Joanna Pearson


Joanna Pearson is a partner at Humphries Kerstetter with 20 years’ experience of complex financial services litigation and regulatory investigations. Joanna also specialises in disputes regarding partnership and director duties, including founder/key person exits, conflicts of interest and good faith obligations, bringing “significant experience in investor claims, disputes arising from financial products and contract interpretation litigation” (Legal 500, 2022).

Joanna was a partner at Simmons & Simmons LLP prior to joining Humphries Kerstetter, spending much of her 21 years in London but also working in Hong Kong and Singapore. Many of Joanna’s matters have an international element.


Joanna’s litigation experience spans the financial sector, with a particular focus on investor claims (both claimant and defendant); disputes involving complex financial products and structures; contractual interpretation disputes; and partnership and shareholder disputes. Joanna acts for banks, asset managers, wealth managers, investors, shareholders, corporates and individuals.

Joanna also conducts investigations, often with a regulatory enforcement or other governmental authority focus, acting for both organisations and individuals.

Education and Languages.

1998: LPC, The College of Law, London

1997: LLB (Hons), King’s College London

English and basic French and German

Representative Matters.

  • Acting for partners in a private equity LLP in a partnership dispute relating to the internal affairs of the LLP and removal by investors of the General Partner of the Fund including proceedings at the London Court of International Arbitration and applications for emergency and expedited procedures.
  • Negligence claim by an investor against a large Wealth Management firm in connection with an advisory mandate.
  • Claims for declaratory relief in the English courts in respect of the validity of ISDA interest rate swaps entered into with Italian municipalities and other European public entities.
  • Multi-jurisdiction investor dispute regarding the exercise of discretion in connection with the making of margin calls in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Syndicated loan dispute following Indonesian borrower default.
  • Litigation relating to the Lehman estate involving jurisdiction and ISDA loss calculation issues.
  • Partnership dispute (LP and LLP) between founders of a high value investment company.
  • High profile hedge fund partnership dispute in the Jersey courts following the exit of a founder.
  • Contract variation dispute between a bank and its client regarding payment for services.
  • Dispute regarding non-delivery of securities following an offshore restructuring.
  • Misselling dispute regarding a Cayman incorporated private equity real estate fund structure.
  • High profile portfolio mismanagement claim brought by pension fund trustees against an asset management firm.
  • Jurisdiction challenge in connection with a structured product dispute.


Joanna has undertaken significant investigations for regulated entities involving systems and controls issues, policy breaches and employee misconduct, including investigations triggered by whistleblowing, litigation claims and regulatory/other agency action, together with associated engagement with regulatory authorities.

Example investigations:

  • Investigation for an asset manager in relation to a series of investments made for clients by an individual portfolio manager.
  • Investigation in relation to the activities of a London based trading desk.
  • Investigation for a bank in relation to Culture issues following whistleblowing reports to the FCA.
  • Investigation for a multi-national in relation to alleged corruption involving a subsidiary in South East Asia.
  • Investigation into employee misconduct in a #MeToo context and compliance with HR processes.
  • Investigation into employee theft of sensitive and proprietary data in the context of a commodities trading floor and associated injunction.