John Wagstaffe

Partner and Head of Property Litigation

John founded and leads our Property Litigation team, handling a vast array of commercial and residential property disputes. He acts for a wide range of clients with property interests including management companies, managing agents, investors, developers, private owners, rural land owners, and both commercial and residential landlords and tenants.

John’s particular specialism is in advising landlords, management companies and managing agents about the various legal issues and disputes which arise in connection with blocks of apartments.

John’s approach is pragmatic and commercially focussed with attention to the legal detail. His aim is to understand quickly and precisely what his clients need, and to build a solid relationship with them whilst providing robust advice and representation. John has significant experience of advising and acting in all manner of property disputes and is able to provide all the legal support that those with property interests need.


John began his career studying Law at the University of Southampton, graduating in 2006. He immediately followed this with the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law (now the University of Law), graduating in 2007.

He joined Longmores in 2009 as a Trainee Solicitor, qualifying into the Residential Property team in 2011. During his time as part of this team, John handled a wide range of non-contentious property matters which gave him a solid grounding in property law. In 2012, John founded our Property Litigation team to better utilise his skills and interest in contentious property matters. In 2016, John was promoted to Senior Solicitor and he became a Partner in 2020.


John’s practice covers both residential and commercial property. He frequently acts in the following types of cases:

  • Advice on freehold and leasehold property issues
  • Business lease renewals and terminations
  • Non-payment of rent
  • Other lease breaches
  • Forfeiture
  • Break clause notices
  • Dilapidations
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Easements (e.g. rights of way)
  • Trespass and nuisance claims
  • Title disputes
  • Residential Lease Extension and Collective Enfranchisement claims
  • Service charges disputes
  • Possession proceedings for short residential leases (e.g. assured shorthold tenancies)
  • Land Registry/First-Tier Tribunal applications (e.g. adverse possession & rectification of register)
  • Co-ownership disputes
  • Boundary disputes
  • Party Wall Act disputes


John has been recommended by the leading client guide, the Legal 500, for his expertise in property litigation since 2017. In the 2022 and 2023 guide, he was recognised as a next generation partner.

John is a member of the Property Litigation Association, an organisation of legal professionals who specialise in all aspects of property litigation.

Professional feedback

“John Wagstaffe is very approachable. His advice on the interpretation of key clauses in leases is excellent and he has helped us overcome many difficult problems.” The Legal 500 2024

“John Wagstaffe was particularly helpful and always available to listen and take my instructions.” The Legal 500 2023

“He is an excellent lawyer… intellectually very capable… has a calm demeanour which is essential in litigation. He builds a strong rapport with his clients, for whom he always works very hard. I highly recommend him.”  Barrister

“I want to take this opportunity to thank you John for your great work from the very beginning of this whole affair. We might have made many mistakes had it not been for your wise counsel. You guided us through the legal minefield and your own handling of the case was impeccable and helped us to get the outcome we desired. Although we always believed the right and justice were on our side we may not have got justice if we didn’t conduct this whole process in the right way. So huge thank you again.”

Personal interests

As a dad of three young children, John’s time away from work is largely monopolised, but where he can he enjoys reading, film, eating out and the odd day with his car on the race track.