James has a broad-ranging international arbitration, commercial litigation and investigations practice. He has conducted arbitrations under the rules of all the major arbitral institutions, including the ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL, with particular expertise in Construction and IEN (Infrastructure, Energy, Natural Resources) related arbitrations.

James also has extensive experience of advising corporate and banking clients in relation to contentious tax disputes, frequently with an international element, including disputes relating to company valuations, the tax treatment of dividends, VAT, restitution, missing-trader fraud and transfer pricing disputes. He has advised clients on appeals of tax disputes to the First-tier and Upper Tribunals and the Court of Appeal, and in relation to complex settlements of multiple disputes with HM Revenue & Customs.

Highlights include advising:

  • an Eastern European state-owned energy company in respect of a high value UNCITRAL arbitration with a US contractor in relation to a turnkey contract for the repowering of two major power plants
  • a major South American company in respect of an ICC arbitration in relation to its LPG operations, including challenges to, and enforcement of, the award
  • First Nationwide, a subsidiary of Nationwide Building Society, on the successful defence of an appeal to the Court of Appeal by HMRC in January 2012, which clarified the tax treatment of dividends
  • Reed, in relation to claims for over-accounted VAT during a period of many years in respect of the supply of temporary workers
  • a major media group in relation to the Leveson Inquiry
  • a major financial institution in relation to an investigation into the institution’s trading of carbon emission certificates and their alleged connection with fraudulent trading

James is recognised as a leading practitioner in the International Tax Review: Tax Controversy Leaders Guide, 2017. James was identified as one of Global Investigation Review's 2014 "40 under 40" for his work in relation to tax and fraud-related investigations and litigation.

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