James was educated at UNSW (LLB) and Monash University (BA). He was a solicitor for 5 years with Ashurst and Telstra Corporation Limited. He has been a barrister since 2004.
He appears and negotiates in Courts, boardrooms and in regulatory forums.
His analytical and written skills were instrumental to SingTel in its takeover of Optus (2001 International deal of the year) ($13Bn) and to Telstra in various mergers and acquisitions in Australia and the United States ($10M to $425M) as well as in implementing GST for Telstra in 2000 for a $20Bn pa revenue stream.
He has favourably resolved end of business litigation, most recently for:
Osborne Aviation against 2 class actions, Endeavour Energy, 7Lloyds underwriters and 2 insurance brokers arising from the 2013 Blue Mountains fires ($400M+).
A Chinese public company (40,000 members) alleged by ASIC to have breached the Banking Act and Managed Investment Scheme provisions of the Corporations Act ($80M+).
Zintel Limited (NZE) against VeriFone (NYSE) arising from a disputed exclusive NZ distributorship ($22M).
Synergy Pty Limited against North Sydney Leagues Club that repudiated a supply agreement ($2M+) – Synergy v North Sydney Leagues (2012) 83 NSWLR 710; North Sydney Leagues’ Club Ltd v Synergy Protection Agency Pty Ltd (formerly Joseph Merhi Industries Pty Ltd) (t/as Synergy Protection Agency)  NSWSC 286.
He advises and appears for the Commonwealth of Australia and State of New South Wales in their biggest disputes (ITSL v PTTC) and investigations, including into the collapse of ABC Learning ($8Bn) (leading to the prosecution and conviction of the Chief Financial Officer), the offshore banking unit of an investment bank ($500M+pa) and a land tax dispute with one of Australia’s wealthiest persons. He is regularly briefed to investigate and cross examine in fraud and evasion matters for the ATO.
He represented a member of NSW parliament in ICAC Operation Spicer who was alleged to have fabricated her evidence, contravened electoral fundraising law and breached directors’ duties. James’ submission led to her total exoneration and continued successful career as Minister of the Crown and government whip.
He has represented on a pro bono or legal aid basis refugees, bankrupts, persons accused of indictable offences or subject to orders for permanent deportation or contempt.
He has been an associate to a Federal Court judge and been led by some of Australia’s eminent jurists, including Fagan, Lindsay, Payne and Perry JJ. He has taught contract law and income tax to Masters students at the University of Sydney.
He has leading judgments in tax penalties (Panayi v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation  NSWCA 93), land tax (Ghali v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (2013) 85 NSWLR 378), stamp duty (Warner v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue(2011) 84 ATR 569),income tax (Business and Research Management v Commissioner of Taxation(2008) 173 FCR 204, administrative law (Shrestha v Migration Review Tribunal(2015) 229 FCR 301, contract (Synergy v North Sydney Leagues (2012) 83 NSWLR 710), partnership (Christis v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (2011) 85 ATR 436); insurance (Thompson v NSW Land and Housing Corp (No3)  NSWSC 1658) and succession (Kastrounis v Foundouradakis  NSWSC 264) as well as hundreds of judgments in areas of income tax, land tax, stamp duty, corporations, superannuation, contempt, judicial review, migration, wills, succession, and agency.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
ASIC Order Hearings
Building & Construction
Equity & Trusts
Royal Commissions and Statutory Tribunals
Wills & Estates