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James is a litigator with experience acting for leading corporations in major commercial litigation, class actions and regulatory investigations.

James is a litigator with experience acting in significant commercial disputes and regulatory investigations with high financial and reputational exposure. His work has been on the cutting edge of high profile developments in Australian class actions — with experience spanning assessment of litigation risk before commencement of any claim, all the way through to defending claims at trial and on appeal.

Market recognition

  • Finalist for Rising Star of the Year (Private Practice) in 2023 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards
  • Finalist for 2023 Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards


James holds a Bachelor of Civil Law with Distinction from the University of Oxford, and both a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours and Bachelor of Commerce (Corporate Finance) from the University of Adelaide.

James is admitted to practice in a Supreme Court and High Court of Australia. Before joining Herbert Smith Freehills, he taught law at the University of Oxford and was a Supreme Court Associate.

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • Marsh (global insurance and risk company) in defending at trial a complex class action concerning local government mutual insurance in the Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • Worley (ASX-listed engineering company) in defending landmark shareholder class action proceedings on appeal in the Full Federal Court and High Court
  • Beach Energy (ASX-listed energy company) in shareholder class action proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria
  • a2 Milk (dual ASX/NZX-listed company) in shareholder class action proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of New Zealand
  • a global financial services group in an ASIC regulatory investigation concerning its role as joint lead manager of an initial public offering
  • an Australian financial services company in relation to potential criminal prosecution and regulatory risk emerging from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry