My sister found John Shallcross via his excellent blog on Zoopla. As a former solicitor she recognised quality work when she saw it and encouraged me to engage his services. I am so glad she did. I found John extremely approachable and easy to explain things to. He was extremely efficient, he answered emails quickly and he helped me understand and find a way to resolve some very complex SDLT issues.
John is an experienced real estate lawyer with a background in agricultural and landed estate property work. He has developed a specialisation as an adviser on the stamp duty land tax implications of property transactions and now spends most of his time in this area.
Main areas of practice
His focus is now on SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) -particularly the 3% surcharge for additional residential properties and SDLT on leases and development transactions.
He is a regular commentator in the media and contributor to the Zoopla web page on the 3% surcharge here, which explains the outline of the surcharge and has links to other resources such as the legislation and HMRC guidance. John answers questions posted on the forum there and the linked Zoopla pages for:
- the exception from the surcharge for the replacement of an only or main residence
- the granny flat rules (properties with a subsidiary dwelling)
- a commentary on further guidance produced by HMRC
- the deadline of 26 November 2018 when some transitional provisions ended and three-year rules came into play
John also produces a number of SDLT guides online, as well as stamp duty case notes, intended as short pieces on quirky SDLT issues which arise from day to day. These might be of interest to a variety of people, but are mainly aimed at other property lawyers. An increasing part of John’s practice is acting on a consultancy basis to support conveyancers who advise on SDLT, but sometimes need specialist input.
John’s clients are mainly those needing SDLT advice, including home buyers and those dealing with complex property transactions.
John qualified in 1991 and joined the firm in 2002, having been a partner at Hewitsons. He is a property lawyer with over 25 years of experience in a wide variety of property-related issues.
Starting from 2008 he developed an expertise in Stamp Duty Land Tax, quickly becoming the primary advisor on SDLT at Blake Morgan LLP. He got to grips with the higher rates of SDLT for additional properties (the 3% surcharge) from its announcement on 25 November 2015, responding to the official consultation and analysing the legislation which came into effect for transactions starting 1 April 2016. He was involved in the consultation process for amending the HMRC guidance; the much improved amended version was published on 29 November 2016.
John is frequently instructed by both private individuals and by other law firms to provide advice on the 3% SDLT surcharge, which includes frequently writing reports on the implications of SDLT on transactions. He often provides training to other lawyers on the 3% SDLT surcharge and spoke in July 2017, 2018 and 2019 at the PCP Stamp Duty Land Tax conference chaired by Patrick Cannon on the 3% SDLT surcharge.
- John is a member of the Stamp Taxes Practitioners Group, attends their meetings, has spoken at their conferences and has been appointed as the Technical Officer.
- He is also a member of the Agricultural Law Association.
- He has considerable experience of dealing with agricultural tenancies, tenancies of farm workers cottages, business tenancies for farmers and rural landowners. He has advised extensively on agricultural tenancy issues.
- He frequently gives guidance on SDLT issues arising from the firm’s clients. Since the introduction of the 3% surcharge to SDLT on 1 April 2016 he has been very involved in advising on the difficulties created. He has contributed suggestions on how to improve the HMRC guidance as they went through a review process.
- He has written a number of articles on the 3% surcharge, including on the replacement of only or main residence exception and the three-year rules and on the rules for properties with granny flats or other subsidiary dwellings.
"He knows his stuff and is good at detail."
John Shallcross is an experienced property solicitor and a renowned expert in Stamp Duty Land Tax. "He's a very nice, easy person to deal with and very good at what he does," according to interviewees.
A very good lawyer.
One source describes John Shallcross as "a very nice chap," and values the fact that "he's incredibly good at the detail." He has a particular focus on property tax matters for agriculture clients.
Insights by John
At Blake Morgan, we often need to bring our expertise with different areas of the law together to recommend the best way to structure a deal. Doing this can save...Read More
The operation of the rules for the 3% surcharge is complex. One current concern relates to the three year rules. These can apply where someone retained their old home when...Read More