John Swift was in full time practice as a member of Monckton Chambers from 1967-1992 and from January 1999 to July 2013. From 1993-1998 he was the Rail Regulator, head of a Non-Ministerial Government Department established under the Railways Act 1993. He now intends to specialise, as a non-practising QC, exclusively in high level strategic advice to companies, Government and regulatory agencies on key competition law and regulatory issues in the UK and EU. In June 2019, he was appointed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an Independent Reviewer for the lessons learned reviews commissioned by the FCA’s Board. He will carry out the review of the redress scheme for Interest Rate Hedging Products, which is expected to last 15 months. In 2017 John Swift QC was appointed to The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) Determinations Panel. In April 2014 Ofgem announced his appointment as the Chairman of its new Enforcement Decision Panel. In its Press release Ofgem said “The Enforcement Decision Panel will bring a wealth of experience to the table and help Ofgem as we continue in our role to protect current and future consumers.” In the same month Monitor, the Health Service regulator, following the dissolution of the Cooperation and Competition Panel ( CCP), of which John Swift had been a member since 2009, continued his appointment in a new role as an expert adviser to the Board of Monitor and to its Cooperation and Competition Executive.
He has been instructed as an arbitrator, appointed by the Court of Appeal in Oman, in respect of a dispute between Omantel and the TRA and continues to be available for domestic and international arbitrations.
John’s new role within Chambers reflects and builds on the work in which he has been engaged as Counsel: acting for PwC in the CC Inquiry into Statutory Audits; for Hanson in the CC Inquiry into Aggregates and Cement; for Water UK in respect of Ofwat’s proposed changes to the licences of the water undertakings; as an arbitrator in a telecommunications dispute in Bahrain; and in other important competition and regulatory issues.
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. The last year has witnessed his continued involvement in several high-profile cases, and saw him acting as lead counsel for Ryanair in its appeal against a decision taken by the OFT regarding the airline’s shareholding in Aer Lingus.” 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.”