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John D. Magnin

Practice Area Leader - Litigation
Fax +44.(0)20.7648.9001
Mr. Magnin is a partner with over 30 years’ experience in international arbitration, commercial litigation and other forms of complex dispute resolution, often with a significant international dimension. Much of his time is spent advising clients on mitigating risk, and avoiding or preparing for litigation or arbitration.

His experience includes: cross-border joint-venture disputes; acting for, and responding to activist investors; investment and transaction-related claims; boardroom disputes; proceedings under Companies, Insolvency and Financial Services legislation; investment, banking and financial services disputes; gas, especially LNG, and a variety of trading disputes; agency and distribution disputes; and sport and media related matters.

Chambers 2008: "excellent judgment"
Chambers 2009: "business-like and practical"
Legal 500 2010: highlights "the sheer quality and depth of his advice"
Legal 500 2011: "strategically brilliant"
GAR 100 (5th Ed.): "a first-rate tactician"
Chambers 2014: "very good at mapping out the course and planning the litigation"
Legal 500 2015: “great strategic vision”
Legal 500 2017: “a strong leader”, and “knows when to get his hands dirty on clients’ behalf”
Chambers 2017: “able to provide consistent advice on delicate or tough matters”
GAR 100 (12th Ed): did an “excellent job” in a case that was “key to the [client’s] business”
Legal 500 2020: “exceptionally easy to work with and pragmatic”

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Head of Litigation, Nicholson Graham & Jones (2002 - 2004)
  • Partnership Board, Nicholson Graham & Jones (2002 - 2004)
  • Money Laundering Reporting Officer, London (1994 - 2014)
  • Management Committee, K&L Gates (2005 - 2016)
  • Global co-Practice Area Leader for Dispute Resolution and Litigation, K&L Gates (2005 - present)
Over 30 years’ experience in international arbitration, including:
  • ICC arbitrations concerning:
    • investment structure involving issues of English, Sharia and Swiss law
    • investments in India
    • sale of power plant from Baltic to India
    • termination of distributorships
    • participation arrangements for major sporting events
  • LCIA arbitrations relating to:
    • financial services business in Kazakhstan
    • supply of oil shipments to Kamchatka
    • rights connected with sporting event
    • rights under energy supply agreement
  • UNCITRAL arbitrations relating to:
    • Russian oil shipments
    • LNG project in Africa
  • Fast-track arbitrations for:
    • noteholders in a structured investment vehicle
    • policyholder under contingency event insurance
  • Ad hoc arbitrations concerning:
    • a landmark building
    • reinsurance disputes
  • Gas/LNG price review arbitrations
  • Commodity trading arbitrations involving:
    • sugar trading
    • cotton trading finance
  • Non-ferrous metals arbitrations involving:
    • quality of alumina supplies
    • economic effects of downturn in gallium market
  • Litigation relating to international arbitrations, Shashoua -v- Sharma
Over 30 years’ experience of litigation in England and internationally, including:
  • Challenging jurisdiction, Idemia -v- Decatur and Ors, [2019] EWHC 946
  • Preserving confidentiality of data, Racing Partnership -v- Done Bros and Ors [2019] EWHC 1156
  • Resisting security for costs, Ning and China International Mining v- Dearing and Ors [2018] EWHC 1102
  • Pre-action disclosure, Attheraces -v- Ladbrokes [2017] EWHC 431
  • Brazilian defence contractor discharging an injunction obtained by Israeli defence systems company concerning a Brazilian Air Force project, Rafael Advance Defence Systems -v- Mectron Engenharia [2017] EWHC 597
  • Litigation funders successfully resisting security for costs in the RBS Rights Issue Litigation [2017] EWHC 1217
  • For the Note Trustee in CSAM -v- Titan and Others (x4), Financial List trial concerning Class X Noteholder rights in securitisation structure, [2016] EWHC 969 (first instance) and [2016] EWHC Civ 1265 (Court of Appeal)
  • Non-executive directors in successful defence of disqualification proceedings in the Farepak litigation [www.judiciary.gov.uk/media/judgments/2012/farepak-judges-statement]
  • Investment manager in recovery of its performance fee in Proteus -v- SAPRO [2011] EWHC 768
  • For China International Mining in unfair prejudice proceedings leading to boardroom change at Mwana Africa
  • “WWE” striking out $80m claim by World Wide Fund for Nature, [2008] 1 All ER 74
  • Freezing order, anti suit injunction and determining law of the arbitration agreement: Shashoua -v- Sharma [2008] 2 All ER 74
  • KMRC -v- TCC: joint-venture dispute (“It’s lawyers at dawn in the wild east”, The Guardian, 1 March 2000)
  • Sheikh Fahad -v- Grupo Torras [1999] EWHC 300 (Comm): multi-jurisdictional fraud claims
  • Euroalliages -v- Commission: discontinuance of anti-dumping duties on ferro silicon; ECJ [2003] ECR II - 2359
  • Privy Council appeal, $570m decision in Central Bank of Ecuador -v- Conticorp [2015] UKPC 11
Joint-venture, transactional and boardroom disputes, including:
  • Joint venture disputes involving assets in:
    • Kazakhstan
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Kurdistan
    • India
    • Nepal
    • Ghana
  • “Unfair prejudice” proceedings resulting in a nine-figure buy-out of venture capital client
  • Activist investor dispute involving proceedings before the High Court, the Takeover Panel and the Takeover Appeal Board
  • Claims arising from acquisitions and disposals:
    • successful defence of £43m warranty claims
    • advising on favourable resolution of warranty claims on sale of investment management business
    • advising on favourable resolution of warranty claims on purchase of telecoms business
    • recovery of $18m through completion accounts expert determination
  • Advising on boardroom disputes involving severance and bad leaver provisions
  • Advising investment manager on limited partnership departures
  • Advising on limited partner disputes involving substantial real estate assets
Finance and financial services disputes:
  • Litigation over:
    • structured finance transactions
    • bills of exchange
    • letters of credit
    • promissory notes
    • security, guarantees and indemnities
  • Defending CFD broker against claims brought by customers alleging mis-selling, churning and provision of false information
  • Defending forex broker against claims brought by purported customers over the operation of sub accounts
  • Defending futures broker against claims brought by customers over the operation of stop loss instructions
  • Defending stock broker against claims brought by customers concerning inter-action of trading and loan accounts
  • Advising stock broker on regulatory investigation into trading execution practices
  • Advising stock broker on challenge to regulator's refusal to grant authorization
  • Advising investment bank on regulatory investigation into identity/disclosure of ultimate beneficial ownership of customer
  • Advising investment bank on regulatory investigation into alleged concert party involving a fund promoted by the bank
  • Advising investment manager on regulatory investigation into alleged concert party in takeover of listed company
  • Advising promoter of investment fund on regulatory investigation into alleged discrepancies in marketing materials
  • Advising life insurer in mis-selling proceedings
  • Injunction proceedings involving departing team in financial services sector
Sport and media
  • Advice to international cricket boards on disputes with:
    • Players
    • Promoters
    • Sponsors
    • Broadcaster
  • Advising on the postponement and re-staging of the 34th Ryder Cup matches, and on insurance issues affecting the matches
  • Advising Ryder Cup Limited on governance issues
  • Advising PGA European Tour on governance and accounting issues
  • PGA European Tour -v- KLO re Dubai Desert Classic
  • Acting for The Racing Partnership Limited and Attheraces Limited in litigation concerning data rights (including [2019] EWHC 1156 and [2017] EWHC 431)
  • Acting for Press Association in the British Horseracing Board/bookmakers litigation concerning data rights [2005] EuLER 924
  • Acting for ISP facing withdrawal of telecom network services and obtaining urgent injunctive relief to maintain services
  • Acting for European telecoms company on its withdrawal from joint ventures in Asia
  • Acting for major telecoms company on disputes over use and deployment of infrastructure assets
  • Copyright licensing disputes:
    • K-Tel -v- Tring re licensing of sound recordings
    • Palan -v- Nosebag re “Video Killed the Radio Star”
  • Acting for then-Chairman of Sheffield Wednesday FC in successful defence of libel action brought by Ken Bates
  • British Newspaper Printing Co -v- Kelly [1989] IRLR 222; Mirror Group Newspapers -v- Gothard [1988] ICR 729