James is a corporate finance specialist, with a particular focus on equity capital markets work. 

His experience includes initial public offerings and other equity capital raisings, governance, sustainability, the articulation and management of legal and compliance risks, and assisting companies implement complex transactions and change, including acquisitions, disposals and reorganisations. He has advised issuers, boards, shareholders, governments, banks and other stakeholders, and has acted on transactions in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and North America. 

He is widely recognised as a leading ECM lawyer and is ranked by Chambers, Legal 500 and IFLR1000. James is also an Honorary Professor at University College London.


Representative matters

IPOs and listings 
Over 20 years’ experience advising numerous companies, shareholders, governments and underwriting banks on initial public offerings and listings of companies on the London stock exchange and other international stock exchanges. 

Experience includes acting on the IPOs of Eurowag, Softline, Moonpig, Network International, Allegro.eu, Ninety One, Allied Irish Banks. Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, Arion Bank, Equiniti, Clydesdale Bank, Hibernia REIT, McCarthy & Stone, Ibstock, Softcat, Marel, Electrica and DP Eurasia (Domino’s Pizza). 

Public company transactions 
Experience acting as strategic adviser to listed companies and their advisers on transformational events and transactions, including demergers, acquisitions and disposals, restructurings and reorganisations, and changes to capital structure. 

Examples include advising on: the demerger of Softline into its global and Russian businesses; the demerger of Ninety One from Investec; the refinancing (and debt for equity swap) of Interserve; the acquisition by Hellenic Bank of assets and liabilities of Cyprus Cooperative Bank; the demerger of Clydesdale Bank from National Australia Bank Limited; numerous open offers and rights issues, including by Easyjet, Capita, Rolls Royce, Equiniti, Hibernia REIT and Piraeus Bank 

Corporate governance
Adviser to listed and private companies on a multitude of corporate governance matters, such as compliance with listing rules, director duties, board effectiveness, internal procedures and controls, sustainability, corporate reporting and investor engagement. 

Public policy and regulatory change 
James is a thought-leader for equity capital markets and financial services in the UK and beyond. He is involved in numerous industry groups, trade associations and policy initiatives, with respect to financial services laws, regulations and market practice. This includes the recent and current reforms of the UK financial services and listings landscapes, and changes to the audit and corporate reporting frameworks. He is also a member of numerous industry think tanks and committees. Clients benefit from his in-depth technical knowledge and forward-looking approach both on and off deal. 

Pro bono

Director of Innovating Minds, which delivers training to open up access to early help for children who have had traumatic experiences. 


James is extraordinarily dependable and hard-working. He brings ideas that add significant value and a wealth of experience that creates trust and confidence
Chambers UK 2023
James is brilliant to work with. He is technically excellent and has been consistently available
Chambers UK 2023



Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 2000


LLB, Law, UCL University of London, 1996

Post Graduate Diploma, Bachelor of Civil Law, Oxford University, 1997

LPC, Law, The College Of Law, London, 1998


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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.