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Practice Summary

James has a broad commercial practice, with particular experience in disputes concerning debt or equity finance and/or telecommunications.  His practice is split broadly equally between court litigation and international arbitration.  As to the former, in addition to his English court practice, James is admitted as a member of the Bar of the British Virgin Islands, and has considerable experience of litigation in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal and the Privy Council.  As to the latter, James has extensive recent experience of arbitration under various institutional rules (including ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL).

James is recommended by Chambers UK 2019 for Commercial Dispute Resolution, which states that “he provides clarity of thinking and shows real attention to detail” and that he is “highly intelligent, very hard-working and not afraid to give robust advice”.

Chambers UK 2018 (Commercial Dispute Resolution) stated that “his written work is excellent, especially his pleadings”.

James’ current and recent work includes:

EE Limited v Phones 4U Limited (Commercial Court) [2018] 1 Lloyds Rep 204 – Acted for EE, defending a claim from the administrators of Phones 4U for commissions under a long term customer acquisition contract, and counterclaiming for damages for repudiatory breach.

LCIA arbitration – Ongoing arbitration concerning “buy out” rights under a shareholders’ agreement. 

The Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation (Queen’s Bench Division) -  Acted for Amec in this group litigation, concerning allegations of blacklisting in the construction industry, in which more than 1,000 claimants sought damages for defamation, breach of the Data Protection Act, breach of confidence, misuse of private information and conspiracy. Named by The Lawyer as one of the top 20 cases of 2016.  James now acts for Amec in related Part 20 proceedings in which other construction companies are seeking a contribution from Amec to sums which they paid to individual claimants.

ICC arbitration (2018) – Arbitration arising out of major civil engineering project in Panama.

LIC Telecommunications Sarl v VTB Capital and others (Commercial Court) [2018] EWHC 169 (Comm) – Sole counsel for Maze Sarl, a Luxembourg provider of corporate services, defending claims of fraud, conspiracy and collusion, in relation to the sale of a controlling stake in the Bulgarian telecom operator Vivacom.  

UNCITRAL arbitration (2018) – Arbitration concerning private equity investment in a telecommunications company.  

Sonera Holding B.V. v Cukurova Holding A.S. [2014] UKPC 15 – Acts for Cukurova in this litigation concerning the enforcement in the BVI of a New York Convention arbitration award of approximately US$1 billion.  Cukurova’s appeal against the enforcement of the award was rejected by the Privy Council in 2014. Sonera has now obtained an order for sale of certain shares in order to enforce the award.  Cukurova’s appeal against this order is likely to be heard by the Privy Council in 2019 or 2020.

LCIA arbitration (2018) – Arbitration concerning an agreement to purchase a majority shareholding in an oil exploration company.  

LCIA arbitration (2017) – Acted for the defendants in this arbitration, defending claims for over $6 billion.