James Bradford

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+44 (0)20 7832 1111

James has a commercial practice with a particular interest in commercial litigation, international arbitration and construction law. He has also been involved in a number of high-profile public law matters.

James has developed an international practice: he has experience of working with teams in more than one language and in matters raising issues relating to a number of different jurisdictions across Europe, Russia and offshore jurisdictions such as The Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands.

Alongside international arbitration, James has a breadth of experience of high-value commercial litigation and has been regularly instructed in the Chancery Division and Commercial Court. He has also appeared in the United Kingdom Supreme Court (led by Sir James Eadie QC, Kate Grange QC with Catherine Dobson). As sole counsel, he has a range of advocacy experience and has appeared many times in county courts in civil trials and procedural applications.

James has extensive academic experience, particularly in contract law. Prior to joining the Bar, James taught law at Oxford University, teaching a number of undergraduate subjects including Contract Law to students across different colleges. Since starting his practice, James has conducted a series of teaching & training sessions with leading international law firms on the interpretation of guarantees and performance bonds in the construction sector and is also a contributing editor to Wilmot-Smith on Construction Contracts (4th Edn.)

He is bilingual in Italian and a native speaker. Before coming to the Bar, James has worked as a research assistant to leading Italian academics, Prof. Guido Alpa (La Sapienza Università di Roma) and Prof. Attila Tanzi (Università di Bologna).


James has developed a broad commercial practice, with a particular interest in commercial matters with an international element involving cross-border disputes and private international law.

Recent instructions include:

  • Gabriele Volpi & Delta Ltd v Matteo Volpi [2021] EWHC 2143 (led by Andrew Holden, XXIV Old Buildings Chambers): James successfully represented the Claimants in their claim for the repayment of a CHF 6 million loan in relation to the purchase of an apartment near Lugano, Switzerland. The four-day trial took place in July 2021 and for the judgment click here.
  • PJSC Rosgosstrakh v Starr Syndicate Ltd & Others (Commercial Court): junior counsel (led by Michael McParland QC and Samar Abbas Kazmi) for 20 reinsurers operating in the London market in resisting enforcement of a set of Russian judgments obtained by a Russian insurance company in relation to an aviation reinsurance policy.
  • Assisting with a freezing injunction application in a high value debt claim in the Chancery Division litigation (led by Elspeth Talbot-Rice QC with Ben Waistell at XXIV Old Buildings Chambers).
  • Acting (early 2020 – early 2021) as consultant counsel for the Financial Ombudsman Service: provided numerous advices on a range of matters relating to financial services law and regulation.

Alongside his trial experience, James also has wide range of experience advising and/or preparing a range of different procedural matters in the Chancery Division or Commercial Court which include:

  • Applications for freezing injunctions,
  • Application for security for costs,
  • Amendments to statements of claim,
  • Applications for a counterclaim and permission for expert evidence,
  • Case Management Conference & PTR.

International Arbitration

James has gained a range of experience of international arbitration matters. He is comfortable working within a larger team of barristers and solicitors on high value matters and both during pupillage and since, has built up experience of matters relating to a number of different jurisdictions across Europe, the Middle East and offshore jurisdictions such as The Bahamas.

Recent experience includes:

  • A high value international trusts arbitration (as junior counsel, led by Elspeth Talbot-Rice QC, Michael Black QC with Andrew Holden at XXIV Old Buildings Chambers). This is an ongoing matter in which James has been instructed since early 2019.
  • Assisting in relation to an arbitration challenge & appeal, involving complex questions of law and procedure (including a stay of an arbitration and an application for security for costs of the appeal). James is led by Michael Black QC with Andrew Holden at XXIV Old Buildings Chambers.
  • An international arbitration determining quantum in a large-scale construction dispute (assisting Rachael O’Hagan as part of pupillage).

Through the course of his work, James has gained extensive experience in drafting/assisting in the drafting of different pleadings and skeleton arguments for procedural applications, case management conferences and substantive matters.

James has experience of trial preparation, cross-examination preparation of factual and expert witnesses as well as appearances in substantive and procedural hearings.

During his pupillage in January 2018, James was a member of the winning team from 39 Essex Chambers in the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators Mediation Skills Competition 2018.


James is also developing a practice in construction law more generally.

He has a specific interest in guarantees and performance bonds and how they operate more widely in the construction context. He has been giving with Alexandra Bodnar a number of training sessions to leading international law firms on recent developments in the construction bonds sector (with a particular focus on the recent decision in Yuanda (UK) Company Ltd v Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd [2020] EWHC 468). Alexandra and James have written on this topic and for further information see here (Part One) and here (Part Two).

He is a contributing editor to Wilmot-Smith on Construction Contracts (4th Edn) and has edited the first chapter dealing with issues relating to construction contract formation. Prior to practising at the Bar, he taught (amongst other subjects) Contract Law to undergraduate students at the University of Oxford.

Further, as part of his pupillage, he gained experience of drafting statements of case, advices and legal research notes in a variety of matters in the construction sectors including:

  • Jurisdictional challenges in an adjudication (preparation of advice in relation to possible grounds for challenge and drafting the response to a referral notice);
  • TCC proceedings concerning defective works on a domestic property (assisted in preparation and drafting of factually and legally complex defence to the claim made);
  • A financial matter involving issues of misrepresentation and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (drafting Particulars of Claim and short advice concerning various issues pertinent to the claim);

Administrative, Public & Regulatory

James has been involved in a number of high-profile cases since being taken on as a tenant in 2018:

  • Junior counsel for the Interested Parties in the Supreme Court hearing of Privacy International v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2019] UKSC 22 (led by Sir James Eadie QC, Kate Grange QC and Catherine Dobson). The decision concerned the effect of s. 67(8) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 as well as Parliament’s ability to legislate to oust the High Court supervisory jurisdiction in certain circumstances. For more information click here.
  • Junior counsel to the Infected Blood Inquiry chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff.
  • Junior junior instructed by the Government Legal Department, with respect to the judicial review challenge to the third runway at Heathrow.

During pupillage, James gained experience of a number of issues involving immigration and general administrative law disputes, including the following:

  • Drafting an advice on the prospects and tactics to be used with respect to a Court of Appeal hearing concerning an application for permission to judicially review an immigration decision of the Home Office;
  • Drafting a Notice of Objection to an application for permission to be heard at the Supreme Court, in a case concerning Article 6 and Article 8 ECHR issues;
  • Drafting a Notice of Objection to an application for permission to be heard at the Supreme Court in a matter concerning the ouster clauses and the amenability of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal to judicial review;
  • Drafting a Notice of Objection to an application to reopen a decision of the Court of Appeal in light of a later decision of the Court of Appeal in Ahsan v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 2009.

He has also gained experience of a number of different regulatory matters during pupillage. Through his supervision and training, he has acquired experience of this sector by drafting a rule 11 determination in relation to an appeal before the Police Appeals Tribunal, a research note analysing the contractual implications of the membership terms of a medical defence organisation and a skeleton argument for a matter before the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service. During pupillage, James also assisted with a case before the Architects Registration Board and attended a number of different regulatory tribunals including the General Osteopathic Council

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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