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

Essex Court Chambers


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 > Company

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

James SheehanEssex Court Chambers ‘He is seriously clever but doesn’t let that get in the way of planning a good commercial strategy through to the right solution.’

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

James SheehanEssex Court Chambers ‘Terrific on the law and on the facts and shows excellent judgment, as well as being a good advocate. He has made himself a first choice senior junior for fraud cases.’

Essex Court Chambers is ‘the market leading civil fraud set by the proverbial country mile’ with ‘true strength and depth in chambers from silks to baby juniors, and a great training programme to show off their knowledge and skills‘. The set’s broad offering ensures a wide range of expertise in a range of areas, including cryptocurrencies. Paul McGrath KC remains a dominant force and successfully led James Sheehan, Tom Ford and Owen Lloyd on behalf of the lead defendants in PJSC Bank “Finance and Credit” Deposit Guarantee Fund of Ukraine v Zhevago and others, a US$500m fraud claim against PJSC Bank’s former owner with significant jurisdictional implications. Joe Smouha KC also led Louise Hutton KC and Felix Wardle on behalf of the claimant in Ivanishvili v Credit Suisse Life, a claim by Georgia’s former prime minister over losses incurred to the assets held in two life insurance policy wrappers as a result of the fraud of his Credit Suisse relationship manager.

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

James SheehanEssex Court Chambers ‘James is wise beyond his years. He has already developed excellent judgement, and is more than equal to many of the KCs in his area. His advocacy is first class – he can hold his own against a phalanx of Silks. He already has the ability of appearing trustworthy, credible and plausible to the bench.’

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

James SheehanEssex Court Chambers ‘James has all the gravitas, experience, and sound judgement of a silk, but is immersed in the detail throughout the case and always available. His abilities consistently astound: send him a long document and he’ll have read it, digested it, and reverted with incisive comments before you have got to page 10.’