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James Elliott


James is an associate in the International Arbitration practice, with experience in international investment treaty and commercial arbitration. James has worked on a variety of high-value and 'bet the company' disputes under a wide range of national laws and institutional rules.

His workload spans the construction, energy, oil & gas and maritime sectors. James has particular experience in complex construction disputes concerning troubled mega-projects, including issues of delay, disruption and defects, as well as shareholder, joint venture and other corporate governance disputes.

James has worked on arbitrations under UNCITRAL, ICC, and HKIAC rules as well as other national arbitral rules. He has advised clients in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and East Asia. In particular, he has significant experience representing investors in challenging or frontier jurisdictions. Prior to training at the firm, he worked at a boutique firm advising clients on public inquiries, human rights and media law.


Representative matters


A heavy equipment supplier and contractor in relation to a number of delay, disruption, defects and other disputes arising out of two energy construction projects in Africa with claims and counterclaims of over $2 billion. The law of the country of the projects applies.

A joint venture partner in the maritime sector in a series of arbitrations and court proceedings arising from a failed joint venture. Hong Kong law applies.

A Middle Eastern company, Claimant in an UNCITRAL arbitration in London against an Asian company. The dispute arises out of a contract for the fabrication of onshore oil drilling rigs. English law applies.

Pro bono

Advising on submissions to the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights and African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, relating to the unlawful killing of journalists in an African State, including issues of jurisdiction and admissibility.

Advising on submissions to the European Court of Human Rights relating to the jurisdiction of the court and the right to life, concerning the unlawful killing of journalists in a European State during a time of war.

Advising on submissions to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review relating to human rights abuses in a Middle Eastern State.

Advising on refugee and migrant leave to remain applications, non-molestation orders for victims of domestic violence, and social security tribunal appeals.



Solicitor, England and Wales


University of Oxford B.A., History

BBP University GDL

University of Law MSc in Law, Business and Management

Queen Mary University of London LL.M, International Dispute Resolution - Currently studying

Abu Dhabi
Allen Overy Shearman Sterling LLP (practicing in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as “Allen & Overy Branch” pending the registration completion of the new name with the relevant UAE local authorities) is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC306763.
A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.