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)

Bar Admissions

England & Wales (Barrister)

Activities and Affiliations

Member, International Bar Association, White Collar Crime and Oil & Gas Committees

Member, Fraud Lawyers Association

In this Law360 profile, John W Gibson discusses his five-year stint as a senior prosecutor and investigations manager in the UK Serious Fraud Office’s bribery and corruption unit, how he uses that experience to understand what matters when engaging with regulators and prosecutors, and how to deploy effective litigation strategy in criminal or compliance matters. (Subscription required.)

John Gibson spoke with Financial News to discuss the Financial Conduct Authority’s recent warning that the agency is keeping a close eye on the use of unauthorised messaging apps in finance.

“The really critical thing for firms to do is to not ignore warning signs… [or] turn a blind eye to situations in which they [firms] know that private devices are being used for business purposes,” said John, adding that doing so represented “unquestionably [a] failing in your regulatory obligations.”

“The way in which people are working remotely and using chat applications, is storing up risk for both institutions, and for their potential supervision and enforcement of the rules,” added John. (Subscription required.)

John W Gibson speaks to Law360 about the recent memorandum of understanding announced by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Competition and Markets Authority that shifts responsibility for the enforcement of the most serious and complex cartel offenses to the SFO.
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 Gibson is quoted in the Financial Times regarding the SFO’s new charges against two former Airbus executives and ex-British defense official relating to a £2bn UK government contract.
John W Gibson and Tim Harris spoke to Law360 about the implications of the Court of Appeal’s recent judgment that definitively changed the English law test for dishonesty. John and Tim highlight how the judgment could benefit prosecutors, disadvantage financial services professionals charged with dishonesty offenses, and how juries’ decisions could be affected.
John W Gibson spoke to Law360 about enforcement action and litigation over potential misconduct stemming from the UK’s COVID-19 lending programs. John notes that, while banks have been firmly warned of the possible Financial Services and Markets Act offenses, there could still be widespread abuse of the schemes.

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.”

John Gibson spoke with the Financial Times regarding the increasing number of suspicious activity reports (SARs) in the UK. He noted: “Consent SARs can be extremely complicated . . . and require days of rigorous analysis.”
Cohen & Gresser announces the expansion of its London office and White Collar Defense & Regulation group with the appointment of partner John W Gibson. A former UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) senior prosecutor, John will focus his practice on cross-border corporate investigations and white collar defense. He has over 25 years of experience as a barrister, and advises on all matters relating to law enforcement, regulatory and internal investigation of suspected crimes and regulatory breaches, as well as the defense of companies and individuals. In addition, John has expertise in data strategy and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in big data litigation and investigations.
With the shift to remote working and the convenience of chat applications for conducting business, it is critical for firms to understand that information relevant to their business may be created on personal devices and applications. The UK FCA’s failed prosecution of an investment banker for destroying WhatsApp messages taken together with the FCA’s ‘Market Watch 66’ publication highlighting the need to control electronic communications is a reminder to firms to address staff use of personal chat applications to conduct business.

In this C&G client alert, John W Gibson and Charlotte Ritchie outline the new UK Insolvency Practice Directions that are in place as a result of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.

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 discuss the Court of Appeal’s recent judgment in R v Barton & Booth, and consider some of the implications for those accused of complex fraud allegations by the alteration of the legal test for dishonesty.

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.

Jeffrey M Bronheim and John W Gibson discuss the implications of the Financial Conduct Authority’s decision to review hedge fund polling data use in their latest C&G Client Alert.

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 .