John Restano QC

John Restano QC
  • Call Date: 1994
  • Silk Date: 2014
  • Areas of Law:
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Commercial and Shipping Litigation, Public Law and Human Rights

John’s practice is based in Gibraltar where he is a partner of Hassans ( John appears as Counsel at every level, including the Privy Council. Given the similarities between the Constitution and legal system of Gibraltar and that of other Overseas Territories, John has a particular interest in practice in Overseas Territories especially in the areas of Public Law, Human Rights and Commercial law.

Commercial & Shipping

John's workload covers all areas of civil and commercial disputes (often with an international angle), interim relief applications, asset tracing, financial services, professional negligence, commercial Judicial Review and banking litigation.

Recent cases in which John has been involved include: 

  • Michailidis v Calyon [2009] UKPC34; [2010] 2 LRC 280 (effect of Greek judgment on non-parties in Gibraltar).
  • Acting for classical music stars Elina Garača and Karel Mark Chichon OBE in a commercial dispute.
  • Re: Valmore and Summit Trusts: acting for trustees in a US$500M dispute about the true beneficial ownership of Gibraltar trusts.

Following an explosion at the sullage plant of AIM- listed Nature Group at Gibraltar’s North Mole in 2011, John acted for Nature in a challenge by way of Judicial Review to the suspension of its port operator’s licence on Public Law/EU Law and Constitutional grounds. John has also recently acted for Nature in relation to a Health and Safety prosecution.

John has also acted for mortgagee banks and other creditors in relation to admiralty claims.

Public Law and Human Rights

John has acted for Claimants and Respondents in a number of Judicial Reviews/ Public Law claims involving a broad range of Public/Human Rights/EC law issues including:

  • Rodriguez v Minister for Housing [2009] UKPC52; (2009) 28 BHRC 189; [2010] 3 LRC 653 (Privy Council recognised that to equate same-sex couples with opposite-sex couples is indirectly discriminatory in circumstances where, as was previously the case in Gibraltar, the law did not permit them to enter into a civil partnership or equivalent).
  • R (on the application of Goretti Maria Rodrigues) v Director of Education [2010-12] Gib LR 21 (unconstitutionality of refusal to enrol for schooling minors who were non-EU over-stayers).
  • Chief Minister v Equality Rights Group: GGR and others (2011) 33 BHRC 149; [2010-12] Gib LR 32 & 178 (unconstitutionality of differential ages of consent for opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples).
  • R (on the application of Goretti Maria Rodrigues) v Marriage Registrar 2011) 33 BHRC 374; [2010-12] Gib LR 193 (on right to marry of overstayers)
  • Secretary of State for Defence v San Miguel Alvarado 3] 5 LRC 410 (Supreme Court); (2013) 35 BHRC 428; [2013-15] Gib LR 280 (Court of Appeal) (clarified the law of Crown Immunity in Gibraltar as it applies to the Crown in right of the Government of the United Kingdom).
  • P v HM Attorney General for Gibraltar (2013) 35 BHRC 136; [2013-15] Gib LR 165 (unconstitutionality of provisions of the Adoption Act which excluded a same sex couple from jointly applying for adoption).    
  • Dixon v Kingdom of Spain [2014] UKPC 38; [2014] All ER (D) 92 (protection of Gibraltar Constitution in EU extradition cases)John believes in the importance of high quality representation and advice for all regardless of their means, and is pleased to accept instructions from legally assisted clients. Where funding is not available, he will accept instructions on a pro bono basis if he is able to do so for both individuals and NGOs.


Since qualifying with ADR as a mediator in 2003, John has been involved in a number of mediations acting for either parties or as mediator. John enjoys a high success rate in relation to disputes in which he has been appointed as mediator.

Recent Publications

Evidential Value of Judgment Against Non-Party - The Commonwealth Lawyer December 2009 (Vol. 18. No. 3)

  • Removal of the Rock's Chief Justice [2010] P.L.253
  • Privy Council Makes Further Stride in Discrimination Law [2010] JR 153.
  • Clarification by Privy Council of its powers under the Judicial Committee Act 1833 [2013] P.L.477
  • Justice So Requiring, The Emergence And Development Of A Legal System In Gibraltar(Calpe Press, 2012) visit - an independent review of the book by The Commonwealth Lawyer can be found at this link.

What the directories say:

Chambers and Partners, 2015:
In addition to a strong practice advising on complex commercial litigations, John Restano stands out for his activity at the cutting edge of developments in human rights law in Gibraltar. Clients know him as being “incisive in terms of his analysis; he’s very focused and manages to elucidate the main legal points”
Legal 500, 2015:
… John Restano QC, who also took silk in 2014, recently acted in an appeal to the Privy Council regarding a European arrest warrant, and continues to represent various international banks