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John Collins

Year of call:
MA Lit. Hum, Queen's College, Oxford (Hastings Scholar)
1970 - 1980
Deputy County Court Judge and Deputy Circuit Judge
Member of the Chancery Bar Association
Member of the Personal Injury Bar Association
Served on Legal Aid Committees continuously for 30 years (until 2016)
National Pro Bono Award
Yorkshire Legal Awards Pro Bono Award

John has a well-established, thriving practice specialising in chancery and common law, property, commercial law and all aspects of negligence.

His experience includes:

  • Real property and all types of property disputes, including contracts and conveyancing problems, easements, commons, restrictive covenants, boundary disputes and nuisance.
  • Wills, probate and trusts; interpretation of and disputes concerning all types of wills and trusts; domicile disputes; Inheritance Act claims.
  • Landlord and tenant, covering both private and Local Authority lettings as well as business, residential and agricultural tenancies.
  • Companies and partnerships; dissolution of both and disputes between partners and former partners; liabilities of directors and directors’ disqualification; minority rights; corporate and personal insolvency.
  • Judicial Review covering disputes with Local Authorities and Government Departments, quangos, courts, planning decisions.
  • Commercial disputes; freezing orders, retention of title issues.
  • Professional negligence, including that of lawyers, licensed conveyancers, surveyors, accountants, Education Authorities.
  • All aspects of negligently and deliberately caused damage, including personal injury and damage to real property and goods.

Areas of Expertise

  • Professional negligence
  • Damage by vegetation
  • Property disputes
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Easements and Commons
  • Landlord and tenant disputes
  • Real property contracts
  • Wills, Probate and Inheritance
  • Judicial Review

Reported Cases

  • Re Jackson, Ilott v Mitson [2011] 2 FCR 1;[2014] WTLR 575; [2015] 1 FLR 291; 2FLR 1409, [2016] 1AER 932.  Supreme Court decision pending.
  • Bell v Northumbrian Water [2016] EWHC 133 (TCC) – Nuisance from defective sewer.
  • Direct Line v Fox [2009] 1 AER (Comm) 1017, fraudulent insurance claims
  • William Smith (Wakefield) Ltd -v- Parisride Ltd [2005] 2EGLR 22 – an important decision in agricultural holdings law
  • Ribee v. Norrie [2001] 33 HLR 69, a successful appeal to the CA, where the duties of an absentee landlord of property were laid down in relation to escape of fire and nuisance
  • R. v Leeds City Council e.p. LICS (1996) 73 P&CR 70 (see below)
  • Nationwide Anglia B. S. v Ahmed and Balakrishnan (1995) 70 P&CR 381 (loss of vendors lien)
  • R. v Inspector of taxes e.p. Brumfield [1989] STC 151 (taxation of farming partnerships)
  • Wakefield MDC v Huzminor Investments (1989) 29 RVR 108 (rating of commercial premises)
  • Re K. [1988] Ch. 310 (the leading case on enduring powers of attorney)
  • Sharneyford Supplies v Edge [1986] Ch. 128, [1987] Ch. 305 (sale of maggot farm: damages for non-completion)
  • Re ilkley and Burley Moors (1984) 47 P&CR 324 (rights of common)
  • Wakefield City Council v Box [1982] 3 All E.R. 506 (markets and fairs)
  • Harrison-Broadley v Smith [1963] 1 WLR 1262 and Beevers v Mason (1978) 37 P&CR 452 (agricultural holdings)
  • Robinson v Crompton Parkinson [1978] (unfair dismissal)
  • Jarmain v Wetherall (1977) 75 LGR 537 (the case which gave the “go-ahead” to car boot sales)
  • Harrison v Battye [1975] 1 WLR 58 (exchange of contracts)
  • Blackstone v Burnetts (West End) [1973] 1 WLR 1487 (important case on waiver of forfeiture)
  • Crow v Wood [1971] 1 QB 77 (easement of fencing)
  • CEGB v Dunning [1970] Ch. 643 (what is a “pleasure ground”?)
  • R. v Inman [1967] 1 Q.B. 140 (company fraud, duplicity of indictment)
  • Radziej v Radziej [1967] 1 WLR 659 (matrimonial provision in bigamy)
  • Alwoodley Motors’ Application (1961) 13 P&CR 195 (restrictive covenants)

Notable Cases

  • Ilott v Mitson – Important decisions on adult child’s Inheritance Act Claim
  • R (LICS) v Leeds City Council, advising and representing a Local Authority on restrictive covenants affecting a major development


Publications include articles on aspects of property law and civil procedure.

Personal Information

During his spare time John is involved in charitable and public work (including membership of a housing association board for over 40 years) and enjoys music, art, reading and walking.

Contact John’s clerks

Francine Kirk on 0113 202 8605

Andy Reeves on 0113 213 5252

Talia Webster on 0113 213 5207

Daniel Highfield on 0113 213 5207

Patrick Urbina on 0113 213 5250

Joshua Duree on 0113 213 5246