James Shaerf

Year of call:

+44 (0)207 832 1111

James joined Chambers in 2022 having practised for more than a decade as a solicitor in major law firms in Paris and London, acting as counsel in more than 20 international arbitrations and in large-scale commercial litigation.  He accepts instructions in all civil and commercial court cases and international arbitrations (commercial and investor-state), with a particular interest in energy and construction disputes, banking, commodities, company law, and civil fraud.

James’s recent publications include:

“Delay Claims – Law” in Dealing with Delay and Disruption on Construction Projects (Sweet & Maxwell: July 2020) (with Oliver Marsden and Bryan Dayton).

“Making losses good – navigating the legal uncertainty of mitigation of damages in international maritime arbitration” (Paper on mitigation of damages under English and French law selected to be delivered at the International Congress of Maritime Arbitrators, Rio di Janeiro, March 2020).

“Unjust Enrichment as a Primary Rule of International Law” in General Principles and the Coherence of International Law (Brill: 2019) (with Dr Ben Juratowitch KC).

James has additionally presented conference papers and lectures in recent years on damages and evidence in international arbitration, sovereign immunity, and legal ethics.

International Arbitration

James has a decade’s experience acting as counsel in international arbitrations in a variety of sectors, including energy, real estate, mining, telecommunications, banking, and defence.

Cases of note:

  • ICSID proceedings against Croatia relating to a real estate complex in Dubrovnik
  • ICC proceedings for an Egyptian oil and gas company relating to non-delivery of gas to a downstream purchaser (English law)
  • LCIA proceedings for a Russian client over the fraudulent dilution of a shareholding in the holding company for telecommunications assets (English law, with satellite BVI and Cyprus litigation)
  • ICC proceedings for an African businessman in a commercial dispute arising out of the operation of a large African precious stones mine (English law)
  • SCC proceedings for a Russian confectionary company in a post-M&A dispute regarding misstatements in sales accounts (English law)
  • ICC proceedings for a major European building materials company in a post-M&A purchase price-adjustment dispute (English law)


James has significant experience appearing in complex and technical construction disputes, including expert determinations.

Cases of note:

  • ICC arbitration and expert determination proceedings for a consortium of Asian engineering and construction firms relating to a petrochemical plant in north Africa (Algerian law)
  • SCC proceedings for a Russian oil and gas business related to the construction of gas turbines for use in a Moscow power plant (English law)
  • LCIA proceedings for a European oil and gas multinational relating to the construction of a semisubmersible mobile offshore drilling unit for drilling operations off the Libyan coast (English law)

Banking and Financial Services

James has acted in several matters concerning complex financial products.

Cases of note:

  • Currently instructed in proceedings in the Financial List relating to GDP-linked securities issued by Argentina concerning the operation of the securities following a rebasing of GDP.
  • LCIA proceedings for a major hedge fund arising out of the rehypothecation of securities held by a recently collapsed prime broker (English law)
  • Chancery Division proceedings on behalf of the trustees of a Guernsey trust pursued by the liquidators of offshore companies holding security interests over trust assets (as a solicitor)


  • Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration as a “Future Leader” (non-partner), 2021

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

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