Nigel Thomas is a highly experienced advocate in the fields of property and Chancery litigation with particular reference to the specialisations listed below. He regularly appears in the Courts at all levels together with tribunal work and arbitrations. He also relishes the challenge of achieving resolution of complex disputes through mediation and other forms of ADR.
He has sat as a Recorder since 2002 in the Crown Court and he is also a Civil Recorder who is authorised to hear Chancery cases. Since 2001 he has been Chairman of the Midlands Area Agricultural Land Tribunal and from July 2014 he is the Principal Judge of the Agricultural Land and Drainage division of the Property Chamber.
Nigel was pupilled to a trust and probate specialist and since then he has handled a substantial case load of trust actions including breach of trust , TOLATA and Beddoe applications, removal of defaulting trustees, recovery in cases of civil fraud and other trust litigation. He has appeared in a number of notable cases including Perdoni v Curati  on the interpretation of wills, the interaction between English and foreign wills and domicile in which on appeal as Curati v Perdoni the Court of Appeal considered rules of interpretation of English and foreign wills; Sen v Headley (donatio mortis causa and constructive trusts) Dunbar v Plant (Forfeiture Act 1982) and Taylor v Taylor (Trustees’ costs). He is experienced in actions seeking proprietary interests in quasi – matrimonial property (Kernott v Jones) and proprietary estoppel actions, as well as for equitable remedies such as setting aside transactions for undue influence.
Contested probate actions have included claims of testamentary incapacity due to dementia, alcoholism and illiteracy and allegations of undue influence. He also undertakes cases concerning mental capacity appearing in the Court of Protection most recently in two applications to make a statutory Will and has handled many claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975.
Advice on partnership issues and disputes. Nigel’s approach has commended itself to clients because of his willingness to embrace an holistic approach to these problems. Described by one client as “accessible sensible and practical” he is equally at home on the one hand in fighting tenaciously for his clients in court or on the other seeking to settle cases through mediation or negotiation. Recent cases he has undertaken include two multi million pound farming partnership dissolution actions and a professional partnership break up involving complex issues of the valuation of work done.
The whole range of property disputes, including landlord and tenant, land registration, easements and boundaries, restrictive covenants and land development agreements. Nigel was counsel in Parshall v Hackney  when the Court of Appeal considered the nature and effect of the registration of land. Recent cases of note have been Peachey v Theaker concerning a commercial tenancy by representation/estoppel (High Court Cardiff) land covenants Dwr Cymru v Copas v Hamblin and easements of a right of way Rigby v. Davies.
Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Nigel is recognised as a leading expert on agricultural law. He acts and advises in relation to agricultural holdings and farm business tenancies, farming partnership disputes, and agricultural arbitrations and hearings before the Agricultural Land Tribunal. He has been appointed an inspector by various local authorities to hold inquiries into the registration of town or village greens and has extensive knowledge of the water industry and water law having appeared in a number of important cases concerning the water industry.
Nigel also practices from Maitland Chambers www.maitlandchambers.co.uk
The directories say:
Agriculture & Rural Affairs
“An experienced agricultural litigator with excellent advocacy skills,”
“offers a rare level of knowledge of the agricultural sector.” (2014)
“an effective and charming trial advocate” who “gives a definite view and is very good on his feet.” (2012)
“he has fantastic judgement, being aggressive and restrained as the situation dictates.” (2011) “Accessible, sensible and practical he really knows his stuff.” “he is absolutely super, very clever and extremely able.” (2010)
UK Legal 500
“Wonderful on his feet … charming and quick-witted.” Legal Experts, 2012
Agriculture and estates