James Cook > Slaughter and May > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Slaughter and May

Living Wage

Work Department

Corporate and M&A, Corporate, Private Acquisitions and Disposals, Public Takeovers and Mergers, Equity Capital Markets, Cyber, Emerging Tech, Fintech, Tech and Digital, Tech Transactions, Media & Telecoms


Partner; James has a broad international corporate and commercial practice, advising on public and private M&A activity, joint ventures and equity capital market transactions. He also advises clients on company law and reorganisations, corporate governance and other general advisory matters.

James is a member of the firm’s Tech Transactions team, and has particular experience in the TMT sector, including significant expertise in data centres and emerging tech.


Joined Slaughter and May in 2011. Partner since 2021.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Corporate and commercial > M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+

(Next Generation Partners)

James Cook  – Slaughter and May

Trusted by more than two thirds of the FTSE 100, Slaughter and May remains the preeminent public company advisor for premium deals, acting on impressive array of divestitures, acquisitions, de-mergers, and buyouts – both domestic and international in nature. The corporate and M&A practice is now jointly led by Simon Nicholls and Richard Smith, who recently succeeded the heavyweight duo of Andy Ryde and Roland Turnill. The firm is routinely engaged on multi-billion pound transactions across a multitude of sectors, ranging from insurance to consumer goods. Senior partner Steve Cooke ’s far-reaching expertise is especially concentrated in takeover bids, while David Johnson ’s recent highlights include major transatlantic demergers and subsequent LSE main market listings. Simon Nicholls is recommended for his broad cross-border M&A capabilities, most recently for clients in the pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors. Commercial contracts specialist Victoria MacDuff is particularly noted for her capabilities in financial services, TMT, and real estate deals, while data privacy co-chair Rebecca Cousin‘s recent engagements include high-value transactions in the energy and financial services sectors. Sally Wokes maintains a wide-ranging practice, advising high-profile clients from the worlds of tech, retail, energy, and infrastructure. Robert Innes co-chairs the tech transactions group, while the ‘truly impressive’ James Cook – who was promoted to partner in May 2021 – often advises on multi-jurisdictional transactions concerning emerging markets.

London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms

Slaughter and May advises major technology-based businesses and emerging companies on the full range of technology matters. These include transactions, regulatory and competition issues, licensing strategies, outsourcing and transformation projects, platform redevelopments, IT disputes, and blockchain, AI and cyber matters . The team also has expertise in the telecoms space, handling network set-up and sharing, connectivity and fibre arrangements, physical and virtual data centres, and tower infrastructure. Practice group head Rob Sumroy is praised as an ‘exceptional practitioner’ who handles major commercial licensing and procurement transactions, as well as technology disputes. Of recent note is his experience in assisting clients with emerging disruptive technologies, including AI and blockchain, fintech, cyber, and e-commerce issues. David Ives has clients in both the private and public sectors, and advises on outsourcing and software matters, and complex IT systems separation projects. Duncan Blaikie specialises in strategic technology and telecoms procurement and licensing arrangements, while corporate lawyer Victoria MacDuff handles technology and telecoms-related commercial transactions. Laura Houston and James Cook were promoted to partner in 2021.

London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Fintech

Slaughter and May represents a wide-range of clients across the fintech space, including challenger neobanks as well as insurtech, payment, financial regulation and financial data companies. The team also advises financial services and technology clients on their strategic projects within the fintech market. The firm continues to run the ‘Fast Forward’ incubator programme, which supports the work of technology entrepreneurs and innovators. After the departure of Ben Kingsley in April 2022, Rob Sumroy now co-heads the practice alongside newly promoted partner James Cook, who advises fintech companies on corporate transactions. Jan Putnis handles financial regulatory issues, while associate David Shone acts for fintech start-ups and challengers on a variety of matters.

London > Industry focus > TMT

The TMT group at Slaughter and May is especially well known for its work supporting major technology clients on corporate and commercial transactions. The practice is co-headed by long-term TMT stalwart Rob Sumroy and experienced corporate lawyer Victoria MacDuff. The firm’s offering in this sector was further strengthened by the promotion of two associates to partners in May 2021: Laura Houston and James Cook. Houston assists a broad client base in the acquisition, creation, exploitation, and divestment of technology assets, while Cook assists technology and telecoms clients in a range of transactions, in addition to co-heading the fintech practice with Sumroy. Roland Turnill and Duncan Blaikie are also noted, as are Paul Dickson and David Watkins for their media work.

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