James Willan has a broad commercial practice, focussing on substantial commercial disputes including civil fraud and banking/finance.
As well as acting as junior counsel on heavyweight litigation, James appears as sole counsel in the High Court, Court of Appeal and arbitration. He has substantial experience of applications for interim relief (including freezing orders, in particular).
James is frequently instructed in connection with litigation abroad. He has appeared in the BVI Commercial Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, as well as arbitrations in Singapore and the Cayman Islands. He has been admitted ad hoc as an advocate in the Isle of Man.
James is recommended in Chambers and Partners (UK and Global) and the Legal 500 for Commercial Dispute Resolution. Comments include: “instructing solicitors and fellow barristers alike describe him as an emerging force at the junior Commercial Bar”, “has the ‘Midas touch’ and is not only exceptionally knowledgeable and commercial, but readily grasps the issues concerning clients” and “an adept young advocate, with a natural talent. He is ‘stunningly impressive’ and has ‘thoroughly arrived’... ‘Certainly one to watch for the future,’ he has ‘a flourishing practice’ and is noted for his ‘ability to assimilate large amounts of information very quickly’”.
He is similarly recommended by both directories for civil fraud, described as “extremely popular”, “incredibly analytical, very practical and commercial, and has a wonderful strategic eye” and “absolutely brilliant”.
James is also listed as a leading junior in Chambers and Partners for International Arbitration, where he is described as a “one of the brightest young stars at the Bar”, “singled out… for the depth of his expertise in the international arbitration arena” and “very clever and committed”.
In 2010, James was selected by Legal Week as one of the “Stars of the Bar” under 10 years’ call, being described by instructing solicitors as “one of the brightest up-and-coming juniors”.
Examples of recent decisions, which are typical of James’ practice, include: