Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

John Taylor QCCall Date: 1993 | Silk Date: 2013

John Taylor is commercial Silk described in the directories as “a fantastic advocate” who is “rigorous in his analysis”, “tenacious” and “great with clients”.

In recent years he has been involved in many high profile commercial disputes including the board room dispute at Stobart Group ([2019] EWHC 258), the Court of Appeal test case on air passenger compensation ([2019] EWCA Civ 69), the Court of Appeal test case on Northern Rock’s standard terms ([2016] 3 All ER 665) and numerous Commercial Court disputes arising from the major financial issues of the day including LIBOR manipulation, derivatives mis-selling and PPI.

Much of John’s work is international in nature –  he frequently appears in international arbitrations (including ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL) and overseas including the Dubai International Financial Centre. John is described as having “vast commercial expertise” (Chambers and partners 2018) with his wide-ranging practice covering aviation, banking and finance, company law, civil fraud, energy, insurance/reinsurance and professional liability.

John’s cases frequently involve regulatory matters – including FCA and hearings before Tribunals such as the London Metal Exchange disciplinary panel. He is experienced in working with both litigation and compliance teams on disputes with business-wide implications. He relishes working in large teams across different disciplines and jurisdictions  – clients describe a “team player” who has “total identification with his clients’ interests.”

John has written and lectured extensively on his areas of practice and has contributed to books on the law of aviation and banking, including The Law of Bank Payments (2017, 5th ed. Sweet & Maxwell). Clients describe John as someone who “quickly gets to the nub of complex legal issues” with a “razor-sharp mind”. 

John is a qualified mediator.

John also accepts appointments as an arbitrator.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Aviation
  • Banking and finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Civil fraud
  • Energy and natural resources
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International arbitration
  • Professional liability

Areas of Expertise

  • Banking & finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Energy & natural resources
  • Fraud: civil
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International arbitration
  • Media, entertainment & sport
  • Professional negligence
  • Aviation

Recommendations

Recommended in the Legal 500 2019:

“He is a very strong advocate” (Aviation)

An outstanding banking practitioner.” (Banking & Finance)

Recommended in Chambers and Partners 2019:

“Very impressive, very thorough and a man in total command of all the issues involved.” “He is fantastic to work with, as he gives clear advice and produces very solid advocacy.” (Banking & Finance)

“A high-calibre barrister, who knows the issues inside out and sees problems instantaneously.” (Aviation)

“An extremely talented barrister who is great with clients and brilliant on his feet.” “John is a hard-working and hands-on commercial silk who has a keen eye for detail and produces creative arguments.” (Commercial Dispute Resolution)

“A fantastic advocate whose work ethic and attention to detail are superb”;  “Tenacious and rigorous in his analysis, he leads from the front”; (Banking and Finance)

 “vast commercial expertise” (Aviation)

Unflappable, incisive” and “someone with a great grip on the detail of a case.” (Commercial Dispute Resolution)

Recommended in the Legal 500 2018:

“He is impressive; punchy, robust and authoritative” (Commercial Dispute Resolution and Aviation).

Other recommendations from previous directory entries:

  • “First on my list for anything difficult.”
  • His ability to translate complicated concepts into a simple and forceful written work product is truly exceptional.”
  • “A fantastic advocate. He is not just willing to roll up his sleeves on a single case, he does it every time.”
  • He is incisive, detailed and has an incredible grasp of what is going on. His desire to win is phenomenal.” “He is very good, very thorough and intelligent. A very powerful advocate.”
  • very able, practical and user-friendly“.
  • “outstandingly good.”
  • quickly gets to the nub of complex legal issues. Tactically he is very sound and is able to see the denouement of a case from a long way out.”
  • “great advocate” who is “great with clients” and is both “professional and well prepared.”
  • a good man to have on your side in a difficult case,” as he is a “determined and doughty advocate.”
  • “fiercely committed practitioner who always fights his client’s corner.”
  • continues to impress on account of his attention to detail and total identification with his clients’ interests.”
  • “a high flyer who combines a commercial approach with extensive legal knowledge and attention to detail

Recent practice

Aviation

John regularly acts in aviation related matters including aircraft leases, aircraft insurance, aircraft sales, product liability claims, aviation accidents, CAA regulations and ATOL regulations.

Cases include:

  • Appeared in the Court of Appeal test case on air passenger compensation claims under Regulation (EC) 261/2004, also known as the Flight Compensation Regulation (Blanche v easjJet [2019] EWCA Civ 69).
  • Represented the owner of an Agusta helicopter in its claim for damages arising from negligent piloting (2018).
  • Acted for the lessor in a substantial 2.5 week ICC arbitration concerning the return condition of Boeing 737 aircraft leased to a national airline (2016-2017).
  • Acted for the lessor in a dispute with Sri Lankan airlines concerning the enforceability of aircraft leases which made the national press in Sri Lanka (http://newsfirst.lk/english/2017/03/turbulent-times-ahead-srilankan-airlines-leasecontract/164663) (2017).
  • Acted for the lessee in a tripartite dispute between manufacturer, lessor and lessee concerning the operating capabilities of a helicopter in off-shore operations (2017).
  • Acted for Mitsubishi Corporation in a Commercial Court claim brought by Virgin Atlantic Airways concerning the fitness for purpose/compliance with airworthiness directives of retro-fitted seats in Boeing aircraft (Virgin Atlantic v KI Holdings and Mitsubishi Corp).
  • Acted for the Claimant in a Commercial Court claim for return of a deposit of US$3.55m paid pursuant to a letter of intent to purchase a Bombardier Challenger aircraft (Shaker v Vistajet Group Holding SA [2012] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 93).
  • Advised a European aircraft and engine lessor in connection with an indemnity dispute with a Brazilian airline relating to Boeing 747 aircraft and engines.
  • Acted for the lessor in a Commercial Court trial of claims for damages and contractual indemnities arising out of the late redelivery of a Boeing 737-300 at the end of its lease raising issues of construction, estoppel, causation and remoteness of damage (Pindell Ltd v AirAsia Bhd [2012] 2 C.L.C. 1).
  • Advised an Eastern European national airline on its obligations under a long-term maintenance and service agreement with a UK carrier.
  • Advised lessors of aircraft leased to the Spanish airline Futura International Airways that went into an insolvency procedure in Spain, including obtaining urgent injunctions in the Commercial Court.
  • Acted for BAE in Amiri Flight Authority v BAE concerning the enforceability of exclusion clauses in an aircraft sales contract.

Banking & Finance

John has vast experience in banking litigation including disputes concerning securitisations, collateralised debt obligations, ISDA swaps (including credit default and interest rate swaps), syndicated loans, letters of credit, bills of exchange, guarantees, cheques, electronic funds transfer, mortgages and other forms of security. John’s work includes “credit crunch” related disputes and frequently involves the disputes arising out of competing claims of lenders, investors, counterparties and insurers in an insolvency situation.

Cases include:

  • Acted on claims of investors in debt securities issued by a major European bank arising out of pre-investment prospectus – FSMA s90, misrepresentation Act 1967, negligence.
  • Represented a major Australian bank in a Commercial Court claim for US$80 million in relation to the alleged unauthorised operation of an oil futures trading account.
  • Represented various UK and Irish banks defending allegations that interest rate derivatives were sold in breach of contract and the COB and COBS Rules (including Wani LLP v Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2015] All ER (D) 22 (May); Warners Retail Ltd v National Westminster Bank Plc [2014] EWHC 2818 (Ch))
  • Acted in a test case against Northern Rock in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal to determine the effect of loan agreements which were not regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 but were documented as if they were (NRAM Plc v McAdam and Hartley [2015] 2 All E.R. 340 [2016] 3 All ER 665.
  • Acted for the Claimant under Argentine inflation-linked structured notes (Metlife Seguros de Retiro SA v JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association [2015] EWHC 463 (Comm)).
  • Acted for Barclays Bank plc in proceedings in the DIFC Court before Steel J concerning an alleged trade finance fraud (Corinth Pipeworks SA v Barclays Bank plc).
  • Acted for various UK banks defending claims for damages and rescission arising out of the alleged manipulation of LIBOR.
  • Acted for Credit Suisse in a claim arising out of the sale of AIG Bonds (Nixon v Credit Suisse).
  • Acted for Citibank in connection with a claim brought under a performance guarantee (Kivu Watt Ltd v Citibank NA & Civicon [2013] EWHC 2354).
  • Acted for Barclays Bank plc in the PPI litigation including the lead case on the relationship between court proceedings and the FCA mandated review of the sale of PPI (Andrew v Barclays Bank Plc [2012] CTLC 115)
  • Acted for Commerzbank in a dispute with a counterparty over numerous commodity swap transactions governed by an ISDA Master Agreement (1992 edition).
  • Acted for WestLB the arranger of the £750 million Box Clever Securitisation in its Commercial Court dispute with investors which raised issues of securitisation market practice, financial modelling, lending and valuation of securities (Ixis Corporate Investment Bank v WestLB, CIBC World Markets, Terra Firma Capital Partners)
  • Advised a major US bond insurer on “credit crunch” related disputes under a credit default swap involving underlying CDOs and other asset backed securities including US sub-prime mortgages.
  • Acted for Noteholders in a  dispute with other classes of Noteholder under the  terms of the trust deed and note conditions governing their investment in a structured investment vehicle with underlying assets consisting of US sub-prime mortgage-backed securities  (BNY Corporate Trustee Ltd, Re Eurosail-UK 2007 3 BL plc [2009] EWHC 513, Ch, Sales J).
  • Acted for a Swiss bank in relation to letters of request under the Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act 1975.

Commercial Dispute Resolution

John frequently appears in the Commercial Court on large-scale commercial litigation. He frequently acts in disputes concerning corporate acquisitions, share sales and shareholder agreements. His cases include high profile disputes such as the Boxclever litigation and the Prince Jefri litigation. Other cases include:

  • Acting in the high profile trial of the board room dispute at Stobart Group which included allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy and shareholder vote rigging (Stobart Group Ltd v Tinkler [2019] EWHC 258 (Comm)).
  • Represented a private equity firm in relation to a claim for fraud and breach of warranty in relation to the sale of a well-known on online retailer.
  • Acted for the Russian State owned bank, VTB, against a Russian oligarch, Shalva Tchigirinski, in a dispute over the financing of his Russian real estate business. Following the obtaining of a worldwide freezing order and judgment against Mr Tchigirinski, John acted in the dispute between judgment creditors concerning their claims to Mr Tchigirinski’s assets.
  • Acted for Russian Commercial Bank (Cyprus) Ltd against Russian oligarch Fedor Khoroshilov, in a trio of cases which came to trial in the Commercial Court concerning disputes over financing of interests in a Siberian oil and gas extraction businesses. John’s involvement started by obtaining an ex parte freezing order from Stadlen J which was continued at an inter parties hearing before Gross J. (Russian Commercial Bank (Cyprus) Ltd v Talon Ltd and Obneftegas).
  • Represented the investors against the directors of a loan company who induced investment in the company through fraudulent misrepresentations made in accounts and a prospectus obtaining judgment for the investors (Hemsley & RCB Trustees Ltd v Graham & Ors) [2013] EWHC 2232 (Ch).
  • Represented the manufacturers of industrial turbines defending claims that equipment was not in accordance with warranty and had caused significant consequential loss.
  • Represented a Polish private equity concern in relation to multi-million dollar claims brought against it by management claiming carried interest.
  • Represented private equity firm with an investment in a national utility provider in its dispute with a fellow shareholder in connection with their respective rights and obligations when dis-investing.
  • Acted for the vendor of a metals manufacturing business successfully defending allegations of breach of warranty and fraud by the purchaser (Welven v Soar Ltd [2011] EWHC 3240 (Comm).
  • Acted for the vendors of a financial advisory firm in relation to claims by the building society purchaser for breach of warranty arising out of liabilities alleged to have been incurred on the historic sale of PPI.

International Arbitration

Many of John’s cases involve international arbitrations under the auspices of various arbitral regimes including the ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL. John has considerable experience of working closely with the solicitor-counsel team in long running, large-scale cases. John’s ability to act as “team player” has been recognised in the Legal Directories. Cases in arbitration include:

  • Acted in a substantial 2.5 week ICC arbitration concerning the return condition of Boeing 737 aircraft leased to a national airline.
  • Acted in an LCIA Arbitration representing an offshore family Trust in connection with its multi-million dollar dispute with management concerning claims for carried interest on the appreciation in value of large scale infrastructure projects around the world, including African oil fields and mines.
  • Acted for a leading global investment manager in LCIA arbitral proceedings concerning a US$1 billion claim by Bermudan Liquidators arising from the collapse of a hedge fund after the global financial crisis.
  • Acted for a global investment manager in LCIA arbitral proceedings concerning a multi-million dollar claim against a US investment valuation agent arising out of its valuation of the Fund’s worldwide investments.
  • Acted for a European private equity fund in an UNCITRAL arbitration in relation to its multi-million dollar dispute with a fellow investor in a Russian glass-making plant concerning profit share, accounting treatment of investment costs and the effect of currency fluctuations on their returns.
  • Acted for a Russian state-owned Bank and a Cypriot Bank in their related LCIA and High Court proceedings against borrowers under a multi-million dollar financing facility and in defence of the multi–billion dollar counterclaim rising out of the funding of exploration and realisation of oil and gas reserves in Russia.
  • Acted in an LCIA arbitration for the lessor of Boeing 737 aircraft to a national airline in relation to its claims for damages arising out of the indemnities in the lease and the return condition of engines and aircraft.
  • Acted in an LCIA arbitration in a dispute between a well-known US Bank and one of its executives concerning his claim to multi-million dollar bonuses and performance related pay.
  • Acted in an ICC arbitration between a US financier and lessor of aircraft against a Far East national airline concerning issues of authority and fraud relating to the long-term aircraft fleet leases between the parties.

Company

John regularly acts in cases which raise issues of corporate governance both in this jurisdiction and overseas. Recent cases include Stobart Group plc v Tinkler [2019] EWHC 258 (Comm) which analysed in detail the law on directors’ fiduciary duties and conflicts; and acting for a Middle Eastern Government on its rights as shareholder in funds incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

Civil Fraud

John has wide-ranging experience of domestic and international civil fraud claims involving many jurisdictions including Liechtenstein, Russia, UAE and the Cayman Islands. Cases include:

  • Represented a company director successfully defending allegations of conspiracy to injure the company (Stobart Group Ltd v Tinkler [2019] EWHC 258 (Comm)).
  • Secured judgment for investors induced by fraud to invest in a financial services business (Hemsley & RCB Trustees Ltd v Graham & Ors [2013] EWHC 2232 (Ch).
  • Acted in Russian Commercial Bank (Cyprus) Ltd v Fedor Khoroshilov and Talon Ltd (allegations of illegal acts under the Russian Civil Code, worldwide freezing orders).
  • Acted in Corinth Pipeworks SA v Barclays Bank plc (allegations of trade finance fraud involving the sale of steel oil pipelines from Greece to Oman and Angola).
  • Acted in a number of cases alleging LIBOR manipulation.

Professional Liability

John has acted in a wide range of professional negligence cases including cases involving bankers, stock brokers, financial advisers, valuation agents, trustees, accountants, solicitors, surveyors and insurance brokers. Cases include:

  • Acted for the liquidators of a loan business in High Court proceedings against the company’s accountants and auditors claiming for losses resulting from an undetected fraud which brought down the company (Wey Bridging v Ernst & Young).
  • Defended a multi-million pound claim against accountancy firm Chantrey Vellacott which resulted in judgment for the firm (Convergence v Chantrey Vellacott).
  • Acting for WestLB in its defence of allegations of negligence concerning its role as arranger and joint lead manager of the Boxclever
  • Acting for and against financial advisers in numerous cases concerning allegations of negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the FSA’s Rules in the FSA Handbook.
  • Acting for and against insurance and reinsurance brokers including issues of sub-agency and the placing of international risks involving jurisdictional disputes, conflicts of laws and the role of Lloyd’s of London’s overseas correspondents.

Insurance & Reinsurance

John has acted in a wide range of insurance and reinsurance disputes in the Commercial Court and in arbitration (specific details of which are confidential) including:

  • International reinsurance arbitration concerning long-tail asbestos related claims arising out of thousands of employee claims against employers spanning 5 decades.
  • Advising on construction, aggregation and retention issues arising out of numerous types of (re)insurance cover, including excess of loss, quota share, employee fidelity, aircraft hull and liability, D&O, professional indemnity, property, business interruption, and contractors all-risks.
  • Numerous claims for negligence against brokers concerning the placing of insurance and reinsurance.

Cases have included placement of an overseas national health insurance programme, hotel portfolio all risks insurance and contractors all risks insurance for an oil pipeline.

Energy & Natural Resources

Cases involving disputes arising out of energy and natural resources include:

  • Russian Commercial Bank (Cyprus) Ltd v Talon Ltd and Obneftegas a case involving a claim for damages based on the value of oil and gas extraction rights in Siberia.
  • Advising on a joint venture for the processing of aluminium ore in Bahrain
  • Advising on a dispute between shareholders of an AIM-listed oil-extraction company.
  • Advising on insurance coverage issues arising out of a contractors all risks insurance policy concerning a sub-sea oil pipeline.

Regulatory Work

John has acted for clients in a range of regulatory and disciplinary tribunals including those involving the London Metal Exchange, the FSA/ FCA, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, The Law Society and the CAA.

Injunctions

John has acted in numerous cases involving the granting of emergency injunctive relief including worldwide freezing orders. A number of the cases referred to above involved freezing and disclosure orders including RCB v Khoroshilov, VTB v Tchigerinski and Hemsley & RCB Trustees Ltd v Graham.

Procedure, Conflict of Laws and Jurisdiction

John’s commercial and arbitration practice frequently involves issues concerning jurisdiction, conflict of laws and procedural issues. Cases include:

  • Grove Park Properties Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2018] EWHC 3521 (Comm) (requirements for pleading contract void for illegality)
  • Barnett Waddington v Royal Bank of Scotland [2017] EWHC 834 (Ch) (abuse of process)
  • Wani LLP v Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2015] All ER (D) 22 (May) (late amendments prior to trial).
  • Meat Corporation of Namibia Ltd v Dawn Meats (UK) Ltd [2011] All ER (D) 67 (Mar) (expert evidence, confidential information, conflicts of interest).
  • Middle Eastern Oil v National Bank of Abu Dhabi [2009] Lloyd’s Rep Plus 6 (jurisdiction clause, forum non conveniens)

John also provides expert evidence on English law for use in foreign proceedings.

Education

  • Cambridge University MA in Law (First Class Honours)

Appointments, memberships, prizes

  • Rights of audience in the Courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre.
  • Commercial Bar Association.
  • The London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association.
  • Member of the British Association for Sport and Law.
  • Middle Temple Astbury Scholar.

Other experience

CEDR accredited mediator

Publications

Contributor to The Law of Bank Payments (4th ed. 2010, Sweet & Maxwell).

Contributor to Carriage by Air, 1st Ed Butterworths


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