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James Kitching

  • Partner | Litigation

London

T: +44.20.7972.6295

Brussels

T: +44.20.7972.9600

Headshot of James Kitching

James Kitching has over 20 years of experience in providing strategic advice and handling our clients’ most significant and complex disputes.

A trusted barrister, James chairs our International Arbitration Practice. His work often involves the coordination of parallel civil, criminal, and regulatory proceedings in multiple jurisdictions. He has acted for governments, central banks, and some of the world’s leading corporations and financial institutions, where the amounts in dispute often exceed US$1 billion.

James is a seasoned advocate, skilled in bringing and defending court actions. Clients regularly engage James to conduct 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 has routinely advised across a variety of sectors including financial services, private equity, pharmaceuticals, oil...

James Kitching has over 20 years of experience in providing strategic advice and handling our clients’ most significant and complex disputes.

A trusted barrister, James chairs our International Arbitration Practice. His work often involves the coordination of parallel civil, criminal, and regulatory proceedings in multiple jurisdictions. He has acted for governments, central banks, and some of the world’s leading corporations and financial institutions, where the amounts in dispute often exceed US$1 billion.

James is a seasoned advocate, skilled in bringing and defending court actions. Clients regularly engage James to conduct 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 has routinely advised across a variety of sectors including financial services, private equity, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, telecoms, and IT.

James undertakes white collar enforcement work and conducts internal investigations in connection with alleged bribery and corruption, money laundering, export control, and sanctions violations. He has particular expertise in advising on cross-border matters and has undertaken World Bank investigations. Our clients benefit from his substantial experience in dealing with data protection issues in the context of international disputes and investigations.

The Legal 500 UK, where James is noted as “one of the top litigators around,” quotes clients who say he is a “stand out partner ” and is “very strategic whilst also getting involved in the details where necessary.” The publication further praises James as an “exceptionally skilled, first-class lawyer,” whose “mind works three times faster than anyone else, and he is extremely intelligent and creative.”

This description dovetails with The Legal 500 UK’s estimation of our broader disputes team in London. Consistently recognizing us in commercial litigation and international arbitration, they identify the practice as “delivering real value.” Clients say that “the firm offers an exceptional dispute resolution team that is knowledgeable, sharp and efficient.; and its lawyers give clients the impression that their file is the only thing important to them.” They go on to call the group a “high quality team which does work of impressive quality and value.” Chambers UK recognizes the arbitration team in the International Arbitration: Highly Regarded category (Spotlight Table). Additionally, our International Arbitration Practice is consistently included in Global Arbitration Review’s Top 100 International Arbitration law firms globally.

James was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1999 and was awarded the Phillip Teichman Scholarship (Inner Temple). He 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.

Work highlights:

  • Acted for a fund of hedge funds in connection with an internal investigation into the multibillion-dollar losses it sustained through the Madoff fraud and in connection with related civil proceedings. Representation in examinations conducted by the Madoff SIPA Trustee and by the Irish Financial Regulation Authority
  • Representation of a global pharmaceutical company in connection with a €2 billion arbitration claim for fraud and breaches of warranty arising in connection with an M&A transaction, involving allegations of wrong-doing across over 10 European countries and in multiple languages
  • Counsel to the Republic of Iraq and the Central Bank of Iraq in connection with a series of multibillion-dollar Commercial Court debt claims arising from alleged payment defaults under promissory notes and breach of related guarantees
  • Representation of global oil major in ICSID proceedings relating to the alleged breach of an exploration and production agreement in connection with the Netherlands-Uganda bi-lateral investment treaty
  • Counsel to an international construction company in connection with an investigation by the World Bank into alleged market collusion and corrupt practices in Bangladesh

Professional associations

  • Former Co-Chair, Employed Barristers’ Committee, The Bar Council of England and Wales
  • Treasurer, Bar Association of Commerce Finance and Industry (BACFI)
  • Master of the Bench, The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

News and recognition

Insights and analysis

Distilling Disputes Series |

Freezing Orders, Search and Imaging Orders and Disclosure Orders

Distilling Disputes Series |

Shareholder Claims under English Law

Distilling Disputes Series |

Pursuing ICSID Investment Arbitration Claims

Distilling Disputes Series |

Litigating in the English Commercial Court

Distilling Disputes Series |

Challenging an arbitration award in the English Courts

Distilling Disputes Series |

Challenging an ICSID investment arbitration award

Distilling Disputes Series |

Appeals in the English Courts

Articles |

Covid-19 and the Search Order

Events

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