Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP
Tel +44 (0) 20 7556 4547
Fax +44 (0) 20 7716 3694
James is a commercial litigator advising companies and Governments on complex contractual and commercial disputes, and representing clients in litigation and international arbitration. He has considerable experience of managing multi-jurisdictional disputes.
He advises Governments and their anti-corruption agencies seeking to trace, freeze and recover the corruptly acquired assets of dishonest public officials. That experience includes civil proceedings to recover the proceeds of corruption, enforcing foreign confiscation orders, advising on requests for mutual legal assistance in criminal proceedings and using insolvency remedies to recover assets. He speaks regularly about asset recovery at international anti-corruption conferences organised by international donors, and has provided significant pro-bono support to anti-corruption NGOs.
His anti-corruption practice includes advising companies on effective training and compliance programs, internal reviews and enquiries, and responding to external investigations.
James is included in the 2012 International Who's Who of Business Lawyers for Asset Recovery.
Legal 500, 2011 describes James as "unflappable".
Advising a number of Governments on civil proceedings to recover the proceeds of corruption, and programmes to recover assets through civil and criminal mechanisms.
Advising the Government of the Turks & Caicos Islands in one of the largest civil recovery programmes in the world, involving an extensive number of cases seeking to recover land obtained by corruption, the termination of substantial development agreements, and claims for misappropriated funds and evaded stamp duty. Many of these cases also involve appeals to the Caribbean Court of Appeal and the Privy Council.
Advised Nigeria in various proceedings against the family, associates and corporate vehicles of former leader General Sani Abacha, and also in a series of claims in England and elsewhere against Nigerian state governors who amassed substantial wealth whilst in office.
Advised on a wide range of breach of contract claims, including English High Court litigation and international arbitration.
Represented Tata Steel in ICC arbitration proceedings against an international consortium of steel slab producers arising from the termination of a long-term supply agreement. The proceedings led to the recovery of US$130m.
Defended an ICC arbitration claim for US$250 million against an African state arising from the termination of a concession agreement to rehabilitate and operate an industrial complex.
Acted for a FTSE100 company in a claim against the former managing director of a newly acquired subsidiary for the diversion of business opportunities and assets to a competing company he controlled.
Advised developing countries on the legislation and systems required to recover the proceeds of corruption.
Advised on a number of disputes arising from the failure of high-value products and goods, including a £250 million claim arising from a pipeline failure allegedly caused by breaches of specification.
Advised on claims arising from the failure of a structured investment vehicle exposed to the US sub-prime market.
Acting on a judicial review challenge to the Inland Revenue's decision retrospectively to increase the rates payable on an industrial site.
Recent Speaking Engagements and Publications
- "Collateral Consequences of Bribery: When Can Ethical Competitors Initiate Suit in the U.S. and U.K.?," co-author, The FCPA Report, May 15, 2013.
- “Is the UNCAC an effective deterrent to grand corruption?”, chapter co-author within “Modern Bribery Law Comparative Perspectives”, published by Cambridge University Press, May 2013.
- "Through the international corporate veil", author, Solicitors Journal, March 2013.
- "Corruption in UK Off-Shore Territories", co-author, The Commonwealth Lawyer, February 2013.
- "Strategies for Implementing the U.K. Bribery Act’s Requirement of Adequate Procedures for Intermediaries," author, The FCPA Report, 6 February 2013.
- "Finding Clarity in the New UK Bribery Act," author, The FCPA Report, 14 November 2012.
- "Plundering the Treasure Chest - The Theft of Sovereign Wealth and the Role of Private Enterprise in Asset Recovery Programmes" author, Royal United Services Institute, 27 April 2012.
- "The U.K. Bribery Act Today," co-author, Financial Fraud Law Report, October 2011.
- “The UK Bribery Act 2010,” author, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 36, No. 3, Winter 2010.
- “New UK Anti-Bribery Laws: A Compliance Requirement," co-author, New York Law Journal, October 25, 2010.
- "Bribery and Corruption Update: How a New UK Regime Will Impact US Companies, FCPA Developments, and Enforcement in China," speaker, seminar presented by Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, Boston, Massachusetts and New York, New York, October 19 – 20, 2010.
- "The Bribery Act 2010," speaker, Chartered Institute of Building, October 2010.
- "The Bribery Act 2010," co-author, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge Guidance Note, October 2010.
- "UK takes further steps towards modernising its Anti-bribery Laws," co-author, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge Briefing Note, August 2009.
- "The FCPA and International Anti-Corruption for the Insurance Industry," co-presenter, a webinar presented by Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, 20 April 2009.
- "Complying with Corruption and Bribery Laws," Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge Insurance and Reinsurance Review, March 2009.
- "Recovering the proceeds of corruption: international success stories", speaker, ERA Annual Forum on combating corruption and fraud in the EU, February 2009.
- "Proposed reform of UK bribery laws," Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge Guidance Note, February 2009.
- "Recovering the Proceeds of Corruption," speaker, School of Oriental and African Studies, February 2009 and March 2010.
- "The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: implications for insurance companies and brokers," speaker, London Market Seminar, November 2008.
- Editor of the firm's monthly contract law briefing in the "In-house Lawyer," from 2006 to 2009.
- "Companies Take Aim At Bribing Competitors," co-author, Dow Jones Corporate Governance, October 8, 2008.
- "Doing Deals and Litigating Them in a Downturn," speaker, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Greater New York Chapter, New York, September 23, 2008.
- "Insurers Cannot Assume They Are Safe From FCPA," author, Insurance Day, August 29, 2008.
- "Suing Bribing Competitors: The Next Tool in the International Anti-Corruption Arsenal?," co-author, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge Client Advisory, May 2008.
- "New Strategic Directions in Controlling Corruption: The Recovery of Stolen Assets," speaker, Bangkok, Thailand, March 10-12, 2008.
- "Recovering Stolen Assets", contributor, published by Basel Institute on Governance, edited by Mark Pieth, January 2008
- "Threshing through the undergrowth for claims: an update," author, Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, January 2008.
- Co-author of the firm's publications "Recovering corruptly acquired assets in the UK", "Mutual legal assistance" and "The disclosure order and the freezing injunction"
- "Asset recovery & international co-operation in anti-corruption investigations," speaker, Commonwealth Secretariat Training Workshop, Jaipur, India December 2007.
- "Dealing with politically exposed persons: the risks," author, Journal of International Banking Law, December 2007.
- "Controlling the undergrowth: using entire agreement clauses to limit claims," author, Journal of International Banking Law, November 2007.
- "Repatriating Looted Assets: Are We Doing Enough?" speaker, Transparency International UK meeting, June 2007.
- "International Cooperation against Corruption Workshop," speaker, Islamabad, Pakistan December 2006.
- "Recovering assets secreted abroad," speaker, World Bank integrity workshop, 2006.
- “Corruption and Misuse of Public Office,” published by the Oxford University Press in 2006, assisted co-author Tim Daniel.
Besides Edwards Wildman
James is a qualified PADI scuba diving instructor, and spends much of his spare time teaching people to dive or diving the shipwrecks of the South Coast of England.