Contact details

John Fordham

T: +44 20 7809 2300 M: +44 7909 925 436 Email John | Vcard Office: London

Awards

Fraud: Civil; Banking litigation; commercial litigation and mediation

Fraud: Civil; Banking litigation; commercial litigation and mediation

Banking litigation; Fraud: Civil; Litigation elite

Banking litigation; Fraud: Civil; Litigation elite

John Fordham Partner

Contact details

John Fordham

John Fordham
Partner

T: +44 20 7809 2300 M: +44 7909 925 436 Email John | Vcard Office: London

A very experienced litigator, John has represented clients in a full range of commercial and civil disputes. He acts for states and other sovereign bodies, companies and individuals as either claimant or defendant. The majority of his work is international in nature. Clients value his experience and strategic and tactical advice.
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John is head of our commercial litigation practice group and described as "the heartbeat of the team" (Chambers Global 2016). His extensive litigation experience covers the full range of commercial activity, including banking and finance, insurance, professional negligence and joint venture/shareholder/director/partnership. John is also a practising mediator (accredited by CEDR) and sits as an arbitrator.

He is highly regarded in the field of fraud and asset tracing, having handled numerous freezing injunctions and disclosure orders for claimants and defendants, including the award-winning case of Westminster v Dame Shirley Porter.

John’s work includes representing clients involved in investigations and prosecutions by the Financial Conduct Authority and Serious Fraud Office. Peers "have a huge respect for his entrepreneurial success and technical legal ability" (Chambers Global 2016).

The Chambers 100 guide to the 100 best business lawyers in the UK stated that John is renowned for his expertise in high-profile contentious matters with client commentary saying “John is probably one of the most respected solicitors in the City and rightly so. He has great presence, experience and commercial savvy. He is also a very approachable and easy person to deal with.”

"A brilliant litigator and supreme tactician, who represents his clients calmly, strategically and tactically"
Chambers UK 2014

  • Banking and financial services litigation
  • Banking and financial services regulation
  • Fraud and asset tracing
  • Mediation
  • Dispute resolution

Libya Investment Authority ("LIA")

Representing the LIA headquartered in Tripoli in relation to the appointment of a Receiver and Manager to run LIA Commercial Court proceedings against Goldman Sachs and Société Générale.

Maxwell Pensioners

Acted in various successful recovery actions against banks including Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse, BNP and NatWest arising out of the misappropriation of the pension funds' shares by Robert Maxwell and associates.

Representation of various banks

Acted over the years for various banks including RBS, HSBC, Deutsche, UBS, RZB, Deka, British Arab Commercial Bank, OCBC and the Bank of Singapore.

More; Banking and financial services litigation

FCA and SFO investigations into Barclays capital raising in 2008

Represented one of the parties involved in these investigations, in dealings with the investigators and with other parties and in various matters arising.

John Pottage v FSA

Represented the CEO of UBS Wealth Management in relation to a major FSA investigation and subsequent prosecution on the basis of an alleged failure of duty in respect of the bank's systems and controls. The matter proceeded to a two week hearing in the Upper Tribunal when Mr Pottage was cleared of all charges.

ICE Future Europe

Acting for this exchange in relation to various different matters arising from its regulatory function.

More: Banking and financial services regulation

Kuwait Investment Authority ("KIA")

Leading the team of lawyers and forensic accountants which investigated the misappropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars of KIA's money during the Iraqi invasion. The investigation was centred on Barcelona, Spain. Substantial recoveries were subsequently made.

Westminster City Council ("WCC") v Dame Shirley Porter ("DSP")

Represented WCC in enforcement proceedings against DSP arising out of the 'Homes for Votes' scandal. Her assets were traced to trusts in Guernsey against which a freezing order was obtained and trust-busting proceedings started. As a result, a satisfactory settlement was achieved. Awarded "Dispute Resolution Team of the Year" by Legal Business for this matter.

Exxon Mobil v Petroleo de Venezuela SA ("PDVSA")

Represented PDVSA in successfully discharging one of the highest value freezing injunctions ever granted by the English court.

More: Fraud and asset tracing

Practising mediator

John is an accredited CEDR mediator and has conducted some 200 mediations in all.

Reputation and experience

John is one of the most highly regarded part-time mediators (combining this with a very active litigation practice) and, in addition to mediations in England and Wales, has conducted them in Hong Kong, Paris and the Channel Islands.

Representation of clients

Using his experience as a mediator, John has represented numerous clients in mediations.

Maxwell Pensioners

Acted in various successful recovery actions against banks including Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse, BNP and NatWest arising out of the misappropriation of the pension funds' shares by Robert Maxwell and associates.

Westminster City Council ("WCC") v Dame Shirley Porter ("DSP")

Represented WCC in enforcement proceedings against DSP arising out of the 'Homes for Votes' scandal. Her assets were traced to trusts in Guernsey against which a freezing order was obtained and trust-busting proceedings started. As a result, a satisfactory settlement was achieved. Awarded "Dispute Resolution Team of the Year" by Legal Business for this matter.

Exxon Mobil v Petroleo de Venezuela SA ("PDVSA")

Represented PDVSA in successfully discharging one of the highest value freezing injunctions ever granted by the English court.

Libya Investment Authority ("LIA")

Representing the LIA headquartered in Tripoli in relation to the appointment of a Receiver Manager to run LIA Commercial Court proceedings against Goldman Sachs and Société Générale.

More: Dispute resolution
  • Banks and banking
  • Funds and financial services

Maxwell Pensioners

Acted in various successful recovery actions against banks including Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse, BNP and NatWest arising out of the misappropriation of the pension funds' shares by Robert Maxwell and associates.

Representation of various banks

Acted over the years for various banks including RBS, HSBC, Deutsche, UBS, RZB, Deka, British Arab Commercial Bank, OCBC and the Bank of Singapore.

FCA and SFO investigations into Barclays capital raising in 2008

Represented one of the parties involved in these investigations, in dealings with the investigators and with other parties and in various matters arising.

John Pottage v FSA

Represented the CEO of UBS Wealth Management in relation to a major FSA investigation and subsequent prosecution on the basis of an alleged failure of duty in respect of the bank's systems and controls. Mr Pottage was cleared of all charges.

More: Banks and banking

Kuwait Investment Authority ("KIA")

Leading the team of lawyers and forensic accountants which investigated the misappropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars of KIA's money during the Iraqi invasion. The investigation was centred on Barcelona, Spain. Substantial recoveries were subsequently made.

Libya Investment Authority ("LIA")

Representing the LIA headquartered in Tripoli in relation to the appointment of a Receiver and Manager to run LIA Commercial Court proceedings against Goldman Sachs and Société Générale.

Qatar Investment Authority ("QIA")

Regularly representing the Qatar based sovereign wealth fund in various confidential matters.

More: Funds and financial services
  • North America
  • The Middle East

Madoff

Advising, and liaising with other lawyers in various different jurisdictions (particularly New York, BVI and France), in relation to proceedings brought against our clients arising out of the operation of the largest known Ponzi scheme in history, orchestrated by Bernard Madoff.

Sovereign Wealth Fund

Providing legal advice, assistance and representation in relation to a very substantial investment by the fund in the UK, which involved dealing with the regulatory/prosecution authorities in both the UK and the USA, advising on related contractual issues and consideration of parallel civil proceedings.

USA headquartered law firm

Acting in relation to a complaint made against the firm under the DIFC (Dubai) Courts' Code of Professional Legal Conduct for Legal Practitioners.

USA fraud claim

Advising on a dispute over fees under an agreement for the provision of information to assist with a major fraud claim in the USA, bringing proceedings and securing a settlement.

Asset recovery

Advising on the repossession of certain World War II tanks and their transfer from England to the USA and, separately, of a valuable wrist watch.

Obtaining evidence for use in USA proceedings 

Numerous instances of obtaining evidence in the UK for the use in proceedings in the USA, including orders compelling multiple witnesses based in England to provide oral testimony and orders requiring the production of extensive categories of document.

Demurrage claim

Advising the USA defendant in proceedings arising out of a charter from Malta to Libya.

Road accident

Advising the employee of a USA entity in relation to a prosecution for causing personal injury in a road accident.

More: North America

Libya Investment Authority ("LIA")

Representing the LIA headquartered in Tripoli in relation to the appointment of a Receiver and Manager to run LIA Commercial Court proceedings against Goldman Sachs and Société Générale.

Qatar Investment Authority ("QIA")

Regularly representing the Qatar based sovereign wealth fund in various confidential matters.

Kuwait Investment Authority ("KIA")

Leading the team of lawyers and forensic accountants which investigated the misappropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars of KIA's money during the Iraqi invasion. The investigation was centred on Barcelona, Spain. Substantial recoveries were subsequently made.

More: The Middle East

Awards

Fraud: Civil; Banking litigation; commercial litigation and mediation

Fraud: Civil; Banking litigation; commercial litigation and mediation

Banking litigation; Fraud: Civil; Litigation elite

Banking litigation; Fraud: Civil; Litigation elite

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05 Jan 2014

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Four Stephenson Harwood cases included in top cases to watch 2014 list

Four of Stephenson Harwood’s upcoming cases have been included in The Lawyer magazine’s 2014 ‘cases to watch’.

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02 Sep 2013

From News

Two Stephenson Harwood partners ranked in Chambers 100 listing

John Fordham, head of the litigation practice group, and Tony Woodcock, head of the regulatory litigation practice have been included in the ranking.

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© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.