JOHNSTONE & PARTNERS

solving problems 24/7/365.

We handle every kind of complex request from dream projects to nightmare situations for private and corporate clients around the world.

 
 

For 20 years we have been providing professional help across a broad spectrum of services including:

“James has common sense, is hard-working, thorough, resourceful, always available 24/7, and invariably brings useful and intelligent strategic insights.  And, as we have seen on more than one occasion, he is prepared to go the extra mile to protect his clients.  We have no hesitation in recommending him to his clients and to our own.  We should point out that this letter was not solicited from us by James, but was offered by us to him as acknowledgement of his excellent work for his client in a recent matter.” (Partner, Olswang)

We do not provide legal services, leaving that to the excellent lawyers whom we engage and work with in the UK and abroad.  But we do provide a range of services relating to legal matters.

  • 4 blackmails resolved to date, selecting and managing teams of lawyers, investigators, forensic auditors, IT specialists etc.
  • More than a dozen cases managed working alongside or on behalf of clients in civil and criminal trials in the UK, US and other jurisdictions.
  • Investigation and evidence-gathering for trial / litigation in cases ranging from rape allegations to contractual disputes to corporate fraud to allegations of human rights violations and war crimes.
  • Submissions to All Party Parliamentary Groups to change law.
  • 2 injunctions invented and used successfully.

James was the keynote speaker at the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) ‘Family Office Seminar’ in July 2018.

  • We have been involved in numerous projects to provide online reputation management for private and corporate clients.
  •  We provide reputation advice for overseas clients moving to UK.
  • Crisis management and assistance to private and to corporate clients when a situation has exploded.
  • Assisting private clients with press and personal publications.
  • Lifestyle advice in many areas to ensure clients’ reputations are protected and/or enhanced.
  • We’ve provided forensically detailed investment climate reports for 3 countries.
  • We’ve presented evidence for litigation or dispute resolution, investigating in numerous jurisdictions.
  • We’ve handled countless private investigations (covering every kind of problem), asset tracing requests, etc.
  • We’ve investigated fraudsters on behalf of private clients and corporates (often to provide an extra layer of discretion), and we’ve recovered assets whenever possible.
  • We provide investment due diligence and recruitment due diligence on a regular basis.
  • We’ve managed at least a dozen surveillance requests across 4 continents.

We recognise the immense difficulties for the weaker party in handling their divorce, so we provide either specific services as required OR we take a fully hands-on approach and help our client with every aspect of their divorce, staying with them throughout the process to better manage stress, emotion, time, expense and expectations.  These services include:

  • Lawyer selection
  • Asset tracing
  • Investigation / surveillance
  • Evidence-gathering
  • Financing
  • Emotional and professional support

We help family offices when they receive a request from their principals that falls outside their experience.  This saves them time and hassle, while taking advantage of our strengths, experience and contacts.

We also save expense, because many suppliers provide us with a trade discount, which we pass on, that they would not offer to a client.

And at times we are engaged specifically to provide a layer of discretion to avoid revealing the client’s identity, which could otherwise have a negative impact on pricing or publicity.

Purchases:  Our average price for property found and purchased for clients since our first request in 2006 is £32 Million.

Holiday rentals:  We have found and rented properties and organised all aspects of holiday rentals in 22 locations in 9 countries including Mexico, USA, Europe and Africa. Our largest rental to date was $1 Million for a 4 -week stay in Los Angeles, for which we also organised plane charters, a bespoke holiday itinerary for 18 guests and expert local concierge assistance 24/7.

Services: 

  • Property search, for which we charge highly competitive fees. Our latest client said we saved him £468,000 in fees.
  • Shortlisting experts such as lawyers, currency exchange agents, architects, designers, builders, decorators.
  • Staff recruitment from part-time cleaners to butlers and house managers.
  • We have installed museum-grade security in homes from London to Beirut

To quote a client:  “Having used the services of James Johnstone Ltd for some 4 years now, I have to commend him for his excellent work.  Ever patient, even though I know I drove him to distraction sometimes, James demonstrates the professional face of property in the best possible manner.”  

School/university: To date we have helped families place more than 40 children in schools and universities in the UK and USA.  We work with the best educational advisors in the business and help our clients with every stage of the process.

Gap year:  We have also created exceptional gap year itineraries and programmes for children wishing to strengthen their CV – and their life experiences – while minimising risk when they travel.

We are approved agents for Henley & Partners, one of the world’s leading consultancies on residency and citizenship, and we have helped families from 4 continents with citizenship issues.

Our main role is to ensure immediate introductions to the leading practitioners, to assist clients with their decision-making, and then to facilitate the often time-consuming process of document gathering and submission.

We believe strongly that collecting is one of the greatest and most rewarding pursuits that we can introduce our clients to.

Over 20 years, with the help of leading experts, we have built, and sold, collections including fine art, whisky, rifles and shotguns, and cars.

In one intense and complicated two-year project we reassembled 1,200+ of a client’s artworks, collected over 50 years, brought them to London, and supervised the whole process of inventory, restoration, framing cataloguing and sale.  On our advice, the collection was sold through a sequence of sales over several years at auction houses in London, Paris and Dubai, contrary to the client’s original desire to sell privately.

To quote the client: “What I like about James’s approach is that he can always be trusted to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas.  On one project which was the culmination of two year’s sensitive work by him for me in the UK and abroad he came up with a solution that was the precise opposite of what I had expected.  But I went with his proposal and I’m glad I did because he successfully created a substantial and unanticipated fortune for me and my family.” 

Another of our favourite recommendations is to encourage our clients to commission research into their family background and history.  Rather than providing the usual dry facts such as names, dates and places in a family tree, instead we research, write and present a complete family biography in a beautifully printed and bound book.

We have undertaken this work for some of the wealthiest families in the UK and USA, and on receiving their completed book, usually at least a year’s work, our clients invariably tell us that this is one of the most emotional and rewarding things they have ever done.

And in every instance so far, we have discovered facts about their family’s background, origins and history of which our clients were completely unaware.

We can also arrange trips with families back to their roots, wherever in the world our research may have led us, accompanied by those who conducted the work, and – if they wish – with an expert team to produce a documentary-quality video of their trip.

To quote an American client who was orphaned in the 1930s: “To be honest I wept when I received your report yesterday.  I have spent nearly forty years unsuccesfully trying to find my family and now your girls have managed to identify who my mother was and tell me that I have a brother and a whole family of his to meet. At my age it means more to me than you can possibly imagine.”

Travel:  We have organised all aspects of luxury travel from plane and superyacht charter to extraordinary itineraries.

Adventures:  Examples of requests include safaris in Africa, an expedition to the South Pole, 4-week itineraries across Australia, bespoke itineraries for France, Italy, Tanzania, Kenya and the USA, ultra-skiing in Greenland, fishing in the Seychelles archipelago, and so on.

Gap year:  We have also created exceptional gap year itineraries and programmes for children wishing to strengthen their CV – and their life experiences – while minimising risk when they travel.

James was chairman of the British Red Cross’s largest fundraising event from 2003-2008, during which time it receieved 9 awards and raised millions.

James has worked with, or advised, 26 charities, on their fundraising and was a speaker at international conferences in ‘Big Event Fundraising’.

We have also established two charities for clients, and we have helped clients identify which charities should receive their donations so as to achieve maximum impact, whether to restore cultural jewels or to finance research into meningitis, autism spectrum disorder, etc.

We have extensive experience in events design and organising.  James was chairman of the British Red Cross’s largest fundraising event for 5 years, during which it won 9 awards and raised millions.

We have organised events in the UK and abroad for 20-1,100 guests, ranging in length from a few hours to 5 days.  In one case we were given just 72 hrs to organise a luxury 4-day event in Italy for 36 guests, in another we had 9 months to create a truly spectacular 3-day event. 

And it was spectacular.  In the words of the client:  “You’ve made this the happiest night of my life. It was even better than my wedding.”

Unless they wish to be involved, we take away the stress from the client by arranging everything, from coming up with initial concepts to managing all aspects of the preparations, and taking all but the most essential decisions.

We also specialise in creating events that are unique, spectacular and memorable.  We take the view that imagination, effort and thinking outside the box can result in events that no one will have seen before.  We insist on originality, not on reproduction.  And we always come within budget.

“What I especially appreciate about working with James is that when I most needed his assistance, at a very delicate time in my life, he dropped everything to be there for me and did his utmost in a very difficult situation.  You could say he literally saved my life.  For that, I will forever be grateful.”

We have seen at first hand the effects that relentless work, stress, endless travel, wealth and its trappings (including loneliness) can have on principals and/or their children.  It can be lethally detrimental to their health, and it can lead them to addiction.  Having attended three funerals involving clients who died prematurely (including a young man), we have no desire to attend a fourth. 

We therefore do all we can to help our clients if problems with health or addiction arise, or if we see them engaging quacks – as is suprisingly often the case – for problems which properly require medical intervention.

This has not always made our relationship with the client easier at the time (a serious understatement!), but they have always been grateful afterwards, especially when they realise that their family and friends did nothing to help them when they most needed their support.

Probably one of the most enjoyable and at the same time tedious requests is to recruit staff.  We have recruited some wonderful people over the years and we take the responsibility very seriously, because we hope to provide people with a long and fruitful working relationship.  A good house manager, for example, can make the difference between a happy home and utter frustration.

When necessary, we engage the best agencies in the appropriate field to introduce us to candidates. But we also relish hiring staff direct and we undertake the whole process from writing job profiles to screening, interview and due diligence before introducing the shortlist to our clients.

We also maintain relationships with those staff so that any problems, especially in the early days of their engagement, can be dealt with before they turn into a crisis.

This is one of our favourite requests, and it is also something that we frequently recommend to clients.  For example, there is a world of difference in the perceived value – even if the cost is the same – between 50 identical Christmas gifts sourced from a Bond Street showroom and 50 original gifts, each chosen for the recipient, that have been commissioned from artists and craftsmen.

Our commissions have ranged from £300 bespoke bridles made by an outstanding Master Saddler to the most accurate rifle in the world to a £30 Million jewellery commission.

If we could, we’d encourage our clients never to buy a gift from a shop but always to commission a one-off piece.  That’s the real definition of luxury.

Basically, we thinking giving a gift is an art in itself, and we love it.

a few examples in numbers.

1,043 projects

In 20 years’ work

£32 Million

Average price of properties purchased for clients since 2005

£800 Million

Largest lawsuit managed

4 Blackmails

Resolved

14 Events

Designed and managed for 300-1100 guests in UK and abroad

€37 Million

Largest saving to client

1,263 artworks

Collected for a single client

£116 Million

Largest fraud investigated

41 children

Placed in schools / university in UK, USA and Europe

26 Charities

£5 Million raised, 9 national awards, and 2 charities founded for clients

100+ staff recruited

From CEOs to full-time gardeners

£30 Million

Largest single bespoke commission

what we do.

We handle complex requests – whether a dream project or a nightmare situation –  when clients require our global network and our proven experience, imagination, ability and discretion.

This helps our clients save the time, hassle, expense, exposure or reputational risk of managing the matter themselves.

Whenever possible we seek to create value and minimise the cost to our clients.  In many situations we’ll have proven to be cost neutral at the conclusion of our engagement.

our clients.

  • HNW individuals and families from around the world
  • Leading people in their field, whether in sports, politics, art or industry
  • Family offices and trusted advisors
  • Professional advisors including private bankers, private equity and hedge funds, wealth managers, law firms and accountants
  • Companies, governments and institutions

our clients.

  • HNW individuals and families from around the world
  • Leading people in their field, whether in sports, politics, art or industry
  • Family offices and trusted advisors
  • Professional advisors including private bankers, private equity and hedge funds, wealth managers, law firms and accountants
  • Companies, governments and institutions

who we are.

James Johnstone has been working with HNW clients since his first job when he came to London in 1984. He was Called to the Bar in 1993 and while still a Pupil Barrister he won an appeal against conviction in the Court of Appeal (one of his proudest moments).  On the advice of a client, he founded this business in 1999.  Since then he has worked around the world on an extraordinarily wide range of projects in almost every field imaginable. 

Understanding that he is ‘in service’ to his clients, his first question in every instance is, ‘Is this in the client’s interest?’  Whenever possible he seeks not only to achieve the outcome desired, but to ensure that he does it in a way that enhances and enriches his clients’ lives.

James’s main passion is his family, but he also loves photography, writing, and adventures.  He’s never bored, but he’s very bad at sitting still.

what they say.

Client: “James has turned out to be one of the most remarkable people I have ever come across.  His abilities seem limitless.  He can be daringly funny, and he has a degree of kindness and concern for his clients that is rarely found in others.  Once you get to know him, don’t let go of him. He’ll be there for you all the way, as he has been for me for many, many years.”

Law firm: “James has common sense, is hard-working, thorough, resourceful, always available 24/7, and invariably brings useful and intelligent strategic insights.  And, as we have seen on more than one occasion, he is prepared to go the extra mile to protect his clients.  We have no hesitation in recommending him to his clients and to our own.”

Supplier: “It is always an absolute pleasure to work with James on projects.  He has a vivid imagination, great style and military precision, brings clarity to every point and works tirelessly until each job is completed to perfection.”

Client: “You are, as always, awesome.  Just awesome.”

what they say.

Client: “James has turned out to be one of the most remarkable people I have ever come across.  His abilities seem limitless.  He can be daringly funny, and he has a degree of kindness and concern for his clients that is rarely found in others.  Once you get to know him, don’t let go of him. He’ll be there for you all the way, as he has been for me for many, many years.”

Law firm: “James has common sense, is hard-working, thorough, resourceful, always available 24/7, and invariably brings useful and intelligent strategic insights.  And, as we have seen on more than one occasion, he is prepared to go the extra mile to protect his clients.  We have no hesitation in recommending him to his clients and to our own.”

Supplier: “It is always an absolute pleasure to work with James on projects.  He has a vivid imagination, great style and military precision, brings clarity to every point and works tirelessly until each job is completed to perfection.”

Client: “You are, as always, awesome.  Just awesome.”

who we work with.

We recruit and maintain an extensive network at the highest level in the UK and abroad.  This includes individuals, companies and organisations covering the widest range of possible requirements. 

We research and select the most suitable service providers in their class, and this often means they are not one of the best-known brand names.  Whenever appropriate we prefer small, dedicated and specialised rather than large, bureaucratic and unaccountable.  In certain fields this means we secure something bespoke and original for our clients rather than a boilerplate solution.  And it often saves staggering amounts of time, hassle and money for our clients.

the simple choice for complex requests.

A passion for getting results. Demonstrated skill and experience over two decades. A love of our work. Total commitment to you and your requests. All these qualities are at the core of our company’s culture.  And we are unique in providing such a broad spectrum of services for both private and corporate clients.

How can we help?

the simple choice for complex requests.

A passion for getting results. Demonstrated skill and experience over two decades. A love of our work. Total commitment to you and your requests. All these qualities are at the core of our company’s culture.  And we are unique in providing such a broad spectrum of services for both private and corporate clients.

How can we help?

our contacts.

  • +44 20 7602 9795
  • info@johnstoneandpartners.com

We will reply immediately.

get in touch.

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