James Goudkamp practises in all areas of commercial law although his principal interests are civil fraud, professional negligence and commercial tort law more generally. He regularly appears in the Commercial Court and has a growing appellate practice having appeared in the Supreme Court, Privy Council and Court of Appeal.
James is described in the legal directories as “incredibly hard-working, extremely knowledgeable and thorough”, “extraordinary meticulous”, “very able”, “responsive and practical”, “a phenomenal source of knowledge”, “brilliant”, “fabulous” and as the person to go to “if you have a difficult point of law”.
The following are some illustrations of his recent work.
James’s practice involves a mixture of work in which he is led and work in which he is instructed as sole counsel. Alongside litigation, his practice extends to arbitration in insurance and shipping matters and involves a significant advisory element.
In addition to his busy practice, James is Professor of the Law of Obligations at the University of Oxford and is the author of more than 100 publications. His work is regularly cited by judges throughout the common law world (an illustration at the highest level is Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust  UKSC 50;  AC 831 at ), and James is widely regarded as a leading expert on tort law. Internationally recognised for his work in this regard, James is a member of the American Law Institute and serves as an Advisor to the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Intentional Torts to Persons (which is the most important source of tort law in the United States). His writings address myriad topics including the duty and standard of care in the tort of negligence, the illegality defence, the law of contributory negligence (on which he has recently written two books) and the law of damages.
James’s numerous university qualifications are at the highest level. They include two master’s degrees and a doctorate, which he completed as a Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford (Magdalen College). James was awarded the University Medal in Law for placing first in his year in his undergraduate studies, which he completed in Australia. In 2005–2006, James was a judicial assistant to the Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG, who was then a Justice of the High Court of Australia, which is Australia’s ultimate appellate and constitutional court. James is admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
If you are interested in instructing James, please contact the clerks in order to ascertain his availability.
A large proportion of James’s practice concerns civil fraud where he is sought after as one of the leading experts on tort law in England. James’s experience in this regard includes freezing and proprietary injunctions and search orders as well as matters incidental thereto such as applications fortification of cross-undertakings in damages and committal for contempt. Illustrations of his work in this area are as follows.
A significant part of James’s practice concerns injunctive relief, especially freezing and proprietary injunctions. He is often instructed in relation to urgent matters in this connection which require work around the clock.
James has experience in relation to both marine and non-marine insurance matters. Much of James’s insurance work is in arbitration.
A substantial proportion of James’ practice involves international arbitration, often with an insurance dimension, and James has been instructed in a range of arbitrations (including Bermuda Form and LMAA). By way of example, James has acted:
Much of James’s practice involves a significant international element raising issues in the conflict of laws. By way of example, James has:
Lakatamia Shipping Co Ltd v Tseng  EWHC 3023 (Comm)
Stephen Phillips QC named Barrister of The Week by The Lawyer
7 King’s Bench Walk team secures €27m judgment in conspiracy claim
Elite footballer secures apology and compensation from the World Anti-Doping Agency
Supreme Court clarifies the illegality defence: James Goudkamp
Brazilian Portuguese (intermediate).
James has published extensively in the law of obligations. He regularly speaks at conferences and seminars across the world and for law firms in London. Selected publications include the following.