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John Wardell QC

Call: 1979    QC: 2002

+44 (0)20 7306 0102jwardell@wilberforce.co.uk

Practice Overview

John is ranked as a ‘leading silk’ in the Commercial, Chancery Commercial, Civil Fraud, Commercial Dispute Resolution and Professional Negligence categories in Chambers & Partners UK 2020, and in the Commercial Litigation, Company, Civil Fraud, Offshore and Professional Negligence categories in The Legal 500 UK 2020. John was shortlisted by Chambers & Partners for commercial silk of the year in 2019.

The Chambers & Partners 2020 edition describes John as “a very strong, forensic advocate who gets on well with clients and speaks a language they understand”. “John is very responsive, incredibly thorough and an extremely commanding advocate.” He is “very, very hard working”, “his advocacy is impeccably well prepared and his cross-examinations are stellar”.

In The Legal 500 2020 edition John is described as “sharp, relentless and fierce, John has a frightening ability to recall incredible levels of detail”. He is “unflappable, impressive and with the ability to really engage with senior judges on their level”. “He has a very lucid mind and is extremely good on his feet”, he is “an excellent advocate”.

John has an extremely broad and varied commercial disputes practice. Most of his cases are heard in the High Court and International Arbitral Tribunals. John also regularly appears in offshore jurisdictions (including BVI, Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos, Singapore, Hong Kong and many European countries).

In the last five years, he has spent an increasing amount of time on complex fraud claims, many of which involve company law issues. The highlight of his practice during the last year was his comprehensive victory before the Supreme Court in Takhar v Gracefield Developments Limited where a panel of 7 judges overturned received wisdom that a litigant wishing to overturn a judgment obtained by fraud  needed to show that he could not have discovered the fraud by reasonable diligence.

Many of John’s commercial cases involve claims for breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty.

John also undertakes professional negligence and indemnity work for both claimants and defendants. He has acted for and against a wide range of professionals, including solicitors, barristers, surveyors, financial advisers, accountants and actuaries.

John immerses himself in all aspects of his cases. He easily assumes the role of a leader prepared to back his own judgment, but is also a collaborative team player. John is an extremely good advocate, adept at modifying his tone and approach to the tribunal and at sensing how a Judge is seeing the case. He consistently impresses with thorough preparation and focused and effective cross-examination. He is rock solid on the law, reliable on paperwork and is described by solicitors as a joy to work with. What most impresses is his unwavering commitment to his cases, and to his clients.