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John Powell QC

Call: 1974 QC: 1990


John Powell QC’s practice is complex commercial litigation, arbitration and advisory work in the UK and overseas. His practice reflects his renowned leading text books on professional liability and financial services and securities regulation (see below).

His litigation practice is centred on investment, banking and corporate fraud and related accessory and professional liability claims. He has wide experience of “deep pocket” claims involving banks, fund managers, trustees & administrators, financial advisers and other practitioners, accountants, auditors & actuaries, lawyers, valuers and company directors. Claims typically engage complex areas of financial services and securities regulation, company law, trusts and tax, often involving several jurisdictions. His career has included claims arising from most of the best known corporate collapses and investment scandals (e.g. PCW, Barlow Clowes, BCCI, Paamllc, pension and endowment misselling), SPLITS, many investment schemes (especially complex tax schemes e.g. film finance, structured schemes), as well as a variety of other major matters, in the UK, USA, Caribbean, Gulf, Far East and elsewhere. His arbitration practice has included several investment disputes involving overseas governments under investment treaties and other agreements. Recent overseas work has included an arbitration for an overseas government (defeating a US$600m claim), judicial review proceedings against an overseas regulator and acting for a central bank in relation to a major banking and investment fraud.

His extensive advisory practice is focused particularly on financial services and markets issues (UK, EU, EEA and US). His instructions typically involve collective investment schemes, structured schemes, derivatives, disputes with regulators, corporate governance, promotion and listing issues and interpretation of UK regulations, EU directive (e.g. UCITS, AIFMD, Payment Services Directive) and USA FATCA legislation.

His advisory work related to professional liability typically engages insurance issues and professional terms of engagement.

His clients include banks, hedge funds, various kinds of investment practitioners (e.g. promoters, investment managers, trustees, administrators, financial advisers), investment exchanges, issuers, product providers, regulators, trustees, lawyers, accountants and actuaries, professional indemnity insurers and private individuals.

Earlier in his career he drafted Jersey’s collective investment funds legislation.

He has considerable experience of acting as an arbitrator, as well acting as an expert in overseas litigation on UK financial services and professional liability issues.

His practice reflects his publications in the fields of financial services and markets, professional liability and company law (see below). He occasionally presents papers on subjects within his expertise in UK and abroad (e.g. recently in Moscow and Kuala Lumpur).

He has been called to the Bars of Trinidad & Tobago, the Turks & Caicos Islands & the British Virgin Islands.

The Directories

He is consistently highly rated in the major directories for financial services, professional liability and civil fraud.

Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability
Sweet & Maxwell
Lomnicka & Powell Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law
Sweet & Maxwell

Palmer’s Company Law 24th ed. (1987) (specialist editor)

Issues and Offers of Company Securities (1988)

Wrongs and Remedies in the Twenty-First Century (1996) (contrib.)

Various conference papers including recently on investment fraud, claims from complex investment schemes & hedge funds, accessory liability and professional liability.

Further Information
Chairman, Bar Law Reform Committee 1997-8; Member, Bar Council 1999-2004; Bencher of the Middle Temple; COMBAR (former Executive Committee member); Chancery Bar Association; PNBA; LCIA; CFLA; Society of Construction Law (President 1991-93). Head of Chambers 1997-9.


M.A., LL.B. (Cantab.)