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John Noctor

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Practicing Consultant John Noctor specialises in company and commercial work for major clients and is a key member of the education team. 

“Excels in his role”. Legal 500 2017


One of the region’s leading corporate lawyers, John Noctor specialises in company and commercial work for major clients in both the private and public sector.

Originally from Cumbria’s west coast, John attended Whitehaven Grammar School and subsequently graduated with a degree in Law from the University of Cambridge. He was articled to the firm now known as Hill Dickinson in Liverpool before joining Burnetts in 1986 and becoming a partner in 1988.

Having been a Partner for 30 years, during which time he served as the Head of Corporate Law and the Firm’s first Head of Business Services, John elected to stand down from that role at the end of 2017, taking up his new position as a Practising Consultant.

John is described by the Legal 500 as “an expert who can very quickly assess a situation, and provide clear advice on very complex transactions”. He is recognised by Chambers as a leading adviser to SMEs and owner managed businesses in the North-West region, being one of the few Cumbrian lawyers to enjoy a regional ranking.

In the private sector, John has dealt with numerous acquisitions, disposals, mergers and restructurings across a range of industries.  Those include a £35 million MBO in the transport sector, together with a logistics contract worth in excess of £125 million, as well as a £60 million joint venture in the nuclear sector.  John is also a very experienced property lawyer, having led the team which advised on the £75 million redevelopment of Workington Town Centre.

In the public sector, John is a prominent member of the firm’s Education Team. He has dealt with approximately 40 academy conversions since the introduction of the Academies Act 2010, and has advised a number of clients in the FE sector on their Part B mergers following the government’s programme of Area Review. He has recently advised a large Multi Academy Trust on a rebrokering exercise, the first of its kind in Cumbria, and is currently working with the same MAT on a similar high profile project.

Outside work, John has served as a governor of an FE college and a large secondary school in the state sector.  He has also served as a non-executive director of a Healthcare Trust, and as a mentor for SMEs under a Nuclear Decommissioning Authority programme.

John is a qualified rugby union coach, and a keen follower of most sports, particularly rugby and football.