John Aldis

John Aldis

John Aldis


John Aldis has a first-class degree from the University of Cambridge. He achieved an Outstanding at Bar School and a Distinction for the GDL. He has won numerous scholarships and awards, including the Louis Gluckstein Advocacy Prize.

John is Business & Property barrister who specialises in property, wills, trusts & probate. John is an associate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and is working towards full membership.

He is married with a young daughter. In his spare time, he enjoys learning languages and playing golf and the piano badly. Before coming to the Bar, John was a Church of England minster.

Contentious Wills, Trust and Probate

John frequently acts in claims where a will is challenged on the grounds of incapacity, undue influence or fraudulent calumny. He has resolved numerous probate, TOLATA, Inheritance Act and proprietary estoppel claims at trial and mediation. He enjoys advising on obscure points of law relating to mutual wills, secret trusts, purpose trusts and the construction of wills and trusts.

Recently John has:

  • Acted on behalf of the administrators of an estate in 2-day hearing where he: (i) obtained an order for security for costs against the Claimant (a beneficiary of the estate) who lives out of the jurisdiction; and (ii) defeated 2 applications by the Claimant for summary judgment and for payment into court of the estate funds.
  • Drafted and acted in claims to remove or appoint personal representatives and trustees.
  • Obtained the court’s approval of estate accounts and the court’s blessing of an executor’s proposals for dealing with various disputes between beneficiaries.

Real Estate

John often acts in TOLATA, proprietary estoppel and possession claims. He particularly enjoys dealing with disputes over boundaries, adverse possession, rights of way and prescription. He is experienced in drafting First-Tier Tribunal Statements of Case and witness statements.

Recently John has:

  • Acted in a trial over land adjoining a farm in which he: (i) obtained a declaration of the boundary of the Claimants’ driveway; (ii) obtained injunctions to prevent interference with the Claimants’ right of way; and (iii) partially defeated a counterclaim for a prescriptive right of way.
  • Kenyon v Emery REF/2002/0233: Defeated an adverse possession application to part of a residential garden on the grounds that: (i) the applicant’s first ADV1 application was defective because it referred to the wrong title number; and (ii) by the time the respondent made his second ADV1 application, he no longer qualified under paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 6 of the Land Registration Act 2002 because more than 6 months had elapsed from the date on which he had been evicted by the erection of a fence.

Commercial and Chancery Litigation

John expertise extends from simple debt recovery to disputes over actual and apparent authority, incorporation and construction of terms, exclusion clauses, unfair contract terms, misrepresentation, limitation and restitution. He also has experience of partnership claims for accounts & enquiries, dissolution and winding up.

Recently John has:

  • Defeated an application to discharge a limited civil restraint order.
  • Euro Securities and Finance Ltd v Barrett [2023] EWHC 51 (Ch): Obtained a declaration that a guarantee had been properly attested as a deed for the purposes of s.1 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 (such that the limitation period for recovering a substantial debt was 12 years rather than 6). The court also gave authoritative obiter guidance on what was meant by the phrase “in the presence of a witness” and “attests” in s.1(3)(a).

Insolvency and Restructuring

John is experienced in claims at the intersection between property and insolvency. This includes advising on forfeiture, disclaimers, bona vacantia/escheat and vesting orders.

Reported Cases

  • Baker v Hewston [2023] EWHC 1145 (Ch) (contains a detailed re-examination of the relationship between Banks v Goodfellow and the Mental Capacity Act 2005).
  • Euro Securities and Finance Ltd v Barrett [2023] EWHC 51 (Ch) (contains significant obiter guidance on the meaning of “in the presence of a witness” and “attests” in s.1(3)(a) LP(MP)A 1989).
  • Khan v Mahmood [2021] EWHC 597 (Ch) (a notable decision on the perfection of imperfect gifts)
  • (1) Kirkbright; (2) Kirkbright v Toseva [2021] EWHC 2320 (TCC) (proprietary estoppel and contracts for the sale of land)
  • Quadro Services Limited v Creagh Concrete Products Limited [2021] EWHC 2637 (TCC)

First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) cases:

  • Kenyon v Emery REF/2002/033 (adverse possession)
  • Liddle v The Incumbent of the Ashfords BeneficeREF/2022/0368 (the 30-year limitation period enjoyed by spiritual corporations sole under s.15(7) Limitation Act 1980 was applied to defeat an adverse possession claim to part of a churchyard)
  • City & Country Properties Ltd v Birmingham City Council REF/2020/0209 (the defence of “highway maintainable at public expense” was raised to defeat an adverse possession claim)
  • (1) Tucker; (2) Hill v (1) Campbell; (2) Campbell REF/2020/0309 (boundary dispute & adverse possession)
  • ANG Properties Limited v Boston REF/2019/0780
  • Greenbelt Group Limited v (1) Lane; (2) Bourne BIR/OOCS/LIS/2018/0028


  • Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding) – BPP
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction) – BPP
  • MPhil Philosophy of Religion & Ethics – University of Cambridge
  • BA Theology (1st) – University of Cambridge
  • BA Law (2:1) – University of Oxford

Professional courses:

  • STEP Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation (2024)
  • STEP Advanced Certificate in Administration of Trusts (2023)
  • STEP Advanced Certificate in Administration of Estates (2023)
  • Certificate in Insolvency Law (2017)


  • Louis Gluckstein Advocacy Prize- Lincoln’s Inn
  • Tancred Studentship- Lincoln’s Inn
  • Excellence Award- BPP University
  • Lord Brougham Scholarship- Lincoln’s Inn
  • Hardwicke Entrance Award- Lincoln’s Inn                             
  • Wordsworth MPhil Grant- Cambridge Divinity Faculty
  • 1912 Senior Scholarship-Cambridge University   
  • Nick Clarke Prize- Cambridge University

Professional Associations

Lincoln’s Inn

Associate member of STEP

Member of MCCBA

Worcester Law Society member

What the directories say

“John is very thorough and well-reasoned. He is a careful and effective advocate with in-depth knowledge of the relevant evidence and applicable law.” Legal 500 2024

“John has an excellent, analytical mind, with a calm and measured demeanour. He patiently and skilfully deals with witnesses who ramble in evidence and adroitly reveals the flaws in that evidence.”  Legal 500 2023




John Aldis

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