Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Our People

Stephen James

I am a partner in Clarkslegal’s construction team and split my time between our London and Reading offices. As well as the broad range of disputes undertaken by all our team, I have a special interest in insolvency and restructuring. I am recommended as a leading lawyer in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 and am a member of the Constructing Excellence Berkshire committee.

I specialise in dispute resolution in the construction industry, acting on behalf of employers, developers, contractors, specialist subcontractors, advising on the bringing and defending of adjudication and Part 7 and 8 litigation claims. My expertise covers a wide range of disputes, from interim and final accounts, to extensions of time, defects and professional negligence.

I have over 15 years’ experience of working with insolvency practitioners in all forms of insolvency procedures and a very wide range of applications. My broader commercial experience allows me to give a continuity of service to insolvency practitioners and pursue and defend non-insolvency claims on their behalf. I have also acted for individuals in bankruptcies and voluntary arrangements, as well as defending directors’ disqualification proceedings and wrongful trading claims. In recent years I have acted for many individuals involved in bankruptcy in England having moved here from another part of the EU. The final part of my practice sees me acting for corporate clients affected by insolvency, for example due to tenant default or a customer or supplier going bust. 

Some cases need immediate action to prevent irreparable loss. I’ve obtained and defended many injunctions, including the freezing of assets, preventing unlawful picketing, enforcing restrictive covenants and search orders. 

Litigation or arbitrations can be expensive, particularly if it reaches a final hearing. Disputes often become harder to settle as time passes and greater cost is incurred on both sides. In common with the rest of the team, much of my work will never see the inside of a court room. Effective and forceful correspondence will often result in a quicker, cheaper and better result than by involving the courts. Having seen what happens when things go wrong I am also ideally placed to give training on how to avoid problems in the first place. I have given external and in-house training to clients on many construction related issues, as well as risk avoidance, directors’ duties and product liability.

"an excellent litigator' who provides 'clear and easily digestible advice'
The Legal 500

"Practice head Antony Morris and Stephen James hailed as top class litigators for any multi-layered or complex case"
The Legal 500

"Stephen James is known for handling high-profile, multiparty litigation in relation to IT, telecoms, international trade, property, contentious insolvency and employment disputes."
Chambers & Partners

"Very thorough, very systematic"
Chambers & Partners 

"Skills at getting to the heart of the matter."
Chambers & Partners