James is a Partner in the Finance & Banking Group in the Dispute Resolution Department, specialising in complex banking litigation and arbitration.
He has been involved in some of the most substantial and high profile banking disputes over recent years and has considerable experience in managing large multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration. James has an in-depth understanding of the issues that can arise out of leveraged acquisitions, structured financial products, syndicated loans, securitisation, collateralised debt obligations, structured investment vehicles, derivative transactions (including ISDA) and securities lending. One of his particular specialisms is acting for private equity funds in relation to disputed acquisitions. He has a unique understanding of how funds are structured and operate, as well as their approach to due diligence, deal execution and financing.
James has strong relationships with lawyers in other major financial centres and has represented and advised a wide range of investment banks, private equity funds, hedge funds, high net worth individuals and companies based in the UK, India, the US and in Off-Shore jurisdictions.
- Advising (in relation to US litigation argued pursuant to English Law) and representing (High Court, Chancery) a major private equity firm (Terra Firma) regarding misrepresentations made by a US investment bank during the sale and financing of a high profile multi-billion pound takeover of a FTSE 100 company and the subsequent pre-pack administration of the acquired company.
- Advising various funds, investors and corporate entities in relation to losses resulting from the termination of, and collateral calls under, ISDA Master Agreements.
- Advising a major private equity firm in relation to allegations by its funding bank that it was in breach of various loan covenants including “loan to value”, “material adverse change” and “equity cure” provisions.
- Representing (High Court, Queens Bench) Terra Firma and Rreef, two major private equity firms in relation to a dispute with a syndicate of lending banks regarding the syndication rights under multi-billion pound financing documentation.
- Representing (LCIA Arbitrations) a number of major Indian corporations that were facing significant losses under ISDA Master Agreements. The arbitrations involved allegations that a European Bank counterparties had breached the Indian Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) thereby rendering the ISDA trades void and unenforceable.
- Defending (High Court, Queens Bench) Bank of New York Mellon in a multi-million pound claim brought by a Sovereign Wealth Fund who alleged losses arising out of a Securities Lending Programme.
- Advising a major global bank in relation to the recovery of funding to a $5 billion CDO that had collapsed as a result of the “credit crunch”.
- Advising a major global investment bank in relation to its hostile takeover of a pension fund minority owned by a competing investment bank. The issues concerned the extent to which the minority shareholding bank’s “tag along” and “drag along” obligations in the shareholders agreement.
- Representing (High Court, Queens Bench) a London based Fund of Hedge Funds (Pampalona Capital Management) against its European lending bank that had purported to withdraw £300m of funding on the basis of alleged “loan to value” covenant breaches. Issues involved the valuation of gated funds and the timing of redemptions.
- Advising high net worth investors in disputes with global investment banks in relation to foreign exchange options, derivative trades and bond purchases.
Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Legal Director, Mishcon de Reya
Legal Director, Clyde & Co LLP
Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Solicitor, Kensington Swan (Auckland, New Zealand)
ARTICLES & PUBLICATIONS
- The Age of Consent - Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation (2010), volume 25 , issue 2 , p. 89-94