John specialises in increasingly complex and high value cases across the entire range of family-related financial disputes. His expertise includes applications for financial remedies by spouses and/or children following divorce or civil partnership dissolution; applications for financial remedies for children by unmarried parents pursuant to Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989, as well as property disputes between unmarried cohabitants pursuant to the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.
He also acts for third parties (interveners) who may have an interest that they seek to protect in the divorce proceedings, such as parents and/or siblings of the divorcing couple, as well as trustees and/or corporate entities by whom relevant property may be owned.
Family finance & property
John has practised exclusively in this field since the early ‘90s. He is well-known and well-respected across the profession. He has very considerable specialist knowledge and experience. His work encompasses both court-based resolution and alternative (non-court-based) dispute resolution.
Hard-working and thorough, he combines first rate legal knowledge with a mastery of the papers. He is good with figures. He is able to cut straight to the crux of a problem. He has good judgment. He aims to give absolutely straight, no frills, objective advice, whether welcome or not. His reputation is for being measured and realistic, but forceful where necessary. Unfailingly courteous and empathetic, he aims to lead his clients calmly through to a resolution of what can otherwise be a stressful experience.
John is qualified to undertake Direct Access work (direct from members of the public, without the need to involve a solicitor) in appropriate cases, and does so regularly, both in conference and at court (including final hearings).
By way of illustration of John’s practice profile, recent cases have involved:
- A number of cases involving high-earning husbands being asked to fund high level child maintenance awards as well as heavy school-fees commitments.
- A number of financial remedy claims involving the division of a portfolio of investment properties, residential and commercial, and consequent tax issues.
- A Trusts of Land claim involving a high-end property in the Home Counties and a written cohabitation agreement
- A case involving a husband with a chain of retail trading stores across SE England, built up substantially outside marriage.
- A case involving a husband with an interest in an English property company, of disputed value, and a wife with interests in trading companies registered and operating in mainland Europe, of disputed value.
- A case involving a wife who had been in a road traffic accident leading to amputation of a leg, in which a substantial proportion of the assets were personal injury damages designed to meet her lifetime needs.
- A case involving the enforcement of an English financial remedies order in Singapore.
- A divorce and financial case, involving a terminally ill wife who wished to be divorced and to recover her proper share of the matrimonial assets, in order to make provision for her adult children of an earlier marriage. The proceedings were transferred to the High Court, in order to provide jurisdiction for the court to move so that the proceedings could be conducted in the parties’ residential property.
- An ancillary relief claim involving high-end properties in the Home Counties, owned in property development companies controlled by the husband.
- Acting for a businessman resident in US, in respect of a substantial and complex ancillary relief claim brought in London by a wife also resident in US.
- An ancillary relief claim involving real property and business interests spread across a number of different jurisdictions worldwide, including US, Europe and the Far East.
- Acting for the Official Solicitor as amicus to the court in a claim brought under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 by a mother against a father serving a custodial sentence for a serious criminal offence.
- A number of cases involving allegations that one party has hidden money and/or assets on the breakdown of the marriage by placing them in the hands of third parties.
Notable cases in which John has acted and which have been reported in the official Law Reports have been:
D v D  1 FLR 988