Practice Areas

Practice Areas

Commercial and General Civil Litigation

His work in this area covers contracts and commercial agreements, guarantees, agency law (including commercial agents), sale of goods and credit matters, auctions, partnership disputes, and insurance liabilities, companies, bankruptcies and insolvencies, business law, interpretation of contracts and agreements.

Property Law, Housing and Landlord and Tenant

Real property, mortgages and charges, housing law, private sector landlord and tenant and business tenancies, interpretation of leases and property contracts, easements, adverse possession and rights of way, nuisance claims, matrimonial property cases involving cohabitees, trustees and businesses, constructive trust and proprietary estoppel claims.

Planning Matters

John has experience in planning matters, dealing with hearings before Inquiries and advising on legal issues arising on planning applications, such as Environmental Impact Reports, compliance with Green Belt and SSSI limitations, and non-compliance by planning authorities in correct planning procedures. In 2006 John advised parish counsellors in relation to a targeted opposition to a planning application to develop a disused World War II underground ammunitions factory in Green Belt Worcestershire into a young offenders rehabilitation centre, which aroused considerable local opposition. The application had initially received the support of the planning authorities. John gave detailed written advice on the numerous grounds for opposition to the application. The planning application was eventually withdrawn in the face of a very targeted and high-profile local opposition.

Building Disputes

All aspects of building contracts and development disputes, negligent building and demolition work, nuisance and trespass claims arising out of building works, Defective Premises Act claims and Environmental Protection Act cases, Building Act notices and Building Act prosecutions.

Trusts and Estates

Express and Implied Trusts, Trustee powers duties and liabilities, trust investments, interpretation of wills and other testamentary dispositions, estate administration issues, Mental Capacity, Powers of Attorney, Civil Partnerships, Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act claims, bankruptcy issues.

Probate matters

Representing executors, administrators, beneficiaries and others in challenges to estates, the administration of estates, the validity of wills and other testamentary dispositions on issues such as undue influence, fraud, want of knowledge and approval, capacity, interpretation of words and clauses, etc, together with intestacy claims and challenges.

Practice Areas

Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Contentious litigation revolving around claims by dependants, family members and cohabitees to provision from estates. He has represented both claimants and defendant estates/ executors/ beneficiaries, wives, husbands, cohabitees, civil partners, children and step-children.

High Value Ancillary Relief

John has a specialised practice in this area, dealing solely with high value ancillary relief claims that also involve aggravating or other complex issues, such as bankruptcy, trusts, partnership disputes, third party rights/claims, claims by mortgagees/chargees, undue influence issues, disputed property rights, foreign elements, etc.

Interesting recent cases in this area have included representing a Husband who is a member of the Sears family, which founded the “Owen Owen” Group. The Husband had been previously made bankrupt, but had retained substantial assets obtained from his mother through various family arrangements and trusts. He later established a bird sanctuary/game bird business in Wales using land acquired from his mother which had been in his family for many generations, and succeeded in retaining it and preventing his former Wife from getting too many of his pheasants!!

Also representing the bankrupt Husband in the somewhat bizarre case of Ram v Ram, which has produced 2 important decisions of the Court of Appeal concerning bankruptcy in ancillary relief, and the interpretation of section 24A MCA 1973. The Husband was successful in having various orders made against the assets of other members of his family set aside.

Professional Negligence Claims

Advising and acting in professional negligence claims in all of the above areas of practice. Most of John’s work in this field has been for claimants, but he is happy to advise and represent defendants.

Injunctions and Applications to Discharge Injunctions

John has advised and represented numerous applicants for Injunctions and also on applications to discharge Injunctions. The law relating to Injunctions is complex and onerous, with requirements for full and frank disclosure and many procedural hurdles, any breach of which can often prove fatal to the application and result in heavy costs orders being made against unsuccessful applicants. There are different types of Injunctions, from privacy Injunctions, harassment Injunctions, Injunctions freezing assets, anti-competition and restraint of trade Injunctions, disclosure Injunctions, and many more, each requiring its own particular approach. Careful and accurate preparation of the application documentation and supporting witness statements is crucial. Acting quickly is often required, adding to the pressure to ensure that the application is prepared with the fullest attention to accuracy and detail. Since the evidence for and against most applications is received by the Court entirely on paper, the role of the advocate presenting the application to the Court is also crucial.

Specific Case Work

To give a better flavour of his work and experience, John’s website contains a summary of some past cases in which he has been instructed (see “Cases”).

Some Reported Cases:-

Practice Areas