James has been a clerk here since 1985 and the senior clerk since 1996.
When he joined Chambers in 1985 we 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 QC SC, James Guthrie QC, James Dingemans QC (now Lord Justice Dingemans), Peter Knox QC and with our present joint Heads of Chambers, Simon Davenport QC and Jeffrey Golden.
James has responsibility for all members’ practices and is well able to advise clients on the skills of QCs 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, the International Bar Association, the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association, and FREEBAR. He has undertaken a BTEC Advanced Award in Chambers Administration.
James enjoys all things food, wine, dancing, and travel related.
"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