John Fordham


A very experienced litigator, John has represented clients in a full range of commercial and civil disputes. He acts for states and other sovereign bodies, companies and individuals, as either claimant or defendant. The majority of John's work is international in nature. Clients value his experience and strategic and tactical advice.

John is head of our commercial litigation practice group and described as "the heartbeat of the team" (Chambers Global 2016). His extensive litigation experience covers the full range of commercial activity, including banking and finance, insurance, professional negligence and joint venture/shareholder/director/partnership. John is also a practising mediator (accredited by CEDR) and sits as an arbitrator.

The Chambers 100 guide to the 100 best business lawyers in the UK stated that John is renowned for his expertise in high-profile contentious matters with client commentary saying “John is probably one of the most respected solicitors in the City and rightly so. He has great presence, experience and commercial savvy. He is also a very approachable and easy person to deal with.” Peers "have a huge respect for his entrepreneurial success and technical legal ability" (Chambers Global 2016). John has recently been inducted to the 2018 Legal 500 Hall of fame as a result of his continued recognition by the directory.

He is  also highly regarded in the field of fraud and asset recovery, having handled numerous freezing injunctions and disclosure orders for claimants and defendants, including the award-winning case of Westminster v Dame Shirley Porter. John’s work includes representing clients involved in investigations and prosecutions by the Financial Conduct Authority and Serious Fraud Office. 

Stephenson Harwood’s commercial litigation head John Fordham is 'an excellent mediator who exudes both gravitas and empathy during mediations; he facilitates discussion at an appropriate level and achieves settlements that at the outset seem impossible.

The Legal 500 UK 2020