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Herbert Smith Freehills commercial litigator Adam Johnson has been appointed Queen's Counsel (QC).

Adam, who has spent nearly 30 years with Herbert Smith Freehills after joining as an articled clerk in 1988, has been awarded Queen’s Counsel for excellence in both written and oral advocacy before the higher courts and arbitration tribunals. 

Adam has carved out a successful career with the firm and specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, in particular cross-border litigation and cases involving the conflict of laws. 

He has acted on a number of high-profile matters including for clients such as:  the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), in asset freezing proceedings arising out of the collapse of AremisSoft Corporation;  Arthur Andersen, in relation to matters arising out of the collapse of Enron;  Anglian Water (AWG), in its high profile fraud claim arising out of its takeover of Morrison plc; and US bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC), in High Court proceedings arising out of the collapse of the German bank, IKB.

In the past year he has also acted on several large-scale cases including for Pilkington in follow-on proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) arising out of the so-called "car glass cartel", and he is acting for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and four of its former directors in the litigation arising out of RBS's 2008 Rights Issue.

Adam joined Herbert Smith Freehills' Global Advocacy Unit in 2006, and now heads-up the group with Tom  Leech QC. Adam is  also vice–chair of the firm's Global Pro-Bono and Citizenship Council, is a former Trustee of the British Institute of International & Comparative Law and a Trustee of pro Bono Community, a charity offering training and education to pro-bono volunteers.

Justin D'Agostino, Global Head of Dispute Resolution and joint Managing Partner for Asia and Australia, said: 

“The appointment to the rank of Queen’s Counsel is a prestigious and honourable award and we are very proud of Adam for receiving this richly deserved professional appointment. It is a reflection not only of his outstanding legal talent and professional competence, but also the esteem in which he is held by his peers, colleagues and clients.  It also a tribute to the strength and excellence in advocacy which we have nurtured for many years.”

Commenting on his appointment Adam said: 

“It is a great honour to be appointed to the rank of Queen’s Counsel. I am grateful to many friends who have helped along the way, and most of all for the support and encouragement of my team at Herbert Smith Freehills."

The distinguished award of Queen’s Counsel is presented for excellence in advocacy in the higher courts of England and Wales. Appointments are made by Her Majesty the Queen on the advice of the Lord Chancellor. This year’s ceremony will take place on 13 February 2017.

About Herbert Smith Freehills

Operating from over 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial services.

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