James specialises in aviation, maritime and energy law, and brings a wealth of international sector knowledge and experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters.

He is a highly accomplished aviation lawyer, frequently representing airlines, insurers and other industry participants in all facets of dispute resolution. His litigation experience includes airline major losses, leasing disputes, general aviation, and liability matters such as personal injury, hull, cargo and baggage claims. Additionally, James advises on various aviation-specific regulatory, commercial and compliance matters, including emerging technologies such as drones.

Within the energy sector, James advises multinational oil and gas clients in front-end contract negotiations and disputes. He has acted for clients with interests in major offshore projects, including in the Wheatstone, Ichthys, Kitan and Stybarrow fields.

James’ experience extends to the maritime sector, covering both disputes and advisory work, including marine pollution, cargo loss, collisions, charterparties, ship arrests and enforcement proceedings.

James is recognised in the latest Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific Guide (Aviation: Liability), The Legal 500 Asia Pacific Guide (Shipping – Rising Star), and Doyle’s Guide (Aviation).


  • Advising Malaysia Airlines and its insurers on claims arising from the loss of flights MH370 and MH17.
  • Advising Germanwings and its insurers on claims arising from the loss of flight 9525.
  • Acting for an aircraft lessor in successfully applying for an urgent injunction order in the Federal Court of Australia allowing for the arrest and seizure of two of the client’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft on lease to an international airline based in Asia.
  • Advising government on the application of over-flight rules in the Australian Antarctic Territory.
  • Acting for an international airline in successfully defending proceedings brought by the European Commission alleging cartel conduct in the air freight industry.


  • Advising an oil and gas major in a USD $150 million dispute in the Supreme Court of Western Australia relating to an alleged breach of contract for the supply of a semi-submersible drilling unit.
  • Advising a drilling rig owner/operator on start-up operations in Australia, including corporate establishment, licensing, environmental management under NOPSEMA, and greenhouse and energy reporting under the NGER scheme.
  • Advising an international oil/gas services company in arbitration proceedings concerning a USD $50 million dispute relating to the supply of an offshore accommodation support vessel.


  • Acting for group members in a funded class action in the Supreme Court of Queensland concerning alleged marine pollution arising from a large-scale dredging project in the Port of Gladstone.
  • Acting for a multinational commodity trading company in foreign enforcement proceedings in a multi-million-dollar dispute concerning a failed shipment of grain.
Areas of Expertise
  • Class Actions
  • Marine + Transport

Industry Representation
  • Aviation
  • Energy, Mining + Power
  • Marine + Transport

Professional Affiliations
  • Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (ALAANZ), National Committee Member and Victorian Branch Treasurer
  • Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ)
  • Melbourne Marine Insurance Forum