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JohnMitchell 306

About John

John Mitchell is a commercial litigation partner in Arnold Bloch Leibler’s Sydney office. He has more than 25 years’ experience as a commercial litigator, acting in a large variety of matters in the New South Wales and Victorian Supreme Courts, the Federal Court and the High Court. John has acted for major Australian and overseas corporations as well as high-net-worth individuals, and has particular experience in acting in large, complex matters.

A ‘very smart and highly organised lawyer with superior communication and client relations skills’ with ‘robust litigation experience’.

Client quote, Chambers Asia Pacific

John is recognised in the area of dispute resolution in a number of prominent international guides to law firms, including Chambers Asia Pacific. Identifying John as one of Australia’s leading litigation lawyers, Legal 500 Asia Pacific and Chambers Asia Pacific has highlighted him as “a very smart and highly organised lawyer with superior communication and client relations skills” with “robust litigation experience”. John is also acknowledged by Who’s Who Legal  as an expert in the areas of business crime, investigations asset recovery, and by Best Lawyers® International  in the areas of litigation and alternative dispute resolution. John has been ranked by Doyle’s Guide  as ‘recommended’ in the category of ‘Leading Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyers’.

John was appointed a partner of Arnold Bloch Leibler in 2006. Previously, he was a partner at an international law firm, practising in Sydney.

John is the Australian representative member of ICC FraudNet, a global network of leading lawyers in anti-fraud litigation, operating under the International Chamber of Commerce and its anti-crime arm, the Commercial Crime Services.

John is a director of Carriageworks Limited, a contemporary arts and performance space in inner city Sydney, as part of a pro-bono partnership between Carriageworks and Arnold Bloch Leibler. He is also a board member of the National Art School, located in Sydney. 

Practice focus

John is a member of the dispute resolution & litigation group and has experience in the following areas:

  • commercial litigation and dispute resolution;
  • corporate regulatory investigations and white collar crime;
  • class action defence;
  • insolvency and reconstruction; and
  • banking and insurance.


John has acted for major Australian and international corporations, government bodies and private clients in a range of matters, including:

  • David Marr, Australian journalist and author: obtaining judgment in the Supreme Court of NSW concerning a dispute over Mr Marr’s role and responsibilities as literary executor under the will of late Australian playwright, Nick Enright;
  • Ben Quilty, Australian Archibald Prize winning artist and social commentator: in relation to a commercial dispute;
  • Aveo Group Limited: defending Aveo in a class action in the Federal Court of Australia brought on behalf of certain residents of Aveo’s retirement villages;
  • The Administrators of Arrium Limited: successfully defending proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW brought by Alleasing Finance concerning Alleasing’s defective PPSR registrations of its leasehold interest in mining plant and equipment;
  • Australian toy manufacturer, Moose Toys: in relation to the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy of Toys R Us;
  • the former executive directors of Great Southern Limited: in defending numerous class actions and Liquidators’ claims in Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales arising from the collapse of Australia’s largest agricultural managed investment scheme manager;
  • a minority shareholder: in a large shareholder dispute in relation to Afro Capital Holdings Limited concerning alleged misappropriation of assets and business opportunities including mineral leases in South Africa;
  • a former director of Elderslie Finance Corporation Limited: in a $75 million insolvent trading claim in the Supreme Court of NSW brought by the liquidator of Elderslie;
  • various high-net-worth individuals: in relation to investigations by the joint task force known as Project Wickenby comprising the Australian Tax Office, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Crimes Commission and ASIC;
  • a UK national: in relation to an investigation by the UK authorities into alleged carbon tax permit fraud and the execution of search warrants in Australia in aid of the UK investigation;
  • Chris Corrigan: in Federal Court proceedings commenced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleging anti-competitive arrangements between Patrick Corporation and P&O;
  • Villa World Limited: in a building and construction dispute in the Supreme Court of NSW involving alleged defects in the construction of a 120 lot housing development;
  • AWB Limited: in relation to the Cole Inquiry into the Oil-for-Food Program;
  • various individuals in relation to several ongoing, high profile investigations by the Australian Federal Police into alleged bribery and foreign corruption by Australian corporations;
  • the directors of Keycorp Limited: in the defence of a Federal Court claim brought by US corporation, HID Global Inc;
  • HFA Holdings Limited funds managers: in relation to proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW arising from an employee share scheme and related margin loans;
  • Chilean liquidator of Onix Capital SA: in proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia obtaining recognition under the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross Border Insolvency of Chilean liquidation and Chilean bankruptcy proceedings concerning Mr Chang who is alleged to have engaged in Chile’s largest Ponzi scheme;
  • Queensland coal producer, QCoal: in proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland concerning a dispute over charges imposed by Adani for handling QCoal’s coal at Adani’s Abbot Point Terminal in far north Queensland;
  • Steven Hui Xiao, the former managing director of Hanlong Mining Limited: in relation to ASIC’s investigation into insider trading by the executives of Hanlong Mining and proceedings commenced by ASIC in the Supreme Court of NSW against those executives for travel restriction and asset freezing orders;
  • the late David Coe, the former chief executive officer of Allco Finance Group Limited: in public examinations by the receivers and ASIC’s investigation into the collapse of Allco, and a shareholders’ class action against the company, the company’s auditors and Mr Coe’s estate;
  • NSW coal producer, Whitehaven Coal Limited: in various disputes and a private arbitration with other participants in the NSW coal supply chain;
  • KordaMentha: in relation to the receivership of a large residential project in Sydney, including disputes over payments under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act and building defects disputes;
  • GEO Property Group: in relation to the successful defence of GEO in an expert determination claim for performance bonuses under a development agreement for a large industrial site;
  • the CFO of Arimco Mining NL: in relation to insolvent trading claims brought by the liquidator of Arimco;
  • purchasers of HIH: converting notes in Federal Court proceedings against the underwriter to the note issue;
  • MDS Nordion Inc, a Canadian nuclear medicine manufacturer: in concurrent proceedings in New South Wales and France;
  • six of the former directors of Ansett Airlines: in proceedings commenced by the Travel Compensation Fund;
  • Great Lakes Council: in the successful defence of the Council in the High Court in Wallis Lake Oyster class action (Graham Barclay Oysters v Ryan);
  • investors in Australia’s largest vineyard and producer of bulk wines: in a contract dispute with a major Australian wine company;
  • various financial advisers: in relation to claims for negligent advice made to the Financial Ombudsman Service; and
  • various banks and financial institutions, including Investec, Gresham, Babcock & Brown, and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited.

Recognition & publications

Take a look at Insights & News articles referencing John Mitchell