Designation: Partner
Location: United Kingdom

John Reynolds

John Reynolds is a leading international litigation and arbitration specialist. In his 35-year career, he spent over 15 years at White & Case as Head of the London Litigation Department and Global Co-Head of the firm’s Financial Institutions Practice, and he was also a partner at McDermott Will & Emery and Herbert Smith.

John has helped clients resolve complex problems for more than three decades and is a deeply-connected member of the global dispute resolution community. As a leading figure in the legal world, he has been involved in many of the landmark cases that have shaped the litigation landscape.

Over the years, John has maintained a broad practice, believing that diverse experience brings benefits in looking at most problems. His specialist areas of focus include corporate and M&A disputes, finance litigation, shareholder disputes, investigations, crisis management,fraud and competition litigation.

John has been a ranked litigator in both Chambers and Legal 500 for more than 20 years. He has been described as “a titan of the London litigation landscape” in Legal 500’s 2021 Hall of Fame, an ‘esteemed litigator’ in Chambers 2021 and is ranked as a Global Leader in Who’s Who Legal // Litigation.

In an age when law firms can field large teams in a short space of time, what is harder to find is the thinking and judgment that this experience brings.



Career Highlights:

    • A 13-year battle for control of a Turkish mobile telephone operator
      arising from financing and restructuring during the Turkish banking
      crisis. The principal litigation and trial was in the British Virgin
      Islands and involved 8 appeals to the Privy Council in London. There
      were related arbitration proceedings in Geneva and Vienna and
      litigation to enforce arbitration awards in multiple jurisdictions. The
      case was the first to establish the parameters of the widely-used
      European security-enforcement measure of appropriation.
    • Investigation relating to transatlantic regulatory enforcement
      proceedings against a global investment bank, involving anti-money
      laundering systems and controls, arising from so-called “mirror
      trading” of Russian blue-chip stocks.
    • Covid-19 and M&A: in a locked-box transaction, could a multibillion
      Euro M&A transaction be terminated before Closing as a
      consequence of measures taken by the target company to respond
      to the pandemic? Arising, fought (in international arbitration) and
      resolved during a 10-month period of lockdown across Europe.
    • The first major UK case of the global financial crisis: suing the UK
      Government in respect of its nationalization of Northern Rock Bank
      following the first UK bank run for 150 years. The case involved
      arguing (successfully) that the nationalization had breached the
      human rights of the client, an investment fund based outside the UK
      which was the largest shareholder at the time of nationalization.

John is also routinely called upon to advise on problems that affect
or may affect corporate transactions, joint ventures, restructurings
or financings. Most often, this is strategic or reputation-management
advice, rather than dispute-avoidance advice:

  • Advising a corporate in the lead-up to one of the largest IPOs of all
    time, on a range of issues that had potential impact.
  • Advising a global consumer brand on strategic considerations
    affecting the potential termination of a long-term regional joint
    venture. The advice will determine investment decisions and the
    client’s approach to discussions with its JV partner.
  • Advising an international financial institution with a complex
    structure on governance changes to address regulatory
    requirements, as well as potential legal challenges to the regulators.
    The issues included the need to balance action against potential
    reputational damage.
  • Providing strategic oversight to a prominent Gulf family on litigation
    in the London courts, being conducted by another firm.


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