James’ practice spans a broad range of commercial disputes, both in litigation and arbitration. It regularly sees him instructed on high value international disputes, often with a fraud aspect. A confident advocate and a team player, he is equally happy acting as sole counsel as he is as part of a larger legal team. Much of James’ work has an international element. He has been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the BVI and is a registered practitioner with rights of audience at the AIFC in Kazakhstan.

James is ranked as a leading junior for commercial dispute resolution and civil fraud. The directories have described him as:

  • “Bright, incredibly responsive and a man who loves hard work. He puts clients at ease and explains difficult concepts to them in a way that they can understand” (Chambers, 2021)
  • “Fantastically bright, an impressive, assured advocate, and very commercial in his approach – he is the full package and a future superstar” (Legal 500, 2020)
  • “Really good on his feet, unflappable and at ease before the court. He’s also a man of stamina” (Chambers, 2020)
  • “Stands out due to the strength of his performances in court” and “comes across as more senior than he is due to the way he puts advice across, and speaks with such authority” (Chambers, 2019)
  • “Incredibly user-friendly, thoughtful and forensic in his approach to commercial disputes” and “in terms of his call, he is beyond his years in the way he presents his advice (Chambers, 2018)
  • “Shows great maturity in his approach and in his manner, particularly when delivering advice” (Legal 500, 2018)
  • “A rising star with huge potential” (Legal 500, 2017)
  • “Bright, tenacious and not afraid of a challenge – a star of the future” (Legal 500, 2016)

James’ experience includes contractual disputes of all kinds, civil fraud and asset tracing, banking and financial services related litigation, insolvency and restructuring, company and partnership disputes, energy and professional negligence. His recent work includes:

  • Ritchie v General Electric Company (2020) – led by Adrian Beltrami QC – acting for General Electric in a challenge to the jurisdiction of the Cayman Court to hear a conspiracy and deceit arising out of the USD 3.6 billion Ponzi scheme operated by Thomas Petters.
  • Tuke v Hood [2020] EWHC 2843 (Comm) – as sole counsel – acting for the Joint Trustees of Derek Hood in a £40m fraud dispute concerning the acquisition and sale of a portfolio of classic cars.
  • Hancock v Promontoria (Chestnut) Limited [2020] EWCA Civ 907 – led by Jamie Riley QC – acting for the respondent to a second appeal concerning the ability of a court, as a matter of principle, to construe a document that has been redacted.
  • Les Ambassadeurs Club v Sheikh Salah Hamdan Albluewi [2020] EWHC 1313 (QB) – as sole counsel –acting for the defendant in a successful application to discharge a worldwide freezing order obtained by a leading private members club and casino.

James has for several years been recommended as a leading junior for commercial dispute resolution.

He regularly acts (led and as sole counsel in commercial disputes of all kinds, both in litigation in the English Commercial Court and Court of Appeal, and in arbitration.

Recent cases include:

Ritchie v General Electric Company – acting for General Electric in a challenge to the jurisdiction of the Cayman Court to hear a conspiracy and deceit arising out of the USD 3.6 billion Ponzi scheme operated by Thomas Petters.

Tuke v Hood [2020] EWHC 2843 (Comm) – acting (as sole counsel) for the Joint Trustees of Derek Hood in a £40m dispute concerning the acquisition and sale of a classic car portfolio.

Hancock v Promontoria (Chestnut) Limited [2020] EWCA Civ 907 – acting for the respondent to an appeal concerning the ability of a court to construe a redacted document.

SKAT v Solo Capital Partners & Ors – acting for one of the defendants to a £1.5bn claim brought by the Danish Tax and Customs Administration in relation to a sophisticated alleged dividend withholding tax fraud.

Wild Brain Family International Ltd v Robson & Ors – acting for the first and second defendants to a claim concerning the acquisition of one of the world’s most popular YouTube channels.

Anon – acting for the claimant in an LCIA arbitration concerning a luxury hotel development in the Philippines.

Proctor v National Australia Bank & Ors – acting for the defendant in an application for summary judgment on a claim brought by a borrower against a bank and its assignee alleging breach of an oral joint venture agreement.

Yoo v Iliv – acting for the claimant in a claim to recover sums due under a design services agreement in respect of a leading property development in Singapore.

Anon – acting for the claimant in an unjust enrichment claim for a sum due by way of commission in respect of one of the largest property developments in England and Wales.

Cyprus Popular Bank v Vgenopoulos & Ors ­[2018] EWCA Civ 1 – acting for the claimant on appeal arising out of a €3.79 billion claim brought following the collapse of the second largest bank in Cyprus.

Arab v MerchantBridge – acting for the claimant in a US$31 million share sale and purchase agreement claim concerning Asiacell, an Iraqi mobile telecommunications company.

Guan Siang Chiang & Ors v Graham & Rosen & Ors – acting for a large group of Singaporean investors in a series of London hotel developments in a professional negligence action against their former solicitors.

James is frequently instructed on complex, international and high-value civil fraud and asset tracing disputes. He is ranked as a leading junior for civil fraud work by Legal 500.

He has extensive experience, as sole counsel and as part of a larger legal team, of applications for and to challenge interlocutory relief in this context, including worldwide freezing orders, search orders, relief in support of foreign proceedings pursuant to s. 25 CJJA 1982, proprietary injunctions, bench warrants and tipstaff orders, Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers Trust disclosure applications and orders for cross-examination on asset disclosure. In addition, James has experience of bringing and defending applications for committal for contempt of court.

Recent cases include:

Ritchie v General Electric Company – acting for General Electric in a challenge to the jurisdiction of the Cayman Court to hear a conspiracy and deceit arising out of the USD 3.6 billion Ponzi scheme operated by Thomas Petters.

Tuke v Hood [2020] EWHC 2843 (Comm) – acting for the Joint Trustees of Derek Hood in a £40m classic car dispute involving allegations of deceit, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt.

Les Ambassadeurs Club v Sheikh Salah Hamdan Albluewi [2020] EWHC 2843 (Comm) – acting for the defendant in a successful application to discharge a worldwide freezing order obtained by a leading private members club and casino.

Benkel v East-West German Real Estate Holding [2020] EWHC 1489 (Ch) - acting for the defendants to a claim brought by the Trustee in Bankruptcy of Eliezer Fishman, the largest bankruptcy in Israeli history, in relation to an alleged portfolio of concealed assets.

SKAT v Solo Capital Partners & Ors – acting for one of the alleged fraud defendants to a £1.5bn claim brought by the Danish Tax and Customs Administration in relation to a sophisticated alleged dividend withholding tax fraud.

Whitehall Investments LP v Weiss & Ors – acting for several defendants to an unlawful means conspiracy claim concerning a shopping centre development in Brazil.

Imperial Chemical Industries v Scott & Ors – acting for the claimant in a deceit and conspiracy claim concerning a large-scale procurement fraud committed by a former senior employee and supplier.

Abela v Baadarani [2018] 1 WLR 89 – acting for the respondents in what is now the leading case on the Court’s jurisdiction to grant search orders against non-cause of action defendants.

Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdullah Al-Thani v Affat – acting for the claimant, the victim of a sophisticated property fraud in a series of applications for a worldwide freezing order and proprietary injunction, passport order, bench warrant, cross-examination and default judgment.

FM Capital Partners v Marino – acting for the defendant and respondent to a worldwide freezing order in a US$60m claim for breach of fiduciary duty involving allegations that substantial secret commissions had been paid and received.

James has experience of banking and financial services disputes of a varied nature, including investment management agreements, introducer and ‘Finders’ agreements, Islamic finance, collective investment schemes, facility agreements, guarantees, mortgages and other forms of security, recovery of mistaken bank payments and card processing services agreements.

Recent cases include:

Hancock v Promontoria (Chestnut) Limited [2020] EWCA Civ 907 – acting for the respondent to an appeal concerning the ability of a court to construe a redacted agreement effecting the assignment of a non-performing loan portfolio.

Anon – advising in relation to a claim concerning alleged PCI DSS non-compliance by a successful e-commerce business.

Promontoria (Henrico) Limited v Melton – acting for the claimant in an appeal concerning the effect and validity of an assignment agreement pursuant to which a large non-performing loan portfolio was assigned.

Anon – acting in a claim relating to introducer fees alleged to be payable on two debt restructuring transactions each worth several hundred million dollars.

Moonshift Investments Limited v Bayridge (Isle of Man) Limited – acting for the claimant in a claim to recover substantial sums due under a facility agreement.

Cyprus Popular Bank v Vgenopoulos & Ors [2018] EWCA Civ 1 – acting for the special administrator of Cyprus Popular Bank, what was the second largest banking group in Cyprus, in €3.79 billion litigation against its former chairman, Andreas Vgenopoulous.

FM Capital Partners v Marino – acting for the former director of a hedge fund in a US$60 million dispute concerning allegations of breach of fiduciary duty arising out of his management of the fund.

James has acted in all types of company and partnership disputes, including shareholder disputes, claims by and against directors, unfair prejudice proceedings, derivative claims and partnership dissolution proceedings.

Recent cases include:

Anon – acting for the respondent to linked LCIA arbitrations concerning a dispute between shareholders in a leading hotel group.

Re Capital City Service Limited – acting for the respondent to an unfair prejudice petition concerning a highly successful VoIP telecommunications company operating in Moldova.

Anon – advising a company as to the steps it should take to regularise a number of transactions which took place with respect to its shareholding.

Barone v DHR International [2017] EWHC 2419 (Ch) – acting for the respondent to an appeal involving an attempt to enforce a judgment by means of piercing the corporate veil.

Anon – acting for the defendant in partnership account proceedings where the scope of the partnership and the assets to which it extended is in dispute.

James is regularly instructed on insolvency and restructuring matters by officeholders, creditors and debtors. He has extensive experience of transaction avoidance claims, applications by officeholders for directions from the court, enforcement powers under the Insolvency Act 1986 including search orders and arrest warrants, applications for administration orders, all aspects of winding up orders, setting aside statutory demands, bankruptcy petitions and applications for possession and sale of bankrupts’ homes.

Recent cases include:

Tuke v Hood [2020] EWHC 2843 (Comm) – acting for the Joint Trustees of Derek Hood in a £40m classic car dispute.

Benkel v East-West German Real Estate Holding [2020] EWHC 1489 (Ch) - acting for the defendants to a claim brought by the Trustee in Bankruptcy of Eliezer Fishman, the largest bankruptcy in Israeli history

Re FM Models – acting for the officeholders in an application to the court for directions as to how to treat monies potentially held on statutory trust pursuant to the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations.

Re Russell Williamson – acting for the debtor on a bankruptcy petition disputed on jurisdictional grounds and on the basis that the debt, sums drawn down under a shareholders’ loan account, was disputed.

Re Eurodale Limited and Re Topplan Estates Limited – acting for the officeholders in a multi-million pound claim for dishonest breach of fiduciary duty against the former directors of a property development company.

Hellenic Capital Investments v TrainFX Limited [2016] BCC 493 – acting for the applicant on a heavily contested administration application which turned on the proper construction of a business services and royalty agreement.

Re Pikeville Investments LLP – acting for the receivers appointed over the membership interest in an LLP by way of equitable execution in the JSC VTB Bank v Skhurikhin litigation in a successful application for an administration order involving difficult questions as to solvency.

Anon – advising a Government body on deferring the dissolution of a company in order to allow criminal prosecutions to take place.

Anon – advising an officeholder as to the merits of claims to recover substantial unlawful dividends.

Franses v Hay [2016] BPIR 355 – acting for the supervisor of an individual voluntary arrangement on an application for directions as to the effect of a notice of termination in circumstances where there was doubt as to the effect of the R3 standard IVA conditions.

James has extensive experience of commercial disputes in the energy and natural resources sector.

Recent cases include:

Anon – acting for the claimant in an ICC arbitration concerning a commission entitlement in respect of Kazakhstan oil development project

Larkfleet Limited v Renewables Solar UK Construction Ltd ­– acting for the claimant in a claim concerning the effect of an assignment agreement.

Anon – acting for an investor in a misrepresentation claim concerning an investment made in a biomass power generation plant.

Anon – acting for the claimant in a dispute concerning the ownership of four power generation turbines.

James regularly acts in commercial disputes involving allegations of professional negligence.

Recent cases include:

Guan Siang Chiang & Ors v Graham & Rosen & Ors – acting for a large group of Singaporean investors in a series of London hotel developments in a professional negligence action against their former solicitors.

Daggolu & Ors v Ravi Sethi LLP – acting for a group of investors in a professional negligence action against their former solicitors in connection with obligations arising under a section 106 agreement.

Ballymore Properties v Mivan Ltd – acting for a property developer in a professional negligence action concerning the design of a health club said to have caused a substantial fire in an apartment complex.

Promontoria (Pine) Designated Activity Company – acting for an assignee of sums due under substantial facility agreements defending allegations of negligence on the part of the original lender.

As a leading commercial junior, James is experienced in acting in arbitrations and in arbitration related applications.

Recent cases include:

Anon – acting as sole counsel on an ICC arbitration concerning a commission entitlement in respect of Kazakhstan oil development project

Anon – acting for the respondent to linked LCIA arbitrations concerning a dispute between shareholders in a leading hotel group.

Anon – acting as sole counsel on a substantial LCIA arbitration concerning a luxury condominium development in the Philippines.

Anon – acting for the respondent to an LCIA arbitration concerning large sums due under a settlement agreement said to have been entered into by reason of a fraudulent misrepresentation.

Registered Practitioner with rights of audience at the AIFC, in Kazakhstan

James read History at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge where he received several academic prizes and graduated with First Class Honours in 2009. That same year, he won the Maitland Advocacy Prize. He completed both the Graduate Diploma in Law and the BPTC at City, University of London during which time he was awarded the Inner Temple Major and Princess Royal Scholarships.

James was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2011 and to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the Territory of the British Virgin Islands in 2019.

James is a member of COMBAR, the Commercial Fraud Lawyers’ Association, the Chancery Bar Association, the Insolvency Lawyers’ Association and the Young International Arbitration Group.