James Hilsdon - Hudson McKenzie

James Hilsdon


James Hilsdon has an excellent track record in conducting major litigation. He has over 20 years post qualification experience gained first at the Chancery Commercial Bar and subsequently in Magic Circle and leading global off shore firms. James takes a consistently commercial approach supported by strong academic ability and significant practical experience, and has assisted a range of sectors, including aviation, banking and financial services, engineering, oil & gas, IT, manufacturing and multimedia. His practice encompasses a broad range of issues, from contract breaches to fraud and insolvency to Human Rights Act commercial claims and civil litigation. James’ clients have referred to him as, ‘a trusted ally who will readily identify a quick and cost effective commercial solution where one exists’.


  • Contract disputes
  • Directors’ duties and corporate governance
  • Investor disputes, joint ventures, minority shareholder oppression
  • Partnership disputes
  • International and offshore disputes
  • Employment (restrictive covenants and tortious interference)
  • Civil fraud and asset recovery
  • Insurance disputes
  • Professional negligence
  • Intellectual property (passing off and trademark disputes)
  • Product liability claims
  • Property litigation claims
  • Judicial review
  • Human Rights Act commercial damages claims
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James began his professional legal career with 6 years at the Chancery Commercial Bar, Northern Circuit. His practice incorporated contentious trusts, probate, property and commercial disputes.

He then joined global leader Clifford Chance. As a senior associate, James coordinated complex and multi-jurisdictional litigation. He worked on a number of high profile cases, including Mitsubishi Babcock’s legacy asbestos claims; Jupiter Fund Management’s dispute between the new owners and the founder; various matters for Lehman Brothers and Chase Manhattan; and the complex IT-related product liability case – UnitedAssurance v Unysis – fought in the High Court.

In 2003 James joined global offshore leader, Harneys. Combining the role of barrister and solicitor, James had conduct of high value and complex litigation. In the role of Junior Counsel, he assisted Leading Counsel including Robert Hildyard, QC, Stephen Moverly Smith, QC and Alan Boyle, QC in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. He was then recruited by Applebys, where he continued to enjoy an excellent reputation for his legal analysis, commercial acumen and tactical astuteness in the courts and in all matters he dealt with.

James returned to the UK in late 2007 to resume a City career. He joined mid-tier firm Davies Arnold Cooper as a partner in their commercial litigation practice. He brought with him significant cases relating to fraud, insolvency and breach of bankers’ duties.

James has since enjoyed delivering commercial litigation advice to a broad range of clients, from start ups to multinationals, from an array of industries.


  • Bar Finals, Inns of Court School of Law 1993
  • Common Professional Examination (Dip.Law), City University 1992
  • MA, History, First Class Honours, Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge 1990


  • Davies Arnold Cooper
  • Appleby Global
  • Harney Westwood & Riegels
  • Clifford Chance
  • Chancery Commercial Bar