James has a broad commercial and public law practice in the UK and the Caribbean. He has appeared in the High Court and County Court of England and Wales, the Supreme Court of Barbados and is shortly due to appear before the Privy Council. He is particularly experienced in the areas of blockchain, economic sanctions, corporate governance, and insolvency.

Before joining the English Bar, James worked at commercial litigation firms in Trinidad and Barbados. He was also a judicial assistant to Lady Justice Asplin in the English Court of Appeal.

His recent and ongoing cases include:

  • Acting for a Barbadian public telecom company in an ongoing action brought by 300+ shareholders challenging the company’s amalgamation and privatisation as oppressive and in breach of takeover laws (as junior counsel).
  • Advising a non-designated Swiss party in relation to a contract affected by the sanctions imposed on Russia (led by Richard Samuel).
  • Acting for a property developer concerning an appeal soon before the Privy Council arising out of a contractual and fraud dispute in Antigua (as junior counsel).
  • Acted for an investment brokerage firm concerning a Bermudan claim alleging the sale of US$100 million of bonds (led by Simon Davenport KC).

James has significant experience advising blockchain companies. His work has covered claims to recover cryptoassets, advising on a US$20m public sale, a token generation event, the first private and decentralised launch of a decentralised finance protocol, governance of a DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation), the issuance of privacy tokens by software developers, the enforceability of SAFTs (simple agreements for future tokens), regulatory requirements under the UK’s AML/CTF regime, and more.

James has a very broad Caribbean practice, having worked on disputes arising out of Barbados, Trinidad, Antigua, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Bermuda, Bahamas, and others. As a holder of the Legal Education Certificate and a Barbadian citizen, James is entitled to be admitted to the Bars of several Caribbean countries to practise law generally (i.e. not for a particular case only). This gives him a rare advantage in terms of appearing before certain Caribbean courts as junior counsel.

Expertise

  • Advising a non-designated Swiss party concerning a contract affected by the EU and UK sanctions imposed on Russia (led by Richard Samuel).
  • Appearing in the Commercial Court in interlocutory applications arising out of a long-running commercial dispute (led by Thomas Roe KC).
  • Representing a property developer concerning a forthcoming appeal before the Privy Council arising out of an Antiguan contractual and fraud dispute (as junior counsel).
  • Advised a financial institution in a confidential high-value contractual dispute (led by Simon Davenport KC).
  • Acted for an investment brokerage firm concerning a contractual claim alleging the sale of US$100 million of bonds (led by Simon Davenport KC).
  • Advised a cryptoasset investment fund on a prospective breach of contract claim (as sole counsel)
  • Advised an infrastructure developer regarding an ICC arbitration concerning the enforceability of guarantees issued in relation to a US$200 million construction project (as junior counsel).
  • Acted for an Italian shipyard in a complex dispute arising out of the construction of super-yachts valued at €31 million and involving claims for breach of a duty of good faith, misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment (led by Richard Samuel).

  • Advised a blockchain software development company on regulatory (e.g. AML/ATF), contractual, and employment law issues arising out of the development of a DeFi privacy protocol, the public sale of over US$20m of tokens, the token generation event, and the launch and governance of a DAO (as sole counsel).
  • Advised an investor on options for recovering stolen cryptoasset privacy coins (as sole counsel).
  • Acting as a legal advisor to a digital asset hedge fund. Regularly advise on company, contractual, employment and regulatory issues.
  • Advising an NFT developer on regulatory requirements under FSMA and the UK’s AML/CTF regime (as sole counsel).
  • Advising a blockchain company on the enforceability of a simple agreement for future equity and token warrant purchase agreement (as sole counsel).
  • Advising the shareholder of a blockchain company on corporate governance matters (as sole counsel).

  • Representing a Barbadian public telecom company in an ongoing action brought by 300+ shareholders challenging the company’s amalgamation and privatisation as oppressive and in breach of takeover laws (as junior counsel).
  • Appeared in the High Court on behalf of a statutory administrator on an application seeking extensions of time concerning the administrator’s proposals (as sole counsel).
  • Advised shareholders in various matters on the merits of bringing unfair prejudice petitions and derivative actions in England.
  • Advised Trinidadian shareholders concerning claims for breach of directors’ duties, oppression (unfair prejudice) and wrongful dismissal.
  • Advised Gibraltar administrators on a prospective claim for challenging certain transactions as being at an undervalue.
  • Advised a liquidator on the merits of bringing an application under s. 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 to challenge a transaction defrauding creditors.
  • Advised Gibraltar trustee-in-bankruptcy on the merits of bringing a challenge to certain transactions as intended to hinder, delay, or defraud the rights of creditors under the Statute of Elizabeth.
  • Assisted Simon Davenport KC and Tom Poole KC concerning the five-week trial of a £250m claim against the former administrators of One Blackfriars for selling the landmark building at an undervalue.
  • Assisted Richard Samuel (as junior counsel) with an application challenging a transaction at an undervalue.
  • Advised blockchain business on its company law obligations concerning the migration of its business from the Caribbean to the UK (as sole counsel).
  • Assisted Tom Poole KC (as a pupil) with applications challenging transactions at an undervalue and transactions defrauding creditors.
  • Appearances in the winding up petition list in the Business and Property Courts.

  • Advised a Thai company director on the prospects of obtaining a stay of a £5 million English civil fraud claim because Thailand was the more appropriate forum (as sole counsel).
  • Advised a law firm partner concerning claims for breach of duty of good faith, conversion, and breach of trust (as sole counsel).
  • Advised on the prospects of discharging a worldwide freezing order obtained in support of a multimillion-pound civil fraud claim (as sole counsel).
  • Assisted Aidan Casey KC and Tom Poole KC (as a pupil) with an application for an urgent injunction in support of a £27 million civil fraud claim.

  • Advising a blockchain company based in the Cayman Islands on regulatory requirements in Barbados and elsewhere in the Caribbean.
  • Advising investors concerning a Caribbean central bank’s decision to place a commercial bank into statutory administration (led by Simon Davenport KC).
  • Advised a financial institution on applying the law of trusts and bailment to intermediated securities (led by Simon Davenport KC).
  • Advised on a prospective claim against a mortgagee challenging the disposition of property as being at an undervalue (led by Simon Davenport KC).

  • Advising on the prospects of a constitutional challenge in St Kitts and Nevis (as junior counsel).
  • Acting on behalf of various property owners in a judicial review before the Supreme Court of Barbados challenging planning permission to develop a large hotel (as junior counsel).
  • Advised a shareholder on an appeal before the Caribbean Court of Justice concerning the constitutionality of a former Court of Appeal judge delivering a judgment while holding the office of Governor-General of Barbados (as junior counsel).
  • Acted on behalf of an interested party in a judicial review concerning a moratorium imposed on constructing petrochemical storage facilities in Barbados (as junior counsel).
  • Acted on behalf of a property developer in a judicial review concerning planning permission for the construction of a development valued at US$175 million (as junior counsel).

  • Regular appearance in Fast Track personal injury trials, with particular expertise in claims involving credit hire and claims under the Package Travel Regulations.
  • Numerous appearances on behalf of airlines in passenger claims for compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004, under the Montreal Convention and claims arising out of the pandemic.

James can accept instructions directly from members of the public, companies and other entities through the public access scheme (also known as direct access).  If you wish to instruct him on a direct basis, please speak to the clerks.

For more information on public access, please see the Bar Council website.

For Help or Advice…


Please contact us either by telephone: +44 (0)20 7415 7800 or email: clerks@3harecourt.com

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