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John Powell QC

Commercial Dispute Resolution

John Powell QC’s practice is complex commercial litigation, arbitration and advisory work in the UK and overseas.   His litigation and arbitration practice is centred on investment, banking and corporate fraud and related accessory and professional liability claims, especially “deep-pocket” claims: see his general profile, as well as his profiles for professional liability, financial services and securities regulation, civil fraud, international practice and arbitration.

His litigation practice reflects his expertise and leading publications on professional liability and financial services and securities regulation, as well as papers on accessory liability and complex investment schemes. His major publications, Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability and the Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law are well known to all commercial practitioners in the UK and major common law jurisdictions.

Directory comments

John Powell QC is “widely sought after for his advisory and litigious expertise.”He is recognised as a genius on financial services regulation and is particularly skilled at handling cases involving investment fraud ",   “top-notch on complex matters;   “a fearless advocate supreme professional negligence exponent", “particularly impressive in the realm of auditors’ negligence”. 

On-going cases

On-going cases include:

  • acting for an overseas bank in litigation arising from multi-billion banking investment collapse.

Recent cases

Recent cases include:

  • jurisdiction dispute;
  • insolvency related dispute
  • (several):  acting for claimants in film finance claims;
  • acting for defendant in film finance claim;
  • acting for claimants in banking product fraud claim;
  • judicial review of overseas financial services regulator
  • arbitration instructed by an overseas government, arising from $600m multi-hotel, golf club and residential development (defeating a $600m claim);
  • arbitration related to aggregation issues arising from major multi-party litigation;
  • (several) acting for defendant financial advisors and their insurers in claims arising from misselling and failed investment schemes;
  • (several) acting for claimants/prospective claimants in hedge fund claims.


Throughout his career John Powell Q.C has conducted arbitration both as advocate and as arbitrator, in the UK and overseas: see his profiles for international practice and arbitration.

Expert evidence

On several occasions he has provided expert evidence for the purposes of commercial litigation in USA, Canada, Australia and Ireland.

Recent publications on commercial litigation issues

  • Fiduciary Duties (Commonwealth Law Conference, Melbourne, 2003
  • Coastlines of Liability and Containment (Chancery Bar Association 2006);
  • Professional Negligence R.I.P. (London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association 2007)
  • Accessory Liability: an Emerging Tort?  (COMBAR 2007);
  • Claims arising from Complex Investment Schemes and Hedge Funds (IFLR European Securities Litigation Conference 2009);
  • Litigating Russian-related fraud in the UK:  Accessory Liability and Professional Liability claims (Moscow 2009);
  • Claims arising from the World Financial Crisis: The Frontiers of Liability and Containment (Kuala Lumpur 2009).
  • Professional Liability & Construction: Risk Retained and Risk Transferred (Society of Construction Law 2009.


COMBAR (former Committee member) , LCIA, CBA, LCLCBA, PNBA, CFLA; SCL (President 1991-93).