James has 26 continuous years' experience in legal practice.
James advises and assists on contentious matters before, during, and following litigation, with a particular focus on matters involving banking, insolvency, turnaround, restructuring, and corporate governance issues.
James heads a team of eight dedicated professionals who routinely advise banks, other financial intermediaries, insolvency practitioners, creditors, Government Owned Corporations, publicly listed companies, boards, senior management, and shareholders.
He has acted across a range of industries including electricity, water, agribusiness, earthmoving, chemical manufacture, retail, commercial and corporate banking and finance, property development, building supplies, aged care, food manufacturing, child care, and pharmaceutical.
James regularly assists clients with restructuring commercial arrangements, advising on debt forbearances, appointing receivers, enforcing securities, recovering debts, clawing back dissipated assets, advising in relation to voluntary administrations and deeds of company arrangements, defending or requisitioning board spills, handling shareholder disputes, conducting investigations, bringing or defending actions by liquidators, receivers, trustees in bankruptcy, or acting in other commercial litigation.
James has been recognised by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in Australia (2016) for the areas of Commercial law, Corporate law and Corporate/Governance practice. He also received recognition in the 2014 and 2015 editions of Best Lawyers for Commercial and Corporate law.
Recent experience includes:
- Representing the Octaviar Limited special purpose liquidator, David Kerr of RSM Bird Cameron in seeking to set aside a company charge and pursuing a A$35m preference action against Fortress Credit Corporation Australia II Pty Ltd in the Supreme Court of Queensland.
- Acting for the company and its liquidators Joanne Dunn and Ginette Muller of FTI Consulting in Australian Building Systems Pty Ltd (in liquidation) v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 116, where Justice Logan was asked to clarify the circumstances where a capital gains tax liability will be imposed on liquidators by section 254 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. The decision answered a critical point around when the obligation will be imposed on liquidators, but left to another day the question as to how the tax liability, once imposed, is to be treated by liquidators as part of a liquidation, despite this question being extensively argued by the parties.
- Advising Westpac Banking Corporation, Bank of Queensland and La Trobe Financial Asset Management Ltd in relation to a range of their respective asset management matters, predominantly concerning commercial loan book recoveries.
- Advising a Queensland Government Owned Corporation in relation to its risks concerning (and recovery of) a portfolio of receivables in the aggregate sum of approximately A$20m, including undertaking investigations, reporting to senior management, instructing Queens Counsel to provide exacting legal analysis of the GOC's legal position as well as providing his own extensive legal advice in relation to these matters and conducting litigation to recover the receivables. Of the aggregate sum of A$20m, A$16m has been recovered thus far.