Professional practice

C&P 2024Leading Silk 2024

John Lockey KC acts as an advocate in complex commercial disputes before the English courts at all levels and in arbitrations in London, in Europe, and worldwide (including Bermuda, Hong Kong, Canada and Singapore). His clients include leading financial institutions, accountancy firms, energy companies, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and insurance and reinsurance companies. He works regularly with leading law firms in England, the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bermuda. His experience includes leading multidisciplinary and multinational teams in the most complex of international commercial disputes. His arbitration experience and professional skills also mean that he is often appointed as an arbitrator (LCIA, ARIAS and ad hoc).


What others say

Chambers & Partners 2024

“John Lockey is excellent. He has a distinctive advocate style and his written submissions are succinct.”

“He is a user-friendly silk. John Lockey is always helpful and is super bright.”

“John is a well-liked insurance advocate and arbitrator. He is both experienced and a safe pair of hands.”

Chambers & Partners 2023

“He has deep knowledge and experience of insurance and reinsurance. He is personable and easy to work with.”

“John is very thorough, clear and concise in providing an opinion on very technical insurance law issues.”

“John is a creative thinker who sees round corners and thinks outside of the box.”

“John is a charming advocate, very bright and popular with clients and solicitors.”

The Legal 500 2023

“An excellent advocate with a calm and convincing style. Responsive and direct regarding advice.”

Chambers & Partners 2022

“John has the ability to communicate very difficult submissions in a succinct way. His brevity is impressive.”

The Legal 500 2022

“Highly intelligent, understated in style of advocacy, courteous and witty.”

“Very intelligent, he has a very good sense of humour and is very balanced.”

The Legal 500 2021

“A brilliant silk who always strives to achieve the best for clients.”

The Legal 500 2020

“He gives clear, commercially sensitive advice and always exceeds expectations.”

Chambers & Partners 2019

“He has an encyclopaedic knowledge and he just has that knack of choosing the right phrase which enables him to persuade a judge. Responsive and user-friendly, he’s more than prepared to engage in open discussions with solicitors. Great at navigating a path through cloudy skies, he sees things clearly and has got such an easy manner. A recognised leader in the insurance field.”


1987   Queen Mother’s Fund Scholar, Middle Temple

1987   Scarman Scholar (Inns of Court School of Law)

1985   Frank Knox Fellowship, Harvard Law School

1985   Slaughter & May Prize (Cambridge University, first in class)

Arbitration & related court applications

Experienced advocate in arbitrations in London and worldwide. Extensive experience of leading a multi-jurisdictional team of lawyers.

Recent experience includes hearings in Hong Kong (HKIAC), Washington DC, Vancouver, New York (AAA), Bermuda and Stockholm as well as numerous Bermuda Form arbitrations in London.

Expert on English arbitration law and anti-suit and anti-arbitration injunctions; recent cases include Weyerhaeuser v Hiscox (Commercial Court, 2019) and AIG v John Wood (Commercial Court 2022).

Regularly accepts appointment as independent arbitrator (ad hoc, LCIA, ARIAS) and as adjudicator/expert.

Banking & financial services

Recent experience includes disputes alleging negligent fund management, negligent lending decisions, insurance backed assets, letters of credit, performance bonds, and negligence claims against professional advisers.

Commercial dispute resolution

Regularly appears as Counsel in the High Court and Court of Appeal in London as well as in arbitrations in London and abroad. Regularly provides advice and assistance on English law in overseas courts and tribunals as expert and as co-Counsel. Recent hearings include jurisdictional battles, trials involving extensive cross-examination of witnesses of fact and experts (actuaries, accountants, insurance brokers, investment advisers, environmental regulators), and points of law.

Conflict of laws & private international law

A recognised expert in jurisdictional battles. Led on a successful appeal to the Court of Appeal from a decision of the Commercial Court retaining jurisdiction over a multimillion dollar Covid-19 insurance claim in the Middle East (Al-Mana v Fidelity Insurance, February 2023).

Energy & natural resources

Regularly acts for, and against, companies involved in offshore exploration. Recent instructions include SBM YME offshore drilling dispute in English Commercial Court and SIRI offshore appeal before the Danish Court of Appeal. Regularly instructed in onshore and offshore insurance claims (CAR, operational risks, liabilities).

Insurance & reinsurance

Expertise in insurance and reinsurance law. Former Chairman, British Insurance Law Association.

Chambers & Partners Insurance Silk of the Year 2011 and 2021.

Regularly instructed in the leading domestic and international insurance and reinsurance disputes in arbitrations and in Court, including leading for the First Defendant in the Commercial Court and Supreme Court in the FCA Covid-19 test case (January 2021), winning a jurisdiction appeal to the Court of Appeal on another Covid-19 case (Al-Mana v Fidelity Insurance, February 2023), acting in the Russian aviation claims currently before the Commercial Court, and acting in reinsurance disputes concerning Covid-19 losses.

Regularly acts as advocate in confidential arbitrations in London, Hong Kong, Washington DC, New York, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and elsewhere, in disputes governed by English law, New York law, Bermuda law, Hong Kong law, Singapore law, and other systems of law.

Considerable experience of working with lawyers from other jurisdictions, including the US, as co-counsel and as lead counsel.

Disputes include cyber claims (under cyber policies and other forms of first and third party insurance), contingency claims, property damage and business interruption claims including Covid-19 claims, reinsurance disputes concerning Covid-19 losses, asbestos related disease insurance and reinsurance claims, silicosis insurance claims, pharmaceutical and medical device claims, satellite (re)-insurance claims, employment practices insurance claims, investment management liability claims, earthquake claims, adverse weather claims, 9/11 claims, hedge fund trading loss claims, environmental liability claims, marine cargo claims, fidelity insurance claims, accountants’ and solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance, D&O insurance claims, US Securities claims, Warranty and Indemnity insurance disputes and Bermuda Form disputes.

Considerable experience of serving as lead Counsel in Bermuda Form and similar arbitrations. Recent Bermuda Form cases have included pharmaceutical claims including US opioid litigation related claims, medical device claims and other product liability claims, and environmental pollution claims.

Professional negligence

Regularly instructed as advocate in insurance brokers’ negligence cases.

Considerable experience of accountants’ negligence cases. Acted as Counsel for Coopers & Lybrand in the mammoth Barings audit negligence case.

Expert on professional indemnity insurance (solicitors, IFAs, accountants, brokers etc).


2006     Silk

1988      Essex Court Chambers

1987      Call: Middle Temple. Queen Mother’s Fund Scholar.


1987    Inns of Court School of Law. Scarman Scholar.

1986    LLM, Harvard Law School. Frank Knox Fellowship.

1985    BA (Law), Downing College, Cambridge (starred First Class). Slaughter & May Prize for best performance.