QC clout without the QC attitude
He has an exceptional knowledge of the law and an excellent ability to provide clear, concise advice.
Razor-sharp legal mind which is alive to the practical application of the legal analysis
John de Waal QC specialises in chancery and commercial work with a particular focus on property law and property-related professional negligence.
He is regularly instructed in complex property-related litigation in the Chancery Division and the Court of Appeal. In 2015 John appeared in the Supreme Court in Cavendish v Makdessi  AC 1172, the decision that is now the leading case on the law of penalties. The directories say that he has a “Razor-sharp legal mind which is alive to the practical application of legal analysis” and “an exceptional knowledge of the law and an excellent ability to provide clear, concise advice.”
John has a very busy professional negligence practice acting for both claimants and defendants. His advocacy has been described as “…effective and persuasive, even under extreme fire.”
John is the editor of the title “Risk and Negligence in Property Transactions” published by the Law Society in October 2018.
John was Real Estate, Environment and Planning Silk of the Year in the 2017 Legal 500 Awards.
John particularly enjoys working as a mediator and has acted as lead mediator in over 100 cases. For more information about John’s mediation experience please view his mediation profile.
Commercial Landlord & Tenant
Development & Planning
Real Property & Mortgages
Leasehold & Leasehold Management
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing
John is recommended in Chambers UK and Legal 500 both for property litigation and professional negligence. He is also recommended by Legal 500 as a mediator and as real estate silk by the Who’s Who Legal. He is described as:
- “Always prepared and easy to work with.” “He is very commercial, gives realistic assessments of chances and is good on tactics.” “He is approachable and gets right into the detail.” (Chambers UK)
- “He gets to the point immediately and deals very adeptly with the client, even if they are unfamiliar with the area of law. It’s a really pleasant and a thoroughly modern approach.” “He has expert knowledge of the law and an authoritative air, and gives you an answer rather than a range of options.” (Chambers UK)
- “Razor-sharp legal mind which is alive to the practical application of the legal analysis.” (Chambers UK)
- “He has an exceptional knowledge of the law and an excellent ability to provide clear, concise advice.” (Legal 500)
- “He is effective and persuasive, even under extreme fire.” (Chambers UK)
- “Puts a lot of thought into strategy and is very easy to work with.” (Legal 500)
- “…provides good clear advice at the outset. He can deal with difficult clients and understands the drivers behind the decisions made by insurers.” (Legal 500)
- “Ruthlessly commercial, client-focused and supportive.” (Chambers UK)
- “His calm, self-assured manner instils confidence in clients.” (Legal 500)
- British Insurance Law Association
- Property Bar Association
- Professional Negligence Bar Association
- Contributor to Paul Reed QC’s Construction All Risks Insurance, Sweet & Maxwell, 2014.
- Risk & Negligence in Property Transactions (The Law Society) – publication late 2018.