A graduate of Trinity College Dublin (LL.B first class honours) and Oxford University (BCL), John joined McCullough Robertson in February 2013 following a successful career in Ireland and London.
John has almost 20 years’ experience in major transactional and project work in the areas of competition law, merger control, energy (gas and electricity), utilities, resources, TMT, transport, regulated industries, agribusiness, intellectual property, life sciences and administrative law.
He also has a strong understanding of the government sector with considerable experience in privatization and state transactional matters.
John’s clients include multinationals, entrepreneurs, investment banks, private equity and other international law firms working in energy and resources, retail, TMT, insurance, banking and finance, aviation and agribusiness.
Examples of John’s recent advice in Australia include:
- advised ID Leisure Ventures on its acquisition of Australia’s iconic Hoyts Cinemas and Val Morgan Media from Pacific Equity Partners
- advised Pool Corporations on its acquisition of Pool Systems Australia
- advised on the sale of Seabird Aviation to Seeker Aircraft America
- advised AB Volvo on Australian merger control issues in its acquisition of the off-road hauler business from Terex
- advising Platform Speciality Products Corp on the Australian aspects of its acquisition of the agrochemical business of Chentura Corp.
- advised Corporate Travel Management on its acquisition of Chamber Travel (UK)
- advised interests in relation to the backdoor listing of digital BTC on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) via the reverse takeover of Macro Energy Limited
- advising Ringers Technologies LLC on its acquisitions of EBBE Pty Ltd
- advised RAE Energy on the Australian aspects of its acquisition of UT Quality Inc.
- advised numerous food and agribusinesses on supply chain arrangements, and
- advised numerous food and agribusinesses on supply chain competition issues and the approach of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and on ACCC investigations.
Examples of John’s work in Ireland include:
- advising the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland energy regulators in drafting the contractual arrangements for the Irish single electricity market which is similar to the National Electricity Market in Australia
- advising on the establishment of Gaslink, Ireland’s gas pipeline system operator
- advising Royal Bank of Scotland’s Irish bank, Ulster Bank, Bank of Scotland and Den Danske’s Irish bank, National Irish Bank, on the legality of the Irish Government’s guarantee for Irish banks during the GFC, successfully gaining equivalent treatment for them on competition law grounds
- advising Kerry Group plc (Ireland’s leading agribusiness) in overturning in the Irish courts the Irish Competition Authority’s decision to veto its acquisition of a competing business. This was a judicial first in Ireland and similar to the Franklin/Metcash case
- advising the Irish Government in dealing with enforcement proceedings taken by the European Commission relating to alleged breaches of European law in Ireland’s gas and electricity markets, and
- advising big pharma on competition, regulatory and joint venture matters.
John is a former Chairman of the Public Law Committee of the International Bar Association. He was also responsible for heading his former Irish firm’s pro bono practice.
He likes football and prides himself on the fact that after taking FIFA to the International Sports Tribunal in Lausanne, Switzerland they changed their player transfer rules.