John Platts-Mills

Year of Call: 2016

John Platts-Mills

Year of Call: 2016

John Platts-Mills

Year of Call: 2016

John Platts-Mills

John Platts-Mills

Year of Call: 2016

John accepts instructions across all of Chambers’ core areas, including: employment; commercial litigation; injury; insurance & reinsurance; and tax.

He is a natural and persuasive advocate, with a busy Court and Tribunal based practice. John is very competitive; his objective is to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients. He possesses a ‘first class mind’ and is able to develop a command of the most complex issues. As a Partner, who regularly instructs John, recently commented:

 “In addition, and what is not apparent on his barrister profile (where he looks very corporate), are his interpersonal skills.  This is so critical when dealing with clients.  He had the competency to speak with the Health & Safety Executive and representatives of the company on the one hand but was empathetic and relatable to the widow.  I pass on verbatim her comments, “I would like to thank John for a great job.  John was amazing for us”.  Being able to relate to all people is a skill you do not learn at University.”

Before joining the Bar, John worked in the Shell Global Litigation team, where he had conduct of a range of international trade, distribution and investment disputes. He also has experience of complex international group claims and jurisdictional disputes, having worked on Okpabi v RDS [2018] EWCA Civ 191 in the High Court and Court of Appeal. The case concerned common law and statutory claims in relation to extensive environmental damage in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Before retraining as a lawyer, John worked as a corporate finance analyst in Deutsche Bank’s mergers and acquisitions team. He worked on a number of high-profile transactions, including: the Dixons Carphone merger; and the IPO of Infinis.

  • Employment

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    John practises all areas of employment and discrimination law. He has substantial experience of: breach of confidence; contractual disputes, including the enforcement of restrictive covenants and “training clawback clauses”; whistleblowing; unfair dismissal; discrimination; and employee status.

    Recent work includes:

    • F3G v Rowe & Ors (2020): led by Alice Mayhew in a breach of confidence and breach of restrictive covenants High Court dispute.
    • J v Fareham Academy (2020): successful dismissal of an unfair dismissal claim for lack of jurisdiction
    • O v FDM (2020): working with the Good Law Project to assist employees in challenging the enforceability of covenants in their contract of employment requiring them to repay their former employer for the cost of training on termination of employment (‘fee clawback clauses’)
    • B and D v Geeks (2020): instructed to represent the Claimants at a two-day final hearing in April 2020 to determine the enforceability of fee clawback clauses.
    • I v Connect (2019): represented the Claimant in a three-day sex discrimination claim.
    • J v Countrywide (2019): represented the Respondent in a complex two-day Preliminary Hearing, addressing: amendment, limitation and strike out, in the context of a complex constructive dismissal and discrimination claim.
    • M v Essex Rehabilitation Company (2019): represented the Respondent in a five-day final hearing of a discrimination claim.
    • C v British Gas Trading (2019): represented the Respondent in a one-day Preliminary Hearing, addressing: amendment, limitation and strike out.
    • H v Omniserv: successfully represented the Claimant in a one-day unfair dismissal claim.
    • S v B (2019): advising the Respondent in respect of the enforceability of a post termination settlement.
    • E v S (2019): advising the Claimant as to the prospects of recovering damages for breach of confidence and restrictive covenants. The case engaged complex jurisdiction issues.
    • G v Censor (2019): successfully represented the Respondent in a two-day unfair dismissal and discrimination claim.

     

    John has experience of working with senior members of Chambers conducting internal investigations and is keen to develop this area of his practice. John also has experience of industrial relations disputes having provided research support to Andrew Burns QC in a number of EAT Appeals concerning: restrictions on contractual changes in relation to collective bargaining (the s.145B issue) (Kostal v Dunkley [2018] ICR 768) and compensatory rest breaks for transport workers (Crawford v Network Rail [2018] IRLR 714).

  • Personal Injury

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    John acts in an advisory and advocacy capacity for both Claimants and Defendants. He has already developed a busy Fast Track and Multi-Track practice. He has particular expertise, and interest, in cases involving vulnerable road users, including: motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.

    Recent highlights include:

    • Wing (Inquest 2020): instructed by Irwin Mitchell London to represent the family in a two-day inquest into failures to properly treat the deceased who had suffered from an aortic dissection.
    • Hall v MUS and KIS (2020): led by Rob Weir QC in a high value employers liability claim.
    • Hanratty v Banford (2020): led by Steve Killalea QC in a high value RTA claim involving a pedestrian.
    • M v East Sussex (2019): secured £12,964 in damages (beating our Part 36 Offer) for a cyclist who had hit a pothole.
    • Schofield (Inquest 2019): represented the family in a two-day inquest into the deceased’s accident at work. John is now instructed to draft the schedule of loss in relation to the Fatal Accidents claim.
    • Brook v Wallis: secured 100% liability and £19,625 in damages (beating our Part 36 Offer) for a motorcyclist involved in an RTA whilst filtering on a motorway.

     

    At an appellate level, John has provided research support for Rob Weir QC in Dryden & Ors v Johnson Matthey [2018] UKSC 18. He also shadowed Rob Weir QC, again appearing in the Supreme Court, in X v Kuoni and has a particular interest in complex international travel claims.

  • Tax

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    John is currently instructed as junior in a number of anti-avoidance cases, encompassing the notice provisions (FNs, APNs and PPNs) contained in the Finance Act 2014. He has also been instructed on behalf of the taxpayer in an IR35 matter.

    John has also been instructed on a number of matters concerning domicile and residency from an advisory perspective, he has a particular interest in developing his practice in this area.

    As a pupil John gained substantial experience in tax litigation as well as a range of advisory matters from a taxpayer perspective, including: inheritance tax and liability for failure to comply with follower notices (Benton v HMRC). He also appeared in the Masters' Corridor of the Royal Courts of Justice in applying to rectify a deed of variation.

    John welcomes instructions from both taxpayers and the revenue.

  • Insurance & Reinsurance

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    John is regularly instructed on a range of Insurance and Reinsurance disputes. He is currently assisting Colin Edelman QC and Andrew Burns QC draft the Third Edition of the Law of Reinsurance.

    Recent highlights include:

    • Assisting Andrew Burns QC in drafting an advice in relation to an aggregation clause.
    • Led by Richard Harrison and Alice Carse in a complex High Court product liability dispute.
    • Assisting Colin Edelman QC and Richard Harrison, albeit at a late stage, in the preparation for the Supreme Court hearing in R & S Pilling t/a Phoenix Engineering Limited v UK Insurance Limited [2019] UKSC 16.
    • Successfully claiming against an insurer, in circumstances where the insured taxi driver, who had not been negligent but whose passenger had negligently opened the door of the taxi and knocked a passing cyclist off of his bike.
    • Junior to Richard Harrison in an arbitration under the 1996 Act, concerning an insured’s attempt to recover on a policy of legal expenses coverage.

    During pupillage John gained substantial experience of a number of issues including: qualification of arbitrators for reinsurance disputes (Allianz Insurance Plc v Tonicstar Ltd [2018] 1 Lloyd's Rep 389) and construction of clauses in an insurance policy purporting to exclude liability in relation to pollution.

    He also provided research support to Richard Harrison in Catlin Syndicate Ltd v Weyerhaeuser Co [2018] EWHC 3609 (Comm) a case concerning anti-suit injunctions, incorporation of an arbitration clause and construction of an excess layer insurance policy. Under Weyerhaeuser’s Lead Underlying Policy: disputes were to be resolved in London by arbitration; the interpretation and construction of the policy were subject to the laws of the State of Washington; and, solely for the purpose of effectuating arbitration, in the event of the failure by the insurer to pay any amount claimed to be due, the insurer was at the request of the assured to submit to the jurisdiction of any court of competent jurisdiction within the United States.

  • Commercial Litigation and Disputes

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    Building on his experience as a member of the Shell Global Litigation team, John has experience of litigation in both the courts and arbitration. He regularly accepts instructions in respect of a wide range of contractual disputes.

    Recent highlights include:

    • Assisting Andrew Burns QC in drafting an advice in relation to an aggregation clause.
    • Currently being led by Alice Mayhew in a High Court dispute concerning breach of restrictive covenants and breach of confidence.
    • Currently being led by Richard Harrison and Alice Carse in a complex High Court product liability dispute.
    • Assisting Colin Edelman QC and Richard Harrison, albeit at a late stage, in the preparation for the Supreme Court hearing in R & S Pilling t/a Phoenix Engineering Limited v UK Insurance Limited [2019] UKSC 16.
    • Successfully establishing the validity of a settlement agreement in a two-day trial of a preliminary issue.
    • Advising a client alongside Andrew Burns QC as to the prospect of pursuing the executor of a deceased defendant.
  • Clinical Negligence

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    John accepts instruction across the full range of medical disciplines. John is currently instructed to represent the family in an inquest into the death of a patient who suffered an aortic dissection.

Academic

BPP University London, Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding)

City University London, Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction)

University of Oxford, St Cross College, MSc Latin American Studies

University of Oxford, University College, BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Awards & scholarships

Lincoln’s Inn, Buchanan Prize

Lincoln’s Inn, Lord Denning Scholarship

Lincoln’s Inn, Hardwicke Entrance Award

Memberships & Associations

COMBAR; ELA; PIBA