John’s research interests are insolvency law, bankruptcy history and equity and trusts. He is currently researching insolvent charities, timeliness in corporate insolvency and the narrow deployment of the creditors' bargain theory. An exponent of progressive communitarianism, John approaches his bankruptcy scholarship from a normative and critical reform perspective. This work is underpinned by his legal history scholarship.
John is joint author, with John Briggs of 3/4 South Square, of Muir Hunter on Personal Insolvency, "the leading textbook on personal bankruptcy" (per Lord Millett, 2015) which was first produced by Lord Justice Vaughan Williams in 1870. The work is frequently cited with approval in the Superior Courts of England and Wales, including five references in 2017. John sits on a number of editorial boards including the BPIR law reports, Corporate Rescue & Insolvency, and Mithani: Directors' Disqualification.
In 2006 John gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament on bankruptcy reform. He has undertaken funded commissioned research for, inter alia, the Insolvency Service, Grant Thornton, Baker Tilly, KPMG and ICAEW. An experienced media commentator, John has appeared on Sky television, BBC television and radio and given a number of quotes to the national press on personal insolvency matters. In 2016 John was appointed as an Academic Associate of Exchange Chambers.
John joined Liverpool Law School in 2016. Following completion of postgraduate work at University College London, he was appointed to his first academic post in 2003. He has taught in various capacities at Kingston University, the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Surrey, the Russian Academy of Justice (part of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation) and Beijing Normal University. John obtained a PGCE in 2004 and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
John is currently supervising one doctoral candidate at the University of Liverpool. Kerry Usher is examining aspects of cross-border insolvency. John would be happy to hear from prospective doctoral candidates with an interest in insolvency law.
- Lecture - Lynch Meyer Bankruptcy Forum (Invitation to Speak, University of Adelaide and Lynch Meyer, Adelaide, Australia 2019)
- Panel appearance with Cherie Blair QC and Hilary Heilbron QC to discuss Dame Rose Heilbron, Liverpool graduate and High Court judge (Invitation to Speak, BBC Radio Four "Great Lives" with Matthew Parris: (https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/b0bh454t) 2018)
- Lecture - InsolvencyLIVE! 2018 (Invitation to Speak, Insolvency Service, Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 2018)
- Lecture (Invitation to Speak, Northern Chancery Bar Association (NChBA) 2017)
- Annual Personal Insolvency Conference Lecture (Invitation to Speak, Insolvency Practitioners' Association 2017)
- Columnist, Liverpool Law - the Journal of the Liverpool Law Society (Liverpool Law Society 2016)
- Annual Evening Lecture (Keynote Speech, Insolvency Lawyers' Association 2012)
- Parliamentary Committee Witness (invited) (Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh 2006)
- Joseph Hume Scholarship in Law (University College London 2001)
- Deputy Director of Employability