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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.  Approximately half of his practice is court litigation, in England and overseas. 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.  The other half of James’ practice is international commercial arbitration.  James has extensive recent experience of arbitration under various institutional rules (including ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL), and of litigation concerning the enforcement of arbitral awards.

James is recommended by Chambers UK 2020 for Commercial Dispute Resolution, which states that "His knowledge of the law is extensive, he's user-friendly and he has a succinct advocacy style" and "He dives straight into the detail of a case”.

Chambers UK 2019 (Commercial Dispute Resolution) stated 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:

LIC Telecommunications Sarl v VTB Capital and others (Commercial Court) [2019] EWHC 1747 (Comm) – James is 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.  

ICC arbitration (2019) – Arbitration concerning Formula 1 motor racing.

Castle Water Limited v Thames Water Utilities Limited [2020] EWHC 1374 (TCC) - Acts for Thames Water in this dispute arising out of Thames Water’s sale of its non-household retail water business to Castle Water.

LCIA arbitration (2019) – 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 also acted for Amec in related Part 20 proceedings in which other construction companies sought contribution from Amec towards sums which they paid to individual claimants. 

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

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.

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

Sonera Holding B.V. v Cukurova Holding A.S. [2014] UKPC 15 – Acted for Cukurova in this long running litigation concerning the enforcement in the BVI of a New York Convention arbitration award of approximately US$1 billion, which gave rise to a number of appeals to the Privy Council.

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.