Called: 1993 Silk: 2014
John is an experienced and determined advocate and has acted as lead Counsel in numerous Commercial Court trials, international and marine arbitrations and appellate cases.
He has recently obtained a successful outcome in Supreme Court in the case of Fish & Fish v Sea Shepherd.
He relishes both detailed legal argument and cross-examination of lay and expert witnesses. He will always ensure that a client's case is presented in the most persuasive manner possible, both in writing and orally.
John provides advice to a wide range of clients. He combines first rate technical legal analysis with a pragmatic, commercial, problem solving approach to cases.
John accepts instructions in many fields of commercial dispute resolution with a particular focus on shipping, commodities, international trade and marine insurance.
He is ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners in Shipping, Commodities, Aviation and Travel.
"...Outstanding..."(The Legal 500, 2016)
"...A pleasure to work with, he brings a sharp mind to clear and concise advocacy..."(The Legal 500, 2016)
"He has a down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach, and knows when to settle and when to fight"(Chambers UK, 2014)
"He is fearsome, as an opponent" ; "He's got bags of charm but a rapier-like intelligence. You've got to watch out because behind the smile..."(Chambers UK)
"...an excellent commercially astute senior junior whose legal input is always spot-on..."(Chambers UK)
"...wins plaudits for his "effective" advice..."(Chambers UK)
"...a tough, capable and level-headed practitioner..."(Chambers UK)
"...his preparation and case analysis are second to none..."(Chambers UK)
"...immensely responsive, easy to work with and highly analytical..."(Chambers UK)
"...knows how to win..."(Chambers UK)
"...effective and eloquent..."(The Legal 500)
"...clear precise and unflappable..."(The Legal 500)
"...consistently excellent and has good commercial awareness..."(The Legal 500)
"...an impressive advocate who argues his points well..."(The Legal 500)
John is recommended in the Shipping & Commodities section of Chambers & Partners, which praises him for his deep legal and commercial know-how, as well as his keen client service ethic.
He is also in the Shipping section of the Legal 500.
John has wide experience of all aspects of dry shipping and related insurance cases dealing with cases arising from bills of lading, time and voyage charters and long term COAs.
Recent and continuing cases include, by way of example
John has a particular specialism in cargo claims. He was instructed in the large group actions arising out of the “Napoli” and the “Rena” container ship casualties and has handled claims arising out of a very wide range of goods including: dangerous goods, petroleum products, chemicals, minerals and ores, scrap metals, soft commodities, bananas and other fruit, reefer cargoes and break bulk.
John is also regularly instructed in yacht claims, including building disputes, charter disputes, insurance disputes (claims and coverage disputes), collisions and injury claims.
John regularly appears in the Admiralty court dealing with all aspects of in rem claims, arrests, orders for sale and related matters, and limitation claims.
He has experience of a number of collision claims, particularly involving yachts, and some salvage experience.
John has developed a very strong commodities practice. He has extensive experience of FOSFA and GAFTA arbitrations, including appeals from Board of Appeal Awards to court. A recent highlight was securing an award of US$45million in a dispute involving Chilean iron ore. John has also been involved in numerous GAFTA cases arising out of the prohibition / quota system in respect of grain exports from Ukraine in 2010.
He is currently instructed in a dispute arising out of a multi-billion dollar contract for long term supply of cereal products.
John also handles high value freight forwarding, road transport, and warehousing claims, and been involved in numerous cases involving CMR, BIFA, RHA and NAWK / UKWA terms.
Recent and reported cases include:
Older reported cases include:
John has wide experience of shipbuilding and energy disputes.
Current, recent and reported cases include:
John appears regularly in LMAA, LCIA and ICC arbitrations involving shipping, commodities and general commercial disputes. He also advises in relation to GAFTA, FOSFA and other commodities arbitrations. He has extensive experience of disputes as to arbitral jurisdiction (including the incorporation and scope of arbitration clauses). John also acts regularly in court on s67/s68/s69 challenges to arbitral awards and has also undertaken court cases concerning the enforceability of awards.
John has acted as an arbitrator in a number of LCIA references.
Recent and ongoing cases include (for shipping disputes, please see the shipping section of this CV):
Currently acting in a dispute arising out of a multi-billion dollar contract for long term supply of cereals.
Currently acting in a number of appeals from GAFTA awards arising out of the 2010 Ukrainian grain prohibitions of export. The cases involve the proper construction and application of the GAFTA Prohibition Clause.
John has wide experience of marine and non-marine insurance claims, advising and appearing regularly in relation to policy wordings, coverage disputes, claims disputes (including fraudulent claims) and claims concerning brokers.
Reported claims include:
John handles many domestic and international sale of goods cases, claims arising out of letters of credit, and related banking and financing matters.
Recent cases include:
John was originally a tenant at 5 Bell Yard, the then leading aviation set. He is regularly instructed in all aspects of aviation work, including carriers’ liability, fatal accidents, aircraft leases and financing.
John is also instructed by the leading tour operators and cruise ship owners/ operators and their insurers, in particular in relation to large scale group litigation and recovery/ indemnity claims against hoteliers. He has particular experience of costs capping and other costs issues arising in such case. Recent and reports cases include:
John has a personal injury/ fatal accident practice arising out of his aviation, travel and shipping practices. Recent and reported cases include:
Campbell College, Belfast;
St John's College, Oxford (Law)
Middle Temple Scholarship
Numerous papers and lectures on issues relating to carriage of goods, shipping, litigation and arbitration.
Sailing, sport, food, wine