John Scott QC, SC is Head of Des Voeux Chambers.
Mr. Scott is an accomplished trial advocate having acquired over 30 years experience in a wide range of commercial disputes and he has earned a reputation for being a “skilful and persuasive advocate*”. He has a long-standing track record in complex company, commercial, construction and arbitration cases and is active as both a litigator and an international arbitrator.
Mr. Scott is a Master of the Bench of the Middle Temple, and frequently sits as an arbitrator in Hong Kong, Singapore and elsewhere in the region. He was notably appointed as an arbitrator in a construction dispute relating to a substantial Indonesian infrastructure project, and has sat as an ICC, SIAC and HKIAC appointed arbitrator in numerous disputes over the last 20 years.
In the context of commercial litigation, he recently acted on behalf of the successful appellant in a widely reported Court of Final Appeal decision clarifying the correct test in an application for ancillary relief in aid of foreign proceedings (Compania Sud Americana de Vapores S.A. v. Hin- Pro International Logistics Limited (2016) 19 HKCFAR 586)
In Bel Global Resources Holdings Ltd. v. Elite Dragon Limited  HKCFI 718 and HKCFI 1247 Mr. Scott recently acted for a Hong Kong listed company and obtained a judgment for the Plaintiff of over HK$100m against that company’s former Managing Director.
Mr. Scott has an extensive contentious and non-contentious company law practice having acted in various prominent cases including the contested privatisation of PCCW, and in non-contentious matters, including Schemes of Arrangement and Reductions of Capital, having appeared recently in the high-profile restructuring of the Hutchison and Cheung Kong groups of companies.
His banking expertise entails involvement in landmark cases including acting for the successful bank in Natamon v. Citibank N.A. concerning KYC and AML issues.
In matrimonial matters, he has acted in substantial MPS and ancillary relief hearings dealing with aspects of valuation of shares in listed and private companies and the valuation of trust property.
Mr. Scott frequently appears in securities regulatory and disciplinary hearings, including the recent case of Re Mayer, concerned with the disqualification of listed company directors.
Mr. Scott has recently been appointed Chairman of the HKSAR Telecommunications (Competition Provisions) Appeal Board and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Company Law Reform. He was also recently appointed to the Panel as Counsel for the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
Mr. Scott is also a board tenant at 4 Stone Buildings Lincoln’s Inn in London.
* Chambers & Partners 2017
John Scott SC has been recognised by Doyles as a Leading Senior Counsel for Hong Kong Family, Divorce and Matrimonial matters in 2018
John Scott SC, the head of Des Voeux Chambers, is characterised by sources as "an extremely good all-rounder and very persuasive advocate," paticularly respected by juniors for his "good, always patient leadership." His handling of construction-related disputes, including arbitrations, attracts particular notice, and he is also increasingly selected for regulatory work, lately representing the Securities and Futures Commission in Market Misconduct Tribunal proceedings which determined that Mayer Holdings and nine of its executives had committed a breach of disclosure requirements by not reporting anomalies in the company’s accounts as soon as practicable after these were discovered by auditors.
Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2018)
"John Scott SC is head of Des Voeux Chambers, combining this role with continuing activity as both a litigator and an international arbitrator, noted for his expertise in the handling of construction, company law and contentious financial services issues. Peers praise him for his "measured and reasonable submissions" and skilful, persuasive advocacy and juniors find him "a very user-friendly leader."
Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2017)
- Chairman of HKSAR Telecommunications (Competition Provisions) Appeal Board
- Member of HKICPA Disciplinary Panel A
- Member of HKSAR Barristers Disciplinary Tribunal Panel
- Bencher of the Middle Temple
- Chairman of Standing Committee on Company Law Reform
- Appointment as a panel counsel by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority
- Securities And Futures Commission v. Cheung Keng Ching & Ors  4 HKC 453. Company law - Directors - Disqualification of Directors
- Re Wheelock Properties Ltd  4 HKLRD 587. Company law - Scheme of arrangement - Privatisation of public listed company
- Tadjudin Sunny v. Bank of America NA  4 HKLRD 662. Employment Contract – Implied term
- Peconic Industrial Development Ltd v. Lau Kwok Fai & Ors (2009) 12 HKCFAR 139. Limitation of Actions - Fraud - Whether non-fiduciary is a constructive trustee and can plead limitation defence
- Sanyuan Group Ltd v. Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd  5 HKC 124. Stock Exchange - Company delisted because of insufficient level of operations/value of assets
- Securities And Futures Commission v. C & Ors  4 HKC 167. Stock Exchange - Insider dealing - Provisional remedies
- Re PCCW Ltd  3 HKC 292. Company law - Privatisation of listed company
- Kensland Realty Ltd (In Liq) v. Tai, Tang & Chong (A Firm) (2008) 11 HKCFAR 237;  3 HKC 90. Limitation of Actions - Tort
- McDonald and Golden Dynasty Enterprises Ltd  5 HKLRD 569. Receivership: Cross-boarder Insolvency – Authority of Receivers
- Re Almojil 61 HCAJ 9/2013 (20th June 2014). Shipping Law: Jurisdiction to bring in rem claim, beneficial ownership of vessel
- S v. L  5 HKC 217. Recusal - Comments of judge in matrimonial case.
- Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd v. New World Development Co Ltd & Ors  2 HKLRD 518. Judicial review - Whether Disciplinary Committee of Stock Exchange ‘a court’ within meaning of art 35 of Basic Law.
- A Solicitor (23/05) v. Law Society Of Hong Kong  2 HKLRD 116; (2006) 9 HKCFAR 175. Solicitor ordered to disclose documents for inspection by Council of Law Society - Non-disclosure on grounds of LPP
- Bill Chao Keh Lung v Don Xia (2004) 7 HKCFAR 260. Leave to appeal to Court of Final Appeal - appeal as of right under s.22(1)(a)
- Re Kansa General International Insurance Co. Ltd. (In Compulsory Liquidation)  3 HKLRD 94. Company law - Scheme of arrangement - Grounds on which court to sanction scheme
- Re CDCP International Ltd  2 HKC 324. Company law - Winding-up - Inability of company to pay debts - Mortgage debenture
- “Removal of an Arbitrator for Misconduct” (1989) 5 Con. L.J. 185
- “The Arbitration Ordinance Amendments” The New Gazette June 1991
- “Particularising the Pregnant Negative” The New Gazette September 1991
- Getting to Grips with Arbitration Amendments” (1990) New Gaz. 23
- “Halsbury’s Laws of Hong Kong” Vol. 1 Arbitration Section (co-author)
- “Butterworths Practical Insolvency Handbook” (co-author)
- “Chitty on Contracts” Hong Kong Specific Contracts: Reviewing Editor (2004)
- “Company Law in Hong Kong: Insolvency” General Editor (2006)
- “Hong Kong Construction Law” General Editor (2008)
- Schemes of Arrangement and Reductions of Capital
- Halsbury’s Laws: Arbitration Ordinance Cap. 609 (co-author)