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Practice Summary

James is one of the commercial bar’s “go-to” senior juniors.  His “superb reputation and first class abilities” see him regularly instructed in many of the most high-profile and valuable commercial disputes.  James combines “phenomenal” advocacy with “amazing” paperwork, “extremely accurate” advice and “tremendously dedicated” client service (all quotes C&P/WWL).

James is a leading commercial junior practising in all aspects of commercial law.  Particularly well-known for his high-profile general commercial and banking and finance practice, James’s practice encompasses all major areas of commercial law, including fraud, technology, energy, professional negligence, injunctions, jurisdiction, enforcement and international arbitration (under ICC, ICSID and LCIA rules). 

James is highly ranked in the leading directories for commercial law and for banking and finance and regularly appears in the largest and most valuable Commercial Court cases (current or recent cases include Vestia v DB; Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton; Golden Belt v BNPP; DB v Sebastian, Vik).  He is listed as one of the 5 most highly regarded banking and finance juniors at the commercial bar (WWL 2018), has been nominated three times by Chambers & Partners for banking or commercial junior of the year (2017, 2015 and 2013) and was selected by both Legal Week and The Times as a “future star of the bar”.  James acts as a senior junior within a larger counsel team, as sole advocate or leading a more junior barrister.

Praise for James from the directories includes the following:

“MacDonald's superb reputation and first-class abilities see him regularly instructed in the most high-profile of matters. He's a go-to senior junior for banking work, who's phenomenally hard-working, exceptionally bright and tremendously dedicated." (C&P 2018, Banking and Finance)

“A phenomenal advocate who fights for his clients with great tenacity” (WWL 2018)

“A very strong junior who appears in market-leading cases being led by some of the best silks in the business. He produces excellent work [and] is responsive and understands what the client is trying to achieve" (C&P 2017, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

“His written work is excellent and he is also a very strong trial advocate who is also great with clients” (C&P 2017, Banking & Finance).

“very able, very clever, very hard-working and produces a really good work product” “…has an impressive eye for detail and his advice is impressive” (C&P 2016, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

“very clever and charming…has the ability to communicate with clients on their level without being overly technical or legal, and can get extremely complex concepts across” (C&P 2016, Banking and Finance)

“He has a very bright future ahead” “He is very bright, responsive and provides excellent drafting” (L500 2016, Banking and Finance / Commercial Litigation)

"His advice was extremely accurate and his performance in Court was exceptional” (C&P 2015, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

“The best draftsman that we have ever come across...he has this amazing ability to distil complicated facts and legal concepts into one neat phrase or term” (C&P 2014, Banking and Finance)