John is an experienced Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners recommended lawyer and the head of our Dispute Resolution team. With over 20 years’ experience John handles a wide range of commercial and personal disputes, covering everything from basic breach of contract to trade mark disputes for prominent entertainers.
John has the complete skillset any business or individual needs to face their dispute head on. He is a Solicitor-Advocate with the right to appear in any court in England and Wales and a qualified Arbitrator and Mediator. So, for those looking to explore all their options whilst retaining a consistent and high level of legal advice, John can deliver.
John has had a long, distinguished legal career across three countries. Originally hailing from South Africa, John read Ancient History at university where he enjoyed analysing large volumes of complex, often conflicting information and forming theories about events from the past.
Studying ancient texts and materials, John found while later studying his post-graduate degree in Law, is much like solving a legal case – it involves gathering all your evidence (whether that be contracts, correspondence or conflicting witness accounts) and applying your knowledge within the wider context of the situation to convince someone else (a judge or a fellow archaeological scholar) that you are right.
After graduating with his LLB in 1996 and LLM in 1998, John practised as a Barrister in Johannesburg, whilst studying further part-time for a specialist qualification in company law. In 2003, John qualified as an Attorney in California, USA, whilst living for a period in that state. John then came to the UK and, after reading for the Qualified Lawyer’s Transfer Test at BPP Law School in London, was admitted to the roll of English Solicitor in 2004.
Also In 2004, John joined Longmores’ Dispute Resolution team. However, his professional pursuits did not end there. In 2006, John became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, followed by training at Harvard Law School in Basic and Advanced Negotiation.
In 2010, John obtained his MA in UK, EU & US Copyright Law from King’s College London. The final string to his bow (for now) is his accreditation as a Civil & Commercial Mediator from the London School of Mediation.
John deals with all manner of commercial contractual disputes but specialises in shareholder and partnership disputes, theft and misuse of commercially confidential information, copyright and trademark infringement, and all matters related to the recruitment industry.
Recent cases of his include:
- A search order and injunctions against a medical recruitment business after a former employee had taken confidential customer information from our client to that competing business. Then executing the search order over two days at the London offices of the former employee’s new employer.
- A threatened unfair prejudice claim by a close relative and minority shareholder against the Managing Director of a family–owned Bedfordshire manufacturing company.
- Representing the former lead singer of a successful pop music group, who had enjoyed chart success in the 1960s, in a trade mark dispute with other band members over use of the band’s name.
- A claim by an Essex-based company against its former directors and their new companies. It was alleged that, whilst they had been directors of our client and in breach of their fiduciary duties, they had sold the company’s most valuable assets out to new companies under their control at a significant undervalue.
- Defending an unfair prejudice petition brought against our client by a co-shareholder who claimed a greater number of the shares in their jointly–owned Hertfordshire company than he had received, that our client should be ordered to buy his shares from him, and that the share value should be enhanced to take account of alleged unlawful payments by our client to himself from the company.
- Obtaining a freezing order and a search order and then executing the search order on behalf of our client, a multi-national company with offices in the West Midlands. The claim arose from a very significant, multi-million pound fraud and from trade mark infringement.
- A land valuation arbitration concerning an enormous area of chiefly brown field land in Bedfordshire that was subject to an Option Agreement with a national land developer. The arbitration was described by Senior Counsel instructed by Longmores as ‘probably the highest value ever’ of its kind in the UK.
- Acting for a local Hertfordshire manufacturer and wholesaler in a copyright/passing off claim by a household name detergent manufacturer.
- A partnership dispute between partners in a busy North London firm of criminal defence solicitors that was referred to arbitration.
He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates and an Accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator.
“John was engaged by my company on a contract law problem, which went to High Court and we won the day. I found John to be tremendously supportive throughout the process, gave very clear precise advice and organised extremely professional council representation.” Managing Director
“He has an eye for detail and is fastidious in his preparation. He aims to give excellent client service.” Chambers UK 2020
“John’s knowledge is superb. John also takes the time to explain the legal jargon so it’s easy to understand what’s happening and the consequences of action. I’d highly recommend him.” Senior Manager
John is highly active within his village’s local community. He is currently or has recently been Chairman of his parish council, of the local trust responsible for maintaining the village greens, and of a committee dedicated to improving local roads.
John loves listening to music and you’ll find almost every genre going within his extensive vinyl collection. He also enjoys foreign films, particularly French films, and has taken French classes every Saturday morning for the past several years.