Shortlisted lawyers


John Flint

Manchester, United Kingdom

8 Testimonials
6 Case studies
3 Articles


Practice Areas:

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Contract Disputes
  • Defamation
  • Media
  • Partnership Disputes
  • Professional Negligence
Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP is a national law firm with over 500 lawyers and support staff (including over 85 partners) working from offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton. The firm was established in the South West in 1888 and we are proud of our strong heritage.

We are client-led; a strategic resolve which has resulted in our earning of a strong reputation in sectors such as real estate and construction, retail, sport, social housing, agriculture, renewable energy and private client. Working closely with our clients to provide tailored solutions for their particular situation is paramount at Clarke Willmott. We invest time and energy into developing strong client relationships in order to add real value and achieve positive results.

I am a partner and fixed share member of the practice within the team based in Manchester city centre. My background is in commercial litigation managing the service delivery to several major commercial clients. I care passionately about my client’s interests, and work tirelessly to promote them and obtain the best possible result for them. I have been lucky enough to have been involved in some high profile and complex disputes during my career. My experience allows me to be objective in my assessment of the strength of any case and the likely outcomes, and I will promote settlement or negotiation whenever I think that is the best course. I am never afraid to challenge my clients when I think they are pursuing the wrong course. I am personable, humorous and easy to work with, and ensure that I am always available at short notice by phone or email to respond to my clients needs. I am also acutely aware of the costs of litigation and will always keep my clients fully informed of any likely costs before they are incurred.

Previous Employment

Linder Myers LLP2014 - 2015

Partner Dispute Resolution

Ford & Warren1996 - 2014

Partner Dispute Resolution

Forbes & Partners1994 - 1996

Trainee Solicitor


I have considerable experience dealing with complex high profile commercial litigation disputes, particularly Director, Shareholder and Partnership disputes, claims against professional advisors, defamation, complex contractual disputes, insolvency litigation, disclosure of confidential information, High Court injunctions and asset recovery.

My cases include representing the successful defendant in the Court of Appeal test case of Ketley v Gilbert (2001) which turned in the interpretation of consumer credit legislation, the high profile defamation case of Levi v Bates (2008) and the complex high value shareholder dispute of Penny v Montagu Private Equity (2012).




1993 - 1994




1990 - 1993




1993 - 1994

Legal Practice Course


Feedback from Simon Myerson QC

Barrister (Queens Counsel) undertaking fraud and regulatory based work in both criminal and civil jurisdictionsJohn has instructed me regularly in the last year or so. I find him efficient, reliable and knowledgeable. His instincts are good and he really knows his case. He is also a pleasure to work with.

Feedback from Giles Maynard-Connor, Barrister

John is hard working Solicitor whose dedication to his clients' cases is all too evident. He is firm but always fair and his personable attitude to clients and other members of his legal team, including Counsel, is a most welcome bonus.

Feedback from Jeremy Barnett, Head of Regulatory, St Pauls Chambers, Leeds

John is high very experienced and highly efficent commercial solicitor. He has been able to master a complex case with ease, and has built up an excellent relationship with the members of the team including expert accountants, IT, supply chain and other professionals.

Feedback from Helen Falconer, Managing Director

I find John a pleasure to work with. He's professional and listens to what people require of him. 

Client, Shareholder Dispute

"Without his advice we would probably be no nearer to a resolution of the dispute. His approach has been pragmatic , thoroughly professional and highly responsive"


Harry Eyre, Chief Legal Officer at NUM

"John Flint of Clarke Willmott is extremely approachable and understanding of his clients’ needs.His analysis of complex issues and exposition of potential outcomes is very impressive.Highly recommended”

client - contractual dispute

It was unfortunate that my wife and l found ourselves burdened with commercial litigation. However we are fortunate to have been represented by John Flint  during this emotional and stressful time. Having no experience in the world of commercial litigation, John has been a great communicator guiding us through a difficult period. We find him approachable on all matters at any time. He has been supportive in helping to explain legal challenges in a manner we can understand. His advice has been clear and unequivocal whilst reassuring us of our prospects of success. John has always provided us with a clear guide both on time and costs.
He has always remained focused and never lost sight of the true argument regardless of distraction from the other side.
John has great technical knowledge and an excellent grasp of the commercial realities of our business and we are grateful for his advice and guidance during this difficult period.
I certainly would not hesitate in recommending him.

managing director - client

“I have worked with John for a number of years. He is very approachable, highly responsive and has a clear commercial understanding of our business needs and priorities. He is able to distil complex material, presenting it in a clear and understandable way from which it is easy for to make key strategic decisions. Highly recommended”

Case Studies

Unfair Prejudice Claim

I acted for a former founder and CEO of a global brand in an unfair prejudice petition brought following his ousting from the company after a board room coup. The litigation was  fiercely fought in the Chancery Division of the High Court.  DLA Piper acted for the Respondents. The claim proceeded to a 15 week trial in Manchester and the matter settled favourably.


Defamation Claim

A high profile defamation case where I acted for a former Director of a premiership football club, who had been publicly defamed by the new owner. I had Carter Ruck acting against us. The case proceeded to a 2 week trial in the Royal Courts of Justice during which I acted as, effectively, the junior barrister for Leading Counsel. The case was won



Defamation Claim

I acted for a Turkish and German mega-yacht builder in both an Admiralty Arbitration and High Court defamation case. The arbitration case involved a complex series of interlocking contracts for the building of 4 luxury mega-yachts, and damages for breach of contract were claimed at in excess of £10m. I also acted in an associated defamation action in the High Court which included a claim for special damages in excess of €135m. The case proceeded to a 3 day mediation in London in 2014. 


Other Notable Matters

Other noteworthy cases include acting for a national trade union in a contractual dispute with a former high profile general secretary; acting for a national food manufacturer in a claim brought by a competitor alleging theft of trade secrets and confidential information; acting for a Leeds businessman in a multi-million pound fraud claim against a high street bank; and acting for an international haulage company in a dispute with a South African oil tanker manufacturer and the Department of Transport over a defective fleet of oil tankers.

Adjudication under NEC3 Contract

Recently instructed on a £400,000 adjudication under NEC3 contract, following termination of contract for performance issues in February 2014. Dispute involves complex contractual issues, procedural challenges under NEC3 and detailed  analysis of forensic accountancy evidence

IFA claim relating to termination of group personal pension scheme retainer

Presently acting for IFA in a £1m claim against a major pension provider and group pension scheme provider following the alleged unlawful termination of the IFA's retainer in 2014 and various allegations of breach of fiduciary duty.

Published Cases

Ketley v Gilbert
Where Reported [2001] 1 W.L.R. 986; [2001] R.T.R. 22; Times, January 17, 2001; Independent, January 19, 2001; Case Digest Subject: Consumer law Keywords: Consumer hire agreements; Exemptions; Payments; Time Summary: K appealed against a decision that he could not recover the costs of hiring a temporary replacement vehicle following a road traffic accident. The judge found that K's agreement with a car hire company had been a regulated agreement under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, and that the agreement had failed to comply with the relevant formalities and was therefore unenforceable. K maintained that the agreement which required payment "on the expiry of 12 months starting from the date of agreement", was, on true construction, an exempt agreement pursuant to the Consumer Credit (Exempt Agreements) Order 1989 Art.3(1). The court held that the agreement did not fall within the terms of the 1989 Order but was a regulated agreement. K appealed against a finding that a car hire agreement which he had entered into following a road accident was regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The agreement had required K to discharge the hire charges by a single payment either upon the satisfaction of his claim against his opponent or "on the expiry of 12 months starting with the date of this agreement", whichever was the earlier. The judge had concluded that K could not rely on the Consumer Credit (Exempt Agreements) Order 1989 Art.3(1)(a)(i), which exempted from regulation by the Act an agreement for fixed sum credit involving not more than four payments where those payments were "required to be made within a period not exceeding 12 months beginning with the date of the agreement". K argued that the agreement fell within Art.3(1)(a)(i) since the words "on the expiry of" meant the same as "within". Held, dismissing the appeal, that the judge had been right to conclude that the words "on the expiry of 12 months" meant "after 12 months [had] been exceeded". Article 3(1)(a)(i) only applied where the agreement required payment to be made before the period of 12 months expired. Judge: Lord Phillips MR; Brooke LJ; Robert Walker LJ Counsel: For K: Michael Brindle Q.C. and Patrick Goodall. For G: Hilary Heilbron Q.C. and Tim Kevan. Solicitor: For K: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. For G: Ford & Warren (Leeds).

Press Cuttings

Beware vengeful shareholders warns lawyer - Business Daily  Beware Vengeful Shareholders Warns Lawyer Posted  on 05 Oct 2016 With Tesco facing fresh legal action over its ongoing accounting scandal, a Manchester lawyer warns North West businesses that shareholders are increasingly on the look-out for ways of challenging mismanagement by their directors. A claim being brought against the supermarket by a group of investors claiming to have lost £150m due to the 2014 accounting irregularities scandal may have been strengthened by the half-year figures released by Tesco today which show profits down by more than a quarter. John Flint, a partner in Clarke Willmott’s Manchester-based commercial litigation team, said: “Shareholders should be encouraged to challenge and scrutinise board decisions to ensure that the board operates effectively, and directors need to be aware of the increasing risks posed by emboldened shareholders looking for redress when things go wrong. With a background which includes one of the largest shareholder disputes to ever come before the UK Courts, John Flint said: “To avoid potentially costly mistakes it is crucial for anyone involved in complex claims like this one to ensure their legal advice comes from a recognised specialist in the field.” 
The business desk north west THE new Chancellor Phillip Hammond has said that investment in transport is "crucial" to helping Northern cities realise their economic potential.Although he did not comment directly on the long-term vision or future of the Northern Powerhouse concept, speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC radio, Hammond did say that prosperity has to be better spread across the country.Asked by Ferrari how "enamoured" he was with the Northern Powerhouse initiative,  Hammond said: "I think that it's been clear and obvious for many years that if Britain is going to be a sustainably prosperous country we have to spread the prosperity across the nation. "We can't just have it clustered in the South East of England, and the investment particularly in transport infrastructure to allow the potential of our northern cities in particular to be realized is a crucial contribution to the overall prosperity of the economy going forward, and I believe that those big transport infrastructure projects are going to be key to Britain's future."Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to declare her position on the Northern Powerhouse agenda and indeed the  future of James Wharton, the MP for Stockton South, as Northern Powerhouse minister.On Monday, May said that she planned to help “not one or even two of our great regional cities, but every single one of them”  - whether this means a widening of the Northern Powerhouse strategy or a complete change in direction is as yet unclear.What is stark is the fact that just one of the MPs to make the cabinet in the new Prime Minister's reshuffle represents a northern constituency - that's Brexit minister David David, MP for Haltemprice and Howden in Yorkshire.But there are other northern allies: business secretary Greg Clark hails from Middlesbrough and in his previous role as  secretary of state for local government was a devolution champion.Justice secretary Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, lived in Leeds and attended Roundhay School as a child, while chief whip Gavin Williamson, the MP for South Staffordshire, grew up in Scarborough before attending Bradford University.Meanwhile, the Institute of Directors has called on business leaders to drive the next stage of the Northern Powerhouse int he wake of a "political vacuum".In a joint statement, Jonathan Oxley, Mike Perls and Graham Robb, the chairs of the IoD in the Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and North East respectively, have urged businesses to become “heroes” of the Powerhouse.Following the analysis of pan-Northern capabilities highlighted in Transport for North’s Independent Economic Review, they have identified a series of industry clusters that will act as a catalyst for the next stage of Northern Powerhouse activity, including advanced manufacturing, health innovation and fintech.In a joint statement, they said: “In the current climate of political change the IoD is sending out a signal that business not only wants to see action to rebalance the economy but is willing to play its part.“We believe the Northern Powerhouse has the potential to create globally significant, functional economic clusters. Transport infrastructure will be an enabler of this objective but it is long term and is not the entire solution."Business leaders have a critical role to play right now and must move to fill the political vacuum and take ownership of this initiative."In the coming months the IoD will announce specific, cluster-based activity and call on business leaders to take part and set the direction that the new Government should follow, it said.Many businesses across the region are keen to ensure the momentum and good will that has built up around the Northern Powerhouse agenda is not lost.John Flint, a partner at law firm Clarke Willmott, said: “Now, more than ever, the professional services community in the North West needs to recognise the key role we must play as enablers for the Northern Powerhouse - roll up our sleeves, jolt ourselves out of our comfort zones and focus on the things we all need to be doing right now to make a difference.“With sterling’s value having fallen by 12% since we voted for Brexit, we all have to work a lot harder just to standstill as an economy. And for the North we still lag 15% behind the rest of the UK in terms of productivity.”



Associations & Memberships

The Law Society - since 1996

Professional Body for Solicitors

Institute of Directors - since 2016

representing Directors and business leaders in UK

Pro Manchester - since 2016

representing the financial and professional services and wider business community in and around Greater Manchester

Professional Negligence Lawyers Association - since 2015

The PNLA acts as a focus for clients who are in need of lawyers who specialise in professional negligence and directs those clients to the appropriate specialists

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