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  • What the Directories Say

Under Competition Law: One of the most experienced and longest-serving silks at the Competition Bar. He is universally valued by clients, regulators and peers for his advisory capabilities and his vast knowledge of the field. "A real statesman who has provided us with great strategic oversight." "He's a great performer." Chambers UK, 2014 

Under EU and Competition Law. "'A senior statesman of the competition law Bar', John Swift QC is noted for his 'unparalleled ability to offer strategic oversight'." Legal 500, 2013

"John Swift QC is "well respected by clients" for his "technical expertise and general user-friendliness," and garners praise for his long-standing experience in regulatory and competition law." Chambers UK, 2013

John Swift QC is a recommended leading silk in EU and Competition Law. Legal 500, 2012

"Fully committed performer is the "user-friendly" John Swift QC, who "is enjoyable to work with and, as a former regulator, offers extremely valuable insights into matters that others don't." "Not afraid to get stuck in," he is much appreciated by quality solicitors. Recently, Swift acted for the Competition Commission in a dispute concerning the proposed merger of Sports Direct and JJB." - Chambers UK, 2012

EU & Competition Law recommends silk John Swift QC "who is 'practical and friendly, with excellent capabilities'." Legal 500, 2011

""An engaging style and skilled command of the law" mark out John Swift QC, a lawyer who gives "swift, comprehensible advice." His recent highlights include advising the Competition Commission in the Court of Appeal dispute concerning Sky and Virgin. Competition/European Law" - Chambers UK, 2011

Under EU and Competition the Legal 500, 2010 states that John Swift QC who is "hugely pragmatic, tremendous gravitas and excellent on his feet, successfully appeared for the Competition Commission in the Court of Appeal case BSkyB v Competition Commission".

"John Swift QC is "a totally unpompous lawyer who just gets stuck in." He focuses on competition law and utilities regulation and has recently represented Ryanair in connection with a number of state aid and competition issues. Swift has many years' experience under his belt." - Chambers UK, 2010

Legal 500, 2009 "on the European law side, John Swift QC taken up the cudgels for Ryanair in disputes against the European Commission and Aer Lingus."

Under Competition and EU law, Chambers UK, 2009 states "“If you want someone to stand up for your client, John Swift QC is the man for the job.” Hailed as “user-friendly, charismatic and extremely dedicated,” he has had a busy year, representing Tesco in the Competition Commission inquiry into the groceries market and handling myriad other matters."

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QC (MA) Oxon
CALL DATE: 1965 SILK: 1981


John Swift resumed full time practice as a member of Monckton Chambers in 1999, where he was Head of Chambers until July 2001.  From 1993-1998 he was the first Rail Regulator (head of a non-Ministerial Government department) appointed under the Railways Act 1993.  He was called to the Bar in November 1965 and took Silk in 1981. He is a Bencher of the Inner Temple.

Since 2009 John Swift has been a panel member of the Cooperation and Competition Panel established by the Department of Health in 2009 to administer the Principles and Rules for Cooperation and Competition for NHS funded services and now to be incorporated within Monitor under the Health and Social Services Act 2012. John has thus been involved in two of the critical Government programmes for reconstruction of the public sector.

Since 2002 he is Chairman of the Judges for the National Rail Awards.

John has regularly appeared in the Court of Appeal, Competition Appeal Tribunal, General Court (Luxembourg) and Administrative Court.


  • Advising PwC in the Competition Commission Inquiry into statutory audit services (current)
  • Advising Hanson in the CC INquiry into the Supply of Aggreates (current)
  • Ryanair v Office of Fair Trading (Competition Appeal Tribunal - Leading Counsel for Ryanair in appeal against the Office of Fair Trading decision that it had jurisdiction to investigate Ryanair's minority shareholding in Aer Lingus, aquired in 2006 (2011)
  • Arbitrator in a dispute between Batelco and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain in respect of the FLAG Order of the TRA. Award filed in Commercial Court of Bahrain in October 2012. ( 2011-2012)
  • Advising Martin McColl in the OFT Tobacco litigation ( case settled in 2012)
  • Advising and acting for Bank of America in Master card v Europena Commission (General Court 2011)
  • Leading Counsel for Galliford Try in one of the appeals before the CAT arising out of the Office of Fair Trading's decisions in respect of penalties for Cover pricing infringements in the construction industry (2011)
  • Emerald Supplies Ltd v British Airways plc (Chancery Division) - Leading Counsel for one of the Non Addressee Defendants in the air cargo cartel damages claim (2011)
  • Leading counsel in an 8 day witness arbitration arising out of a contract dispute and allegations of breach of competition law in the railway industry
  • Welsh Water Plc vOfwat (Administrative Court - judicial review challenge to decision to grant an inset appointment) (2009)
  • BSkyB v Competition Commission; Virgin v Competition Commission (Court of Appeal - acting  for the Competition Commission in both of the appeals from the CAT concerning challenge to Competition Commission's decision to force the broadcaster to reduce its shareholding in ITV to less than 7.5%) (2009)
  • BAA v Competition Commission (Competition Appeal Tribunal - Enterprise  Act s.179 Judicial Review challenge to CC's decision to order divestiture of Gatwick, Stansted and Glasgow/Edinburgh Airports) (2009)
  • Barclays Bank Plc & Others v Competition Commission (Competition Appeal Tribunal - challenge to CC's report in relation to the Payment Protection Insurance market) (2009)
  • Case T-342/07 Ryanair v EC Commission, Aer Lingus & Ireland intervening (Court of First Instance - pending - appeal against Commission decision to prohibit acquisition of Aer Lingus) (2008)
  • Case T411/07  Aer Lingus v EC Commission (Court of First Instance - pending - Ryanair intervening in favour of Commission decision not to require divestment of Ryanair stake in Aer Lingus) (2008)
  • Case - T-196/07 Ryanair v EC Commission (Court of First Instance -  The "Charleroi" case - state aid to Airports) (2008)


John Swift's professional practice is now split between extensive advisory and advocacy in the entire area of competition law and utilities regulation with particular  emphasis on transport, not limited to rail, and water , arbitration in those areas and participation as panel member in the new area of economic and other public interest regulation of providers and commissioners of NHS  funded services.