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John Whittaker

Partner

People

John Whittaker

John Whittaker

Partner

People

John Whittaker

John Whittaker

Partner

Recognised lawyer with over 30 years' experience who ‘combines diplomatic skills with strategic insight' Legal 500

Regions covered

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Profile & Experience

Recognised lawyer with over 30 years' experience who ‘combines diplomatic skills with strategic insight' Legal 500

Regions covered
Full Profile

John is Partner and Co-chair of the Global Regulatory & Investigations practice. Acting for some of the world's largest commodity and natural resources companies, specialising in trading disputes and advisory work in relation to a wide range of international trading issues including anti-bribery, corruption, anti-money laundering and compliance and sanctions. Having worked in this area for over 30 years, John regularly leads internal corporate investigations which arise where potential violations have occurred or where violations are alleged, for example, in a whistleblowing scenario or where law enforcement agencies have started their own investigations.

He also acts for and against Governments in relation to contractual issues, investment disputes and sovereign immunity.

John's practice is recommended in various editions of the legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers UK for commercial litigation, international arbitration, public international law and commodities.  Market sources describe him as "very experienced and accomplished lawyer. He is great at both the big-picture strategy and the nuts and bolts advice. He has deep commodities and natural resources sector expertise" (Chambers 2021) "very practical" and speak highly of his "great strategic overview" (Chambers). In the context of Public International law, John is described as "extremely knowledgeable" (Legal 500).

John has handled cases before Courts in the UK and abroad, including a number of cases in Russia and Eastern Europe where he has extensive experience. A representative of the Serbian Government praised "his understanding of the local circumstances and political sensitivities of the case... the Serbian Government received value for money" (Global Arbitration Review, GAR 100).

John regularly speaks at high profile conferences, particularly on sanctions and anti-money laundering and bribery, including:

  • The FT Global Commodities Summit;
  • The FT Global Summit on Iran and Sanctions;
  • Metal Bulletin Events’ Annual International Aluminium Conference; and
  • Insider Intelligence Anti-Corruption in Oil & Gas.
Experience
  • Acting for claimants in major commodity fraud of USD300 million, the subject of proceedings before the English court and other jurisdictions.
  • Acting for defendants in a fraud claim in USD700m before the English Commercial Court. 
  • Acting and leading internal investigations for commodity companies on various aspects concerning their operations.
  • Acting in numerous LCIA and ICC arbitrations.
  • Acting and representing Serbia in connection with a dispute under defence contract (ICC Arbitration and subsequent appeal to the Commercial Court).
  • Acting for Sri Lanka on an ICSID arbitration at both jurisdictional and annulment stages.
  • Acting for Union of Comoros in both arbitration and Commercial Court proceedings concerning US$ 350million claim.
  • Acting and negotiating in respect of a major dispute between two states.
  • Acting in connecting with “Cum-Ex” litigation brought in the English and US courts.
  • Acting for a trading company in connection with investigations undertaken by the special prosecutor of Bosnia Herzegovina and Serious Fraud Office in London.
  • Acting for commodity company in connection with ongoing SFO and DOJ investigations.
  • Acting for defendant in Singapore following collapse of Barings.
  • Acting on behalf of a FTSE company concerning issues of internal fraud and handling litigation.
  • Acting on behalf of commodity companies in connection with criminal proceedings relating to alleged corruption brought before the courts in Europe.
  • Acting in connection with a major acquisition which required extensive due diligence investigations and analysis regarding assets in West Africa in the oil and gas sector.
  • Extensive advice to companies trading/investing or wanting to trade/invest with/in Iran, Syria, Sudan and Russia in connection with sanctions.
Sectors

Sectors

  • Energy & Natural Resources

  • Trade & Commodities

Services

Services

  • Commercial

  • Commercial Disputes

  • International Arbitration

  • Regulatory & Investigations