John Nee

John studied in Kent, Leeds, and London, and gained a variety of experience before joining Chambers in 2013. He is also a qualified solicitor and solicitor advocate, which helps to deepen his understanding of his clients’ requirements and challenges. John has a highly practical approach, and solicitors and clients value his ability to think ahead and provide advice designed to minimise future disruption.

He has a reputation for being very robust barrister, and is often considered a suitable choice for the difficult client, the problematic opponent, or the unsympathetic judge. At the same time, his personable and friendly approach means he strikes up a rapid and effective rapport with all those he deals with.

As well as representation at court, he is happy to provide written advice, and can often turn papers around in short timescales where the urgency of the case requires.

John has spent time working with the International Bar Association on matters including the legal status of the Tamils, and the abolition of the death penalty in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A very experienced public speaker, John is often booked for seminars, lectures, and charity events as a guest speaker, both to the legal profession and the non-legal world.

Before coming to the Bar, he was a professional rugby player, having represented England and Ireland in various rugby age groups, as well as playing for British Universities.


Children - Private Law (CAP)

John has a broad family practice (excluding care cases/ public law matters) which includes representing parents and grandparents in private law children proceedings from first appointment through to final hearings.

He has a reputation for giving clear and helpful advice, and his clients gain increased confidence from his robust and firm representation. He has a much valued ability to convey advice to difficult clients with tact and diplomacy.

John’s cases have included Cohabitants in Schedule 1 children matters, permission to apply, and leave to remove, and he has acted on behalf of intervenors as well as applying for, and resisting, interim applications.


John Nee's Children - Private Law (CAP) Cases

Acting for a vulnerable mother

John acted for a Respondent mother where the father had made an application for the child to live with him. His client needed particular support as she was young and vulnerable, having previously suffered domestic abuse by the father. John negotiated that the child will live with the mother, and arranged an incremental increase in Continue reading

Helping a Father maintain unsupervised contact

John represented a Father who was being denied any contact by his child’s mother, and successfully negotiated extensive and unsupervised contact on behalf of his client. This case involved John’s particular skills in: managing client expectations negotiating between warring parties.

Preventing a father from direct contact

On behalf of the respondent mother in a private law children case, John persuaded the court that there should be no direct contact between father and child, despite CAFCASS recommendations being in favour of such contact. This case required John to: cross examine expert witnesses at length apply existing case law to the case at Continue reading

John Nee's Testimonials for Children - Private Law (CAP)

Thank you so so much !!! You’re a beast at your profession and its been so comforting to have you in my corner today. You’re like the cage fighter of law lol.

Once again, thank you ever so much John

Mr W from Solicitors Instructing John Nee – July 2021

“I was represented by John Nee for a child arrangement hearing and I am very pleased with his services. He has a forensic mind, is a tenacious cross-examiner and pleasant to boot. It was a joy watching John Nee in action. I am so grateful for his hard work and professionalism.”

Ms O Instructing John Nee through Solicitors – November 20

“The service received from Counsel and the Clerks Room was very good, especially as documents were served at short notice, including the Bundles for the hearings, the second bundle index was initially incomplete and there was much “last minute” paperwork for the Clerks Room to pass on and for Counsel to read. Counsel was at court for longer than expected at both hearings, yet was able to report back to me and deal with what was a somewhat fraught and emotional matter in a very professional way.”

Ms R from Solicitors Instructing John Nee – December 19

Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

John frequently acts in Matrimonial finance cases (including disputes over family businesses and freezing of assets); as well as acting for Cohabitants under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA) Act disputes. He is a matrimonial finance specialist, and acts in the full range of cases, from small money to high net worth. John appears before District and Circuit Judges, as well as the Principal Registry, the High Court, and beyond.

A highly active member of the Becket Chambers Matrimonial Finance Team, John delivers lectures and seminars both in house and at Becket Chambers.


John Nee's Divorce & Matrimonial Finance Cases

Legal Services Order

The husband, a financial expert, was suspected of hiding away significant financial assets. The wife was unable to afford legal representation to trial, and was considering giving up. The husband was refusing to negotiate at all, and was waiting for the wife to run out of money. John successfully persuaded the court to make a Continue reading

Securing substantial matrimonial assets for a wife

In financial remedy proceedings acting for the applicant wife, John secured the equivalent of 75% of the overall matrimonial assets available for distribution. The husband sought to argue exceptional contributions. John conducted a lengthy, detailed examination of the witnesses in court to persuade the judge that there were hidden, undisclosed assets. This case required the Continue reading

Articles by John Nee

John Nee's Testimonials for Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

“My client was very pleased with John at the last hearing and his note of the hearing was certainly very clear and helpful”

Miss J from solicitors instructing John Nee – April 19

‘John has been a huge help to me, I feel entirely supported and he gives me the strength to fight on. John is totally brilliant- the most charming man I’ve met, and when there’s a fight coming it’s like a switch flicks in his head, he certainly puts me at ease and could not imagine dealing with my case without him fighting my corner. You can so see he was a boxer before he was a lawyer!’

Mr B Instructing John Nee through Solicitors – November 17

“…I have been very impressed with the professionalism shown by John Nee whilst he represented me.  Not only knowledgeable, John has an approachable, interested and caring manner with clients during what can be a traumatic time in their lives.  Throughout the process I felt in safe, caring hands.  Should the need arise I would have no hesitation in seeking his advice.  Highly recommended…”

Mr instructing John Nee through Solicitors – March 17

Probate & Inheritance

John has a particular interest in claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975, which straddle two of his main areas of work: contested probate, and family finance. He is happy to receive instructions in a wide range of cases in this area of law, including:

  • Disputes over the validity of Wills
  • Testamentary Capacity and undue influence
  • Deeds of variation and rectification
  • The liability of Estates, Executors and Personal Representatives
  • The construction of Wills
  • The validity of lifetime gifts
  • Trusts and the beneficial ownership of property
  • Non-contentious probate practice

John is comfortable advising on the law in this area – which can be complicated – as well as representing parties in court. Where appropriate, he will consider acting for more than one lay client in the same case by prior agreement.


John Nee's Probate & Inheritance Cases

Defending a claim for breach of contract and negligence

John acted for a Defendant business in a claim for breach of contract and negligence following the death of the proprietor, in which the Claimant sought to claim against the business, which was the estate of the deceased. The Claimant, the spouse of the deceased, sought to argue that amounts of money had been left Continue reading

Making a claim on an estate

John was asked to advise the proposed Claimant in a potential claim against the proposed Defendants regarding the estate of the deceased. The deceased held a property portfolio with a value of £2m and the proposed Defendant ex-spouse of the deceased sought to administer the entire estate, having historically dealt with much of the administration Continue reading

Articles by John Nee

Annie are you OK, are you OK Annie? [at this precise moment in time whilst completing your last will and testament]

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (“MCA”) introduced a framework for assessing mental capacity, enabling the court to assist persons who lack capacity to manage their affairs by taking decisions or by appointing decision-makers to act on their behalf. MCA is not retrospective and not relevant in considering the validity of wills made prior to 1 April Continue reading

John Nee's Testimonials for Probate & Inheritance

“John has a detailed knowledge and practical approach to claims brought under the Inheritance Act and advised in a matter from pre-proceedings onwards.

In conference with the client John has a compassionate manner providing much needed reassurance and confidence in action being taken

Highly recommended”


Mr D from Solicitors Instructing John Nee – November 17

“…I would like to sincerely thank you and Mr Nee… We really appreciated Mr Nee’s advice and guidance in helping reach a possible settlement…”

Ms C instructing John Nee through Solicitors – November 16

Property & Land Law

John acts for landlords and tenants, and he is regularly instructed by developers, builders, and other parties with an interest in property.

His busy and varied property practice includes:

  • Claims to the possession of land;
  • Beneficial interest disputes;
  • Disrepair and dilapidation claims;
  • Nuisance;
  • Trespass;
  • Forfeiture and possession;
  • Trusts of land and disputes as to co-ownership.

John has a particular interest in the interaction of property with other areas of law, especially within a family law context. This includes:

  • claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996;
  • disputes regarding business-owned assets.


John Nee's Property & Land Law Cases

Injunctions against nuisance neighbours

On behalf of the claimant, John acted in a case where nuisance neighbours were harassing and causing distress to his client. The case involved assisting the instructing solicitor with site visits, preparing plans and photographs for the court, and advising on witness evidence. John was successful in obtaining various injunctions against the nuisance neighbours.

John Nee's Testimonials for Property & Land Law

“….Just to let you know i am delighted that i have found John….we had a fantastic result yesterday, all down to him….please thank him very much….”

Mrs H from a firm of solicitors instructing John Nee – April 15

“….Good understanding of my requirements….the clerks were friendly and laid back….cost effective….i would always come direct….”

Mrs C instructing John Nee through the DPA scheme – September 14

Contract and Commercial

John accepts instructions in a wide range of matters from single issue, small claims cases, through to multi-day multi-track trials, acting for businesses and individuals.

John’s particular interest is in the law of contract. He also accepts instructions in negligence cases, as well as debt recovery, company formation, shares and share dealings, alongside offering general commercial advice.

As part of the Becket Chambers Civil Group, John regularly delivers civil litigation seminars, which include a particularly well-received talk on Part 36 that has been requested and delivered on a number of occasions..

Direct Access qualified, John can give commercial advice directly to individuals/ sole traders, partnerships, companies, and charitable organisations.

With a sound and detailed commercial knowledge, John is regularly complimented for his ability to “cut to the chase”, and give plain, robust advice. When required, he is a skillful negotiator, and can attend round table/settlement meetings to resolve disputes on the best possible terms.

Combining a detailed knowledge of both procedure and case law, John is adept at offering tactical advice, both as part of an ongoing case, and in circumstances where a client simply wants to know which options are available going forward.

NB John does not accept work on a CFA basis.



John Nee's Contract and Commercial Cases

Defending against a £20million claim

John acted for a Defendant in a case in which the Claimant was attempting to make a claim whose value, taking into account costs, investigative work, and legal fees, spiralled, at its highest, to £20 million. This figure would, if awarded, bankrupt John’s client.   The Defendant had been in practice as a high level Continue reading

Defending a claim for breach of contract and negligence

John acted for a Defendant business in a claim for breach of contract and negligence following the death of the proprietor, in which the Claimant sought to claim against the business, which was the estate of the deceased. The Claimant, the spouse of the deceased, sought to argue that amounts of money had been left Continue reading

Representing a commercial leaseholder

John acted on behalf of a commercial leaseholder, acting in negotiations and representing his client in a number of directions hearings involving several leased properties that were allegedly falling into disrepair. This case was crucial for John’s client as losing one case was likely to lead to floodgate litigation, which would bankrupt the client. John Continue reading

Articles by John Nee

Angry Letters: What’s The Fuss?

In all litigation, any correspondence can be read in (at least) two ways. One of them is often “angry or aggressive”. As a barrister of some little experience, I have, by my own estimate, read several hundred thousand letters between parties and/ or solicitors. These range from amicable and collaborative at one end, through to Continue reading

Part 36: The New Regime

Following the recent series of seminars in civil law, I have reduced my presentation to this short article. A number of the Part 36 offers I see are not valid. Regardless of the seniority of lawyer, or the experience of the individual drafting the offer, there are a number of potential pitfalls. The new Part Continue reading

John Nee's Testimonials for Contract and Commercial

“A note of thanks for me personally and corporately, from the team

last week began from a position of intransigence and had the potential to be unresolvable – as evidenced by the mediators apprehension.

While the spirit of mediation underpinned the day, the advice and guidance offered by yourself and our excellent barrister were invaluable.

And of course there is no doubt that the outcome was excellent.”

Mr M Instructing John Nee through Solicitors – March 20

“Mr Nee was superb in his handing of our matter, he was sharp on the ball eminently practical and professional, a pleasure to work with and just as important is the fact that we won”

Miss T from solicitors instructing John Nee – May 19