John Powell Partner

Meet John

John is a commercial disputes lawyer with over 25 years of experience. His clients speak of his “hands-on” approach, his strategic thinking and his pragmatic approach to solving disputes.

He represents both domestic and international clients in corporate litigation and with recognised strength in the resources sector. He approaches each assignment with intensity, thoroughness and from a strategist’s perspective.

John engages a number of techniques and develops strategies to resolve disputes, including alternate dispute resolution methods such as, mediation and negotiation. He is known as a litigator who does not simply “go through the motions”. Rather he strategically plots the course and then executes on that strategy.

John’s commercial skills include negotiation, facilitation and execution, project management and astute risk assessment. John appreciates that his client’s first priority is to manage and minimise risk. He gives clients a thorough and clear assessment of their position, the options available and importantly, a recommendation on how best to achieve a cost-effective commercial solution.

John is listed as one of Australia’s best Litigation lawyers in Best Lawyers Australia, 2019.



Callide Power Management

Defended the owners of the Callide C Power Station in a long-running and complex dispute (the Change Event Proceedings), and in relation to proceedings involving a claim for specific performance and compensation for alleged failure to supply coal pursuant to the terms of a coal supply agreement.

One‑Steel Manufacturing Pty Ltd

Acted for the administrators of One‑Steel Manufacturing in a dispute as to whether $23 million in leased equipment vested in One‑Steel Manufacturing Pty Ltd pursuant to the provisions of the Personal Property Securities Act. The administrators were successful in all aspects of the claim.

Billabong International

Acted in a complex sponsorship dispute.


Successfully resisted an application for an injunction brought by Storm Financial.

ASEA Brown Boveri

Achieved a successful outcome for ABB in an arbitration of a design and construct dispute against BHP.

Mining Company

Acted for a mining company in disputes regarding breaches of transport and supply agreements.


Acted in various commercial disputes.

Origin Energy

Acted in various disputes arising out of the terms of long term gas supply agreements.

Major Grocery Retailer

Acted in litigation concerning allegations of various breaches of the Trade Practices Act.

Coal Mining Company

Acted in a complex dispute regarding a significant coal supply agreement ( $700 million coal purchase ) involving subsidiaries of major Japanese and Korean entities.

Various Corporations and Directors

Represented clients in investigations by ASIC involving allegations of various breaches of the Corporations Act.


Listed as a leading lawyer in alternative dispute resolution
Best Lawyers, since 2008
Listed as a leading lawyer in litigation
Best Lawyers, since 2008

Career & qualifications


  • Bachelor of Laws, University of Queensland


  • Queensland Law Society