James Brocklebank QC

James Brocklebank QC

Silk: 2018 | Call: 1999

"Extraordinarily bright, very hard-working, and thorough."

Chambers & Partners 2020

Practice Profile


James has a broad practice encompassing all areas of commercial litigation, including conflicts of laws, energy and natural resources, product liability, banking and finance, international trade, and confidentiality and privilege.

He has a particularly prominent reputation in the areas of professional negligence, insurance and reinsurance, and commercial arbitration (often with an international element). He has wide experience of advising and acting in relation to all manner of contractual and tortious disputes.

In the professional negligence context, James regularly acts in cases involving a range of professionals, including accountants, financial advisers, insurance brokers, Lloyd’s members’ agents, bankers, company directors, and solicitors. Much of his work in this area, and in the field of insurance and reinsurance, is concerned with the financial services sector. His clients include major accountancy firms, prominent banks, and financial institutions.

James also has experience across a range of general commercial disputes, including in the energy and financial sectors. He regularly advises and acts in cases with an international flavour, often involving conflicts of laws issues and matters of international commerce.

Arbitration is a significant element of James’ practice, including regular involvement in substantial international commercial litigation. James has also appeared on behalf of clients in a number of professional disciplinary tribunals.

James has extensive experience of substantial litigation and is familiar with the particular demands of large-scale court and arbitration proceedings. His appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 2018 reflected his reputation and expertise as a leader and an advocate.

As well as appearing regularly in the Courts of England and Wales and in arbitration in London and elsewhere, James is a registered advocate in the Dubai International Financial Centre Court.

If you are interested in instructing James, please contact our clerks for further information as to his expertise and availability.

James has experience of banking and finance both from the perspective of related professional negligence and insurance cases and from advising specifically in respect of banking disputes.

Selected cases:

  • Cunningham v Ernst & Young and others: represented Ernst & Young defending a claim in relation to an independent business review preceding the insolvent administration of a group of companies. James successfully led an application to strike-out the claim, which involved allegations of fraudulent conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty, on the basis of time-bar and the lack of any sufficient basis for the allegations advanced.
  • DRUM Risk Management Ltd. v Various Banks: advising in respect of multiple claims brought by banks involved in financing commodities transactions supported by collateral management agreements.
  • Financial Services Compensation Scheme v Independent Financial Advisors: acting on behalf of PKF in major action by the FSCS against a large number of independent financial advisors accused of mis-selling financial products related to the Keydata scandal.
  • Primary Capital v Ernst & Young: acted on behalf of the Claimants in an action against Ernst & Young for negligent conduct of financial due diligence prior to a venture capital investment in a group of companies which subsequently became insolvent.
  • Equitable Life Assurance Society v Ernst & Young: part of a team representing Ernst & Young in defending a £2 billion claim. The claim was abandoned as against Ernst & Young after the factual evidence had been heard.
  • Barings Bank v Coopers & Lybrand (main judgment at [2003] Lloyd’s Rep IR 566; see also [2002] 2 BCLC 410, [2002] 2 BCLC 364, and [2001] Lloyd’s Rep PN 379): part of the team defending Deloitte & Touche in respect of their role as auditors of Baring Futures Singapore. The claim against D&T, which raised issues of scope of duty, causation, contributory negligence, deceit, and reflective loss, was for more than £1 billion. The claimants achieved judgment for just over £1.5 million.
  • Advising in respect of various banking/finance-related matters, including ISDA disputes.

The backbone of James’ practice is commercial dispute resolution, covering the whole spectrum of general commercial litigation. James is recognised by both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 for his expertise in this area.

Selected cases:

  • Carillion plc v KPMG: leading counsel representing KPMG in defence of anticipated claim arising from the insolvency and collapse of the Carillion Group, as well as in related matters. The dispute is currently at the pre-action stage but a large professional negligence claim is anticipated and James is instructed, with other members of 7kbw, on behalf of KPMG to act in its defence.
  • Cunningham v Ernst & Young and others: represented Ernst & Young defending a claim in relation to an independent business review preceding the insolvent administration of a group of companies. James successfully led an application to strike-out the claim, which involved allegations of fraudulent conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty, on the basis of time-bar and the lack of any sufficient basis for the allegations advanced.
  • DRUM Risk Management Ltd. v Various Banks: advising in respect of multiple claims brought by banks involved in financing commodities transactions supported by collateral management agreements.
  • James acted on behalf of a UAE-based firm of accountants in preparing an application for injunctive relief in connection with a dispute about the client’s membership of and ability to use the branding of an international network of accountancy firms.
  • Lam Developments Ltd. v Trident Trust Company: acted on behalf of the Claimant in an action for alleged breaches of duty by corporate directors and corporate services providers.
  • SAB v Reem Finance PJSC: acted on behalf of the contractor in  a dispute arising from contracts for the provision of IT products and services to a UAE-based commercial finance provider.
  • Besso Limited v Bennett Gould & Partners Limited, Commercial Court, April/May 2015: claim for breach of contract arising from transfer of clients to the defendant company and failure to pay agreed compensation.
  • Estel Marine Ltd. v Sunrise Yachting (15 January 2015; unreported): James successfully applied for an anti-suit injunction to restrained threatened proceedings in breach of jurisdiction and arbitration provisions.
  • James acted for a world-leading manufacturer and suppliers of rope, including wire ropes supplied to a number of industries such as the crane and the offshore oil industries, in substantial claims arising out of hurricane damage.
  • Converteam UK Ltd. v Hollygate Fabrications Ltd.: acted for the claimants in a claim arising from explosion and fire alleged to have been caused by defective manufacture by the Defendant of a frame to be used in the construction of power conversion and generation equipment. The claim involved issues of product liability, causation, and remoteness.
  • Kingspan Environmental Ltd v Borealis A/S [2012] EWHC 1147 (Comm): James acted on behalf of Borealis in a 16-week trial which concluded in July 2011. Borealis was successful in defeating the claim (put at £100 million) in its entirety. The case was principally concerned with sale of goods and misrepresentation, but in addition raised a wide variety of other legal issues.
  • Berezovsky v Edmiston & Co. Ltd.: acted on behalf of the defendant, Edmiston, which successfully recovered (by counterclaim) commission payable to the defendant as ship broker in the sale by the claimant of a large luxury yacht. (The judgment of the High Court is reported at [2011] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 419: due to other commitments, James was not able to appear at the trial. The decision was varied as to the amount of commission by the Court of Appeal: [2011] EWCA Civ. 431.)
  • Jackson Distribution Ltd. v Tum Yeto Inc. [2009] EWHC 982 (QB): acted on behalf of the successful claimant, seeking damages for wrongful termination of a distribution agreement. The issues raised by the case included the incorporation of implied terms, the circumstances in which early termination may be justified, and the quantification of damages assessed on the basis of a loss of a chance.
  • AIC Ltd. v. ITS Testing Services (UK) Ltd. (“The Kriti Palm”) [2007] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 555: James, together with leader Jonathan Gaisman QC, succeeded in overturning on appeal a finding of fraud made against his client at first instance. The issues raised by the appeal included the requirements and application of section 32 Limitation Act 1980 and limitation as it applies to continuing duties.
  • HSBC Rail (UK) Ltd. v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd. [2006] 1 W.L.R. 643: appeared on the appeal on behalf of HSBC Rail in a case arising out of the Hatfield rail crash. The appeal raised the question of the title to sue of an owner with a reversionary interest in property and with no immediate right to possession. James and Christopher Butcher QC also acted in related arbitration proceedings concerning damage to rolling stock caused by the Hatfield crash.
  • Tonicstar Ltd. v. American Home Assurance Co. [2005] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 32: acted on behalf of Tonicstar in a successful application to obtain and secure the continuation of an anti-suit injunction. The case involved issues of choice of law, the effect of arbitration clauses, the proper law of an arbitration, natural forum, and anti-anti-suit injunctions.
  • James is regularly involved in international arbitrations of a commercial nature, including, by way of recent example, a major dispute concerning rights to and valuation of energy resources in the Middle East and a claim in respect of the distribution of pharmaceutical products in North America and Europe.

Work connected with the energy and natural resources sector forms an important part of James’ case load, both in the insurance context and other energy-related contractual and tortious disputes. James is recognised for his experience of energy work in the Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 rankings.

Selected cases:

  • Dana Petroleum v Zurich: acting for insurers in a dispute arising from damage to an offshore umbilical in the North Sea.
  • James has advised in respect of the recoverability under applicable insurance and reinsurance policies of losses resulting from attacks on the Across Sinai Gas Pipeline.
  • James has been involved in a number of confidential energy-related matters, including a major arbitration claim relating to interference with rights concerning substantial gas and oil resources. The case involved issues of loss of a chance, causation, and scope of duty, as well as detailed political, technical, and economic analysis of the prospects for the relevant national and international energy sector and the global market.
  • GDF/Teesside Power v Underwriters: acted for insurers in connection with a claim arising from damage to a steam turbine at Teesside Power Station.
  • Talbot Underwriting and others v KPS Karadeniz and others: acted for the Defendant insureds, seeking indemnity in relation to the supply of power generating capacity, in the form of powerships, to Pakistan. The claim arose under a political risks policy and was for an indemnity in excess of US$250 million, together with damages for wrongful avoidance and/or wrongful rejection of notice of abandonment.
  • The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. v Colonial Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd.: acted on behalf of the defendant insurer in this claim arising out of a failed gas pipeline installation. In the course of the proceedings, James successfully applied for disclosure by the claimant insured of documents produced in a related arbitration to which the insurer had not been a party.

James has a recognised expertise in the areas of insurance and reinsurance. He is ranked highly by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 in this field. James was awarded Insurance Junior of the Year at the 2015 Chambers Bar Awards.

Selected cases:

  • The Cultural Foundation (t/a American School of Dubai) v Beazley Furlonge Ltd. [2018] EWHC 1083 (Comm): achieved substantial success for his client on preliminary issues including notification, breach of condition precedent, estoppel, and claims under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930.
  • R&Q Insurance (Malta) Ltd. v Continental Insurance Co. [2017] EWHC 3066 (Comm): achieved full recovery on behalf of the claimant reinsured in a claim arising out of long-tail asbestosis liabilities. The issues included proof of the existence and terms of the policies where original documents had been lost, the effect of fronting arrangements, and reliance on acknowledgement to overcome a limitation defence.
  • Involnert Management Inc. v Aprilgrange Ltd. [2015] EWHC 2255 (Comm); [2015] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 289: successfully defended the placing broker, OAMPS, in a claim for €13 million for alleged negligence in the placing of insurance for a luxury yacht. The Court found both that the placing broker owed no relevant direct duties to the claimant company and that there had been no breach of such duties as were alleged.
  • The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. v Colonial Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd.: acted on behalf of the defendant insurer in this claim arising out of a failed gas pipeline installation. The issues raised by the case included non-compliance with an extended warranty clause, want of due diligence, and lack of fortuity.
  • AWB (Geneva) S.A. v Insurers: acted on behalf of underwriters in defending a claim for US$100 million in relation to allegedly misappropriated soybeans. The case principally involved issues of non-disclosure and title to sue. The claim settled after start of the trial.
  • Oman Insurance Company v India International Insurance and others: acted for the claimant in a claim under a policy of reinsurance and in the alternative against an agent under a lineslip for breach of warranty of authority and against the broker for negligence and breach of contract.
  • Talbot Underwriting and others v KPS Karadeniz and others: acted for the Defendant insureds, seeking indemnity in excess of US$250 million, together with damages for wrongful avoidance and/or wrongful rejection of notice of abandonment.
  • Dubai National Insurance & Reinsurance v Ascot Corporate Name Ltd. and others: acted for Defendant reinsurers in a case involving various policy defences and a defence of avoidance, together with issues as to the authority of a lead underwriter to bind other subscribing underwriters.
  • Independent Insurance Co. Ltd. v Chubb Insurance Company of Europe S.A. (17th December 2008, unreported): acted for the defendant insurance company which was alleged to be liable to contributed to a claim paid by the claimant. The claim against the defendant was dismissed entirely.
  • A significant element of the insurance and reinsurance work on which James is instructed takes place within the context of arbitration. The insurance and reinsurance arbitrations in which James has recently acted and is currently acting span a wide range of issues, including insurable interest, aggregation, the recoverability of losses sustained by fraud of a joint venture entity, issues relating to multi-year risks, annual re-signing, and the settlement of unascertained losses.
  • James also acts in disputes before Lloyd’s Arbitration Scheme tribunals, for example in respect of matters involving managing agents and members agents.
  • James frequently provides advice in relation to a wide spectrum of insurance and reinsurance issues.

Arbitration, and specifically international arbitration, is a significant element of James’ practice, covering all areas of commercial disputes. He is recognised by Chambers & Partners as an expert in the field of international arbitration.

Selected cases:

  • James’ practice includes frequent involvement in commercial arbitration, including (more recently) cases involving issues of energy and natural resources, product liability,  international distribution agreements and international trade. James’ arbitration work often includes an insurance or reinsurance aspect.
  • Details of specific arbitrations are not provided in order to preserve the confidentiality of the cases in which James is involved. Further details of the fields in which James conducts arbitration work are available on request.

James regularly advises on issues of jurisdiction and applicable law, both in conjunction with and as a preliminary to litigation in the Commercial Court or arbitration.

Selected cases:

  • Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft v Liquimar Tankers Management Inc. [2017] 1 WLR 4397: acted on behalf of the defendant seeking to stay jurisdiction in favour of parallel proceedings in another EU state. This was the first reported case to turn on the application of Brussels I Recast (and, in particular, Articles 29 and 31(2)) to asymmetric jurisdiction clauses.
  • Osprey Underwriting Agency v Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association Ltd.: acting for the defendant in seeking a stay of proceedings under Article 33 of the Recast Brussels I Regulation (No. 1215/2012) in favour of proceedings in a non-contracting state. This is likely to produce the first judgment on the application of the Article 33 test in cases of parallel proceedings.
  • Argo Re Ltd. v SFA Group LLC: acted for the applicant in seeking injunctive relief for proceedings brought in the US in breach of an arbitration provision binding on the parties.
  • Estel Marine Ltd. v Sunrise Yachting (15 January 2015; unreported): James successfully applied for an anti-suit injunction to restrained threatened proceedings in breach of jurisdiction and arbitration provisions.
  • Oman Insurance Company v India International Insurance and others: this claim, involving parties in four different jurisdictions, is  an example of James’ frequent  involvement  in  Commercial  Court  cases  with  an international aspect and raising questions as to jurisdiction and proper law.
  • Kingspan Environmental Ltd. v Borealis A/S [2012] EWHC 1147 (Comm) involved significant conflict of laws issues, including in particular disputes as to choice of law, the proper law of pre-contractual misrepresentations, and the application of section 27 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
  • James was instructed to act on behalf of the Respondents in the appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Highland Crusader Offshore Partners, LP v Deutsche Bank AG [2009] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 617. The case concerned issues of jurisdiction and, in particular, the circumstances in which an anti-suit injunction will be issued to prevent concurrent proceedings where the parties have agreed a non-exclusive jurisdiction clause. It was compromised after the service of the Respondents’ Case for the Supreme Court.
  • Tonicstar Ltd. v. American Home Assurance Co. [2005] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 32:acted on behalf of Tonicstar in a successful application to obtain and secure to the continuation of an anti-suit injunction. The case involved issues of choice of law, the effect of arbitration clauses, the proper law of an arbitration, natural forum, and anti-anti-suit injunctions.
  • James is also frequently involved in international arbitrations in which issues of jurisdiction and proper law are prominent.

James regularly advises and acts on behalf of several major accountancy firms, together with a number of other categories of professionals, including financial advisers, insurance brokers, Lloyd’s members’ agents, bankers, company directors and solicitors. He is recognised by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as a leader in the field.

Selected cases:

  • Carillion plc v KPMG: leading counsel representing KPMG in defence of anticipated claim arising from the insolvency and collapse of the Carillion Group, as well as in related matters. The dispute is currently at the pre-action stage but a large professional negligence claim is anticipated and James is instructed, with other members of 7kbw, on behalf of KPMG to act in its defence.
  • Cunningham v Ernst & Young and others: represented Ernst & Young defending a claim in relation to an independent business review preceding the insolvent administration of a group of companies. James successfully led an application to strike-out the claim, which involved allegations of fraudulent conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty, on the basis of time-bar and the lack of any sufficient basis for the allegations advanced.
  • Lam Developments Ltd. v Trident Trust Company: acted on behalf of the Claimant in an action for alleged breaches of duty by corporate directors and corporate services providers.
  • Wey Bridging Ltd. v Ernst & Young LLP: acted on behalf of EY in defending claim brought by liquidators of a short-term loan company. The case raises issues of legal causation, scope of duty, exclusions of liability, and contributory negligence.
  • Involnert Management Inc. v Aprilgrange Ltd. [2015] EWHC 2255 (Comm); [2015] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 289: James successfully defended the placing broker, OAMPS, in a claim for €13 million for alleged negligence in the placing of insurance for a luxury yacht. The Court found both that the placing broker owed no relevant direct duties to the claimant company and that there had been no breach of such duties as were alleged.
  • Financial Services Compensation Scheme v Independent Financial Advisors: acted on behalf of PKF in major action by the FSCS against a large number of independent financial advisors accused of mis-selling financial products related to the Keydata scandal.
  • Primary Capital v Ernst & Young: acted on behalf of the Claimants in an action against Ernst & Young for negligent conduct of financial due diligence prior to a venture capital investment in a group of companies which subsequently became insolvent.
  • AVK/SEG (UK) Ltd. v Allianz and others: acted for the Claimant in pursuing a claim (now settled) against its insurance broker in the alternative to a disputed claim under a policy of insurance.
  • Claims Direct Plc. v PricewaterhouseCoopers: acted on behalf of the defendant tax consultants in defending a claim (now settled) for alleged negligent advice.
  • IC Mutual Ltd. v A.P. Robinson & Co.: acted on behalf of accountants, PKF, in defending a claim for alleged negligence. The original claim was abandoned and the claimants were denied permission to introduce a revised claim by amendment (applying sections 14A and 35(2) Limitation Act 1980 and CPR 17.4).
  • Direct 4 x 4 Manufacturing Limited v CGI Insurance Services Limited: acted for the defendant brokers who were accused of negligence in placing business interruption insurance on behalf of the claimant.
  • Equitable Life Assurance Society v Ernst & Young: part of a team representing Ernst & Young in defending a £2 billion claim. The claim was abandoned as against Ernst & Young after the factual evidence had been heard.
  • Barings Bank v Coopers & Lybrand (main judgment at [2003] Lloyd’s Rep IR 566; see also [2002] 2 BCLC 410, [2002] 2 BCLC 364, and [2001] Lloyd’s Rep PN 379):part of the team defending Deloitte & Touche in respect of their role as auditors of Baring Futures Singapore. The claim against D&T, which raised issues of scope of duty, causation, contributory negligence, deceit, and reflective loss, was for more than £1 billion. The claimants achieved judgment for just over £1.5 million.
  • James has acted on a number of occasions on behalf of accountants appearing in disciplinary proceedings brought by their professional bodies, both at first instance and on appeal.
  • James also has experience of appearing on behalf of Lloyd’s members’ agents in proceedings brought under the Lloyd’s Arbitration Scheme.

James is recommended in Chambers & Partners in the following categories: Commercial Dispute Resolution; Professional Negligence and Insurance. In previous years he has been reccomeneded in International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance and Energy & Natural Resources.

  • “He is superb, he doesn’t waste a word and has a very focused and precise cross-examination style.” “An effective advocate who does a great job for his clients.”
  • “He is very clever and an excellent advocate.” “He is good at brokers’ negligence work: very careful, thorough, thoughtful and aggressive when he needs to be.”
  • “Avery forceful and persuasive advocate who has the ear of the court.” “He makes himself available at very short notice and shows excellent judgement.”
  • “James Brocklebank engages in all aspects of a case, providing ongoing support to the solicitor team across a variety of issues.” “He’s really pleasant to deal with.”
  • “Highly responsive, offering practical, commercial advice to clients, and very hard-working.” “Extraordinarily bright and very easy to work with.” “Very thorough and very user-friendly.”
  • “A smart, diligent and thorough barrister who’s got very good judgement.” “He is clear, efficient, intelligent and thoughtful.”
  • “James Brocklebank engages in all aspects of a case, providing ongoing support to the solicitor team across a variety of issues.” “He’s really pleasant to deal with.”
  • “Incredibly useful, very understated, and quick and thorough in his advice.”
  • “Incredibly hardworking and very bright.” “A great pleasure to work with.”
  • “Very thorough. Quite a low-key advocate, who is top of his brief and has a firm hand on the details.” “His cross-examination was a model of clarity and brevity.”
  • “Very bright, thorough and incisive. He is good at coming up with sensible solutions to complex issues.” “User-friendly and hard-working.”
  • “He just sees things for what they are, and has a laser focus on what’s important.” “He’s very commercial and user-friendly, and his drafting is very precise.”
  • “He is very bright, very quick and easy to deal with – all round excellent.”
  • “He just sees things for what they are, and has a laser focus on what’s important.”
  • “very commercial and user-friendly”
  • “Very bright, thorough and incisive. He is good at coming up with sensible solutions to complex issues.”
  • “He sets out his position with admirable clarity, giving us the certainty we need to handle complex matters effectively.”
  • “unflappable in court.”
  • “He is a frightening opponent.”
  • “His cross-examination was a model of clarity and brevity.”
  • “A great pleasure to work with.”
  • “Incredibly useful, very understated, and quick and thorough in his advice.”
  • “Incredibly thorough.”
  • “James has an outstanding intellect. He is very diligent and commercial.”
  • “He’s got a very good style, he’s very concise and he gets the ear of the judge.”
  • “a tremendously talented practitioner.”
  • “Gives realistic advice on the merits of a case at an early stage, is very commercial in his approach, and alert to potential pitfalls.”
  • “He’s responsive, insightful, clever and very thorough.”
  • “He’s incredibly intelligent, has a nice manner and possesses the ability to speak to people in a normal, human way.”
  • “He is strikingly bright, has a superb legal analytical brain and is a pleasure to deal with.”
  • “One of his key attributes is his capacity to grasp the issues across the entire spectrum of the case.”
  • “An excellent lawyer – he is formidably bright, careful, and he has good drafting skills.”
  • “He really knows his stuff and is very good on his feet.”
  • “Phenomenally intelligent.”
  • “… very responsive, very commercial and very user-friendly”
  • “A very clever guy and a pleasure to work with.”
  • “Personable, hardworking and commercial”
  • “a tremendously clear thinker”
  • “piercing intellect”
  • “His drafting and his ability to articulate a case are second to none.”
  • “a terrifically nice chap to work with.”
  • “a lawyer of flexibility and intelligence”
  • “His fast rise through the ranks is a reflection of his range of talents,”
  • “absolutely superb, highly meticulous and very bright”
  • “incredibly bright, and a committed team player who leaves no stone unturned.”
  • “really punches above his weight”
  • “outstanding.”
  • “a definite star of the future.”

James is recommended in Legal 500 in the following categories: Professional negligence; Insurance and Reinsurance and Energy. In previous years he has been reccomended in Commercial litigation.

  • “He is highly impressive in his grasp of the issues and analysis, and his advocacy is clear and crisp.”
  • “Highly impressive in his grasp of the issues and analysis of the same – his advocacy is similarly clear and crisp.”
  • “Super clever with a laser focus on the detail. Happy to roll his sleeves up as well.”
  • “Proved invaluable in countering others with far greater financial resources.”
  • “An excellent strategic thinker with first-class legal knowledge; very good on paper and on his feet.”
  • “His advice is always well-thought through and is delivered in a timely fashion.”
  • “He is very thorough..”
  • “Analytical and tactically astute; has invaluable in-depth legal knowledge.”
  • “A stickler for detail and personable – a QC for good reason.”
  • “He is a stickler for detail and is personable.”
  • “Sees the big picture and provides well planned strategic advice.”
  • “Analytical and tactically astute; has invaluable in-depth legal knowledge.”
  • “Sees the big picture and provides well planned strategic advice.”
  • “A QC for good reason.”
  • “An insightful strategist with great attention to detail.”
  • “First-rate.”
  • “A real talent.”
  • “He gives realistic advice on merit and never loses sight of clients’ commercial goals.”
  • “A compelling advocate, who is fully on top of the facts.”
  • “Always in control of the case.”
  • “He is assiduous, has good eye for detail, and is aware of how the court will react.”
  • “He produces excellent paperwork and is an appealing advocate.”
  • “Very clever and good draftsman of complex court documents.”
  • “He is very bright, good on his feet and also an excellent team player.”
  • “excellent analytical skills and great intellect”
  • “very thorough”
  • Combar; BILA.

    James is a registered practitioner at the Dubai International Financial Centre Court.

  • Pembroke College, Cambridge:

  • MA in History, first class (1997)

  • Hadley History Prize, Thornton Scholarship, Foundation Scholarship.

  • Inns of Court School of Law, London:

  • Bar Vocational Course, distinction (1999) (first in year)

  • Senior Scarman Scholar; Bar Council Certificate of Honour; Bar Association for Commerce, Finance and Industry Prize; prizes awarded by the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators.

  • Queen Mother Scholar; Astbury Scholar (Middle Temple)