James specialises in commercial and commercial chancery litigation. He acts, both as sole counsel and as part of a wider team, in commercial, real estate, company, partnership and insolvency matters, often advising on questions of private international law.
He has been praised in directories for his industry, intellect, and calm under pressure. He is said to produce work which one would expect from “a much more senior junior”, and described as “really intelligent”, “always on top of the detail”, “particularly user friendly”, “always up to the challenge” and “a star in the making” who “stands out from his peers and has a breadth of experience”. He was identified as “one to watch” in Best Lawyers UK 2023 and is a contributor to the leading textbook Civil Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure.
James acts, or has acted, in a range of high profile and legally significant commercial litigation, including ongoing disputes between the shareholders in Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of Nickel; Tugushev v Orlov, a dispute over the ownership of one of the world’s largest fishing businesses; Qatar v Banque Havilland, a claim by the State of Qatar relating to an alleged international conspiracy to manipulate its currency and bond markets; Slater & Gordon v Watchstone, a £637 million fraud and breach of warranty claim arising out of the sale of a national personal injury law firm; and BTI v Sequana, a multi-million Euro claim clawing back allegedly unlawful distributions, so as to fund efforts to clean rivers of environmental contamination in the United States.
Before coming to the Bar, James worked for two years as a transactional Solicitor at a Magic Circle firm. He acted on securitisations, restructurings, derivative transactions and debt capital market issuances.
The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which James will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which James accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2020 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.