James Kitching

James Kitching

  • Partner
  • Litigation
  • London
  • T:   +44.20.7972.6295
  • F:   +44.20.7972.9602
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James Kitching is a barrister and dispute resolution partner resident in Fried Frank's London office who works extensively with Fried Frank's international offices. Mr. Kitching has substantial experience in handling client's largest and most complex disputes, often involving the coordination of parallel civil, criminal and regulatory proceedings in multiple jurisdictions. Specifically, Mr. Kitching undertakes high profile commercial litigation; international arbitration; and white-collar crime and enforcement, special investigations and compliance monitoring work.

Mr. Kitching acts in high value, commercial disputes typically involving company, contract, fraud, breach of warranty and restitution claims. He is experienced in bringing and defending High Court actions and conducting arbitration proceedings under the rules of the leading international arbitration institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the Swiss Chambers' Court of Arbitration. He also advises on a regular basis in connection with the enforcement of arbitral awards in foreign jurisdictions and the New York Convention. Mr. Kitching is regularly instructed across a variety of sectors including, in particular, financial services, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, telecoms and IT.

Having commenced practice at the Criminal Bar, Mr. Kitching specialises in advising on hybrid matters involving a significant white collar or regulatory compliance component. Mr. Kitching also conducts internal company investigations in connection with bribery and corruption, money laundering, export control and sanctions violations. He has particular expertise in advising on international matters and has undertaken World Bank investigations. Mr. Kitching frequently advises prior to charge and at the investigatory stages of proceedings in relation to such issues as self-reporting, jurisdiction, legality of search warrants and privilege against self-incrimination. He is also experienced in dealing with data protection issues in the context of cross-border investigations.  

Mr. Kitching was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1999 and was awarded the Phillip Teichman Scholarship (Inner Temple). He practiced from the leading white-collar and regulatory chambers of 2 Bedford Row (Chambers of William Clegg QC) and 3 Raymond Buildings (Chambers of Alex Cameron QC). At the Independent Bar, he was regularly instructed on behalf of the Serious Fraud Office, the Crown Prosecution Service and H. M. Revenue. He also defended a number of high-profile prosecutions on behalf of companies and private individuals, including Regina v. Sawoniuk. Mr. Kitching continues to exercise full rights of audience in the High Court (Commercial Court, Companies Court, Queen's Bench and Chancery Divisions), appellate courts and arbitral tribunals.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Kitching is consistently recognized as a leading individual by Legal 500 UK, where he is noted as “a first-rate litigator and very good at strategically driving a case forward”. Clients say he is “a highly intelligent, skilled manager of complex matters”. Mr. Kitching has also been noted by Legal 500 as “responsive and sharp,” one who “exudes confidence and reliability,” and “very commercial and very focused on the key issues.”

In addition, the London Disputes Group is consistently recognized by Legal 500 UK in commercial litigation and international arbitration, which identifies the practice as a quality of legal advice that is “second to none”. “The team is highly effective in coordinating with local counsel to ensure that preparations and filings comply with local rules”. Legal 500 UK also noted clients say: the “commercial litigation practice stands out for its strategic thinking from the beginning of cases and the deep knowledge and involvement in the details by senior associates and partners”. The Fried Frank International Arbitration Practice is consistently included in Global Arbitration Review's Top 100 International Arbitration law firms globally.

Professional Associations

In 2019, Mr. Kitching was appointed as Co-Chair of the Employed Barristers Committee of the Bar Council of England & Wales, the regulatory and representative body for barristers. He was first elected to the Bar Council in 2014. He is also the Treasurer of the Bar Association for Commerce Finance and Industry and a member of the Financial Services Lawyers Association, the Association of Regulatory Lawyers and the Criminal Bar Association.

Bar Admissions/Licensed Jurisdictions

England & Wales