John McElroy is a commercial dispute resolution expert. He has extensive experience dealing with complex and often high value commercial litigation and international arbitration matters, with a particular emphasis on financial services disputes.
John has acted in all divisions of the English High Court and his cases regularly involve international elements. He has been involved in LCIA, ICC, LME, LMAA and ad hoc arbitrations - involving parties in various different jurisdictions - and in various ICSID arbitrations. He has also acted in cases before the Courts of the British Virgin Islands.
John is currently acting on a variety of commercial litigation matters ranging from High Court employment disputes to breach of warranty claims, insolvency disputes and international arbitrations. He has also acted on intellectual property, trusts, property and tax disputes. Most recently, he has been instructed on matters arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic involving issues such as force majeure and frustration.
He was the partner responsible for the Stuart Wall v. The Royal Bank of Scotland plc case, recognised by The Lawyer’s Top 20 Litigation of 2017. He was also responsible for the Premier Motor Auctions case against PwC and Lloyds Bank, similarly recognised by the The Lawyer in their Top 20 cases of 2018.
In 2016, John was the lead lawyer representing the successful claimants on the first case to reach a judgment in the London High Court’s new Financial List. He has also acted in regulatory investigations involving both the Financial Conduct Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Most recently, John led the ground-breaking claim acting for New Balance against Liverpool FC arising out of a sponsorship agreement related to the provision of playing kit and other licensed products.
John’s diverse client base include major domestic and international companies including clients in the sports, travel and retail industries, as well as individuals’ commercial interests.
He also has extensive experience of acting for and against groups of claimants, ranging from defending clients on claims being brought by groups of individuals, to advising groups of bondholders and institutional shareholders against major international banks and corporates.
During his time at Hausfeld, John has worked on the following cases:
- New Balance Athletics, Inc v The Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Ltd  EWHC 2837 (Comm). A high-profile and time-sensitive claim against Liverpool FC arising out of a sponsorship agreement related to the provision of playing kit and other licensed products.
- Dr Philip Comberg v VivoPower International Services Limited & VivoPower International Plc. Acting for the Claimant, in long-running proceedings issued in the Queen’s Bench Division for repudiatory breach of his service agreement and the breach of three other agreements entered into with the Defendants.
- Premier Motorauctions Ltd (in liquidation) & Another v PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Lloyds Bank plc. Instructed by the joint liquidators in relation to these high profile and high value (£50 million) claims for professional negligence, breach of tortious / fiduciary duties, misrepresentation, causing loss by unlawful means and conspiracy to injure.
- Wall v Royal Bank of Scotland plc. Acted for Stuart Wall (owner of Opal Property Group) in a £670 million interest rate swap mis-selling claim against RBS, alleging the bank caused the failure of Wall’s business.
- A variety of confidential matters including LMAA, LCIA, LME and ad hoc arbitrations as well as various commercial disputes resolved in the pre-action stages.
Prior to joining Hausfeld, John worked on a large number of cases, including the following:
- GSO Credit v Barclays Bank plc  1 All ER (Comm) 421.
- Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation Fund & Others v Novo Banco SA.
- The Hut Group Limited v Oliver Nobahar-Cookson & Another  EWHC 3842 (QB).
- Kesabo & Others v African Barrick Gold plc & Another.
What Others Say
John McElroy impresses with his broad-based expertise in banking litigation. He represents clients in a variety of claims brought against both retail and commercial banks concerning alleged misconduct. "He is excellent and incredibly bright." "John understands the issues very quickly and is a pleasure to work with." - Banking Litigation – Mainly Claimant, Chambers UK 2021
John McElroy acts for clients, including investors and leading corporates, on a wide array of high-value and complex disputes related to the banking industry. Sources are impressed by the strength of his practice and note that "he is very good at dealing with clients." - Banking Litigation – Mainly Claimant, Chambers UK 2020
John McElroy is cultivating a strong reputation for handling complex banking disputes often relating to claims of breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation and negligence. Clients say: "It always felt very much that he was in control of what was going on – John struck a good balance between delegating to his team but also understanding the detail and being able to get into any important issues.” - Banking Litigation – Mainly Claimant, Chambers UK 2019
Ranked as 'Next Generation Partner': “John McElroy is a very experienced litigator who is nevertheless, gentle, composed and measured. [...] Each of these is unusually easy to deal with and always works hard.” - Banking Litigation: Investment and Retail, 2021
John is listed as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ – Banking Litigation: Investment and Retail, 2020
‘John McElroy is knowledgeable, commercial and very easy to work with‘. - Commercial Litigation, 2020
“John has demonstrated himself to be a key individual, who is able to effectively worth with others in the team and is adroit at balancing detail with an overview of objectives.” - Banking litigation: Investment and Retail, 2019
“John is fantastic with clients.” – Commercial Litigation, 2019
John McElroy is praised for his ‘feel for the ebb and flow of litigation and the timing of playing one’s strongest cards’ and his ‘acute legal mind with sound commercial awareness.’ - Commercial Litigation, 2018
Legal Practice Course Diploma, Nottingham Law School
LLB., Common and Civil Law with French, The Queen’s University of Belfast and L’Université de Rennes 1, France
Solicitor - England and Wales, 2005
Affiliations & Memberships
Executive Committee Member - London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA)
Member - Law Society of England and Wales
Member - Cambridge Forums (English - American Litigation)
Member - Arbitration Club, Financial Sector Branch
Hausfeld Firm Representative - Commercial Litigators Forum (CLF)
Member – Irish International Business Network
News & Press
"Class actions set for certification hearings in wake of Mastercard ruling" - Litigation Futures, 14 December 2020
"Merricks defeats Mastercard in Supreme Court certification battle" - CDR Magazine (subscription only), 11 December 2020
"FCA impotence over RBS exposes gap in lending regs" - Law360 (subscription only), 2 August 2018
Recent publications that John has contributed to can be found in the respective news and press sections below. In addition:
"If the FCA won't regulate bad behaviour by banks such as RBS, then who will?" - City AM, 4 September 2018
"In Search of Security - Is ATE still adequate as security for costs?" - Litigation Funding Magazine, 2018, co-authored with David Lawne