James Donovan has been a clerk here since 1985 and the senior clerk since 1995.

When he joined in 1985, Chambers were based at 1 Crown Office Row. We moved to our present home at 3 Hare Court in 2000. James has worked with several Head of Chambers during his time here including Mervyn Heald QC, Sir Stuart McKinnon, Sir George Newman, Mark Strachan KC SC, James Guthrie KC, James Dingemans QC (now Lord Justice Dingemans), Peter Knox KC, Jeffrey Golden KC (Hon) and with our present Head of Chambers Howard Stevens KC.

James has responsibility for all members’ practices and is well able to advise clients on the skills of KCs and junior barristers. He has considerable knowledge of all Chambers practice areas.

James deals will all aspects of Chambers and sits on Chambers Management Committee. He is a member of the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks, International Bar Association (currently the Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the LGBTQI+ Law Committee), the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association, and FREEBAR.

He has undertaken a BTEC Advanced Award in Chambers Administration at Westminster Kingsway College, London.

James enjoys all things food, wine, dancing, and travel related.

‘Very strong and very good with international solicitors and international clients, including in government. James Donovan is the standout player.’ - The English Bar Offshore

Legal 500 2024

‘3 Hare Court is a well run chambers and the clerks go the extra mile to accommodate clients. James Donovan, Toby Eales and Simon Hamilton provide excellent support.’

Legal 500 2024

‘Very polite, professional, flexible and friendly. James Donovan in particular is extremely helpful and easy to deal with.’ - Caribbean – The English Bar Offshore

Legal 500 2023

‘James Donovan, Simon Hamilton and Toby Eales are very helpful with counsel bookings and availability of suitable counsel and they know their barristers well.’

Legal 500 2023

The clerks have delivered an excellent service over the years – nothing is too much trouble. Toby Eales and James Donovan are class acts and the whole team has benefitted from their leadership.’

Legal 500 2023

‘James Donovan is very personable and has a great deal of experience and knowledge of the chambers’ strengths.‘

Legal 500 2022

‘Clerks are very responsive and commercial – special mention to Toby Eales and James Donovan.‘

Legal 500 2022

James Donovan leads an extremely friendly, efficient and effective team.

Legal 500 - 2021

James Donovan, senior clerk, has always been particularly impressive and accommodating in terms of recognition of need, knowledge of progress of the matters, urgency of response and follow-up.

Legal 500 - 2021

Excellent clerks – particularly Toby Eales and James Donovan who are extremely helpful and try to be extremely accommodating.

Legal 500 - 2021

The clerking team led by James are amongst the best in the business. They are helpful, accommodating and sensible on fees. All of the clerks have a good knowledge of the work undertaken by Chambers to help place cases and agree fees quickly.

Legal 500 - 2021

"James Donovan leads an extremely friendly, efficient and effective team."

Legal 500 2020

"James Donovan, senior clerk, has always been particularly impressive and accommodating in terms of recognition of need, knowledge of progress of the matters, urgency of response and follow-up."

Legal 500 2020

"The ‘superb’ clerks’ room is headed up by the ‘delightful’ and ‘charming’ senior clerk James Donovan, who ‘knows his barristers - their strengths and weaknesses - inside out’ and ‘is interested in building lasting working relationships rather than short-term profits’. Chambers ‘really seems to be going places’ under Donovan’s guidance."

Legal 500 2018

"James Donovan, the senior clerk, is one of the best in the business and in my experience he has never recommended a barrister who wasn't totally suited to the job in hand."

Chambers & Partners 2018

For Help or Advice…

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

Awards & Accreditations



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