John Xavier Butler

Specialist Counsel

About John Xavier Butler

John specialises in shipping, commodities and international trade and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Before returning to London, John spent almost nine years in Hong Kong, where he is also qualified as a Solicitor and previously spent time on secondment to a P&I Club.

John has varied experience of international trade and shipping work for owners, charterers and cargo interests, including P&I and Defence work; Charterparty, bill of lading and COA matters; MOA sale & purchase disputes; admiralty work and the arrest of ships and other assets in order to secure and/or enforce claims.

Outside of the shipping arena, John's work has included complex international fraud as well as shareholder disputes – in particular acting for a Chinese SOE in a long-running shareholder and director dispute involving the management of a heavylift JV valued at US$1bn.

John has represented clients in arbitrations in London, Singapore and Hong Kong as well as at numerous mediations.

John speaks fluent German and conversational Mandarin, having studied Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, where he obtained a distinction.

Work experience
  • 2021 -

    Specialist Counsel, Wikborg Rein, London

  • 2018 - 2021

    Senior Associate, CMS

  • 2017 - 2018

    Senior Associate, RPC

  • 2014 - 2017

    Associate, RPC

  • 2012 - 2014

    Associate, HFW

  • 2010 - 2012

    Trainee Solicitor, Weil, Gotshal & Manges

  • 2019

    Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)

  • 2004 - 2008

    Master of Arts, University of Oxford

Honor awards
  • 2021

    Rising Star (Hong Kong), Legal 500