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Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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James Baily

Work +44 20 7466 2122
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Work Department



James is a solicitor advocate and Partner in the firm's dispute resolution division in London.


James advises on a range of commercial disputes, with a focus on the energy, consumer products and IT sectors.

Within the energy sector, James has worked with clients on some of the most high profile cases to come before the English courts in recent years.  His experience covers cross-border disputes in the context of major projects, drilling contracts, joint ventures and gas sales agreements, including challenges to the jurisdiction of the English courts and parallel proceedings in foreign courts.  He has advised on claims arising out of projects in the UK, Norway, West Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.  

James has particularly strong experience of gas and LNG price review disputes under long-term sale and purchase agreements, and is a contributor to "Liquefied Natural Gas: The Law and Business of LNG".

He has also helped clients with substantial claims concerning fraudulent misrepresentation, negligence and breach of contract in relation to large IT projects, consumer products and logistics and communications technology.

James qualified as a solicitor at Herbert Smith in 2000. In 2001 he was seconded to work in the London office of a major international oil company for nine months. He has Higher Rights of Audience in the civil courts in England.

James was a member of the team that won Litigation Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2010, as well as the Litigation and Regulatory Team of the Year at the Legal Week British Legal Awards 2010 and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2011.



London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has one of the largest and most specialised practices in the UK for all types of commercial and corporate litigation and across all sectors; the team was recently particularly active in significant  commercial and corporate litigation for major banks and financial institutions as well as matters involving the energy, mining, consumer products and TMT sectors, among others. It achieved a settlement on behalf of the RBS Group (RBSG) in its defence of actions brought by shareholder and investor groups in connection with RBSG's 2008 rights issue; and represented the SocGen defendants in a claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority, which entered into a series of trades with SocGen, in respect of which it sought rescission and repayment of the premiums paid. Damien Bryne Hill is UK and US disputes head; Alan Watts is UK commercial litigation head; Rupert Lewis leads the banking litigation practice in London; Natasha Johnson 'has a great deal of experience with the international elements of litigation'; Gregg Rowan is 'a first class-litigator, who has a measured and in-control manner'; and Alexander Oddy is deputy head of the firm's commercial litigation practice. Other recommended names are Philip Carrington, James Baily, Simon Clarke,  Adam Johnson QC, Kirsten Massey, and John Whiteoak, along with John Ogilvie, James Doe, Chris Bushell, and Jeremy Garson. Julian Copeman relocated to the London office from Hong Kong and Donny Surtani and Rachel Lidgate were made partners.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Oil and gas

Within: Leading individuals

James Baily - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Within: Oil and gas

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides 'competent and timely advice on short notice' and its oil and gas practitioners are praised by clients for their 'generous support, timely advice and client-oriented approach'.  Rachel Lidgate and Reza Dadbakhsh were recently promoted to the partnership and Alexander Currie relocated to London from another office. A team headed by Craig Tevendale is currently representing a major oil and gas field operator in cost recovery disputes with a Central Asian government, and William Breeze acted for two lenders in the refinancing of an international oil and gas company's syndicated multi-tiered reserve-based facilities. Also notable is James Baily 's defence a group of oil majors as the owners of the Andrew Field in the North Sea in a Commercial Court claim brought by Scottish Power seeking damages following an extended shut-in of the field. Other key clients include Chevron, BNP Paribas, Cuadrilla and Vitol.

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