Follow us

James Allsop

Partner, Australian Registered Foreign Lawyer (Admitted in England & Wales, not admitted in Australia)
Melbourne Australia

James co-leads the firm’s Asia Arbitration Hub, supporting clients along the Asia–Australia corridor in cross-border disputes and international arbitrations.

James’ practice centres on advising Japanese and Asia Pacific clients in complex commercial disputes, primarily through international arbitration. He has particular expertise in cross-border contractual disputes, as well M&A, joint venture and shareholder disputes. James has acted as counsel and advocate in arbitrations under all the major institutional rules and before ad hoc tribunals with seats across Asia and Europe. 

James also works with clients on multi-jurisdictional fraud and corruption investigations, advising on anti-bribery and corruption matters (including coordinating with various authorities and regulators), corporate governance and crisis management. 

James advises clients across various industries, with particular experience in the manufacturing, energy, technology, pharmaceutical and consumer products sectors.

Now in Melbourne, James was previously based in Tokyo, where he was licensed to advise as a Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi.  He continues to work on matters across Asia, leading a global platform of experts working as a connected team who bring market leading litigation strategies to globalised businesses.

James is one of only 12 practitioners in Australia recognised as a Future Leader in Arbitration by Who’s Who Legal.


James was previously based in Herbert Smith Freehills’ London and Tokyo offices. James is qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales and is also a qualified solicitor advocate. 

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • a leading Japanese trading house in a HKIAC arbitration relating to a delay in closing two SPAs worth a combined total of over US$1 billion
  • representing a consortium of Asian investors in Seoul-seated ICC arbitration proceedings on a dispute arising out of a sale and purchase agreement involving the financial services sector
  • a major Japanese company in an investigation arising out of corrupt and anti-competitive practices at an overseas subsidiary, including representing the client in discussions with the US DoJ and the SEC in relation to potential FCPA violations
  • the Japanese subsidiary of a major pharmaceutical company in ICC arbitration proceedings on the termination of a co-promotion agreement
  • a major Japanese trading company in London ad-hoc arbitrations and parallel TOMAC arbitrations in relation to disputes arising out of a series of ship building contracts
  • a major Japanese trading house in connection with a VIAC arbitration concerning delays and disruption to the completion of an urban rail project in Southeast Asia