Partner - Dispute Resolution
What’s your role?
My core area of work is dispute resolution. I have extensive experience of handling difficult and complex business disputes and litigation with the appropriate commercial awareness.
I regularly advise clients on claims for breach of contract and /or negligence, including running negligence claims against other professionals. I also advise on director and shareholder issues and on breach of restrictive covenants by former employees and breach of confidence claims. This can sometimes require urgent injunctions.
I am recognised and listed in both Chambers and the Legal 500 and have particular expertise in Construction Law, providing advice to contractors in the construction industry, or employers, who have encountered issues with the build. I advise on all forms of building dispute and Adjudication proceedings or Arbitration / Court proceedings where required.
Additionally, I have expertise in Sports Law, where I have acted for players, clubs and agents in disputes, some requiring Arbitration proceedings to the FA or equivalent governing body.
I always aim to negotiate a first class outcome for our clients. I will do what it takes and utilise any available forms of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, if that is the best way to achieve our client’s objectives. At the same time, I think it is important not to be afraid to fight a client’s case through the Courts if the case requires it.
I work with clients and not against them. I provide absolute transparency around funding and the level of costs being incurred throughout each case. My goal is simple: I want to deliver a cost effective resolution to our client’s situation. If the costs of proceedings will be disproportionate to the objective, I will explain this along with all of the risks associated. This enables our clients to carry out their own cost benefit analysis and decide whether to proceed and incur the costs.
My recent experience includes:
- Acting in a substantial fraud and tracing claim, leading a team on a High Court dispute involving allegations of a multimillion pound fraud.
- Winning damages against professionals who have provided negligent advice, in breach of their duty of care, resulting in significant losses to our clients.
- Advising in partnership disputes and acting for directors and shareholders in disputes, including minority shareholder claims against majority shareholders. Issues in dispute are usually around the level of investment or an exit from the business.
- Advising on common issues in construction and building disputes, including: Payment issues; advising on the wording of building contracts and the meaning of their terms; delays and extensions of time; advice on termination; defects and defective workmanship and design issues. Running Adjudication proceedings or Arbitration claims where necessary.
- Acting in a variety of contentious Sports law disputes, including advising members of sports organisations on disputes that have arisen concerning their membership. I advise clients in a broad range of sports, providing representation for members of sports clubs in disciplinary issues through their governing body.
- Advising football players, agents and clubs on commercial issues and disputes. I have advised Premiership and Championship football players and their agents. I have acted on time critical super injunctions, successfully preventing the press from releasing publications which would infringe privacy rights. I have successfully pursued Arbitration proceedings under Rule K of the FA Rules and advised on cases requiring a detailed understanding of the FIFA rules and the rules of the FA.
- Dispute Resolution, Litigation, ADR & Mediation
- Construction Law (Contentious)
- Sports Law (Contentious)
Memberships & Associations
- Law Society
- Society of Construction Law
Mark James is praised for being “very bright and switched on to clients’ problems.” He specialises in contract and negligence claims, and has experience in sports and construction disputes.
Chambers UK 2015
Mark James inspires confidence in clients due to his “first-class advice and strategy”. Sources state that “he is extremely practical with very good technical skills and “looks for cost-effective solutions to problems”.
Real Estate – Notable Practitioner recognition “Mark James is a key contact”
Construction – Notable Practitioner recognition “Mark James leads the dispute resolution department and is a key contact for construction matters”
Chambers UK 2016
South East: TMT (technology, media and telecoms) Within Sport: “Mark James has a ‘can-do attitude in any situation’.”
Valued by sources for his “very broad skill set” and is described as someone who is “very friendly but can also be as robust as he needs to be.” He attracts praise for his work on IP disputes and is also capable of handling negligence claims, as well as shareholder disputes.
Chambers and Partners 2018