John Wilson QC


Experienced family lawyer who brings overlapping expertise in broader civil issues to his practice. He is seen as one of the foremost practitioners for TOLATA issues. Wilson typically handles financial remedy cases for high net worth individuals, and draws acclaim for his further expertise in cohabitation issues. Strengths: "A formidable opponent who shows fantastic attention to detail. He is so persuasive he could sell fridges to Eskimos."

Chambers and Partners 2021


John had a wide-ranging general civil and matrimonial practice before joining Hare Court in 2002.   His practice encompassed commercial arbitration, personal injury (and in particular traumatic brain injury cases), landlord and tenant, construction law, contentious and non-contentious probate work and professional negligence.  Since joining Hare Court he has concentrated on financial remedy cases and cohabitation and family provision claims.

Financial Remedies, cohabitation claims, family provision claims.

  • Birch v Birch [2017] UKSC 53 ; [2017]1 WLR 2959; [2017] 2 FLR 1031
  • Montalto -v- Popat [2016] EWHC 810 (Ch)
  • W -v- M (TOLATA Proceedings: Anonymity) [2013] 1 FLR 1513
  • Miller Smith -v- Miller Smith (No 2) [2010] 2 FLR 351
  • Miller Smith -v- Miller Smith [2010] 1 FLR 1402
  • H-J v H-J (Financial Provision: Equality)
    (2002) 1 FLR 415: October 17, 2001
  • Kimber v Kimber
    (2000) 1 FLR 383: January 20, 2000
  • H v P (Illegitimate Child: Capital Provision)
    (1993) Fam Law 515: January 28, 1993
  • Turner v Blunden
    (1986) 2 FLR 69: November 29, 1985
  • Cohabitation Claims: Law, Practice and Procedure (First edition published in 2009, second edition published in 2015)
  • Contributing Author to Jackson’s Matrimonial Finance, 9th Edition (published in 2012)
  • Contributing Author to Cases that Changed our Lives, Volume 2 (published in 2014)
  • Contributing Author to Rayden & Jackson on Divorce and Family Matters (18th Edition)
  • Editor in Chief of Family Affairs, the magazine of the Family Law Bar Association
  • At the Dark Hour (a novel).  For more information please click here.
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • 2010 to 2014 member of the Family Procedure Rules Committee
  • Patron of National Family Mediation
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Arts
  • Member of the Society of Authors
  • Prosecuting Counsel for the Bar Standards Board
  • Editor in Chief of Family Affairs
  • Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers
  • Member of the Chancery Bar Association
  • 1970 to 1973 Ampleforth College, York
  • 1973 to 1976 St John Rigby Sixth Form College, Wigan
  • 1977 to 1980 Pembroke College Cambridge
  • 1980 to 1981 Inns of Court School of Law

Chambers and Partners

"Experienced family lawyer who brings overlapping expertise in broader civil issues to his practice. He is seen as one of the foremost practitioners for TOLATA issues. Wilson typically handles financial remedy cases for high net worth individuals. "
"He's got very broad shoulders and takes responsibility for the conduct of a case very seriously. He's extremely cerebral but also extremely modest and unassuming. He has enormous personal qualities and intellectual ability."

"Experienced family lawyer who is particularly good at handling complex divorce proceedings with professional negligence or TOLATA elements.  Typically financial remedy cases for high net worth individuals. He's got a stellar brain and his knowledge is tremendous; He's a winner of clients, a real gentleman and is loved by judges."

“An understated, highly cerebral QC with a background in general civil litigation. He specialises in cohabitation issues and is able to apply his more general civil experience to the field in crossover areas such as professional negligence. He is exceptional from an intellectual perspective. he's a serious lawyer with a depth of intellectual ability that you don't always see in the matrimonial field"

“An unrivalled authority on cohabitation claims.”  “He has a formidable intellect.  A robust and astute negotiator, he is particularly good with cases involving complex business issues and trust assets.”

“John Wilson QC focusses on ancillary relief, TOLATA, cohabitation claims, probate and family provision.  Sources attest that he is “counsel of choice for property disputes between cohabitants.”

“An expert focusing on high-value ancillary relief and TOLATA and family provision claims, amongst other issues.” “He’s methodical, well prepared, and has the ear of the court.”

John Wilson QC impresses with his “excellent and thorough understanding of complex business issues.” His practice focuses on ancillary relief and cohabitation issues, and he is regularly involved in cases with international dimensions. “Assiduous and hard-working, he is a reassuring presence for clients as he generally exudes an air of quiet confidence.”

Other: “The brilliant John Wilson QC. He is an absolute gentleman – a calm and measured advocate, who is beloved by clients."– Marilyn Stowe







John comes from Wigan and is accordingly a fervent supporter of Wigan Warriors (Rugby League) and Wigan Athletic. His other interests include literature, the theatre and France. He is married to Sue Tilley, a specialist matrimonial solicitor, mediator and lecturer. They spend as much time as they can, when not working, in the South of France. John's first novel, At the Dark Hour, was published in 2018.  For more information please click here.