Laura Elizabeth John

LEJ
Call 2007
Education

BCL (European and Comparative Law) (Oxon), BA (Hons)

Contact the Clerks

+44 (0)20 7405 7211 | chambers@monckton.com

a very able barrister whose combination of legal expertise, clarity of mind and understanding of the commercial objectives proves invaluable’ (Legal 500, 2014).

Laura is a highly sought after junior who works across Chambers’ core areas of practice, and has particular expertise in Competition, Information, and Environmental law.    She is responsive, fiercely analytical and strategic, and a compelling advocate.  She has appeared in all manner of courts and tribunals, ranging from the Information Tribunal to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, as well as the Court of Justice in Europe.  She works well both as an advocate in her own right, and as an integral and highly valued part of the team in larger cases.  She is currently the Updates Editor for the leading EU Competition law text, Bellamy & Child European Union Law of Competition.  She is direct access qualified, and can accept instructions directly from clients.

Competition

Laura advises and represents private clients and regulators across the full spectrum of competition law.  She is Updates Editor of the 7th Edition of Bellamy & Child European Union Law of Competition, and is a contributor to the 7th Edition.

Laura is currently involved in:

National Grid –v- ABB and others:  acting for the claimant in follow-on proceedings in the Chancery Division, concerning the ‘gas insulated switchgear’ cartel.

Welsh Ministers –v- Servier:  acting for the Welsh claimants in proceedings in the Chancery Division, concerning the supply of the ACE inhibitor ‘Perindopril’.

Welsh Ministers –v- Reckitt Benkiser:  acting for the Welsh claimants in follow-on proceedings in the Chancery Division, concerning the supply of Gaviscon.

Recent work and significant cases include:

BCL Old Co. Ltd –v- BASF plc [2012] UKSC 45:  the first competition case to come before the Supreme Court; concerning the date on which time begins to run for limitation purposes under section 47A Competition Act 1998, and whether it complies with the EU principles of effectiveness and legal certainty.

Emerson Electric –v- Morgan Crucible [2012] EWCA Civ 1559:  jurisdiction of the Competition Appeal Tribunal under s.47A Competition Act 1998 to hear damages claims against subsidiary companies within infringing undertakings.

Electrical Waste Recycling Group  and City Electrical Factors  -v- Philips Electronics and Others:  a stand-alone damages action in the Chancery Division, alleging breach of competition law in the manner in which the lighting industry implemented their obligations under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (Directive 2002/96)

BA / Virgin, OFT decision of 19 April 2012:  advising the OFT on its decision regarding passenger fuel surcharge pricing.

Association of Convenience Stores and National Federation of Retail Newsagents –v- OFT [2012] CAT 27:  judicial review in the Competition Appeal Tribunal of an OFT prioritisation decision

Carphone Warehouse –v- OFCOM [2010] CAT 26:  review of an Ofcom price control, set for access to BT’s voice and broadband network (‘LLU and WLR’)

Campaign for Real Ale (‘CAMRA’) –v- OFT:  judicial review in the Competition Appeal Tribunal of an OFT refusal to refer a super-complaint under s.11 Enterprise Act to the Competition Commission.

National Grid –v- Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) [2010] EWCA Civ 114:  leading authority in the UK on abuse of dominance.

Environmental

Laura is a specialist in domestic, European and International Environmental Law.  She has acted in some of the most high profile environmental challenges brought in the last few years, and has appeared in the Court of Justice of European Union.  She regularly appears in access to environmental information cases (see Information Law).

Laura is direct access qualified, and can accept instructions directly from clients.  She is also willing to consider acting at reduced rates or pro bono in appropriate cases.

Laura is currently involved in:

European Low Fares Airline Association (‘ELFAA’) –v- Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, pending in the High Court:  representing ELFAA in a challenge to the temporary derogation from the EU emissions trading scheme for international aviation activities to and from aerodromes outside the EU.

Recent work and significant cases includes:

Advising on the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees

Case C-366/10 Air Transport Association of America –v- Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, [2012] All ER (EC) 1133; [2012] 2 CMLR 82:  representing five Environmental Organisations in a challenge brought by the international aviation industry against their inclusion in the EU emissions trading scheme.

DCLG –v- the Information Commissioner and William Robinson [2012] UKUT 103 (AAC):  leading authority on disclosure of legal advice under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004

Birkett (on behalf of Clean Air London) -v- Defra [2011] EWCA Civ 1606:  leading authority on right of public authorities to raise new exemptions, under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, for the first time before the First Tier Tribunal.

Laura has advised on a wide range on environmental issues, including:

  • The reallocation of fishing quotas
  • Obligations under European Regulation 1013/2006 on the transfrontier shipment of waste
  • Appealing the grant of a market authorisation under Regulation 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed to the European General Court
  • The construction of a power plant within a special area of conservation
  • VAT treatment of recycling companies, in view of the difficulties of tracing supplies through the recycling process (London Wiper Company (t/a Universal Recycling) –v- HMRC [2011] UKFTT 445 (TC))
  • Requiring oil, gas, and mineral extraction companies to publish what they pay governments for their extraction/exploitation licences
  • The removal of the Western Extension of the London Congestion Charging zone
  • The Government’s justification of next generation nuclear power plants under Directive 92/29/EURATOM
  • The UK’s application for a time extension for compliance with legal standards on dangerous airborne particles (PM10) under Directive 2008/50/EC on Ambient Air Quality
  • Dismantling and recovery of ‘ghost ships’ and Regulation 1013/2006/EC on shipments of waste

Before being Called to the Bar, Laura worked in DEFRA on the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Prior to that, during her BCL, she was a part-time Research Assistant at the University of Oxford, analysing the marine environmental protection regimes operating in the Mediterranean.

Information Law

a very able barrister whose combination of legal expertise, clarity of mind and understanding of the commercial objectives proves invaluable’ (Legal 500, 2014, Information Law).

Laura frequently appears in the information rights cases, for the Information Commissioner and for requestors, and regularly advises on FOI/EIR/data protection issues.

Significant cases include:

Webber v IC (GIA/4090/2012), judgment pending:  on disclosure of medical records of deceased persons under FOI

DCLG –v- the Information Commissioner and William Robinson [2012] UKUT 103 (AAC):  leading authority on disclosure of legal advice under EIR

Birkett (on behalf of Clean Air London) -v- Defra [2011] EWCA Civ 1606:  leading authority on right of public authorities to raise new exemptions, under EIR, for the first time before the First Tier Tribunal.

Laura has also recently appeared in:

Breeze v IC, Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary, and the Crown Prosecution Service (GIA/2192/2012) and (EA/2011/0057)

Jackson v IC (EA/2012/0263)

Dudgeon v IC and Police Service of Northern Ireland (EA/2012/0113)

Hartles v IC (EA/2012/0198)

Yorkshire Forward v IC (EA/2012/016)

Jackson v IC and Electoral Commission (EA/2011/0136)

Montague v IC and Liverpool John Moores University (EA/2011/0177)

Cabinet Office v IC (EA/2011/0231)

McGonagle v IC (EA/2011/0104)

Cranfield University v IC  (EA/2011/0146)

EU Law

Laura is instructed in a range of cases raising questions of EU law, in particular in the context of Competition Law and Environmental Law (see Competition Law and Environmental Law).  She regularly advises on EU law issues, including complaints to the European Commission and bringing claims in the European Courts.

Recent work includes:

European Low Fares Airline Association (‘ELFAA’) –v- Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, pending in the High Court:  representing ELFAA in a challenge to the temporary derogation from the EU emissions trading scheme for international aviation activities to and from aerodromes outside the EU.

Case C-366/10 Air Transport Association of America –v- Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, [2012] All ER (EC) 1133; [2012] 2 CMLR 82:  representing five Environmental Organisations in a challenge brought by the international aviation industry against their inclusion in the EU emissions trading scheme.

BCL Old Co. Ltd –v- BASF plc [2012] UKSC 45.  The first competition case to come before the Supreme Court.  The case concerned the date on which time begins to run for the purposes of the two year limitation period for bringing follow-on damages claims in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, under section 47A Competition Act 1998, and whether it complies with the EU principles of effectiveness and legal certainty.

Advising on appealing the grant of a market authorisation under Regulation 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed to the European General Court.

Cases C-259 and 260/10 Rank Group Plc –v- HMRC  [2011] All ER (D) 95; [2012] STC 23:  on various questions arising from a claim for repayment of VAT paid on machines used to gamble, for a breach of fiscal neutrality.

Public & Administrative Law

Laura advises on a range of public law matters, particularly in the context of Environmental Law and Information Law (see Environmental Law and Information Law).

Current work includes:

Advising on the rights of a statutory water undertaker to make new, increased, or ongoing discharges of water into a managed river system

Recent work includes:

A successful challenge to the British Board of Film Classification (‘BBFC’) refusal to classify the film “the Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)”.  The film was granted an 18 certificate in the UK after the BBFC agreed to a number of cuts, reversing its original decision to refuse classification of the controversial horror film on the grounds of sexual violence and graphic gore.

Advising on the competition and pricing functions created by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

What the Directories Say

Under Competition Law: Has recently been led by some of the leading silks in the competition market. Viewed by clients as one to watch for the future, she has done several high-profile damages claims. “Very bright and enthusiastic,” she has “very good tactical judgement, strong case management skills and powerful drafting abilities.” Chambers UK, 2014

Under Data Protection: Possesses particular experience in relation to requests for information, having dealt with such requests whilst in-house at Defra. She handles a range of matters pro bono, and appeared in the Campaign for Clean Air London litigation in such a capacity. “Laura is hard-working and possesses good knowledge of the law. She is also enthusiastic and gives me confidence that the job will be done properly.” “She is analytical in her style and is not afraid to throw out questions. She has a real grasp of environmental law in particular.” Chambers UK, 2014

Laura John is ‘a very able barrister whose combination of legal expertise, clarity of mind and understanding of the commercial objectives proves invaluable’.” She is recommended under Data Protection Law. Legal 500, 2013

Publications

Updates Editor, Bellamy & Child European Union Law of Competition (7th Ed, OUP, 2013), and contributor to chapter 15 on the Enforcement of Competition Rules by National Competition Authorities

A failed bid to recover input tax:  VAT on takeover transaction costs HMRC v BAA Limited [2011] UKUT 258 (TCC)’ De Voil ITI, issue 183, pp19-22

Ex ante and ex post regulation:  is regulation to be taken into account in deciding whether the regulate?  Hutchinson 3G UK Ltd v Office of Communications’, Competition Law Journal, vol 8 issue 4, pp306-311

The use (and abuse?) of framework agreements in the United Kingdom’ (with Michael Bowsher QC), a chapter in International Public Procurement:  A Guide to Best Practice (2009) (Globe Business Publishing)

Standstill periods in awarding Part B service contracts:  Federal Security Services Ltd v Chief Constable for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and Resources Group’, European Competition Law Review, vol 30 issue 7, pp329-331

Additional Information

BCL (European and Comparative Law), Brasenose College, Oxford (2004)

BA (Hons) Jurisprudence, Brasenose College Oxford (2003)

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