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.
- 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
- Providing strategic oversight to a prominent Gulf family on litigation
in the London courts, being conducted by another firm.