John McLean

Senior Consultant


07415 357 038



What do you do for your clients at Ignition Law? 

I advise on a diverse range of tax-related matters, from operational issues to complex cross-border acquisitions to fund formations and operations, and across the spectrum from corporate matters to personal tax structuring and succession/exit planning for founders and investors.

What gets me out of bed in the morning

Usually what gets me out of bed is my five-year-old son, but what energises me is solving problems and building things, from M&A transactions to Lego robots and garden swing sets.

An entrepreneur I admire

Steve Jobs, who, despite his ouster from the company he founded, had the resolve and the vision to return and to transform Apple into one of the World’s largest, most successful, and most recognised companies.

What would you put on your Ignition Law playlist or bookshelf? 

On the bookshelf, two biographies of two business titans with diametrically opposed operational models:

  • Elon Musk, by Ashlee Vance; and
  • Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity,

and two very different books that speak to our humanity:

  • When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi – a beautifully written, deeply moving memoir and a searing reminder of the fragility of life (a recommendation from Bill Gates’ wonderful blog,; and
  • 1984, by George Orwell – no less relevant today than it was on release, and perhaps even more chilling for its prescience of recent events.

On the playlist, lots of energy and guitars: Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, Greta Van Fleet, Royal Blood, The Rolling Stones.

A social cause I care about is…

Climate change – a civilizational existential crisis.

Fine Print

Eduction, Training & Career

I graduated with a BA in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford. Trained and qualified at Baker & McKenzie LLP, then Hogan & Hartson LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Before joining Ignition I spent several years in-house at Mubadala Investment Company.

Outside of Work

I try to juggle the occasionally conflicting demands of enjoying as much time as possible with my young family, and training for triathlons, where I am gradually chipping away at my half-Ironman personal best and completed my first full Ironman in Copenhagen in 2018. On the rare occasion I have time left over, I can typically be found by the fire with a book in one hand and a Scotch in the other.

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