James Fairbairn > Dentons > Milton Keynes, England > Lawyer Profile


Work Department

Dispute resolution.


James is a partner in the Milton Keynes office Commercial Dispute team. He represents clients in all forms of commercial dispute resolution. He has experience in contract disputes, product liability, company law and shareholder claims, trusts, banking, professional negligence and construction disputes. He acts for many blue-chip companies, banks, financial institutions and individuals.

As well as one-off unique cases, James assists clients with portfolios of cases and has developed bespoke case management systems and solutions.

He has a particular interest in cost issues and uses cost management systems to keep costs proportionate to case value, which is particularly important with lower-value claims.

James has higher advocacy rights of audience and has made many appearances in the High Court as well as in other tribunals and when representing clients in arbitration cases.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a member of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association, the Technology and Construction Solicitors’ Association and the Society of Construction Law.


Trained Charles Russell, qualified 1984, Charles Russell 1982-90; partner Dentons (formerly SNR Denton) 2000-present.


Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; Professional Negligence Lawyers Association; Technology and Construction Courts Solicitors’ Association Current directorships: Trustee of three charities.


University of Sussex (BA Hons 1980); The College of Law (1982); Higher Courts (Civil Advocacy) Qualification (2011); Senior Courts of England and Wales (BA (Law) solicitor)1984); Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) (1998).

Lawyer Rankings

South East > Insurance > Professional negligence

(Leading individuals)

James FairbairnDentons

Dentons has in recent years consolidated its professional negligence teams by closing its Watford office to merge with its base in Milton Keynes, which particularly focuses on construction matters in addition to representing lenders including several major banks. James Fairbairn has nearly 40 years of experience, including work as a solicitor advocate, and is overseeing the expansion of the firm’s sports litigation practice. CEDR-accredited mediator Tim Constable‘s work, meanwhile, is focused on lender claims – he sits on the professional negligence panels of a number of lenders, including ten years for Barclays Bank. He is supported by senior associate Sarah Rutnah, who is focused on claims involving fraud.

South East > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

(Leading individuals)

James FairbairnDentons

Dentons represents clients in various areas of law such as product liability, asset finance, professional negligence, franchising, fraud, data protection and construction. The team has a diverse clientele across sectors including banking, insurance, automotive, manufacturing, transport, retail and energy. The practice is well versed in alternative dispute resolution methods such as adjudication and arbitration. New team head Louisa Caswell joined from Addleshaw Goddard while James Fairbairn  is well-regarded for breach of contract matters. Tim Constable handles international disputes while Rob Francis covers public inquiry work. Sarah Rutnah is another experienced litigator.

South East > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport

The Dentons team in Milton Keynes has established itself as a go-to market leader for organizations behind large sports events worldwide. In a recent highlight, the team fronted by Nick Harrison assisted the Esports Awards with hosting their event in Arlington, Texas. Harrison is a specialist in retail and sports matters particularly where they intersect with IT. In disputes clients may rely on seasoned litigator James Fairbairn who handles all forms of commercial dispute resolution. A rising star within the team is associate Rose McDowall, particularly noteworthy for her experience with commercial contracts, especially in media distribution.