Elected to the Bar: 2010
Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation
James has a wide-ranging arbitration and commercial litigation practice. His extensive experience in resources and construction disputes has seen him act at various times for all proponents in these matters across Australia and internationally. He also practices extensively in corporate and personal insolvency, loan recovery matters and directors’ duties.
Prior to joining the Bar in 2010, James was a partner of a national law firm (now K&L Gates) and assisted clients with all commercial and contentious aspects of the development of resource projects in Australia, the Asia Pacific and Africa.
His practice involves advising on complex contractual disputes with respect to major construction, engineering and infrastructure projects with a present emphasis on the renewables sector. This has included acting for parties in international arbitrations in the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Singapore International Arbitration Court (SIAC) and numerous ad hoc international arbitrations seated in Perth. As a result, he has worked extensively with delay and quantum experts and preparing supporting lay evidence for these types of claims. Given his level of expertise, James is regularly appointed as arbitrator, both domestically and internationally.
James is sought out by clients for his focused strategic advice and responsive ability to achieve favourable resolution of multifaceted disputes. James is recognised by instructors for his excellent technical skills and approach to presentation of cases, particularly for his courtroom advocacy and ability to clearly synthesise complex factual disputes. As matters require, he acts either as sole counsel or as part of a team.
James has been counsel in many of the leading cases on the former Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) judicial review and statutory demands decisions in Western Australia.
James makes significant contribution to pro bono matters in the areas of inheritance disputes, loan defaults and guarantees provided by individuals.
He was recently Junior Counsel at trial and appeal in Julian Wright’s Supreme Court claim against Wright Prospecting Pty Ltd and his sister Angela Bennett and deceased brother, Michael Wright regarding breaches of fiduciary duties and equitable claims.
James is a Fellow of CIArb and is a past Vice President of the Australian division. He is also a member of the global CIArb Approved Faculty List; the joint Law Council of Australia and Law Society of WA Insolvency and Restructuring Committee, having been a past chair of that committee; and the Law Council of Australia Construction and Infrastructure Committee.
Through his involvement in the Law Council of Australia, Law Society of Western Australia, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA), he is actively involved in law reform. James regularly teaches, presents and publishes papers on arbitration, construction law and insolvency in Australia and overseas.
Date of admission: 2000
Qualifications: LLB, FCIArb, MProfAcct, DiplCarb, GradCertAppFin
Areas of practice
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Building and construction
- Construction and engineering
- Consumer protection law
- Contractual disputes
- Corporate insolvency
- Corporations law
- Landlord and tenant
- Mining and resources
- Partnership disputes
- Professional liability
- Professional negligence
- Real property
- Restraint of trade
- Securities and investments
- Common Law and Personal Injury
- Environment and Planning
- Public and Administrative