Jonathan McNae

Call: 2001

Jonathan is an experienced litigator. He specialises in residential and commercial property; and contractual and commercial disputes. In addition, Jonathan acts for clients in related professional negligence, company and insolvency work. Since 2007, Jonathan has achieved recognition each year as a leading junior in the Legal 500, where the quality of his advisory work; breadth of knowledge and his bedside manner have received special mention.

Jonathan appears frequently in the High Court and County Courts, as well as in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). His client base ranges from large corporate landowners to private individuals and small businesses. Jonathan has recently concluded a lengthy secondment to a major bank, during which he assessed consequential loss claims within the FCA-led review into the mis-selling of Interest Rate Hedging Products.

Jonathan is a pupil supervisor, and writes and gives seminars on various topics relating to law and to litigation. He was a winner on behalf of Gray’s Inn of the Inter-Inn Mooting Shield 2001, and now judges moots and is an Advocacy Trainer for Gray’s Inn.

  • ADR & Mediation

    Jonathan recognises the value of ADR generally and mediation in particular as an effective way to resolve disputes. Jonathan is regularly instructed on behalf of his clients to represent them at mediation, and has an impressive track record of resolving disputes through this process.


  • Arbitration

    Jonathan is a qualified arbitrator and is able to accept instructions to act as an arbitrator in relation to all of his major practice areas.

  • Commercial

    Jonathan is regularly instructed on all aspects of commercial disputes, from issues of contractual construction to debt actions. Examples of recent work include advising in relation to an investment agreement for a restaurant venture; advising a landlord in relation to a development agreement to convert a property into a retail outlet; and advising property agents on the terms of an agreement with property owners in respect of a portfolio of residential properties.

  • Insolvency

    Jonathan acts for IPs on all aspects of their practices as liquidators and administrators. This includes administrators’ applications to the Court for release; directions; payment on account of costs of acting. Recently, Jonathan has been acting for a liquidator facing numerous claims and applications from an aggrieved party formerly involved with an insolvent company.

    Jonathan also acts for debtors and creditors in relation to personal insolvencies, and deals regularly with matters including applications to set aside statutory demands.

    Jonathan’s recent work also includes opposing an application by the Secretary of State for an appointment of a provisional liquidator on public interest grounds.


  • Landlord & Tenant

    Jonathan undertakes all aspects of Landlord and Tenant work.

    In commercial landlord and tenant actions, he advises in relation to 1954 Act claims; dilapidations; forfeiture and possession claims; break clauses; and the construction of covenants.

    Jonathan also deals with residential property matters, including possession; service charge disputes; lease variations; rights of first refusal; and applications for consents.

    Since 2007, Jonathan has been recognised by the Legal 500 as being a leading junior in the field of Property Litigation.

  • Real Property

    Jonathan is regularly engaged to advise in matters as diverse as adverse possession; restrictive covenants; easements (in particular rights of way); mortgages; co-habitation disputes; National Non-Domestic (Business) Rates; and matters arising through or resulting from the conveyancing process.

    Since 2007, Jonathan has been recognised by the Legal 500 as being a leading junior in the field of Property Litigation.


  • Trusts, Probate & Estates

    Jonathan advises in trust matters and in relation to the administration of estates. This includes advising upon issues of existence (including within the context of trusts of land/ cohabitation disputes); interpretation; as well as breach of trust or breaches of fiduciary duty by directors, trustees, joint-venturers or personal representatives. Jonathan also has experience of being an executor under a will.


  • Notable Cases

    Recall Support Service Ltd v Sec of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (sub-nom McCabe v Frost) [2018] EWHC 30 (Ch); [2018] 1 WLUK 90; [2018] B.P.I.R. 761
    Effect of bankruptcy; Liquidation; Extended Civil Restraint Orders; Payments out of Court.

    Recall Support Services and Ors v Frost and Ors [2018] EWHC 830 (Ch); [2018] 2 WLUK 139.
    Jurisdiction; Liquidator’s powers and duties; effects of ECROs

    Gore v Naheed [2017] EWCA Civ 369
    Consideration of the “rule in Harris v Flower”  – effect on a right of way to access part of claimant’s property which had been acquired by adverse possession. Also concerns the effect of a refusal to mediate on the assessment of costs.

    Patience v Tanner [2016] EWCA Civ 158; [2016] 2 Costs LR 311 [2016] All ER (D) 203 (Mar).
    Factors to be considered on an apportionment of litigation costs

    Wattret v Thomas Sands Consulting Ltd [2015] EWHC 3455 (TCC); [2016] B.L.R. 104; [2016] T.C.L.R. 2; 163 Con. L.R. 223; [2016] P.N.L.R. 15
    Professional Negligence against surveyors – need for expert evidence

    Ludsin Overseas Ltd v Maggs [2014] EWHC 3566 (Ch); [2015] B.P.I.R. 59
    Setting aside statutory demands – valuation of assets and security under Insolvency Rule 6.5(4)(c).

    Kynaston v Carroll [2011] EWCA Civ 1669
    Abandonment of appeals; Costs; Permission to appeal.

    Carroll v Kynaston [2010] EWCA Civ 1404; [2011] QB 959; [2011] 2 WLR 1346; [2010] WLR (D) 325; [2010] All ER (D) 146 (Dec); LTL 13.12.10
    The recoverability of costs incurred between parties in subsequent proceedings between the same parties.

    Beckenham M.C. Limited v Centralex Limited & ors (Hart J) [2004] EWHC 1287 (Ch); [2004] 2 B.C.L.C. 764; [2004] B.P.I.R. 1112, [2004] All ER (D) 65 412
    s. 423 Insolvency Act 1986 – transfers at an undervalue, defrauding creditors.

    Okolo v Mortgages 4 Ltd & ors (Lawrence Collins J) [2004] EWHC 3019 (Ch)
    Strike out applications, mortgage defences.

    Okolo v Mortgages 4 Ltd & ors (Neuberger J) [2003] EWHC 3205 (Ch) [2004] All ER (D) 412
    Strike out applications, treatment of litigants in person.

    Al-Abbas v Al-Dabbagh (CA) [2002] EWCA Civ 1962; [2002] All ER (D) 323
    Charging orders and solicitors’ liens.

    Cross v Coach House Mews (Highbury) Ltd (RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS – modification – covenants restricting extensions or external alterations) [2022] UKUT 20 (LC) (27 January 2022)

    Canary Riverside Estate Management Ltd & Ors Coates [2021] EWHC 1505 (ch)
    Various appeals against case management decisions.

    Westfield Homes Ltd & Anor v Keay Homes (Windrush) Ltd [2020] EWHC 3368 (ch)
    Claim for specific performance of contractual obligations.


  • Chambers and Partners 2022
  • Legal 500 2022