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 in these fields and has a growing appellate practice having recently appeared in the Supreme Court, Privy Council and Court of Appeal. By way of illustration of recent work, James:

  • appeared in an appeal to the Supreme Court concerning the illegality defence (Henderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust (led by Angus Moon QC and other Counsel)).
  • appeared in a successful appeal to the Court of Appeal following which a US$27m worldwide freezing order was restored (Lakatamia Shipping Co v Morimoto [2019] EWCA Civ 2203 (led by Stephen Phillips QC and Noel Casey)).
  • acted for an elite professional footballer in a £16m negligence claim against an anti-doping authority (Sakho v World-Anti Doping Agency (led by Richard Waller QC and other Counsel)).
  • appeared in committal hearings against a former billionaire in which sentences of 21 months’ imprisonment and 4 months’ imprisonment were imposed for breaches of freezing and other orders (Lakatamia Shipping Co Ltd v Su [2019] EWHC 1145 and [2020] EWHC 314 (led by Stephen Phillips QC and Noel Casey)).
  • appeared in an appeal to the Privy Council regarding joint bank accounts (Whitlock v Moree [2017] UKPC 44; [2017] 20 ITELR (led by Gavin Kealey QC)).

Alongside litigation, James’s 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 he has published extensively across many topics in commercial law. His work is regularly cited by judges throughout the common law world (a recent illustration is Darney v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2018] UKSC 50; [2019] AC 831 at [23]), and James is widely regarded as a leading expert on (in particular) 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 (which is the most important source of tort law in the United States). His tort-related 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 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.