John Gibson is a partner in the London office of Cohen & Gresser. He leads the firm’s United Kingdom white collar and investigations practice. John’s work focuses on complex economic crime, investigations, and regulatory matters. He draws on over two decades of litigation and advisory experience, first as a trial lawyer in independent practice and then, for five years, as one of the most senior prosecutors and investigation managers in the Bribery & Corruption Unit of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
At the SFO, John gained extensive knowledge of the financial, energy, and extractive industries. He had oversight of some of the most complex work ever undertaken by the SFO, including one of the largest economic crime investigations in UK law enforcement history. John was a valued public speaker for the SFO and engaged in a range of policy initiatives and consultations concerning the investigation and prosecution of serious economic crime.
John offers rare insight into the focus of UK law enforcement and financial regulation, what matters when engaging with regulators and prosecutors, and how to properly deploy the correct litigation strategy to any given criminal or compliance issue. He has extensive experience with UK/US cooperation in economic crime investigations. He regularly works with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States. Additionally, John brings a thorough understanding of and experience with the white collar crime and regulatory environment in emerging markets, including the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries, Switzerland, and British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.
John also has expertise in the management of big data investigations and litigation, the use of artificial intelligence (AI), legal privilege issues, internal investigations, self-reporting, cooperation with law enforcement, and leniency.
John practiced in Barrister’s Chambers in London, 36 Bedford Row (The 36 Group), from 1991 to 2014.
John is a graduate of the University College, Durham University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Law with Honors.
John Gibson is a partner in the London office of Cohen & Gresser. He leads the firm’s United Kingdom white collar and investigations practice.…
University College, Durham University (B.A., Law Hons 1990); Inns of Court School of Law, London (Bar Finals 1991)
England & Wales (Barrister)
Activities and Affiliations
Member, International Bar Association, White Collar Crime and Oil & Gas Committees
Member, Fraud Lawyers Association
Cohen & Gresser LLP advised private equity firm Limerston Capital in its acquisition of Forensis Group Limited and Forensic Axis Limited (trading respectively as Forensic Access and Axiom International), specialists in forensics science services and premier providers of international institutional reform and capacity building. The combined acquisition will form the basis of a new, comprehensive international criminal justice services provider. Management and founders, led by Professor Angela Gallop, will retain a significant minority shareholding as part of the transaction and will work with Limerston Capital to expand the businesses through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. The terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
John W Gibson speaks to Law360 about the light caseload and lack of charges coming out of the Serious Fraud Office. John notes that the current "cases are worthwhile, but they appear to lack the complexity or global scope of international bribery and corruption cases the SFO is designed to pursue." John also praises the Director of the SFO, Lisa Osofsky, for her "bold and impressive charging decision" regarding the recent investigation of GPT Special Project Management, Ltd. (a subsidiary of Airbus) and three individuals for alleged corruption offenses.
John W Gibson is quoted in an article by The Daily Telegraph, which highlights the impact of the rare-earth metals industry on U.S. – China trade relations, noting “China has a ‘notional advantage’ in this area, by using relatively toothless regulation on African-based mining projects.”
In this C&G Client Alert, John W Gibson and Tim Harris discuss the Financial Conduct Authority’s (“FCA”) public censure of Redcentric PLC for market abuse and the likely implications for FCA enforcement in the context of the economic conditions created by COVID-19.
John W Gibson and Tim Harris offer a practical, cross-border insight into UK anti-money laundering law in their chapter for International Comparative Legal Guides.
John W Gibson, Thomas Shortland, and Ashley Collins outline the key factors company directors must consider when making business decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they may face scrutiny from a range of interested parties including creditors, employees, trade unions, landlords, customers, regulators, insolvency practitioners, and possibly law enforcement.
John W Gibson, Tim Harris, Barbara K Luse, and Charlotte Ritchie discuss the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (“the 2019 Regulations”) that recently came into force in the UK. The 2019 Regulations extend anti-money laundering responsibilities to UK art market participants, including art dealers and other intermediaries, in response to the increasing recognition that high value art is used by criminals and terrorist groups to launder and hide money.
John W Gibson and Tim Harris discuss the enforcement risks created by cum-ex transactions and the implications for jurisdictions, such as the UK, where cum-ex transactions per se have not been carried out, but where dividend arbitrage trades carry a risk of facilitating tax evasion, money laundering, or market abuse.
Miriam González Durántez and John W Gibson discuss the deal and no-deal implications for finance and sanctions following a “Brexit” in The Law Society Gazette.
John W Gibson and Miriam González Durántez discuss the parallels between the early enforcement of the Bribery Act 2010 and the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation's first monetary penalty.
John was the keynote speaker at the 2018 Global Investigations Review Conference.
John spoke on the subject of legal privilege at The Cambridge International Economic Crime Symposium in 2016, 2017, and 2018 .
- White Collar Defense & Regulation