James Brown


Education and Clerkships

Legal Practice Course, Oxford Institute of Legal Practice, 1999

B.A., Jurisprudence, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, 1998


England, 2002


James Brown has more than 15 years of experience as a disputes lawyer. His primary focus is litigating and arbitrating complex, high-value engineering/construction disputes for international clients operating in the shipping and offshore oil and gas sectors. He is a recommended lawyer in the Transport (Shipping) section of the 2016 UK edition of The Legal 500, Legalease, a leading legal directory.

In particular, his areas of focus include claims relating to the deficient performance of contracts; contractual variations; responsibility for delay and related cost-overruns; defects/warranty issues; and appealing, challenging, and enforcing court and arbitral awards resulting from such claims. He pursues and defends claims in both the English High Court, including the Commercial Court and Technology and Construction Court, and in arbitrations pursuant to rules including those of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), as well as the UNCITRAL rules and those of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

James also assists clients to obtain orders (including freezing orders) from the English court in support of both domestic and foreign court or arbitral proceedings, and directs and manages for his clients related foreign court or arbitral proceedings. Historically, he has a broad “general commercial disputes” background, having for many years acted for clients in sectors as diverse as telecoms, engineering/construction, banking/financial services, oil and gas, aviation, IT, and retailing.

James regularly writes, lectures, and provides seminars on current dispute resolution issues, and has been published including in Lloyd’s List and The Construction Law Journal. He is a co-author of a chapter on Offshore Vessel Construction Disputes within Global Arbitration Review’s Guide to Energy Arbitrations (Second Edition). He is the author of Making The Most Of Leaner Times: A Contractor’s Guide to Common English Law Issues, published June 2017.



Global Arbitration Review: Offshore Vessel Construction Disputes

Haynes and Boone CDG Partners James Brown, William Cecil and Andreas Dracoulis co-authored a chapter in the Second Edition of Global Arbitration Review’s Guide to Energy Arbitrations. The Guide to Energy Arbitrations is a widely regarded reference tool for energy companies, their advisers and arbitrators. It compiles information on the multitude of potential issues that may arise in energy disputes and provides guidance for minimizing the risk of and resolving such disputes, written by authors who are renowned in the industry.

Selected Client Representations

  • Acting for buyers of highly advanced “floating LNG” vessels defending substantial claims by the shipyard alleging repudiatory breach of the shipbuilding contracts, securing a favourable settlement of claims.
  • Acting for one of the largest owners of oil/product tankers in a number of London arbitrations against a shipyard which failed to deliver four tankers. Successfully obtained arbitral awards. Assisting these parties with efforts to enforce those awards.
  • Acting for oil/product tanker owner in English High Court proceedings against a shipyard for loss of substantial profit resulting from the alleged renunciation of an option agreement for up to 12 new build product tankers. Successfully resisting a jurisdiction challenge by the shipyard. Managing and directing the conduct by foreign lawyers of associated overseas “parallel proceedings” seeking a declaration of no liability.
  • Acting for Turkish shipyard in respect of claims relating to services provided in respect of an offshore accommodation platform, obtaining a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Acting for offshore support vessel owner in respect of claims concerning defects in respect of an offshore access platform.
  • Acting for engineering services company in arbitration in respect of delay and disruption claims on both sides arising from sub-contract in respect of a pipelaying vessel.
  • Acting for owner of substantial pipelaying vessel in respect of “price adjustment mechanism” dispute with a Korean shipyard arising from a massive shipbuilding project.
  • Acting for a rig owner defending and pursuing substantial delay and disruption claims by/against a contractor in respect of a contract to upgrade and refurbish an oil rig.
  • Acting for a ship owner in respect of the termination of two shipbuilding contracts with a Chinese yard for excessive delay. Successfully guided the owner through termination on account of delays and obtaining full refund pursuant to the refund guarantees of the instalment payments made.
  • Acting for owner of a number of vessels in respect of claims against a yard on account of defects in respect of a “ballast water treatment system” incorporated on the owner’s new build projects.
  • Acting for yards/owners in connection with warranty claims arising out of a number of superyacht construction projects.



Making The Most of Leaner Times: A Contractor’s Guide to Common English Law Issues

This guide, written for the benefit of contractors operating in the offshore sector but likely to be of interest to others contracting under English law, considers a number of common commercial scenarios encountered by contractors in the current leaner times. It discusses the associated English law issues arising, and offers guidance as to how contractors might navigate the issues they face and on how best to avoid certain pitfalls.

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