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

The claimant-focused team at Dentons is highly regarded for dealing with claims against accountants, construction professionals, architects, and solicitors. In 2020, the team closed its Watford office and moved to an entirely agile working environment, while still being able to draw on its long-established Milton Keynes base. Practice co-chair and solicitor advocate James Fairbairn offers ‘astute advice‘ and many years of experience, working with Tim Constable, an ‘excellent negotiator‘ who has particular expertise in banking matters. Senior associate Sarah Rutnah is also seen as a ‘standout‘ member of the team, often acting for international corporations.

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

(Leading individuals)

James FairbairnDentons

The Milton Keynes team at Dentons acts on behalf of both regional and international clients, including bluechip organiations and financial institutions, covering a broad range of disputes relating to product liability, professional negligence, commercial fraud, franchising and construction. Practice co-leader James Fairbairn is described as ‘incredibly bright and quick‘, handling complex contract disputes and product liability cases. Practice co-leader Tim Constable focuses on international disputes, covering commercial fraud and corruption, as well as having experience in freezing injunctions and search and seizure orders. Rob Francis is recommended by clients. Clare Stothard and Steven Mills left in late 2020 as part of a large disputes and investigations team which joined TLT.

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

Dentons sports team works in close collaboration with its London team to provide major names from the worlds of rugby, esports, formula 1 and fitness with advice on the full range of commercial agreements. Nick Harrison, promoted to partner in May 2021, leads the sports practice outside of London and works with Saracens RFC on numerous commerical issues. The group also has a disputes offering; spearheaded by James Fairbairn, it was bolstered by the November 2020 arrival of associate William George from Harneys.