John is a specialist residential development lawyer with a broad range of experience acting for national housebuilders, regional developers, public-private joint ventures and promoters. He also has blue-chip in-house experience with Barclays and has taught law professionally.

John currently advises 8 of the top 20 UK housebuilders on acquisition work, disposals and policy issues such as leasehold reform. In particular, John is a leading lawyer in the North of England for complex site assembly and strategic land acquisition work, multi-party collaborations for immediate land and in relation to PRS disposals for his national housebuilder clients.

How do you help clients?

I enjoy getting stuck in to the detail of clients’ developments and providing strategic advice from heads of terms stage all the way through legal completion to plot sales. Everything I do is focussed on my clients’ need to realise value from their investments – whether that is to facilitate an early exchange, defuse possible issues around plot sales or to use joint venture structures to improve ROCE.


  1. Acting for a national housebuilder on the land assembly and development of a 330 unit site in Newcastle together with disposals of 50% of the site as serviced units to a third-party developer, further disposals to an RP and complex negotiations with Network Rail, the local Passenger Transport Executive and the Council for easements and infrastructure over two railway lines and for the enhancement of public parkland.
  2. Acting for a joint venture between a national housebuilder and a large City Council in relation to the phased development and funding of a portfolio of brownfield sites amounting to over 2,000 units with related disposals of phases to a PRS fund.
  3. Acting for a regional housebuilder on a hybrid promotion agreements for a new garden village in the NW of England together with 1.5m sqft of commercial space.. 
  4. Leading the Gateley team acting for Lovell Partnerships on a £150m JV with Together Housing encompassing the corporate, banking, tax and construction elements of the JV together with the acquisition of three development sites from separate landowners providing over 500 units in the Yorkshire area.
  5. Working in-house at Barclays, predominantly on their residential lending book. This included representing the bank on the CML legal panel and negotiating the HCA’s standard form shared ownership lease.