John McLean

John McLean

Senior Consultant



John is a corporate tax solicitor with more than 15 years’ experience. Having spent 6 years in private practice in London, John moved to Abu Dhabi, where a brief secondment to Mubadala Investment Company became a decade in-house, latterly as Senior Vice President of Taxation at Mubadala Capital, supporting the business across a diverse range of M&A and funds matters.

John returned to the UK in 2020 and has returned to private practice, where he now supports Ignition’s clients in matters from employment tax and incentive schemes to VAT and M&A transactions.


Relevant experience includes:

  • Closed the largest secondary staple PE fund transaction ever completed, a c$2.5bn secondary fund with $1.5bn stapled primary commitment, in a first-of-kind transaction for Mubadala
  • Closed Mubadala’s US and European venture capital funds and Brazilian PE fund
  • Divestment of EMI Music Publishing to Sony ($2.3bn)
  • Negotiated Mubadala’s $15bn commitment to the SoftBank Vision Fund
  • Oversaw tax issues relating to new office build-outs in New York, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong and Moscow, including management of permanent establishment risk and transfer pricing
  • Formation of Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, a $1bn fund focused on attracting top tier investment firms and businesses to Abu Dhabi Global Market
  • Acting for Ford Motor Company on the sale of Volvo Car Corporation for $1.6 billion to a sovereign state-backed SPV structure.

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.

A social cause I care about

Climate change – a civilizational existential crisis.

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