Dean Thistle

Dean joined Chambers as a tenant in 2010 having spent the previous three and a half years acting as a solicitor advocate.

Dean joined the Bar with extensive previous legal experience in the areas in which he practices. He has an established practice, undertaking court and advisory work in all areas of civil and family law at all stages of proceedings.
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Dean joined Chambers as a tenant in 2010 having spent the previous three and a half years acting as a solicitor advocate.

He joined the Bar with extensive previous legal experience in the areas in which he practices. He has an established practice, undertaking court and advisory work in all areas of civil and family law at all stages of proceedings.

Dean is valued by those who instruct him both for his detailed case preparation as well as his ability to provide pragmatic advice. However it is his skilled and carefully considered advocacy that most commonly attracts those who instruct him.

He has particular expertise in the civil arena including contractual disputes, landlord and tenant matters as well as property and trust disputes acting for clients ranging from large commercial organisations to individuals. Dean has gained comprehensive experience of both fast and multi-track matters throughout his career.

Within family law Dean specialises, and is particularly experienced, in matrimonial finance proceedings, he also has significant experience of acting in cases involving children.

He is able to sensitively work with and support vulnerable clients and those without capacity to undertake proceedings. He is also adept at working with interpreters as well as intermediaries as necessary to overcome any communication barriers.

He is a diligent, hard-working advocate with a growing reputation for providing frank and realistic advice, whose experience of previous practice as a Solicitor gives him a rounded perspective on his cases and helps him to work particularly closely with his clients’ legal teams.

Dean frequently provides CPD accredited seminars for solicitors in civil and family law.

Whilst practicing as a solicitor Dean was the youngest person in England and Wales to obtain Higher Rights of Audience.

Reported Cases

Re H (a child) [2011] All ER (D) 01 (Apr)

Contract and Commercial

Dean has an extensive civil practice having previously practiced in the field as a solicitor. He regularly undertakes fast and multi-track cases in all aspects of civil law from pre-issue, throughout proceedings until judgment and subsequent enforcement.

Dean is frequently instructed in contractual disputes both for and against commercial organisations, as well as TOLATA claims in the commercial sphere. He has experience in dealing with property disputes including leasehold enfranchisement, possession, notice requirements, assignment and repairing covenants, advising on behalf of both landlords and tenants. His experience also includes professional negligence, personal injury claims and detailed assessment of costs.

Along with colleagues from Becket Chambers Dean recently provided a seminar to solicitors on the issue of Costs Management and will be delivering further seminars on various topics going forwards.

Dean’s experience means he is able to appreciate both the legal issues involved in any dispute as well as the practical impact of the proceedings. As such, where appropriate he is able to negotiate favourable settlements for those who instruct him.

Dean Thistle's Contract and Commercial Cases

Successfully defending a Data Protection Act claim

Dean represented the Defendant company in a claim brought by an ex-employee in respect of an alleged breach of the Data Protection Act. The Claimant sought considerable damages arising from the alleged distress caused as a result. Dean conducted the trial and following judgment the court dismissed the claim, having found in favour of the Continue reading

Securing payment and damages for a sub-contractor

Dean represented a building company in a contract dispute regarding the development of two houses on a piece of land. His client was a sub-contractor employed by a company to carry out various building works within the development. The work the client was required to carry out turned out to be far more significant than Continue reading

Articles by Dean Thistle

Consideration of the Application of the Mitchell/Denton Principles and What Constitutes an Abuse of Process

Following the implementation of the Mitchell/Denton principles compliance with rules and practice directions has become far more important than it previously had been. Whilst the additional clarification given in Denton has provided a greater understanding of what is expected when seeking to apply for relief from sanctions there remain many examples of misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Continue reading

Dean Thistle's Testimonials for Contract and Commercial

“…Please thank Dean so much as the outcome was exactly what I asked for and I am extremely relieved.  I would not hesitate to refer him in the future…”

Mrs C instructing Dean Thistle through the DPA scheme – October 16

“…Many thanks for your help. You have been very helpful and professional. Once again please extend my thanks to Mr Thistle and regards to Mr Thistle; his help was really appreciated…”

Mr O instructing Dean Thistle through the DPA scheme – October 16

“….Please can you pass on our grateful thanks to Mr Thistle for yesterday, we were in absolute shock and delight with the outcome it’s been an extremely stressful time…. Mr Thistle was absolutely fantastic and would have no hesitation in recommending him…”

Mrs S instructing Dean Thistle through the DPA scheme – May 2016

Property & Land Law

Dean is regularly instructed by both landlords and tenants of both private and commercial properties. He has appeared in both the County Court as well as the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in relation to, trusts of land, leasehold disputes, including disrepair claims, unlawful eviction and harassment as well as possession claims.

Dean’s experience within both the civil sphere and family proceedings provides him with considerable and well rounded experience of TOLATA and other cohabitation disputes, such that he has provided CPD accredited seminars on the subject.

Dean is experienced in providing advice prior to the commencement of proceedings to ensure the client is able to make a fully informed decision at that stage, together with representing clients throughout the proceedings to final hearing and thereafter detailed assessment of costs and enforcement.

Dean Thistle's Property & Land Law Cases

Resolving a family claim at mediation

Dean represented a husband and wife in a dispute against the wife’s father and step-mother regarding their respective interests in a property. The parties had initially decided to ‘pool’ their respective resources in order to purchase a property which required considerable improvement, on the basis that the husband and wife would carry out the works Continue reading

Representing a leaseholder in dispute over encroachment

Dean represented a leaseholder in a dispute with his freeholder in respect of encroachment of the demised premises. The building in question had a somewhat complex layout which had resulted in the client occupying areas that were not, it was argued, within the demise of his property. The freeholder brought a claim for possession of Continue reading

Claim by mortgagee

Dean represented a private individual mortgagee who had loaned £80,000 to a family friend, the loan having been secured by way of a charge against the mortgagor’s commercial property. The mortgagor had defaulted on the payments due under the charge and failed to redeem it on expiry of the term. The mortgagor had also been Continue reading

Articles by Dean Thistle

Determination of Flexible Tenancies: Forfeiture Clauses – London Borough of Croydon v Kalonga

Flexible tenancies were introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and are a type of secure council tenancy with a fixed term. Whilst intended to assist local authorities in having greater control over their properties enabling them to re-allocate the same to their tenants on expiry, flexible tenancies were not as popular as had been anticipated Continue reading

Dean Thistle's Testimonials for Property & Land Law

“…The clients were very impressed by Dean and appreciative of his work…”

Miss S from a firm of Solicitors instructing Dean Thistle – June 16

“Thanks very much for that and thank you for your very capable and diligent work on the Friday – you secured a very good deal for J, all the more impressive for your having had so little time with the monstrous bundle!”


Mr S from a firm of solicitors instructing Dean Thistle – October 15

“….Thank you for your excellent help with this unusual case which is crying out for a settlement. I will certainly be contacting you for help if they decide to fight on….”

Mr T from a firm of solicitors instructing Dean Thistle – June 15

Probate & Inheritance

Dean acts for personal representatives and beneficiaries in claims involving disputes over the validity of wills, trusts and beneficial ownership of property and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975.

Dean is also able to provide representation and advise in relation to issues of testamentary capacity and undue influence as well as claims involving the liability of estates and personal representatives.

Dean Thistle's Probate & Inheritance Cases

Advising on a breach of mediation agreement

Dean was instructed to advise a claimant in a dispute originally concluded by way of a mediation agreement in 2010. The agreement provided for one of the properties of an estate to be sold forthwith, until which time his client would reside in one of the other estate properties. Following the sale the client would Continue reading

Articles by Dean Thistle

Section 4 Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975: How Long is Too Long to Ask for Permission to Apply for Reasonable Financial Provision From the Estate of the Deceased?

Section 4 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Act”) provides that claims under section 2 of the Act must be made within six months of the date on which the representation with respect to the estate is taken out, unless the court gives permission for such a claim to be Continue reading

Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

Dean has a firm grasp of the recent and ongoing changes in the Family Court and indeed regularly provides legal seminars to solicitors on such matters. He has appeared at all levels of the Family Court.

Dean is able to undertake any type of hearing from those of a procedural nature to multi-day final hearings, and his experience includes cases involving complex asset portfolios, overseas properties and pre-nuptial agreements, as well as those where the parties have interests or shares in companies or jointly owned businesses.

Dean is also experienced in dealing with applications under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989.

Dean Thistle's Divorce & Matrimonial Finance Cases

Mediation to enable financial settlement on good terms

Dean was instructed by the husband in a financial claim on divorce. The client wished to ensure that he and his wife remained on speaking terms for the benefit of their children and thus a mediation/round-table meeting was arranged at which the parties were legally represented. The marital assets included four properties, together with significant Continue reading

Securing a lump sum payment for a Wife

Dean represented the Wife in a Husband’s application to cease a periodical payments order. The Husband’s application was made on three grounds (i) the children of the family had reached majority since the order was made; (ii) the Wife had failed to maximise her earning potential; and (iii) the husband had accrued a large tax bill for which he Continue reading

Retaining ownership of companies and properties

Dean represented the husband in a divorce in which the marital assets included two companies and, in addition to the family home, a foreign property and a further property in this country, together with pensions. His client wished to secure a share of the family home, and the companies, which he operated himself. He also Continue reading

Articles by Dean Thistle

Dean Thistle's Testimonials for Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

Having been recommended various barristers over the years for my previous child acsess case and then my divorce I was apprenhensive to say the least.

Dean met me for the first time 30 mins before my case today in Bromley county court. Straight away in the interview room he put me at ease, actually asked me what I wanted and then helped me a negotiation to get my spousal maintenance order discharged.

Mr E from Solicitors instructing Dean Thistle – July 2021

Dean is great, I use him for pretty much anything that is contentious in family proceedings that I deal with.

Ms V from Solicitors instructing Dean Thistle – March 2021

Children - Private Law (CAP)

Dean’s practice encompasses all aspects of private law proceedings, acting for a parent, grandparent or child.

Dean has experience dealing with residence and contact disputes including those involving allegations of sexual abuse (including where those allegations have been fabricated), drug/alcohol abuse and domestic violence. He also represents those seeking injunctive relief through non-molestation or occupation orders, as well as proceedings involving removal from the jurisdiction.

Dean has appeared at all levels of the Family Court as well as the Court of Appeal.

Dean Thistle's Children - Private Law (CAP) Cases

Successful Schedule 1 of Children Act 1989 claim

Dean represented a Mother in a claim under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 for financial support from the Father in respect of their child. The matter progressed to a multi-day contested final hearing following which the client was awarded permission to reside with the child in the property solely owned by the Father Continue reading

Contact dispute involving fabricated allegations of sexual abuse

Dean acted for father applying for contact with his children. The children’s mother alleged that the father had subjected her to multiple rapes, and had sexually abused the children. A fact finding hearing, involving Dean’s expert cross-examination, concluded that the allegations were unfounded. Contact was allowed between Dean’s client and the children.

Dean Thistle's Testimonials for Children - Private Law (CAP)

“The client was happy with Dean Thistle…he seemed well prepared and was good with the client. He followed up promptly with the attendance note which is always helpful.”

Miss C from Solicitors instructing Dean Thistle – March 19

“…I just thought I would let you know that Mrs S was so appreciate of Dean’s help yesterday.  She said his client care manner was brilliant and he made her feel at ease, his attention to detail in remembering minute detail from all the papers he had received amazed her and she would recommend him to any of my client’s in the future….”

Ms H from a firm of Solicitors instructing Dean Thistle – March 17

Civil Mediation

Dean is an accredited civil and commercial mediator. He has over 10 years’ experience in the civil and commercial arena having practiced in the field since his call to the Bar in 2010 and prior to that as a solicitor. Such experience enables Dean to understand the complex issues involved in disputes of this nature and as such assist the parties in reaching a settlement in their dispute.

Articles by Dean Thistle

Preparing for A Mediation Appointment

Preparing for A Mediation Appointment As time progresses mediation is being utilised more and more as a result of the significant benefits it provides to parties, including the ability to resolve disputes more quickly and less expensively than court proceedings. Tactics and advocacy utilised during mediation appointments vary greatly between representatives and indeed different disputes Continue reading

When Is ADR Not An Alternative?

Whilst addressing the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators at its recent mediation symposium, Lord Justice Briggs set out his recommendations for the future of the civil dispute resolution process. Briggs proposed a three-stage process whereby cases would first be referred to an automated ‘triage’ where the merits of the case would be considered, followed by arbitration Continue reading