James Sheehan > Essex Court Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Essex Court Chambers
Essex Court Chambers
James Sheehan photo


Specialist in commercial and chancery litigation and arbitration. Practice areas include civil fraud, contract and other business disputes, banking and finance, company and partnership, claims against directors and other fiduciaries, and insolvency. Particular experience of international disputes involving issues of jurisdiction and choice of law. Regular appearances as an advocate, including significant trials in the Commercial Court and in arbitration as sole counsel and appearances in the Court of Appeal as sole counsel.

Recent cases include Capital Markets Co (UK) v Tarver [2017] EWHC 945 (Ch) (Ch Div, conspiracy); JSC BTA Bank v Madiyar Ablyazov [2016] EWHC 3071 (Comm) (Comm Ct and CA, s.423 claim); Shalabayev v JSC BTA Bank [2017] 1 WLR 603 (CA) (and, separately, [2015] CP Rep 21 (CA), CA and Comm Ct, dispute over asset ownership in major fraud litigation); CitizenM LND St Paul’s Properties BV v Chil Ltd [2016] EWCA Civ 771 (CA, joint venture dispute); Erste Group Bank AG (London) v JSC (VMZ Red October) [2015] 1 CLC 706 (Comm Ct and CA, conspiracy, jurisdiction, choice of law); Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co v Al-Refai [2015] 1 WLR 135 (Comm Ct and CA, conspiracy, breach of confidence, contempt proceedings (including jurisdiction dispute).



Called 2008


COMBAR, Chancery Bar Association, Commercial Fraud Lawyers’ Association, Financial Services Lawyers’ Association.


St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge (French and German, starred first, top of year); BPP (CPE); Inns of Court School of Law (Outstanding, second in year). Queen Mother scholar; Baron Dr Ver Heyden de Lancey prize (Middle Temple).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 2

James SheehanEssex Court ChambersA calm and charming advocate to work with, he fits very well within any team we assemble.

Essex Court Chambers is a ‘first-class set to turn to on significant matters‘ with ‘an incredibly deep and diverse bench‘. The set’s versatility on commercial disputes is one of the things that marks it out, with some excellent expertise in areas such as fraud and international arbitration. The set has expanded heavily at the junior level in recent years, with Tim Akkouh arriving from Erskine Chambers being the most recent example. Major recent cases have included PJSC Tatneft v Bogolyubov & Others in which Paul McGrath QC, David Davies and James Sheehan were on opposing sides to fellow members, including Ruth den Besten. Other highlights included Fortress Group v BNP Paribas (the Golden Belt litigation), and Yukos Finance v Lynch. Martin Griffiths QC has been appointed a High Court judge in the Queen’s Bench Division.

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 2

James SheehanEssex Court ChambersVery hardworking, intellectually strong, with good judgement.

Essex Court Chambers is ‘without question the go-to set for heavy-duty commercial litigation, in particular, fraud‘. The set has expanded significantly in this area over recent years, particularly at the junior end, and the recent arrival of tier-one junior Tim Akkouh, from Erskine Chambers, continues the trend. Five members, including Nathan Pillow QC, David Davies, and James Willan  were involved in the nine-week National Bank Trust v Yurov & ors trial, relating to a $800m fraud claim. Paul McGrath QCJames Sheehan, and Ruth den Besten were among those with significant roles on Tatneft v Bogolyubov & Ors.

London Bar > Company and partnership

(Company - Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

James SheehanEssex Court ChambersExcellent manner with clients; exceptionally hardworking and committed to the cases he works on.

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 2

James SheehanEssex Court ChambersExtremely knowledgeable, hardworking, and has a very good attention to detail.