John Howard is a litigator with more than 30 years’ experience in dispute resolution.
John practises in all aspects of business and company law disputes and contractual negotiations within his industry areas of expertise. His clients represent a wide range of industries including international oil and gas, hi-tech companies, financial services, and industrial companies.
John has particular expertise in cross border disputes, contract law, corporations law, and competition and consumer law. He is also experienced in all forms of alternative dispute resolution including mediations, arbitrations, expert determinations, and structured negotiations.
John mainly practises in the Federal and Supreme Courts across Australia. He and his team also appear regularly in all courts and tribunals of New South Wales.
John is a fellow of the Commercial Law Association of Australia and a member of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, Australian Corporate Lawyers Association, Australian Institute of Company Directors, and the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce of which he is also Honorary General Counsel.
John has been recognised by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in Australia (2022 – 2023) in the area of Gaming Law.
John Howard’s recent experience includes:
- John and his team recently successfully advised and acted for the now former Prime Minister, the NSW Premier, the federal president of the Liberal Party of Australia and another senior party official In high profile expedited proceedings in the New South Wales Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia.
The proceedings involved an urgent challenge to the powers and validity of the actions of a Committee (comprising the Prime Minister, the NSW Premier and one other) appointed by the Liberal Party Federal Executive to take over the management of the party’s NSW Division and make the “captains’ picks” for party endorsement of candidates in 12 House of Representative seats located in NSW.
The NSW Court of Appeal unanimously ruled in favour of John’s clients and the High Court refused the plaintiff special leave to appeal clearing the way for the 2022 Federal election to be called.
The judgement of the Court of Appeal clarifies the law and is now one of the leading precedents on the justiciability of disputes arising out of the rules/constitutions of unincorporated political parties in Australia. Camenzuli v Morrison  NSWCA 51.
- Acting for an ASX top 100 corporation against a large international software solutions company in the Commercial List of the Equity Division of the Supreme Court of NSW in a very substantial multimillion dollar damages dispute concerning the alleged breach and repudiation of a contract relating to the provision to the client of a fuel/credit card payment and reporting software system capable of dealing with millions of transactions each year. The proceedings were factually and legally complex with many gigabytes of electronic discovery, and very significant lay and expert evidence involving many witnesses based in four countries. The matter settled at mediation.
- Successfully acted for Huaxin Energy (Australia) Pty Limited and a related company as defendants in Supreme Court of Queensland Commercial List proceedings for multi-million dollar damages and again on appeal to the Queensland Court of Appeal. The plaintiffs (as vendors) claimed damages for breach by the defendants (as purchasers) of implied terms the plaintiff’s alleged existed in an asset sale agreement between the parties relating to the sale of a valuable mining tenement. We were successful both at first instance and on appeal to the Court of Appeal and the case is now a leading precedent on when and to what extent to imply terms in commercial contracts.  24 QLR https://www.sclqld.org.au/caselaw/QCA/2020/114
- Successfully acted for Bondi Beach Astra Retirement Village Pty Ltd as plaintiff in Supreme Court of New South Wales Equity Division Real Property List proceedings with certain proprietors of a strata unit in a retirement village in their capacity as executors and successors in title to a deceased resident of the village. The defendants argued that our client was not an operator of the retirement village and that they were not bound to sell their unit as a unit in a retirement village but simply as a strata title unit for over 55s. The court agreed with our client’s position that it was an “operator” for the purposes of the Act and, in particular, that the unit in question formed part of a “retirement village” under the Act and thus the defendants were bound to comply with the Act if they wished to sell. The case is a leading precedent on the interaction of contract, strata and retirement village law.  NSWSC 1814 https://acsl.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Bondi-Beach-Astra-Retirement-Village-Pty-Ltd-v-Assem-2020-NSWSC-1814-16-December-2020.pdf