John has had 25 years’ experience as a partner in KPMG, latterly as a senior partner and for 13 years as chairman of its forensic accounting department. He has testified in over 40 cases in 10 jurisdictions, many of which have been investor/state disputes or have involved claims in excess of US$1 billion. He now testifies, or acts as an arbitrator, as a consultant, having retired from the KPMG partnership in 2010.
John has been an expert witness on international arbitration or litigation assignments in numerous countries including the UK, USA, Russia, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Jordan, Sierra Leone, Gibraltar, the Bahamas, Turkmenistan, Hong Kong, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Libya, Lebanon, France, Jersey and Denmark. He also sits as an arbitrator and an independent expert to determine international disputes, having been appointed as an arbitrator under the auspices of the AAA, the ICC, the LCIA and the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, including as sole arbitrator and chair of a three-arbitrator tribunal. He was responsible for determining (in a sole capacity) a US$120 million dispute in the telecoms sector in Africa. John has also been appointed by a court and by an ICC Arbitral Tribunal as court or tribunal-appointed expert, respectively. He was appointed with statutory powers by the Financial Services Authority (and its predecessor bodies) to investigate alleged wrongdoing with statutory powers and report, on several occasions: on each occasion his evidence was accepted by the High Court.
John is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a founding member of the Society of Share and Business Valuers, a fellow of the Academy of Experts and a founding member of the Expert Witness Institute. He joined KPMG in 1972, qualifying in 1976 and becoming partner in 1985. He was chairman of KPMG Forensic from 1997 to 2010 when he became a consultant. He is a former member of the appeal committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, responsible for hearing disciplinary appeals; and is currently lay vice chairman of the professional conduct committee of the English Bar Standards Board.
Previously an audit partner, John was responsible for audit and corporate finance and investment transactions before moving into forensic. This included being the partner responsible for IPOs and audits of four international groups on the London Stock Exchange. John was a non-executive director of an iron ore mining company (Quebec Cartier Mining) for three years.
Cases that John has worked on include, among many others, Eastern Sugar v Czech Republic (UNCITRAL BIT arbitration (testified in Paris)) and Bridas v Government of Turkmenistan (ICC arbitration (testified three years running in Stockholm and once in The Hague), where the Tribunal said it was “satisfied the expenditures attested by Mr Ellison were in fact incurred. The Tribunal does not believe there was any serious challenge to his figures. Suggestions of 'double-dipping' were effectively refuted by Mr Ellison”). He also acted in Braspetro v Libya (ICC arbitration (testified in Paris)); Eurotunnel v TML (testified in three cases over five years concerning the cost of the construction of the Channel Tunnel before a panel of five independent experts); Sokolovskaya v Joy Mining (ICC arbitration); and Days Medical Aids v Pihsiang (UK High Court), where the judgment from Langley J said, “Mr Ellison prepared reports under very severe time pressure, which were thoroughly professional and objective. He gave his evidence in the same manner.”
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WWL says: John Ellison "produces written analysis of consistently high quality" and "defends his opinions in a convincing manner" according to interviewees.
This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.