Arbitration, Civil and Commercial Litigation, Competition Law, Equity and Trusts, Internet and Technology Law, Maori and Treaty of Waitangi issues, Public and Administrative Law

1994 (NZ), 1999 (NSW)

+64 4 915 9271

+64 4 472 9029

+64 275 801 616


James is an experienced competition and regulatory lawyer with a wide-ranging commercial litigation practice.  James is regularly recommended in guides such as Chambers and Who's Who Legal ("He is a formidably smart lawyer who is very, very good at what he does").

James has appeared in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in a wide range of cases. He has also acted as an arbitrator.

In addition to his litigation practice, James has been engaged in a number of law reform, public policy and market design projects in the electricity, banking, dairy and telecommunications sectors.

  • BA (Hons) in Economics, University of Otago (1991)
  • LLB (Hons), University of Otago (1992)
  • LLM, Harvard Law School (1994)
  • D.Phil, University of Oxford (1998)

Before joining the independent bar in 2013, James was a partner at Russell McVeagh (2001-2013) in the corporate and litigation groups, and was chair of the national litigation team. He has significant experience in the dairy, transport, energy, financial services, telecommunications and information technology sectors.

James has a doctorate in Artificial Intelligence and Legal Reasoning from the University of Oxford.  Before joining Russell McVeagh, James was an intern in the legal division of the IMF (Washington DC, 1995) and a consultant on legal regulation of the internet at the OECD in Paris 1998.

James has taught the Law and Economics course at Victoria University and a course in Markets and Regulation as part of the University of Auckland LLM programme.

Appointments / Professional engagements

  • Treasurer of Lawyers for Climate Action NZ Inc, 2019-.
  • Fellow of the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand, elected 2023.
  • Trustee of the New Zealand Film Festival Trust, 2016-23.
  • Advisor to Citizen AI (chatbot-based legal information provider), 2018-20.
  • Trustee of LawSpot (online pro bono legal advice service), 2013-2017.
  • Member of the Council of the University of Otago, 2004-2012.
  • Adjunct lecturer, Markets and Regulation, University of Auckland (2014).
  • Adjunct lecturer, Law and Economics, Victoria University (2000, 2011–2014).
  • Adjunct lecturer, Cyberspace Law, Victoria University (1999).