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John Ribeiro

John Ribeiro

Senior Associate, Solicitor Advocate

John is an international arbitration specialist focusing on the pharmaceutical, energy and technology sectors.



John is an associate specialising in international commercial arbitration with experience of advising clients in arbitration under the ICC, LCIA, JCAA, AAA and UNCITRAL Rules. He holds a PhD in international commercial arbitration and has a particular focus on the pharmaceuticals sector, as well as advising Japanese business conglomerates and technology companies. Having trained with the firm, John has been based in Herbert Smith Freehills' Tokyo office for five years, and is currently on a two-year secondment to our London office. 

In addition to his dispute resolution specialism, John has spent time on secondment to the legal department of a major Japanese entertainment company, advising on general corporate matters. He has published in both English and Japanese on international commercial arbitration, international trade and international IP infringement. He is a founding member of the Young Japan Association of Arbitrators, and an editor of the World Arbitration Reporter, Japanese Yearbook of International Law and Doing Business In Japan.

John's experience includes advising: 

  • a Japanese pharmaceutical company in its anticipated ICC arbitration in New York, in a licensing dispute with an American pharmaceutical company with regards to issues arising from the termination of a licensing agreement for the development, commercialisation and distribution of a medical device in Japan 
  • a Japanese pharmaceutical company in its anticipated ICC arbitration in a dispute with an American pharmaceutical company on issues arising from the non-renewal of a supply agreement for the active pharmaceutical ingredient in medication
  • the Japanese subsidiary of a European pharmaceutical company engaged in ICC proceedings concerning the termination of a co-promotion agreement
  • a Middle Eastern company in a JCAA arbitration against a multi-national auto company, on issues arising out of breaches and termination of long-term distribution agreements
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on the global merger of the thermal power plant units of MHI and Hitachi, with particular focus on the transfer of part of Hitachi's German business, and most of Hitachi's South African business, into a joint venture held by MHI and Hitachi




John holds a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honour from Queen Mary University of London and a PhD on procedure in international commercial arbitration at Osaka University. He is fluent in Japanese and is admitted to practise in England and Wales.