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John Whiteoak


John advises on a broad range of general commercial litigation matters, including cross-border disputes, and leads our contentious restructuring group in London.



He specialises in insolvency, corporate fraud and recovery, as well as complex banking and tax disputes and dispute resolution. 

John acts for a blue-chip client list, including hedge funds, administrators, banks, accountants and corporates. His work involves some of the largest and most high-profile insolvency and restructuring disputes in the United Kingdom, including cases with global ramifications. 

In addition, John has advised various investment banks and hedge funds on potential claims arising from failed investments in bond issues, securitisations and investments in structured investment vehicles (SIVs).

John has been praised for his 'very commercial and straight-talking, no-nonsense approach' and being 'energetic and hugely creative' in Legal 500 UK 2021.

John has advised:

  • Nortel Networks UK (in administration) and 18 other European Nortel companies on the global insolvency and sale of the Nortel group, which involved numerous applications to the English, US and Canadian courts, as well as bespoke arbitration proceedings between the global Nortel companies 
  • Oilexco (in administration) on significant and landmark litigation against a creditor, involving litigation in the English High Court, Court of Appeal and the US Bankruptcy Court 
  • Phoenix Venture Holdings, various other companies in the MG Rover group, and present and former directors and officers of companies in the MG Rover group as part of the ongoing investigation by the UK Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (now the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) into the collapse of the car company in early 2005 
  • Thames River Capital and GML on a successful high court litigation against the majority shareholders of First Investment Bank, a Bulgarian bank