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Laura Elizabeth John

Call: 2007 | 2019 (Ireland)

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Contact Laura Elizabeth John

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    Education

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

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    Introduction

    Laura is a highly experienced specialist in Competition law and Information law. She is consistently ranked as a leading junior in the legal directories, where she is described as “Super-clever, really practical and massively knowledgeable about the law.” and “An excellent advocate” who “can spin on a sixpence”.

    Laura is the co-Editor of the leading EU Competition law text, Bellamy & Child European Union Law of Competition (8th Ed.)

    Laura is security cleared and can handle sensitive cases. She is also direct access qualified, and can accept instructions directly from clients.

    • News
    • Competition

      Laura is consistently ranked as a leading junior in Competition law in the legal directories, and is co-Editor of the leading text, Bellamy & Child European Union Law of Competition (8th Ed.). She advises and represents private clients and regulators across the full spectrum of Competition law.

       “She’s unbelievably clever, delightful to work with and really, really good at drafting. She’s particularly good under pressure – she is unflappable.” – Chambers UK, 2021

      Super-clever, really practical and massively knowledgeable about the law.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2020

      “Her work and knowledge of competition law is outstanding.’’ – Legal 500, 2019-20

      Cases

      Laura is currently involved in:

      • National Grid Electricity Transmission v ABB and others: for the claimant in follow-on proceedings concerning the power cables cartel.
      • Asda, Argos and Morrisons v Mastercard: for the claimants in follow-on proceedings concerning multilateral interchange fees (inc. [2020] UKSC 24).
      • Gutmann v South Eastern Railway: for the defendant in the first stand-alone collective action in the CAT, concerning alleged breaches of s. 18 of the Competition Act 1998.
      • Welsh Ministers v Servier: for the Welsh claimants in proceedings concerning the supply of the ACE inhibitor Perindopril (inc. [2020] UKSC44;  [2019] EWCA Civ 1096; [2015] EWHC 647 (Ch); [2014] EWHC 2720 (Ch)).

      Recent work and significant cases include:

      • Advising on the CMA’s market study into online platforms and digital advertising.
      • Advising on the CMA’s investigation into alleged price fixing by Berkshire estate agents.
      • Microsoft Mobile Oy v Sony Europe and others [2017] EWHC 374 (Ch): for the claimant in stand-alone proceedings concerning the supply of lithium ion batteries for mobile telephones.
      • Unwired Planet International Ltd and others – v – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and others:  for Samsung in proceedings concerning FRAND licensing terms for telecommunications patents.
      • National Grid Electricity Transmission–v- ABB and others: for the claimant in follow-on proceedings concerning the gas insulated switchgear cartel, which won GCR’s global ‘Litigation of the Year – Cartel Prosecution’ award (inc. [2013] EWHC 822 (Ch); [2013] EWCA 1234 (Civ))
      • Welsh Ministers –v- Reckitt Benkiser: for the Welsh claimants in follow-on proceedings concerning the supply of Gaviscon.
      • BCL Old Co. Ltd –v- BASF plc [2012] UKSC 45: for the claimant in 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.
      • 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: for the appellant in an appeal against an abuse of dominance finding.
    • Information law

      Laura is consistently listed as a leading junior in Information Law in the legal directories. She appears in the Court of Appeal, Upper Tribunal and First Tier Tribunal, for the Information Commissioner and for requestors, and she regularly advises on FOI/EIR/data protection issues.

      “A fair, reasonable and courteous opponent who works hard and does a very good job for her clients.”- Chambers UK, 2021

      ‘‘A competent and professional advocate.’’ – Legal 500, 2021

      “A really good lawyer who is also very responsive.”- Chambers UK, 2020

      ‘‘She is a go-to counsel for the Information Commissioner.’’ – Legal 500, 2019-20

      Exceptionally bright and strategically aware, she’s a star in the making.”- Chambers UK, 2019

      What’s crucial is the right advice, at the right time and for the right price, and she ticks all those boxes very well.”- Chambers UK, 2018

      Cases

      Laura is currently involved in:

      • HS2 Ltd v Information Commissioner: disclosure of cost benefit analysis for HS2
      • Liberty v Information Commissioner: disclosure of draft Green Paper on replacing the Human Rights Act 1999
      • Heathrow Airport Ltd v Information Commissioner: whether the operator of Heathrow airport is a “public authority” within the EIRs
      • EON UK plc v Information Commissioner: whether a licensed gas and electricity supplier is a “public authority” within the EIRs

      Significant cases include:

      • Department for Transport v Information Commissioner [2019] EWCA Civ 2241: severance of environmental and non-environmental information.
      • Information Commissioner v Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association [2020] UKUT 182 (AAC): definition of “public authority” and the interpretation of the CJEU judgment in Fish Legal.
      • Advising on the Information Commissioner’s decision to fine Uber for breaches of data protection law.
      • Willow v Information Commissioner and Ministry for Justice [2017] EWCA 1876 Civ: implications of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for the public interest balancing under FOIA.
      • Savic v IC, Attorney General, and Cabinet Office [2016] UKUT 534 (AAC) and [2016] UKUT 535 (AAC): the legal advice by the Attorney General, and other information, about the UK’s decision to participate in the NATO bombing of Kosovo.
      • London Legacy Development Corporation v IC and Hunt [2016] UKFTT 2015_0023 (GRC): concerning the contract under which West Ham United Football Club has become the new ‘anchor tenant’ at the Olympic stadium.
      • Webber v IC [2013] UKUT 648 (AAC): concerning the 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.

       

       

    • EU

      Laura is instructed in a range of cases raising questions of EU law. She regularly advises on EU law issues, including on making complaints to the European Commission and bringing claims in the European Courts.

      Cases

      Recent work and significant cases include:

      • Secretary of State for Health and others v Servier Laboratories Ltd and others [2020] UKSC 44: circumstances in which findings in a General Court judgment bind the UK courts, under the EU law principle of res iudicata.
      • Asda, Argos and Morrisons v Mastercard [2020] UKSC 24: requirements under EU law for establishing a breach of Article 101 TFEU.
      • Information Commissioner v Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association [2020] UKUT 182 (AAC): definition of “public authority” in the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 / Directive 2003/4.
      • Case C-304/16 R (on the application of American Express Company) v the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury EU:C:2018:66: for American Express in a challenge to the extension of the price caps contained in Chapter II of EU Regulation 2015/751 on Interchange Fees for Card-Based Payment Transactions to three party card payment schemes which issue cards with co-brand partners and/or through agents.
      • Case C-643/16 R (on the application of American Express Company) v the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury EU:C:2018:67: for American Express in a challenge to the extension of the access obligation contained in Directive 2015/2366 on Payment Services in the Internal Market to three party card payment schemes which enter into arrangements with co-brand partners and/or agents.
      • Case C-366/10 Air Transport Association of America –v- Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, [2011] ECR I-13755: for 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: for BCL the appellant in a case concerning the compatibility of a limitation period with the EU principles of effectiveness and legal certainty.
      • Cases C-259 and 260/10 Rank Group Plc –v- HMRC [2011] ECR I-10947: for HMRC in a claim for repayment of VAT paid on machines used to gamble, based on an alleged breach of the principle of fiscal neutrality.
    • Environmental

      Laura is a specialist in domestic, European and International Environmental Law. She regularly appears in access to environmental information cases (see Information Law), and has appeared in the Court of Justice of European Union. 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.

      Before being Called to the Bar, Laura worked in DEFRA on the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

      Cases

      Significant cases include:

      • Department for Transport v Information Commissioner [2019] EWCA Civ 2241: severance of environmental and non-environmental information.
      • Information Commissioner v Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association [2020] UKUT 182 (AAC): definition of “public authority” under the Environmental Information Regulations / Directive 2003/4, and the interpretation of the CJEU judgment in Fish Legal.
      • Case C-366/10 Air Transport Association of America –v- Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, [2011] ECR I-13755: for 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.
    • Administrative & public

      Laura advises on a range of public law matters, particularly in the environmental context (see Environmental Law). She also frequently appears in the Court of Appeal, Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) and First Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) in access to information cases (see Information Law).

      Cases

      Recent work and significant cases include:

      • Case C-304/16 R (on the application of American Express Company) v the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury EU:C:2018:66: for American Express in a challenge to the extension of the price caps contained in Chapter II of EU Regulation 2015/751 on Interchange Fees for Card-Based Payment Transactions to three party card payment schemes which issue cards with co-brand partners and/or through agents.
      • Case C-643/16 R (on the application of American Express Company) v the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury EU:C:2018:67: for American Express in a challenge to the extension of the access obligation contained in Directive 2015/2366 on Payment Services in the Internal Market to three party card payment schemes which enter into arrangements with co-brand partners and/or agents.
      • United Utilities v Manchester Ship Canal Company and others [2014] UKSC 40: for the Middle Level Commissioners, intervening, in an appeal concerning the rights of statutory sewerage undertakers to discharge in private watercourses.
      • 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.
    • What the directories say

      Competition Law: “She has a clear mind and spots the issues.” “She is phenomenally intelligent and a quick thinker.” – Chambers UK, 2022

      Data Protection: “She’s so experienced and is a formidable advocate.” “She is very strong on the detail and quick to work through issues.”- Chambers UK, 2022

      Leading junior in Competition – Legal 500, 2022

      Data protection: “Very clear about what needs to be done for a case, gently but firmly persuasive and excellent with clients.” – Legal 500, 2022

      EU Law “Laura is a stand-out senior junior. She quickly gets to the heart of the issue and is able to summarise complex material in a way that clients can grasp and understand. Her calm manner is also well-received by clients.” – Legal 500, 2022

      Competition Law: “She’s unbelievably clever, delightful to work with and really, really good at drafting. She’s particularly good under pressure – she is unflappable.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2021

      Data Protection: “A fair, reasonable and courteous opponent who works hard and does a very good job for her clients.”- Chambers UK, 2021

      Competition: ‘‘Laura is pragmatic and always on top of the detail of a case. She is a very impressive senior junior.’’Legal 500, 2021

      Data protection: ‘‘A competent and professional advocate.’’Legal 500, 2021

      Competition Law: “Super-clever, really practical and massively knowledgeable about the law.” “She is not afraid to challenge and push back on arguments.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2020

      Data Protection: “A really good lawyer who is also very responsive.”- Chambers UK, 2020

      Competition: ‘‘Her work and knowledge of competition law is outstanding.’’Legal 500, 2019-20

      Data protection: ‘‘She is a go-to counsel for the Information Commissioner.’’Legal 500, 2019-20

      Competition Law: “Able to get up to speed very quickly,” and “a good sounding board for silks.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2019

      Data Protection: “Laura is good at getting to grips with matters and gaining client confidence.” “Exceptionally bright and strategically aware, she’s a star in the making.”- Chambers UK, 2019

      Competition Law: “She is very popular with clients, comes up with definitive answers and has a very good written style.” – Chambers UK, 2018

      Data Protection: “Laura is very competent, clear and thorough.” “What’s crucial is the right advice, at the right time and for the right price, and she ticks all those boxes very well.”- Chambers UK, 2018

      Competition: ‘‘A strong junior with a tremendous appetite for work and attention to detail. Her intelligence and grasp of the law are notable.’’Legal 500, 2018

      Data protection: ‘‘She is frequently instructed by the Information Commissioner in tribunals and appeals.’’Legal 500, 2018

      Competition Law: “She is exceptionally bright and hard-working, but also very practical and a really good team player. She has no ego and is lovely to work with.” – Chambers UK, 2017

      Data Protection: “She communicates well with clients and is an excellent advocate.” “She is extremely able and can spin on a sixpence. She gets the right tone before the ICO.” Chambers UK, 2017

      Competition: ‘‘Extremely able and collaborative.’’Legal 500, 2017

      Data protection: ‘‘A thorough and detailed advocate.’’Legal 500, 2017

      Competition Law: “A star of the future, no doubt.” “She is excellent and very user-friendly.”Chambers UK, 2016

      Data Protection: “She is exceptionally good – she’s succinct and could really go far.” “She was very professional and did everything well.” – Chambers UK, 2016

      Data Protection: A very good head for detail and a calm advocate.’’ – Legal 500, 2016 

      Competition Law: “An excellent lawyer who is very poised in court.” “Extremely hard-working, she puts in unsociable hours to get the job done.”Chambers UK, 2015

      Data Protection: “She has made big strides in the data protection area, and is particularly strong in the environmental field.”Chambers UK, 2015

      Data Protection: “Highly regarded.” Legal 500, 2015

      Competition Law: “Very bright and enthusiastic,” she has “very good tactical judgement, strong case management skills and powerful drafting abilities.”  – Chambers UK, 2014

      Data Protection: “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

      Data Protection:‘a very able barrister whose combination of legal expertise, clarity of mind and understanding of the commercial objectives proves invaluable’.”  – Legal 500, 2013

    • Additional information

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

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

      Security cleared

      Direct access qualified

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