John is Senior Partner of Russell-Cooke LLP.
John's area of particular expertise is regulation and public law. He specialises in the analysis and solution of complex regulatory problems, advising regulators, government departments, law enforcement agencies, and statutory and professional bodies. Chambers (2008-2011) has described him as "an important figure", "highly intelligent and innovative" with "unsurpassed knowledge of regulatory powers", "particularly apt at handling complex and sensitive matters", "very bright indeed; very thoughtful".
Legal 500 (2014) note that he "is very impressive with a wealth of experience". Chambers 2012 state that he is singled out as being "pragmatic, easy to deal with and responsive to urgent issues". He "always takes a very broad look, takes all surrounding issues into account. He's very knowledgeable on regulatory and professional body issues. He can bring all this background knowledge into use when giving advice" (Chambers 2013). Chambers 2014 describe him as "a formidable opponent" who is "very experienced in regulatory matters" and Chambers 2015 note that he is an "effective litigator".
John has long-standing experience of issues relating to legal practice, including advising many lawyers and well known practices on a variety of important issues.
He has led the Senior Management Team at Russell-Cooke for more than twenty five years. During that time Russell-Cooke has grown in turnover terms from less than £1million to more than £29million and a nationally significant reputation in many specialist areas of law.
John has acted in over 50 reported cases, some of which established particularly important legal precedents. He has acted in several hundred matters for the solicitors' profession's own regulator since 1987. Many of these cases have had a high profile.
John acted in the British Bankers Association v the FSA and the FOS which related to principle based regulation and was listed by "The Lawyer Magazine" as one of the ten most important cases to be heard in 2011. The case led to the payment of billions of pounds of compensation in relation to payment protection insurance.
In 2014 another of his cases was listed as one of the most important cases of the year relating to aggregation in professional indemnity insurance. The case, in which John acts for the Law Society as the representative body of solicitors, concerns many millions of pounds and has potentially wide implications.
Other current cases concern a dispute with two foreign governments relating to state immunity and succession; the regulatory consequences of an insolvent offshore investment fund providing legal funding having allegedly misapplied in excess of £100 million; and an appeal to the Supreme Court acting for a significant group of statutory and public bodies including the Bar Standards Board and the SRA. Other significant current projects relate to the development of detailed proposals for revisions to primary legislation on behalf of a public body and a review of the investigative and disciplinary regime for a statutory regulator.
One of John's particular areas of interest is complex financial schemes. He has played a leading part in investigations relating to investment, tax and pension schemes, international financial frauds, money laundering, organised criminality and the corruption of public officials. He has been appointed as an "expert person" under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), a court appointed partnership receiver and a court appointed supervisor of search and freezing orders. He has advised and served as an expert witness for, among others, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the Magistrates Association (MA) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in a variety of courts and tribunals including the Old Bailey. He holds rights of audience in the higher civil courts.
John provides advice on and drafts legal structures, statutory powers, royal charters and professional rules, and advises on the implementation of European directives in the UK. He is Board Solicitor to the Architects Registration Board. He prepares independent reports on governance and related issues for public sector organisations. He has advised more than 40 sets of barristers' chambers on structures, mergers, dissolutions and disputes, and has advised in relation to political donations and expenses at the highest level. Many of his cases have attracted significant media interest.
John studied law at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge where he was awarded an Evan Lewis Thomas Law Studentship. He trained at Russell-Cooke and has been a Partner since 1982. He has written a regular column for the Solicitors Journal. He is a former Governor and Vice Chair of the University of Greenwich and served as Chair of both the Strategy and Audit Committees.
John is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.