Formerly Head of Des Voeux Chambers, Mr. Scott is an accomplished trial advocate with over 30 years’ experience in a wide range of commercial disputes. He has earned a reputation for being a “smooth yet forceful advocate who knows how to cut to the chase”. He has a long-standing track record in complex company, commercial, construction and arbitration cases and is active as both a litigator and an international arbitrator. He also has an extensive family law practice and and he recently acted on behalf of the Respondent in a milestone family law case: TO also known as TT and KO FCMC 12767/2018  HKFC 149.
Mr. Scott is a Master of the Bench of the Middle Temple, and frequently sits as an arbitrator in Hong Kong, Singapore and elsewhere in the region. He has been appointed as arbitrator in substantial construction and infrastructure projects, and has sat as an ICC, SIAC and HKIAC appointed arbitrator in numerous disputes over the last 20 years. He recently co-authored the latest version of Halsbury’s Laws Vol 25 on Arbitration (Cap. 609). Mr. Scott SC, JP also co-authored the 2020 Re-issue of Halsbury's Laws of Hong Kong on Arbitration Vol. 2.
In the context of commercial litigation, he acted on behalf of the successful appellant in a widely reported Court of Final Appeal decision clarifying the correct test in an application for ancillary relief in aid of foreign proceedings (Compania Sud Americana de Vapores S.A. v Hin- Pro International Logistics Limited (2016) 19 HKCFAR 586)
In Bel Global Resources Holdings Ltd. v Elite Dragon Limited  HKCFI 718 and HKCFI 1247 Mr. Scott acted for a Hong Kong listed company and obtained a substantial judgment for the Plaintiff against that company’s former managing director.
Mr. Scott has an extensive contentious and non-contentious company law practice having acted in various prominent cases including the contested privatisation of PCCW, and in non-contentious matters, including schemes of arrangement and reductions of capital, having appeared in the high-profile restructuring of the Hutchison, Cheung Kong and Hopewell groups of companies.
His contentious banking expertise entails involvement in landmark cases including acting for the successful bank in Natamon v Citibank N.A. concerning KYC and AML issues.
In matrimonial matters, he has acted in substantial MPS and ancillary relief hearings dealing with aspect valuation of shares in listed and private companies and the valuation of trust property.
Mr. Scott frequently appears in securities regulatory and disciplinary hearings, including in Re Mayer, a case concerned with the disqualification of listed company directors.
More recently, Mr. Scott appeared for the SFC in Re Magic, a Market Misconduct case concerned with the requirements of corporate disclosure in the course of a Takeover.
Mr. Scott is Chairman of the Standing Committee on Company Law Reform.
John Scott SC is lauded as “a very, very seasoned counsel who knows the law extremely well and is extremely talented.” He draws on over 30 years of legal practice at the Hong Kong Bar, and his broad commercial dispute resolution experience incorporates a notable emphasis on company, contractual and insolvency issues. He is praised for the breadth of his practice as a “very good all-round Senior Counsel” who is “excellent with clients and a very good advocate.”
Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2021)
‘ He has a good reputation as an arbitrator. ’ John Scott SC is recognised as a Leading Silk for Commercial Disputes, Construction and Family & Private Client matters.
Legal 500 Asia Pacific HK Bar (2021)
John Scott QC, SC, JP attracts praise not only as a “very experienced” and *“smooth yet forceful advocate who knows how to cut to the chase,” but also for a breadth of practice which incorporates particular strengths in company law, restructuring and insolvency issues and matters arising in the banking industry. Interviewees also report that he is “increasingly involved in matrimonial cases with company aspects.” In the financial services sphere, he acted for the successful defendant in PT Tugu Pratama Indonesia v Citibank NA, a case which helped clarify the law concerning both a bank’s duty of care as a paying agent and the scope of the defence of limitation.
Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2020)
- Member of HKICPA Disciplinary Panel A
- Member of HKSAR Barristers Disciplinary Tribunal Panel
- Bencher of the Middle Temple
- Chairman of Standing Committee on Company Law Reform
- Securities And Futures Commission v. Cheung Keng Ching & Ors  4 HKC 453. Company law - Directors - Disqualification of Directors
- Re Wheelock Properties Ltd  4 HKLRD 587. Company law - Scheme of arrangement - Privatisation of public listed company
- Tadjudin Sunny v. Bank of America NA  4 HKLRD 662. Employment Contract – Implied term
- Peconic Industrial Development Ltd v. Lau Kwok Fai & Ors (2009) 12 HKCFAR 139. Limitation of Actions - Fraud - Whether non-fiduciary is a constructive trustee and can plead limitation defence
- Sanyuan Group Ltd v. Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd  5 HKC 124. Stock Exchange - Company delisted because of insufficient level of operations/value of assets
- Securities And Futures Commission v. C & Ors  4 HKC 167. Stock Exchange - Insider dealing - Provisional remedies
- Re PCCW Ltd  3 HKC 292. Company law - Privatisation of listed company
- Kensland Realty Ltd (In Liq) v. Tai, Tang & Chong (A Firm) (2008) 11 HKCFAR 237;  3 HKC 90. Limitation of Actions - Tort
- McDonald and Golden Dynasty Enterprises Ltd  5 HKLRD 569. Receivership: Cross-boarder Insolvency – Authority of Receivers
- Re Almojil 61 HCAJ 9/2013 (20th June 2014). Shipping Law: Jurisdiction to bring in rem claim, beneficial ownership of vessel
- S v. L  5 HKC 217. Recusal - Comments of judge in matrimonial case.
- Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd v. New World Development Co Ltd & Ors  2 HKLRD 518. Judicial review - Whether Disciplinary Committee of Stock Exchange ‘a court’ within meaning of art 35 of Basic Law.
- A Solicitor (23/05) v. Law Society Of Hong Kong  2 HKLRD 116; (2006) 9 HKCFAR 175. Solicitor ordered to disclose documents for inspection by Council of Law Society - Non-disclosure on grounds of LPP
- Bill Chao Keh Lung v Don Xia (2004) 7 HKCFAR 260. Leave to appeal to Court of Final Appeal - appeal as of right under s.22(1)(a)
- Re Kansa General International Insurance Co. Ltd. (In Compulsory Liquidation)  3 HKLRD 94. Company law - Scheme of arrangement - Grounds on which court to sanction scheme
- Re CDCP International Ltd  2 HKC 324. Company law - Winding-up - Inability of company to pay debts - Mortgage debenture
- Mr. Scott SC, JP co-authored the 2020 Re-issue of Halsbury's Laws of Hong Kong on Arbitration Vol. 2. with Mr. Tom Ng and Mr. Timothy Hill.
- Halsbury’s Laws: Arbitration Ordinance Cap. 609 (co-author)
- Happy 5.25 Birthday to the Companies Ordinance (Cap 622) - a seminar featuring DVC's John Scott, SC
- Speaking at the annual Middle Temple Amity Visit in Hong Kong on the Resolution of Disputes in relation to the Belt and Road Initiative (September 2018)
- “Removal of an Arbitrator for Misconduct” (1989) 5 Con. L.J. 185
- “The Arbitration Ordinance Amendments” The New Gazette June 1991
- “Particularising the Pregnant Negative” The New Gazette September 1991
- Getting to Grips with Arbitration Amendments” (1990) New Gaz. 23
- “Halsbury’s Laws of Hong Kong” Vol. 1 Arbitration Section (co-author)
- “Butterworths Practical Insolvency Handbook” (co-author)
- “Chitty on Contracts” Hong Kong Specific Contracts: Reviewing Editor (2004)
- “Company Law in Hong Kong: Insolvency” General Editor (2006)
- “Hong Kong Construction Law” General Editor (2008)
- Schemes of Arrangement and Reductions of Capital