John is a practical and outcome focussed transactional lawyer known for his approachability, can-do attitude and commercial nous combined with a profound understanding of the law. With more than 30 years’ experience, his work spans capital raisings, mergers and acquisitions (regulated and unregulated), companies and securities regulation, major commercial transactions, joint ventures and resources projects.
John is independently ranked on a consistent basis as one of the top corporate and commercial lawyers in Queensland.
He is also Chairman of the Australia-Taiwan Business Council and the Local Managing Partner of Sparke Helmore’s Brisbane office.
John works with international conglomerates (including state-owned corporations), listed entities, private equity, and established and emerging companies.
Over the years he has developed the leading Taiwanese project investment practice into Australia, becoming a trusted advisor to major Taiwan corporations whose role includes strategic and commercial advice, and participation as a member of the management committee of a number of coal and iron ore joint ventures.
John holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment. He has been in private practice since his admission in 1986.
John worked for a number of law firms in the heady days of the mid-1980’s before returning to Brisbane to wed in 1988. Shortly after that, he started with ClarkeKann Lawyers where he remained, including stints as managing partner and chairman, until the Brisbane office joined Sparkes in 2019.
With four adult children all still living at home, John has been frustrated in his attempts to have them fly the coop by his wife who thinks it’s wonderful that they are sticking around. But there are advantages, such as having no shortage of people to feed the cat and look after the house while he and his wife are away.
A big believer in a healthy mind and healthy body, John endeavours to keep himself rudely fit with swimming, fartlek training, gym and the occasional cycle.