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Herbert Smith Freehills commercial litigator Adam Johnson QC has been appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge, it has been announced.

Adam's appointment, by The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, is a four year-term and was made upon the recommendation of the independent Judicial Appointments Commission. He is expected to sit for approximately 30 days a year.

The role of Deputy High Court Judge is reserved for those who have the experience and expertise to deal with very complex cases and will include work which would otherwise be undertaken by full-time High Court Judges.

The news comes just after Adam was appointed to Queen’s Counsel in 2017, for excellence in both written and oral advocacy before the higher courts and arbitration tribunals. 

Adam, who has spent 30 years with Herbert Smith Freehills after joining as an articled clerk in 1988, 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 UK, 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.

Recent assignments include acting for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and four of its former directors in the litigation arising out of RBS's 2008 Rights Issue, and for Pilkington in follow-on proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) arising out of the so-called "car glass cartel". 

Adam joined Herbert Smith Freehills' Advocacy Unit in 2006 and is also vice–chair of the firm's Global Pro-Bono and Citizenship Council. He 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.

Commenting on his appointment, Adam said: “It is both an honour and privilege to be appointed a Deputy High Court Judge I am grateful to the many friends who have helped along the way, and most of all for the support and encouragement of everyone at Herbert Smith Freehills. I look forward very much to taking on this new role".  

Justin D'Agostino, Global Head of Dispute Resolution and Managing Partner for Asia said: “This is another prestigious award for Adam and we really are very proud of him. This is a richly deserved professional appointment for him and it is also a tribute to the strength and excellence in advocacy which we have nurtured for many years.”

Adam will continue in practice at Herbert Smith Freehills, whilst undertaking his judicial responsibilities.

About Herbert Smith Freehills

Operating from over 27 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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