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John Whittaker

Partner

People

John Whittaker

Partner

People

John Whittaker

Partner

Full Profile

Acting for some of the world's largest commodity and natural resources companies, John specialises in trading disputes, international economic sanctions and advisory work in relation to a wide range of international trading issues including anti-bribery, corruption, anti-money laundering and compliance. Having worked in this area for over 20 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 practical" and speak highly of his "great strategic overview". (Chambers 2014). In the context of Public International law, John is described as "extremely knowledgeable" (Legal 500, 2014)

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, having spent a substantial part of his career there. 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 2014).

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

  • Metal Bulletin Events’ Annual International Aluminum Conference;
  • The FT Global Commodities Summit; and
  • Insider Intelligence Anti-Corruption in Oil & Gas.
Experience
  • Acting in the English Commercial Court and Court of Appeal and the Baltimore Courts in connection with a major default by a Brazilian based trader, Fluxo Cane, involving numerous trading houses.

  • Acting and representing an Eastern European sovereign state in connection with a dispute under defence contract (ICC Arbitration and subsequent appeal to the Commercial Court).

  • Acting and negotiating in respect of a major dispute between two states.

  • Acting for Russian commodity interests against European buyers (various).

  • Acting for a trading company in connection with investigations undertaken by the special prosecutor of Bosnia Herzegovina and Serious Fraud Office in London.

  • Acting in connection with investments under the ICSID Treaty, against central Asian State.

  • Advising the EFT Group, in which he led a legal team of numerous lawyers, following a threatened prosecution by the SFO.

  • Acting on behalf of a major company concerning issues of internal fraud and handling litigation.

  • 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.

  • Acting and advising on bribery and corruption issues for various companies in various countries.

  • Acting on an internal investigation concerning director benefits arising under various contracts.

  • Extensive advice to companies trading/investing or wanting to trade/invest with/in Iran, Syria, Sudan and Russia in connection with sanctions.

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Expertise

Accomplished lawyer with over 20 years' experience who ‘combines diplomatic skills with strategic insight' Legal 500 2014

Offices & Regions covered