; quantum meruit; real property)

Reported Cases

Seekings v Moores [2019] EWHC 1476 (Comm), [2019] Costs L.R. 689 – Civil Procedure (Costs budgets; costs management orders; variation)

Davies v Revelan Estates (Wigston) Ltd [2019] B.P.I.R. 1102 – Insolvency / Landlord and Tenant (Bankruptcy; damages; debt; guarantees; indemnities; liquidated sums; statutory demands; sureties)

Levett-Dunn v NHS Property Services Ltd [2016] Ch. 637[2016] 3 W.L.R. 773,  [2016] L. & T.R. 26  [2016] 2 P. & C.R. DG18 – Landlord and tenant (Break clauses; estoppel; notices; service; surrender)

Stratford on Avon DC v Persimmon Homes Ltd [2015] EWHC 3593 (QB) – Planning / Local Government (Construction sites; injunctions; planning conditions; planning control; residential development)

AIB Group (UK) Plc v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors [2014] UKSC 58, [2015] A.C. 1503[2014] 3 W.L.R. 1367, [2015] 1 All E.R. 747, [2015] P.N.L.R. 10, [2015] W.T.L.R. 187 –  Banking and finance / Professional Liability / Trusts (Banks; breach of trust; compensation; completion; equitable principles; misapplication; mortgages; redemption; solicitors)

Aster Healthcare Ltd v Shafi [2014] EWCA Civ 1350, [2016] 2 All E.R. 316, [2016] W.T.L.R 395 – Capacity (Care costs; care homes; community care assessments; dementia; local authorities’ powers and duties; long-term care; payments; residential accommodation; residential care)

Knatchbull-Hugessen (Trustee) v SISU Capital Ltd [2014] EWHC 1195 (QB) – Contracts / Company law (Agreements; costs; interpretation; share purchases)

Knatchbull-Hugessen v SISU Capital Ltd [2014] EWHC 1194 (QB) – Contracts /Company law (Breach of contract; expenses; fees; implied terms; share purchases)

Bywater Properties Investments LLP v Oswestry Town Council [2014] 2 P. & C.R. 1 – Landlord and tenant (Business tenancies; interpretation; rent reviews)

Hellard v Irwin Mitchell [2013] EWHC 3008 (Ch) – Professional Liability (Causes of action; financial advice; limitations; pensions; professional negligence; risk; solicitors)

Bulic v (1) Harwoods (2) Santander Consumer (UK) Plc (3) Jaguar Cars Ltd [2012] EWHC 3657 (QB) – Civil Procedure (Expert evidence; single joint experts)

Edginton v Sekhon [2012] EWCA Civ 1812 – Civil Procedure (Calderbank letters; conduct; costs orders; counterclaims; discontinuance; legal advice and funding; limitations; settlement; solicitors’ remuneration)

Davies v AIB Group (UK) Plc [2012] EWHC 2178 (Ch), [2012] 2 P. & C.R. 19 – Banking (Guarantee agreements; loan agreements; undue influence)

Hutchinson v Neale [2012] EWCA Civ 345, [2012] 2 P. & C.R. DG1 – Real Property (Boundary Dispute; costs)

Quirkco Investments Ltd v Aspray Transport Ltd [2013] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 55, [2012] L. & T.R. 19 – Landlord and Tenant (Breach of covenant; break notices; business tenancies; date of termination; insurance premiums; interpretation; rent arrears; validity)

Office of Fair Trading v Ashbourne Management Services Ltd [2011] EWHC 1237 (Ch), [2011] E.C.C. 31; [2011] C.T.L.C. 237 – Consumer Law (Consumer credit agreements; consumer protection; credit reference agencies; unfair commercial practices; unfair contract terms)

Walsh v Singh (Costs) [2011] EWCA Civ 80, [2011] 2 F.L.R. 599, [2011] Fam. Law 344, [2011] 4 Costs L.O. 429 – Civil procedure (Abandoned claims; conduct; costs; counterclaims; no order for costs; part 36 offers; unreasonable conduct)

Corr v IBC Vehicles Ltd [2008] 1 A.C. 884[2008] 1 A.C. 884[2008] 1 A.C. 884[2008] I.C.R. 372[2008] P.I.Q.R. P11, Times, February 28, 2008 – Personal injury (Causation; consent; contributory negligence; depression; duty of care; fatal accident claims; foreseeability; insanity; intervening events; remoteness; suicide; volenti non fit injuria)

Education

MA, Oxon (Modern History, First Class)
MA (Oxon)
Mansfield Scholar, Lincoln's Inn

Appointments and Memberships

Chancery Bar Association

Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association

Testimonials

"Enormously bright and extremely hardworking, with an approachable demeanour that makes him an important part of the team." Legal 500 2021
“A figure of note from the junior ranks.” Legal 500 2021
"He is direct and cuts to the core of of a problem." Legal 500 2021
"Highly intelligent, diligent and intuitive. He is a delight to work with." Legal 500 2021
"Very bright and outstanding in his advocacy before the court." "Technically very good, very practical and clear with clients." Chambers UK 2021
"He is incredibly intellectual and he really knows his stuff. He speaks the language of the clients very well." Chambers UK 2021
"He is a leading light...and he's readily capable of engaging in huge litigation." Chambers UK 2021
"He is a very good and strong technical lawyer who is very easy to deal with and very personable." Chambers UK 2021
"He speaks the language of the clients very well." Chambers UK 2021
"Technically very good, very practical and clear with clients." Chambers UK 2021
"He's very pleasant, very conscientious and amazingly thorough." Chambers UK
"His advice is good and frank; he isn't afraid to give his clients a realistic assessment." Chambers UK
"Provides clear, authoritative advice and is always well prepared." Chambers UK
"He is very thorough, detailed and able to cut straight to the heart of the problem. He's also very easy to deal with and is very good with clients." Chambers UK
"Very responsive and tremendous client-handling skills." "He completely throws himself into a case and has an enormous depth of knowledge." Chambers UK
"He's very diligent, hard-working, no-nonsense, good on his feet and knows the field in which he practises exceptionally well." Chambers UK
"He cuts to the core of matters and is very good with clients." "A very good court advocate." Chambers UK
"He's very, very clever, agreeable and pleasant. A future silk if there ever was one." Chambers UK
"He is able to deal with very complex matters and get right to the heart of the issue. He's very good with clients and is able to explain complex matters in an easily understandable way." Chambers UK
"He has a very good court manner, a very extensive vocabulary and a very good turn of phrase. He is a natural on his feet. His advocacy makes him stand out; he's got this sort of common touch and has the ability to spin a perfect phrase to sum up a case." Chambers UK
“He communicates well with clients.” Legal 500
"John's very solid and very experienced; sort of the ultimate safe pair of hands. He's a strong intellectual lawyer." Chambers UK
"He's very intelligent, methodical, thorough and charming, as well as being a persuasive and determined advocate." Chambers UK
"He's extremely thorough and very helpful, while being very responsive and always making himself available. His knowledge of the law is remarkable at times and he is always very clear and precise in his position." Chambers UK
“A strong and determined negotiator.” Legal 500
"Excellent, incredibly intelligent, he gets straight to the point and gives you straightforward advice." Chambers UK
“He has a great bedside manner with clients.” Legal 500
"He is not someone who will back down or give guarded opinions and is very good with difficult cases." Chambers UK