James Norris-Jones’ practice focuses on substantial English and international commercial litigation and arbitration.

He has advised on a wide range of disputes, including those involving banking and financial services, commercial contracts, shareholder and joint venture agreements, breach of directors’ duties, and cases involving fraud and insolvency. He was seconded to the UK branch of a major investment bank in 2009-2010.

James joined the firm as a partner in 2018. Prior to joining Cleary, he spent nearly 17 years at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, where he became a partner in 2012.

Notable Experience

Banking and Financial Services

  • RBS and four of its former directors on the successful settlement of a major class action brought in the English High Court by nearly 40,000 shareholders in relation to the bank’s 2008 Rights Issue.

  • UBS on its successful defense of a claim brought by Decura Investments in relation to a joint venture with UBS’s investment bank.

  • UBS on the successful settlement of a claim brought by MBIA in relation to a credit default swap.

  • A major investment bank on claims relating to delegated reporting under the EMIR regulation.

  • A hotel holding company on claims against Anglo Irish Bank.

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  • Nortel Networks UK (in administration) and 18 other European Nortel companies on a $7 billion dispute arising from the global Nortel insolvency, including litigation in the U.S. and Canadian courts.

  • The trustees of a family trust in relation to litigation brought in England and Guernsey arising from the insolvency of Kaupthing.

  • UBS on its successful defense of rescission claims brought in Iceland by Kaupthing, Glinir, and Landsbanki in relation to various bond repurchases entered into shortly prior to those banks’ insolvency.

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Shareholder and Joint Venture Disputes

  • Alessandro Benedetti on claims against Naguib Sawiris in connection with the acquisition of the Italian telecoms company Wind, which ultimately were determined by the UK Supreme Court.

  • A shipping company on the successful settlement of a joint venture dispute with a major multinational investor.

  • A Singapore-based investment fund on a shareholder dispute in connection with an oilfield in Africa.

  • A high-net-worth family on various shareholder and trust disputes in a number of European and Caribbean jurisdictions.

  • Euronet Worldwide Inc. on a shareholder dispute in the English High Court in connection with an English subsidiary.

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Additional Experience

  • A major international telecoms company on breach of warranty and other claims in relation to a $1 billion IT infrastructure contract.

  • Tajik Aluminium Company on a major fraud case, involving parallel English High Court litigation, two LCIA arbitrations, and a ZCC arbitration.

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