James Stacey

Joined firm 2002. Partner since 2013.

James is a partner in the Disputes and Investigations group, and is co-head of our International Arbitration group.

James has a broad ranging international disputes practice. He has a particular focus on international commercial arbitration and has advised extensively on corporate, company, M&A, IEN and infrastructure arbitrations under the rules of all the major arbitral institutions, including the ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL.

James also advises clients in relation to significant, cross-border and domestic litigation, and has advised on many contentious tax disputes, frequently with an international element.

Arbitration highlights include advising:

  • An energy company in relation to two multi-US$ billion ICC arbitrations commenced by a Middle Eastern government and state-owned energy company concerning the tariff agreed pursuant to a Power Purchase Agreement.
  • A FTSE 100 corporate in an ICC arbitration concerning the failure of a JV partner to make payment of €100m’s of required dividends.
  • A British multinational manufacturing client in an ICC arbitration against a Swiss party concerning the termination of a funding and development agreement.
  • A FTSE100 corporate in relation to an ICC arbitration commenced by its JV partner concerning the operation of a JV in the Far-East.
  • An Eastern European state-owned energy company in a high value dispute, subject to UNCITRAL arbitration, between its wholly-owned subsidiary and a US contractor in relation to a turnkey contract for the repowering of two major power plants.
  • ForteBank, Kazakh’s largest bank, in an ICC arbitration concerned with a $600m banking fraud in Eastern Europe and related international enforcement proceedings.
  • A corporate in an LMAA arbitration against a shipyard concerning the wrongful termination of a contract to build a mega yacht.
  • An Asian state in relation to enforcement before the courts of a multi-US$ billion arbitration Award.

Commercial litigation highlights include advising:

  • A major German manufacturing company in defending claims brought before the courts of a European state relating to a historic strategic alliance.
  • An energy and commodities trader in relating to claims brought before the courts of an African state concerning actions of a local oil exploration company.
  • Enforcement of a parent company guarantee before the English High Court pursuant to and in support of a successfully obtained arbitral Award.
  • A significant fintech company on the purported termination of a suite of contracts to deliver a new banking platform.
  • Countrywide plc on M&A related litigation in the English High Court.

Tax highlights include advising:

  • A major financial institution in relation to an investigation by HMRC into missing trader frauds in the carbon emissions market.
  • First Nationwide, a subsidiary of Nationwide Building Society, on the successful defence of an appeal to the Court of Appeal by HMRC, which clarified the tax treatment of dividends.
  • The Reed Group in relation to its very significant claim for over-accounted VAT during the period 1973 to 1996, appealed through to the Court of Appeal.

James is recognised as a leading individual for International Arbitration in Legal 500, 2024. James is also ranked in Chambers for International Arbitration. 

Sources describe James as “brilliant”, noting that he is “a calm and cool operator” and “someone who is able to lead teams of global lawyers across different jurisdictions”. Another source highlights James’ “forensic approach” and how he “takes the scalpel to the opponent’s case and dissects it”. Chambers and Partners 2024, International Arbitration

James Stacey is also described as possessing “superb strategic vision and client management skills”. To his opposition, “he is equally smooth, but disarmingly effective”. Legal 500, 2024, International Arbitration.

He is praised as having “an incredible ability to review at speed and remember in an almost photographic way the most complicated backstory to a dispute. He is truly impressive”. Legal 500 UK, 2020, Commercial Litigation.