John Fordham

John Fordham

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Stephenson Harwood LLP
1 Finsbury Circus
United Kingdom

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T: +44 20 7809 2300

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absolutely first-rate litigator who applies a very mature appreciation to the problems that come before him

Chambers UK 2013

John is a partner and head of commercial litigation.

He handles a wide range of cases, including many in the financial services industry.  John has extensive experience in acting in disputes, ranging from very major matters for corporates such as representing the Maxwell pensioners throughout the 1990s to acting as trusted adviser for high profile individuals.

His work covers proceedings in the High Court in London, project management of litigation in other jurisdictions, the co-ordination of multi-jurisdictional multi-case disputes in Courts around the world, international and domestic arbitrations and mediations. John was named as one of the UK’s top 100 lawyers by Chambers and Partners in 2013.

John has led teams in many major matters and acted in litigation and arbitration in the UK and internationally.

He orchestrated the successful litigation campaign on behalf of the Maxwell pension trustee company to recover the assets misappropriated by Robert Maxwell and his associates.  His team won the Dispute Resolution Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2005 for the successful asset tracing exercise carried out for Westminster City Council against Dame Shirley Porter that followed the "Homes for Votes" scandal. 

John has a wide-range of experience acting in disputes for and against banks and other financial institutions. 

Some of these disputes end up in Court, but many are resolved through negotiation.  He has advised and represented numerous parties in 'credit crunch' disputes and in the fall out from the banking crisis.

John is widely respected for his experience in fraud investigation, asset tracing and trust litigation. This work has involved him extensively in the obtaining of freezing and disclosure orders in the Courts in the UK and other countries around the world.

John has led teams on many high profile fraud and asset tracing cases, including representing the liquidators of the Maxwell pension trustee company (Bishopsgate Investment Management) in the recovery of misappropriated assets, tracing funds against which Westminster City Council could enforce its judgment against Dame Shirley Porter in connection with the 'Homes for Votes' scandal and acting in proceedings in England, the USA, Bermuda and the BVI arising out of the revelation of the Madoff Ponzi scheme. John is listed as a leading individual in the civil fraud category of the current editions of both the Chambers UK 2013 and Legal 500 2012 UK Guides to the Legal Profession. He is described by Chambers UK as "a standout figure" with "a great tactical brain". 

John has represented corporates and individuals in their dealings with the Financial Services Authority.  This covers supervision and disclosure issues; where clients are witnesses in an investigation or prosecution; where they are themselves under investigation; and defending them when faced with prosecution.  His work also involves him with the Serious Fraud Office, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and the like.

John became a CEDR-accredited mediator in 1995 and since then he has carried out numerous mediations.  His style has been described as "open and uses down to earth language and humour very effectively.  He establishes rapport very well in this way."  Mediating has taken him as far a field as Hong Kong and Paris.