Call 1983 (Inner Temple)
Qualifications LLB (London); University of Auckland, New Zealand Bar Exams; University of Bristol Post Graduate Certificate in UK and EU Competition Law
Professional Memberships New Zealand Bar, Chancery Bar Association
Commercial Dispute Resolution
John’s commercial dispute resolution experience is varied and he has successfully acted on behalf of claimants in making recoveries in the following cases:
- Penton Salisbury Ltd v Peugeot Motor Company – in a claim for negligent misrepresentation: action against Peugeot which induced a major dealership to purchase a Peugeot franchise. The claim in damages for economic loss resulted in a judgment in the High Court in excess of £1.25 million.
- MAC Hotels Ltd v Midas Construction Ltd – claim on behalf of Swiss based clients in conspiracy to defraud and breach of contract in the construction of a luxury hotel and spa resulted in a joint payment of damages in excess of £4.8 million (see below)
- MAC Hotels Ltd v Rider Levett Bucknall Ltd and WT Hills Ltd, claim on behalf of Swiss based clients in negligence against the project managers and quantity surveyors in respect of the construction of a luxury hotel and spa which has resulted in a joint payment of damages with Midas in excess of £4.8 million. (see above).
- MAC Hotels Ltd v RVW Ltd, claim against consultant engineers for negligence in advising and supervising the construction of a sewage and drainage system at a luxury hotel leading to a recovery in excess of £440,000.
- MAGGS & Taylor v Oaktree Parks Ltd, judgment in fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation in respect of the mis-selling of holiday park homes, recovery in excess of £1million
- Atkins v Oaktree Parks Ltd fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation in respect of the mis-selling of holiday park homes
Restraint of trade
John advises in restraint of trade matters and his cases have included:
- Kjellbergs Successors A/S v Robinson and others, acting on behalf of Copenhagen based company against ex-director in breach of claims for misuse of confidential information, breach of fiduciary duties as a director, and unlawful use of registered design.
- Tozers v Vick – John was instructed on behalf of a firm of solicitors following resignation of a partner to rival firm, application to restrain former partner within terms of partnership deed, and compensation for work in progress losses and wrongfully inducing clients to leave firm.
- The SMAE Institute (1919) Ltd v 21st Century CPD acting on behalf of the claimant in a claim for mis-use of confidential information.
- The SMAE Institute (1919) Ltd v Payton claim by company for interference with business rights.
John enjoys a reputation as a leading advocate in company law, advising commercial clients and individuals on a range of matters. Cases include:
- Blackmore v Richardson – shareholders dispute including order for sale of shares and purchase at fair value, the effect of the petitioner’s misconduct.
- William Stewart Ltd v Barclays Bank-claim by against the bank in respect of the mis-selling of interest rate swaps.
- He is presently retained in a large company law case with claims against Defendants in undue influence, breach of fiduciary duty and professional negligence.
John advises on all aspects of intellectual property law disputes, including related contractual and EC matters. He advises on copyright, trade marks, product branding and passing off and regularly appears in hearings on behalf of clients.
- Acting on behalf of Shiner Ltd as the sole UK distributor and Heeling Sport Corporation as US patent holder in a series of infringement actions in respect of the ‘heelies’ sporting shoe incorporating the ‘wheel in the heel’.
- The SMAE Institute (1919) v Stonebridge Associated Colleges – obtaining restraining order to prevent use of domain name.
- Eastern Eye Ltd v Miah and others – restraining the use of trade name and logo, passing off and trademark infringement
- The SMAE Institute Ltd v The College of Foot Health Care Professionals Ltd for copyright infringement and passing off.
John has wide experience of mediation and arbitration in the UK and overseas, including New Zealand and The United States, and to date he has always obtained the most advantageous result for his client.
John has successfully acted in a large number of professional partnership disputes and cases have included:
- O’Brien & Partners v Ashmole & Co – dispute between partners of large firm of accountants in South Wales regarding retirement provisions, partition of offices and clients, and misuse of confidential information.
- Hills v Tonner and others – a dispute between a specialist dental partnership regarding ownership of partnership property, division of profits and work-in-progress.
John advises on professional negligence disputes and has acted for claimants in the following cases (in each matter the claimants made substantial recoveries):
- Coutts v Robinson Low Francis LLP
- Building Bridges for Business Ltd v Hulmark Hulme LLP
- Quartley v BLB
- Arag Ltd
In addition, John is regularly retained by Arag Ltd to advise on the prospects of success for the purposes of whether the claimant should have the benefit of after the event insurance. The cases range from property disputes over development land adjacent to the Olympic Park, claims for a share of profits in a Monty Python film to a claim for commission for the placing of advertising on a F1 car.
Property and Real Estate
John advises clients in the full gamut of real estate disputes, including landlord and tenant and general property litigation Clients include property developers, local authorities, land owners and individuals. He has immense experience of litigating at all levels of court.
Recent cases include:
- Forest of Dean District Council v Forestry Commission, acting on behalf of District Council in claims involving ancient rights of grazing in the forest.
- Stroud District Council v Cathedral Properties Ltd, retained by District Council in enforcing sale and purchase of development land.
- Kwok v Bobbetts Mackan, advising in a claim in negligence against solicitors for failure to advise on ransom strip
John is a specialist commercial litigator with a wide practice in dispute resolution, company law, shareholder matters, partnership disputes, civil fraud, restraint of trade, intellectual property law and professional negligence. He established the Commercial and Chancery Practice Group at St John’s Chambers.
Before joining Chambers, John was a partner in one of the largest commercial firms of barristers and solicitors in Auckland, New Zealand. His cases included acting as Counsel on behalf of the New Zealand Government appointed administrators in two major insolvencies of large financial services groups of companies, acting in a patent licensing arbitration in the USA and the defence of claims against a land development company which involved erosion of a seafront development.
John is qualified to undertake public access work in appropriate cases, for further information, please visit our Public Access page.