James Donovan oversees the development of all members’ practices and ensures the efficient operation of the practice management team.

He also has primary responsibility for all aspects of Chambers’ international and offshore work, with a particular focus on international arbitration and appeals to the Privy Council.

He travels regularly to visit clients and contacts around the world and is known for his considerable knowledge of the international and Caribbean market.

Since joining Chambers as a clerk in 1985 and becoming Senior Clerk in 1995, James has developed a unique understanding of the complexities of international and offshore work. He is exceptionally well-qualified to recommend the most suitable members with expertise in:

Since joining in 1985, James has worked with several heads of Chambers 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 is also involved in all aspects of Chambers’ management and attends Management Committee meetings. He is a member of the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, FREEBAR, and the International Bar Association (IBA) where he is the Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the LGBTQI+ Law Committee. He has a BTEC Advanced Award in Chambers Administration from Westminster Kingsway College, London.

James enjoys all things food, wine, 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

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