James Potts specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, banking and financial services, civil fraud, energy (including oil & gas disputes), regulatory & professional disciplinary law, aviation, procurement and judicial review.
He has appeared as an advocate in all types of court and tribunal in England & Wales. Internationally, James has experience of litigation and arbitration in the BVI, Singapore, Malaysia and a number of Middle East jurisdictions. He is admitted to practise in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) courts.
James is a contributing editor to Phipson on Evidence, Jordan’s Regulatory and Disciplinary Proceedings, and Butterworths Financial Regulation Service.
James has a broad commercial practice, encompassing commercial litigation and arbitration, banking and financial services, fraud, energy (including oil & gas disputes), professional negligence, insolvency litigation, intellectual property and applications for disclosure and interim relief such as freezing and search orders. He regularly appears in the High Court and county courts as sole or junior counsel.
Much of James’s work is international, particularly in the Middle East and Far East. This has included arbitrations under DIFC, LCIA, ICC and GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre rules. He has particular experience in conflicts of laws and jurisdictional disputes. In 2014 he spent 3 months on secondment to the litigation and arbitration department of an English law firm in Dubai.
Current and recent work includes:
James regularly advises on money laundering issues, most recently in relation to major casinos and during the sale of a £60m hotel. He has significant experience in relation to issues of disclosure and legal professional privilege, including advising on LPP during the Coulson/Brooks phone-hacking trial.
James has particular experience of banking and financial services litigation. See the Financial Services section of his profile for details.
James advises and acts for regulatory and professional bodies, individuals, firms, and government departments on all aspects of professional and commercial regulation. He is a contributor to the 8th edition of Jordan’s Regulatory and Disciplinary Proceedings (2015).
James practises in all areas of financial services regulation, including advising firms on compliance, anti money laundering and investigations. He has acted in major regulatory cases including in relation to LIBOR and Interest Rate Hedging Products. He recently acted in Roberts v FCA  UKUT 0408 (TCC) (concerning the collapse of Catalyst Investments). See the Banking & Financial Services section of his profile.
James has acted for solicitors before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) and in appeals in the High Court. He is currently instructed to defend the SRA’s High Court appeal in SRA v Manak (led by Greg Treverton-Jones QC). He has advised solicitors on investigations by the SRA and matters ranging from the Legal Services Act 2007 and alternative business structures to legal professional privilege. James is appointed as Clerk to the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal.
James regularly advises on matters relating to accountants, including members of ICAEW, ACCA, CIMA and CIPFA. He has particular experience of ICAEW’s disciplinary procedures, having undertaken a secondment to ICAEW’s legal department and acted for it in disciplinary cases.
James has acted in a number of judicial reviews concerning regulation and public procurement, including:
James also has a niche practice in election law, including election petitions. Current and recent work includes:
James regularly acts in international arbitrations as sole or junior counsel, and has experience of arbitrations under DIFC, LCIA, ICC and GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre rules. Current and recent work includes:
James has acted in commercial claims for and against airlines, in aviation-related judicial reviews, and in claims under EU law and the Montreal Convention. He has good knowledge of ICAO, EASA and CAA regulation, as well as aircraft financing issues.
Current and recent work includes:
James undertakes a wide range of banking and financial services work, both contentious and non-contentious. He is an editor of the Financial Services volume of Atkin’s Court Forms (2014) and a contributor to Butterworths Financial Regulation Service (on EU financial services law) and the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law.
James has been instructed in a number of prominent financial services cases including:
James has experience of investigations and prosecutions brought by the Serious Fraud Office, having appeared in SFO v Evans  EWHC 3803 (Celtic Energy prosecution, led by Michael Beloff QC and Gabriel Moss QC). He also advises on complaints and challenges to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
In non-contentious work, James regularly advises on all aspects of FSMA regulation, takeovers and mergers, securities and derivatives, loan agreements, bond issues, guarantees, performance bonds, charges and letters of credit. He recently advised on a major bond issue by a social housing provider and on increased costs claims by a building society. He has a particular interest in Islamic Finance, and has advised in relation to Sharia law in commercial disputes connected with various Gulf States.
James has acted in commercial disputes in a number of energy sectors, including oil & gas, coal and renewables. Current and recent work includes: