James specialises in commercial litigation and all aspects of domestic and international arbitration.
James has been appointed as arbitrator, including as a sole arbitrator under ICC rules concerning a significant investment in a Dubai company and as party-appointed arbitrator in international disputes governed by LCIA and ICC rules.
He has appeared in several very substantial and high-profile international disputes involving fraud, corruption and money-laundering including Attorney-General of Zambia v Meer Care & Desai and others  EWHC 952 (Ch) and Donegal International Ltd v Zambia  EWHC 197 (Comm).
James is a “great team player and a strong lateral thinker”
Chambers & Partners UK 2012
‘3 Verulam Buildings has a strong reputation for fraud and general commercial matters and is regarded as “a go-to set for arbitrations in the banking sector.” ‘
Chambers & Partners UK 2015
Recent instructions include:
Leading an on-going application under section 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996 to challenge an UNCITRAL arbitration award on jurisdiction. The underlying claim arises out of significant investments in Central Asia and is made against a government.
Acting for a high-profile UK family defending a significant claim arising out of an alleged option agreement.
Acting for counterparties seeking to recover assets pledged as security for derivative transactions subject to ISDA Master Agreements.
Defendants to claims of conspiracy and bribery arising out of alleged employment by a large Saudi Arabian group of companies.
The Trustee of Lehman Brothers Inc. in relation to the administration of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) Ltd and the recovery of client money.
The Government of Zambia in various ICC arbitration disputes, and both Commercial Court and Chancery Division litigation in the High Court.
James has been recommended in the legal directories as a leading junior in commercial dispute resolution and is described as a "great team player and a strong lateral thinker" in Chambers & Partners 2012.
LCIA - acting for claimant in a significant investment dispute between Spanish and Monaco registered companies.
ICC - instructed by a sovereign respondent to a $160m claim arising out of a lottery management agreement - panel: Lord Mustill, Yves Fortier CC, QC, Mr Axel Baum.
ICC – acting for a foreign Ministry of Defence; advising and drafting in relation to, and attending, the defence of on-going proceedings in the Dutch Courts to set aside a final award of more than £150 million (public international law - the application of UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts - international sale contracts - arms - termination accounts - accounting).
LMAA arbitration (sale of goods - carriage of goods by sea - bills of lading - letters of credit - fraud - alleged liability of pledgee bank arising out of delay in discharge of cargo).
Clive Schmittoff prize for International Trade Law
Member of COMBAR Africa committee
Member of LCIA
Member of ICC
Contributor to "Banks and Financial Crime, The International Law of Tainted Money", Oxford University Press (2008) (new edition forthcoming).
Principal contributor to Banking Litigation (Sweet & Maxwell, 1999, 2nd ed. 2005).