John Brisby is a seasoned litigator, with substantial experience of heavy trials in both the Chancery Division and the Commercial Court, and is known as a formidable cross-examiner in court. He enjoys working with other people, and is a good team player.
Over the years, John Brisby has been extensively involved in heavy litigation arising out of large-scale corporate collapses such as Barlow Clowes, British and Commonwealth, Maxwell, BCCI, Barings, Railtrack and Enron. More recently, he has been involved in major litigation and arbitrations relating to disputes originating from the former Soviet Union, and also in litigation resulting from the Madoff collapse.
On the corporate side, he has been involved in some of the leading cases dealing with the rights of minority shareholders; whilst on the financial services side, he has acted on behalf of the regulators and also on behalf of their members (particularly insurance companies) dealing both with disciplinary and advisory matters. He represented Standard Life during a 4-week trial in the Commercial Court of that company’s claim to recover compensation paid out to mortgage endowment policyholders from its brokers.
John Brisby has appeared in well over 100 reported cases.
Areas of expertise
- “Tenacious in court, he will always fight the client’s corner. You feel that the client is putting their best foot forward when he is on the job.”
- “A similarly obdurate courtroom performer, John Brisby KC is credited as a ‘real fighter, who likes to get stuck in.’ Being also a deputy High Court judge, he understands the view from the Bench, and tailors his addresses accordingly. His practice encompasses insolvency, corporate recovery, civil fraud and company law matters.”
Commercial Dispute Resolution
- “John Brisby KC is endorsed as an ‘excellent trial advocate.’ He is a man to have on your side.”
- “Strategically phenomenal. On his feet, he gives the impression that he only has a general grasp of things, but he then asks a killer question that gets straight to the matter. ” “A precocious and formidable advocate.”
- “He has consistently been able to retain the minutiae of a matter and recall it at the right moment when constructing arguments on paper or in the courtroom.” “He’s strategically phenomenal and has a unique style on his feet. He gives the impression that he’s got a general grasp of things but not totally on top of the detail and then asks the killer question that gets straight to the matter.”
- ‘John is a ferocious cross-examiner and is on top of the details of a case very quickly.’
- “John Brisby KC has ‘the ability to provide inspired solutions to extremely complex problems.’ Very active and highly respected, he recently acted in a claim concerning allegations of share dilution of Dynamo Kiev FC’s holding company.”
Banking & Finance
- “John Brisby KC is well known for his skill and experience as a litigator and is ‘liked enormously’ by regulatory bodies and companies alike. He is a particular favourite of insurance companies, who admire his “combative but constructive” contributions.”
- “A most exceptionally-talented Chancery silk. “
- “Sources reserve special mention for John Brisby KC on account of his regular appearance in long-running civil fraud matters, and his ‘responsive, personable and client-friendly service ethic.’ He recently acted for Standard Life in a £50 million claim concerning a broker’s alleged misselling of endowment mortgages.
Insolvency & Restructuring
- “John Brisby KC is ‘a real fighter who is prepared to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in.’ He frequently acts in relation to insolvency and corporate recovery matters.”
Career & Appointments
John Brisby is a member of the Chancery Bar Association and the Commercial Bar Association. In 2004, he was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge. He is also a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn.
John Brisby has been instructed in major cases before the Courts of the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Bermuda, Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands. He has also acted as supporting counsel in a major company dispute in the Royal Court of Guernsey.
Education & Awards
- MA (Oxon).
- Scholar of Christ Church, Oxford. Mansfield Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn.
What the Directories Say
Chambers & Partners
John Brisby KC – 4 Stone Buildings ‘John is a ferocious cross-examiner and is on top of the details of a case very quickly. ‘
Leading Silk Ranked: Tier 1 (Legal500 Company 2024)
John Brisby KC –4 Stone Buildings ‘John is a ferocious cross-examiner and is on top of the details of a case very quickly. Works well with all members of the legal team, both senior and junior.’
Leading Silk Ranked: Tier 2 (Legal500 Commercial Litigation 2024)
John Brisby KC –4 Stone Buildings ‘A most exceptionally-talented Chancery silk. ‘ Leading Silk Ranked: Tier 2 (Legal500 Fraud-Civil 2024)
John Brisby KC-4 Stone Buildings ‘John’s oral advocacy and cross examination are par excellence. He pitches his argument to perfection and wins.’
Leading Silk Ranked: Tier 4 (Legal500 Banking and Finance 2023)
John Brisby KC-4 Stone Buildings ‘Clever. Gets on well with clients. Works well as part of a team. Really goes into battle as an advocate. ‘
Leading Silk Ranked Tier 2 (Legal500 Commercial Litigation 2023)
John Brisby KC -4 Stone Buildings ‘He’s a fighter and not afraid to ruffle feathers or be unpopular: he has the ear of the court. ‘
Leading Silk Ranked: Tier 1 (Legal500 Company 2023)
John Brisby KC -4 Stone Buildings ‘Immense ability and a hugely persuasive advocate with a wide range of international litigation skills. ‘
Leading Silk Ranked: Tier 2 (Legal500 Fraud-Civil 2023)
“He is popular with clients due to his raw ability, straight-talking approach and ability to get results. He also has an impressive eye for detail, and retains and recalls the smallest points on a case at just the right time”
“Fun to work with and one of the best cross-examiners in the business”
“He is a man who will always fight the client’s corner”
“He comes up with innovative arguments, is effective in court and has the respect of the Chancery Division judges”
“He’s everything you want in a KC -he really fights the tough battles. His cross-examination is known to be fearsome.”
“A strong advocate who will fight a case creatively and with the client’s interests at heart. He has a tigerish determination.”
“He shows ingenuity and is a great advocate”
“Exceedingly tenacious and a fantastically accomplished cross-examiner”
“He’s brilliant. You can’t beat him for quality”
“He is an exceptional and highly tenacious silk; an honest and charming man who is a joy to work with and who gets the best out of the team and the client”
“John develops a great rapport with clients over the life of a claim due to his raw ability to get results. He has an impressive knack of retaining and recalling the smallest detail of a case at just the right time.”
“An able and strong advocate”
“He is a smart guy and tough in court”
“He’s brilliant at handling particularly tricky customers. He’s fantastic at focusing on them and not letting them go off-point”
“A very effective advocate”
He has an “incredibly sharp mind” and offers “advice that is clear and invariably right”
“A huge wealth of experience”
“A very impressive advocate. He’s someone who has a real presence in court and is very fast on his feet”
“Excellent trial advocate”
“The ability to provide inspired solutions to extremely complex problems”
“Responsive, personable and client-friendly service ethic”
” A real fighter who is prepared to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in”
(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2
‘A most exceptionally-talented Chancery silk. ‘
Chancery-Commercial Band 2
An admired commercial chancery practitioner, who is particularly strong on questions of company law. He is comfortable litigating such disputes in both UK and offshore courts and is a regular in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the Isle of Man, among others.
Strengths: “Tenacious in court, he will always fight the client’s comer. You feel that the client is putting their best foot forward when he is on the job.”
Recent work: Represented former partners of law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf against a claim for repayments by Barclays Bank following the firm’s collapse.
Commercial Dispute Resolution Band 2
Highly accomplished advocate with a strong reputation for the quality of his representation in relation to a wide range of commercial practice areas. He is especially experienced at handling litigation arising out of the collapse of large corporate entities and in dealing with matters concerning minority shareholder rights.
Strengths: “Strategically phenomenal. On his feet, he gives the impression that he only has a general grasp of things, but he then asks a killer question that gets straight to the matter.” “A precocious and formidable advocate.”
Recent work: Instructed by claimant group Peak Hotels and Resorts in its high-profile USD400 million dispute with a number of joint venture partners concerning the luxury hotel complex, Aman Resorts.
“A ferociously bright and a combative advocate”. (Commercial)
Company Band 2
Highly regarded for his predominantly contentious practice, John Brisby QC is frequently seen in substantial shareholder disputes and directors’ duties claims. He has acted in major cases in various jurisdictions including the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands.
Strengths: “He has consistently been able to retain the minutiae of a matter and recall it at the right moment when constructing arguments on paper or in the courtroom.” “He’s strategically phenomenal and has a unique style on his feet. He gives the impression that he’s got a general grasp of things but not totally on top of the detail and then asks the killer question that gets straight to the matter.”
Recent work: Acted alongside Richard Hill QC for the claimant in Peak Hotels and Resorts v Tarek Investments & Others, a high-profile shareholder dispute concerning the multimillion-pound hotel group.
“Really rolls his sleeves up and has an exceptional knowledge of company law”
“A good advocate, who is willing to fight a comer” (Company)
Financial Services Band 3
An experienced litigator who has provided quality representation of late particularly to regulators as well as insurance companies.
Strengths: “He is bright, he tends to think outside the box and approach things from a slightly different angle which, in the sort of work we do (complex financial transactions), is a big benefit.”
“An extremely experienced advocate, who is not afraid to argue difficult points.” (Financial services)
Fraud: Civil Band 3
A highly skilled practitioner with considerable experience of handling heavyweight fraud trials. He is particularly noted for his ability to argue difficult cases.
Strengths: “He is the complete package – he’s clever, delivers good arguments and is an engaging advocate.” “A really smart fellow. He is always ready to fight for the best outcome for his client.”
Recent work: Advised Peak Hotels and Resorts Limited, in relation to several claims brought against it arising out of a bitter shareholder dispute.
“Passionate in advocating his clients case”. (Fraud-civil)
Restructuring/Insolvency Band 3
An expert in all insolvency-related matters who makes frequent appearances in the UK Commercial Courts, as well as in offshore courts in Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands. He is noted for being a “very bold barrister who is quite prepared to think the unthinkable, and persevere in pursuing it.”
Strengths: “He is a go-to barrister for situations where you need imagination and a tough approach.”
Recent work: Advised the respondent Unitech Limited regarding an arbitration award granted to the claimants, as well as in relation to the appeal of an order which sanctioned the appointment of receivers.
“A ferocious advocate who never gives up” (Insolvency – Leading Silks) “A highly sought-after silk”
“Imaginative and courageous; a silk for a difficult case”
“Imaginative and courageous”
“Incredible attention to detail and anticipates every point so is therefore very well prepared”