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James is an expert lawyer and barrister in regulatory litigation, investigations and trial work. Specialising in financial markets and consumer credit, fair trading and health and safety.

Education

LLB (Hons) Senior Scholarship in Law

Bio

James is a commercial, regulatory and criminal litigator.  He is an expert in civil and criminal regulatory disputes and investigations relating to the consumer, financial markets, safety and transport sectors.  He acts for private and government clients in a broad range of matters, from advisory to trial and appellate court litigation.  

Prior to joining Bankside in 2020, James was a litigation partner at law firm Meredith Connell.  He has also been a Crown Prosecutor and has conducted a large number of trials involving serious criminal offending.

James was formerly a Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland, and prior to that won a number of academic prizes, including a Senior Scholarship from the University of Auckland’s Law faculty (top three in graduating year by GPA) and the Brookfields Lawyers Scholarship (top student per academic excellence).

Work Highlights

Financial Markets Litigation

James has acted and acts for the Financial Markets Authority in various civil and criminal proceedings against companies and directly against directors of companies and other individuals.  Notable cases include the recent case FMA v Pegasus Markets Limited and Reps, a prosecution resulting in findings of guilt on each charge in one of the first prosecutions under the Financial Service Provider (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act. James acted for the FMA on various finance company cases following the global financial crisis and the issues with many New Zealand finance companies following it, including the Hanover civil case, FMA v Hotchin & Ors and the Five Star Finance market conduct and fraud prosecutions. 

Consumer credit and fair trading

James acts for the Commerce Commission in various civil and criminal proceedings, including Fair Trading Act and Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act litigation. Notable cases include Commerce Commission v Harmoney Limited & Anor (the first peer-to-peer lending case) and the subsequent and current civil litigation; Commerce Commission v Bike Retail Group Limited (“Bike Barn”, one of the first successful prosecutions relating to misrepresentations in respect of discounted pricing); and in prosecutions of steel mesh producers and importers following the Commission’s extensive steel mesh investigations.

 

Health and Safety and Transport Investigations and Litigation

James represents and defends insureds, companies and other defendants in cases brought by WorkSafe New Zealand following workplace fatalities and other serious incidents, including and in particular at the investigation stages.  

As to transport cases, James advised Waka Kotahi the New Zealand Transport Agency on its investigations into breaches of the Railways Act, and acted for the Agency in the first three regulatory prosecutions taken under that Act following those investigations (New Zealand Transport Agency v Daily Freight Limited; New Zealand Transport Agency v KiwiRail Holdings Limited and New Zealand Transport Agency v MBD Contracting Limited).

Commercial and Civil Litigation and Disputes

James acts and has acted for private plaintiffs in cases against investments advisers in professional negligence proceedings, against lawyers for negligence in civil proceedings, and for companies in civil fraud and recoveries proceedings.

What Others Say

Publications

  • Finding, Freezing and Attaching Assets - A Multi-Jurisdictional Handbook (Jacobsen; 2016 Wolters Kluwer; New Zealand Chapter, Cairney and Morrison).

Memberships

New Zealand Bar Association

New Zealand Law Society

Auckland District Law Society

Institute of Directors

Criminal Bar Association