John McKendrick QC
Year of Call:
John is an experienced advocate and advisor with twenty years’ experience of litigation in the United Kingdom and internationally. He has litigated before the highest courts in England and Wales and as an advocate in Scotland. He has appeared in the Supreme Court and HM Privy Council. He has practised in the Caribbean, where he spent two years as the Attorney General of Anguilla. As a fluent Spanish speaker, he has longstanding connections advising clients across Latin America. He was appointed to silk at 39.
The directories have described him in multiple areas of law as: “a brilliant and persuasive advocate”; “one of the best practitioners in the country”; “a ferocious, skilled, efficient advocate, with a wide-ranging practice” and “he …is very persuasive and articulate, and first rate with clients. Exceptionally bright, he can just take instructions and come up with a plan the next morning. He’s a bit of a magician in that way, and he’s brilliant to work with”.
John practises in three main areas: public law; regulatory and commercial law; and internationally.
Domestically, John has an extensive practice before the English and Scottish courts as an advocate. He regularly appears before the Administrative Court, Court of Protection, Family Division, the Tribunal system and the Court of Session.
John is particularly experienced in the fields of mental capacity, mental health, financial services, prisons, procurement, and education law. Prior to taking silk, he was, uniquely, a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel and standing junior counsel to the Scottish Advocate General. He carries out a significant amount of property and affairs and welfare work in the Court of Protection, where he has been involved in many of the landmark cases determining capacity, deprivation of liberty and serious medical treatment.
- Re AB (Termination)  EWCA Civ 1215
- University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust v HB  EWCOP 39 (30 August 2018)
- Harding v Attorney General of Anguilla (Anguilla)  UKPC 22 (30 July 2018)
- DM v Fife Council  ScotCS CSIH_17 (11 March 2016)
- AA, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor  EWHC 1453 (Admin) (20 June 2016)
- Lee-Hirons v Secretary of State for Justice  UKSC 46 (27 July 2016)
- TY (Sri Lanka) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1233 (01 December 2015)
- Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v C & Anor  EWCOP 80 (30 November 2015)
- The Secretary of State for the Home Department v ZP (India)  EWCA Civ 1197 (24 November 2015)
- JM (A Child), Re  EWHC 2832 (Fam) (07 October 2015)
- NRA & Ors, Re  EWCOP 59 (25 September 2015)
- Bhatt, R (On the Application Of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1724 (Admin) (18 June 2015)
- HH v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  ScotCS CSIH_33 (05 May 2015)
Regulatory and Commercial Law
John has several years’ experience of commercial litigation and advisory work, often involving cases with a public law element. He has successfully acted in a number of damages claim involving regulatory decisions which are alleged to have led to commercial losses. He frequently acts in cases involving procurement decision making. He acted for a number of years in a banking dispute brought by two offshore banks against parent banks in Anguilla which involved allegations of fraudulent transfers and arguments involving forum non conveniens.
He is experienced in commercial contractual disputes. Most recently, he advised and acted for a major Nigerian oil company in respect of un-freezing assets; advised a Central American pharmaceutical company on a non-compete agreement; advised shareholders of an off-shore company on a substantial property dispute; advised a leading timeshare company on a multi-party contractual disputes and successfully defended the Pearson Group against a claim for damages for quasi-regulation.
He also acts as an arbitrator/adjudicator in commercial disputes and most recently arbitrated two commercial fishery disputes in the Seychelles and New York. He has a significant interest in ICC arbitration in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Tropical Distributors Company Ltd v Permanent Secretary, Min of Finance
- Elmoalis Ltd v AG, Anguilla
- Re. Pesqueras Echebastar S.A. Indian Ocean Tuna, Adjudication, Seychelles 2018
- Re. PNA Tuna – Adjudication, New York, 2018
- DC Accountancy Services v Education Development International PLC  EWHC 3378 (QB)
John is called to the Bar of two Caribbean jurisdictions and has litigated extensively before the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in a range of commercial, contractual and public law disputes. He has carried out significant advisory work in the region and has worked and advised a number of Governments, the Inter-American Development Bank and major commercial organisations. He carries out a significant amount of transparency, integrity, anti-bribery, anti-AML and compliance work in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is the Latin American contributor for Lissack and Horlick on Bribery. He has worked in Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica with the EU, British Government, IDB, FATF and others.
Appointments & Memberships
- Attorney General, Anguilla, 2016-2018
- Tribunal Judge, 2010-2015
- Independent Adjudicator, Marine Stewardship Council, 2017
- Member of the Anguilla, BVI and Scottish Bars.
- Executive Council Member, Commonwealth Lawyers Association
- Member of the Arbitration and Mediation Panels of the LCIA-DIFC
- Visiting Scholar, City University, Hong Kong, 2019
- Shortlisted for The Lawyer, Barrister of the Year, 2016
- Times Lawyer of the Week, July 2019 and September 2013
Areas of Law
“An excellent advocate who thoroughly researches the law. He’s brilliant with clients and is a pleasure to work with.” Court of Protection, Chambers and Partners 2020
“A really knowledgeable, personable, responsive barrister.” Court of Protection, Chambers and Partners 2020
“He develops rapport with clients, counsel and judges alike.” Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Legal 500 2016
“He can navigate strategic issues with real foresight and direction.” Administrative and Public Law, Legal 500 2016
“Recommended for education cases with a commercial angle.” Education, Legal 500 2016
“Probably one of the best Court of Protection barristers out there.” Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Legal 500 2016
“A brilliant and persuasive advocate.” Administrative and Public Law, Legal 500 2016
“He is especially good at assimilating lots of paperwork very quickly and thoroughly. He has a good style in court and judges like him which is very useful.” Chambers & Partners 2016
“Incredibly good at getting a case down to three, four or five pertinent facts, he cuts out a lot of unrelated stuff.” Chambers & Partners 2016
“Quickly and deservedly becoming known as one of the best practitioners in the country who deals with some of the difficult and sensitive issues in Court of Protection litigation. He comes up with creative ways to overcome the most difficult issues in cases. He is also a formidable advocate who really fights for his client.” Chambers & Partners 2016
“He has a tenacious, no-nonsense approach, and is very persuasive and articulate, and first rate with clients.” “Exceptionally bright, he can just take instructions and come up with a plan the next morning. He’s a bit of a magician in that way, and he’s brilliant to work with.” Chambers & Partners 2015
“He has an excellent grounding in Court of Protection and social welfare cases.” Legal 500 2015
“He has significant experience in regulatory judicial review.” Legal 500 2015
“Recognised for his experience acting for leading independent schools.” Legal 500 2015
“A ferocious, skilled, efficient advocate, with a wide-ranging practice. He’s a pragmatic and capable advocate, who understands schools and is extremely popular with clients.” Chambers & Partners 2014
“A responsive, determined advocate,” “he brings clarity and calmness and is extremely good with difficult parties.” Chambers & Partners 2014
“Strong in Court of Protection cases.” Legal 500 2014
He is “an incredibly articulate advocate with a skill for distilling a dispute down to its key elements,” and “presents cases succinctly but thoroughly.” He is praised for his “particular strength in assimilating large amounts of detail accurately and sometimes at short notice.” Chambers & Partners 2013
“Reliable, innovative, conscientious and very committed to clients.” Chambers & Partners 2013