John Gould > Russell-Cooke LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Russell-Cooke LLP
SW15 6AB

Work Department

Administrative and public law; professional discipline and regulation


Senior Partner John Gould’s area of particular expertise is regulation and public law. He specialises in the analysis and solution of complex regulatory problems, advising regulators, government departments, law enforcement agencies, charities and statutory and professional bodies.

One of John’s particular areas of interest is complex financial schemes. He has played a leading part in investigations relating to investment, tax and pension schemes, international financial frauds, money laundering, organised criminality and the corruption of public officials. He has been appointed as an ‘expert person’ under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), a court appointed partnership receiver and a court appointed supervisor of search and freezing orders. He has advised and served as an expert witness for, among others, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the Magistrates Association (MA) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in a variety of courts and tribunals including the Old Bailey. He holds rights of audience in the higher civil courts.

John provides advice on and drafts legal structures, statutory powers, royal charters and professional rules. He is Board Solicitor to the Architects Registration Board. He prepares independent reports for organisations where things have gone wrong including on governance and related issues. He has advised more than 40 sets of barristers’ chambers on structures, mergers, dissolutions and disputes, and has advised in relation to political donations and expenses at the highest level. Many of his cases have attracted significant media interest. He often advises and reports in relation to situations which involve both legal and reputational issues for organisations.


Trained Russell-Cooke, Potter & Chapman; qualified 1980; partner 1982.


  • Member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
  • John has published numerous articles in journals including as a standing contributor to the New Law Journal
  • John is the author of The Law of Legal Services (in its second edition). The book has been described as authoritative by Lord Neuberger, then President of the Supreme Court.

He is currently re-writing the Solicitors volume of the EFP published by Lexis Nexis.


Bristol GS and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (Evan Lewis Thomas Law Student)

Lawyer Rankings

London > Public sector > Administrative and public law

Russell-Cooke LLP is increasingly engaged in complex judicial review and public inquiry work, drawing on its recognised regulatory expertise and growing specialisms in planning, housing, criminal law and immigration. Practice head John Gould is a public law specialist and regularly prepares independent reports on governance and related issues for public sector organisations. Michael Stacey is known for both bringing and defending high-profile judicial reviews, particularly regarding policy issues affecting the charity sector.

London > Dispute resolution > Professional discipline

(Hall of Fame)

John GouldRussell-Cooke LLP

At the forefront of regulatory law and professional discipline for at least the last 30 years‘, Russell-Cooke LLP is consistently instructed by the SRA, particularly in relation to insurance disputes and the Compensation Fund; and the team routinely advises major city firms and individual partners on misconduct allegations. The practice also acts for the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, along with several other professional bodies. The track record of senior partner John Gould includes several high-profile disciplinary proceedings; Matt Bosworth is ‘hugely experienced‘; and Michael Stacey specialises in regulatory advice and litigation, in relation to legal services, architects, accountants, and charity trustees. The second line of key advisers includes consultant and former partner, Peter Cadman, who is regularly mandated by regulatory bodies and individual members of professions; legal counsel and barrister Tom Bradford, who also maintains a professional discipline practice; and the ‘extremely hardworking‘ senior associate Sheetul Sowdagur.

London > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market

Russell-Cooke LLP‘s multi-disciplinary department comprises experts in a range of contentious matters, including civil fraud, professional negligence, construction, insolvency, and contractual and director/shareholder disputes. Senior partner John Gould specialises in commercial litigation, regulation, and public law matters; insolvency head Lee Ranfordbrings decades of experience‘; Elliot Elsey‘s practice encompasses contractual and quasi-contractual disputes, as well as claimant-side professional negligence; Michael Stacey is ‘a standout solicitor with excellent regulatory knowledge‘; and Mark Fletcher maintains a broad litigation practice. Joshua Mitchell (promoted in July 2023, David Fendt and Emily Mitcheson are the senior associates to note.