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L500 2017

John Nicholls QC

Call 1986
Silk 2006


John has acted in numerous high-profile cases, most of which have had an emphasis on professional negligence, fraud/asset recovery, banking or commercial contracts. Those cases have involved him acting for, amongst others, Sting (in litigation arising from the activities of his former accountant), Price Waterhouse UK (in defending proceedings brought by the liquidators of BCCI) and Coopers & Lybrand (Singapore) (in defending proceedings brought by the liquidators of Barings).

Heavy commercial disputes in which John has been instructed in the last few years include the litigation between Cambridge Antibody Technology Ltd and Abbott Laboratories concerning contractual construction and rectification against a complex patent background; the claim brought by Scottish & Newcastle PLC against PricewaterhouseCoopers in respect of the latter's work as management consultants in connection with the "supply chain"; and the contractual claim brought by GlaxoSmithKline against Abbott Laboratories for royalties under certain patent licence agreements. John also acted for RBS in its claim for anti-suit relief against the Highland group of companies.

John's work has seen him engaged in relation to matters as diverse as telecommunications and aspects of sports law. It has also involved him travelling to the Cayman Islands and to Singapore. In addition, he has acted in a number of disciplinary proceedings, including before accountants' disciplinary tribunals (Astra Holdings PLC, Resort Hotels PLC).

Other Notable Reported Cases

In the matter of the interventions into the Solicitors' practices known as Ahmed & Co & others
Money Markets International v London Stock Exchange
Electra v KPMG
Morgan Crucible v Hill Samuel
Zockoll v Mercury Communications Ltd
ISC v Guerin
R v Football Association, ex p Football League

Chancery Bar Association

BA (Cantab) First Class


Chambers UK

Banking & Finance

"Technically minded and very clever." (2014)

"Absolutely fantastic." (2013)

"Has a broad commercial litigation practice with a heavy emphasis on banking and financial service work." (2012)

"He always presents the best possible case and is brilliant at anticipating counter-arguments."

Chambers UK

Chancery: Commercial
"Very clever" and "has a very measured style. You need different gears in a case and he moves through them very smoothly." (2018)
"He's superb and his written work is very good indeed." "He's a terrific lawyer but he's also genuinely user-friendly and a pleasure to work with; a proactive individual who's good with clients." (2017)

"An accomplished commercial litigator."

"A self-effacing man, but a great advocate who leaves nothing to chance and covers all the angles." (2015)

"His reputation in the banking and finance field precedes him, and he remains a highly regarded all-round commercial litigator."

"He is exceptionally good. He is courteous as an opponent and extremely sharp and bright." (2014)

"Very bright and demonstrating real strength." (2013)

"A very nice guy who is user-friendly and displays excellent judgement."

"A lawyer who provides "great service and inspires confidence.""

"Someone you go to in a shot for patent and licence contract disputes." (2012)

Chambers Global

Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery
Recommended (Band 2) (2017)

Recommended (Band 2) (2014)

Legal 500

Company and Partnership
"He has a precise mind and is great to work with." (2017)