John is a first-rate barrister. His advice is always clear, concise, and thorough. He is exceptional on his feet and also in dealing with clients. His broad, yet in-depth knowledge allow him to deal with the most complex of matters with ease. ‘He is my go-to barrister on important cases, and with clients he’s got an excellent manner and they trust him.’”

Chambers UK 2024, Real Estate Litigation

John is a very experienced adviser and advocate in real estate- and chancery litigation, an area in which he has specialised for over 25 years.

John is ranked in Band 1 for real estate litigation and chancery in Chambers UK and is one of Legal 500’s leading individuals. Chambers UK describe him as “an exceptional barrister both in terms of his judgment and his people skills and as good as any senior junior in the country.”

He is the author of Land Licences (Jordans Publishing 2011), for which Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury wrote the foreword. Follow him on Twitter @sharples_john for updates on property cases, legislation, regulation and market developments.

John has a First Class degree in law from Oxford University and Masters degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to the Bar he worked as an Attorney in a Wall Street law firm, where he was involved in major international commercial litigation.

He has a wide ranging, litigation-based practice covering all aspects of real estate especially sales of land, easements, restrictive covenants, options/rights of pre-emption, overages, land registration, boundaries and adverse possession), commercial-agricultural-and residential landlord and tenant, and associated professional negligence. He is also a qualified mediator.

Directory Quotes

John is outstanding on commercial property matters. He has vast knowledge, which he employs with great thoroughness.”

The Legal 500 2024, Property and Construction

John is a pre-eminent junior with an outstanding reputation for his property disputes practice. ‘John is a strong advocate, who is very user-friendly and down to earth. He delivers clear advice and is more than capable of dealing with very niche and technical matters.’ “

Chambers UK 2023, Real Estate Litigation

John has a superb ability to identify and crystallise the issues and apply the law to them. He is thorough and decisive in his work and utterly reliable in this field.”

Legal 500 2023, Property & Construction

John is a property barrister who often acts for public authorities, developers, landowners, house builders and private individuals. He is held in high esteem for his client care skills. ‘John is an excellent advocate, a very good team player and a pleasure to work with.’ ‘He is very good on technical legal points.’ “

Chambers UK 2023, Chancery

John is scarily intelligent and he will always find an angle that everyone has missed. He’s incredibly approachable, user-friendly and client-friendly. He is able to set out technical legal points clearly and concisely and in plain English. He is calm, collected and measured in his delivery.”

Chambers UK 2022, Chancery

He has brilliant social and analytical skills. Quick both in terms of intellect and turnaround time. Solicitors wish he was able to clone himself.”


He’s incredibly approachable, user-friendly and client-friendly. He is able to set out technical legal points clearly, concisely and in plain English. He is also a very good trial advocate and never seems flustered; he is clam, collected and measured in his delivery. John is brilliant and a first choice in any complex and important property dispute.”


Quality of advice and down to earth people skills; John is without a doubt one of the leading property litigation counsel in the country, who just happens to be based in Bristol.”


Seminars & Events

  • Qualifications & awards:

    • BA (Oxon) 1st Class 1986
    • LLM (Cantab) 1987
    • LLM (University of Pennsylvania) 1988
    • Thouron Scholar (University of Pennsylvania) 1987-8
    • Attorney-at-Law New York State 1991
    • Queen Mother’s Scholar 1992
    • Sachs Prize & Campbell-Foster Prize 1993 (all Middle Temple)
  • Professional memberships:

    • Member of Chancery Bar Association
    • Member of the Agricultural Law Association
    • Secretary of the Western Chancery & Commercial Bar Association
  • Additional information:

    Before joining the Bar, John practised as an attorney-at-law in a Wall Street law firm from 1989 to 1991. His practice there included contentious take-overs and major litigation for international banks, insurance companies and brokerage houses.

  • John Sharples is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please read here.