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Head of Commercial

Meet James's team

Adding value with pragmatic, technically strong and commercial advice

James is a Partner and Head of Commercial here at Walker Morris. He is a leading commercial contracts lawyer, drafting and negotiating the contracts that underpin his clients’ most important commercial relationships.

James is trusted by clients across a wide range of sectors to get key deals right, and make complicated agreements work and he has built a team capable of dealing with the full gamut of commercial contracts work. This ranges from business-as-usual documents like terms and conditions of sale or purchase, through to the agreements that get products and services to markets like distribution, agency and logistics contracts. James also works on the most complicated and important commercial deals that may only come around once or twice a decade.

A skilled and dogged negotiator

James believes his clients benefit from his broad practice (both in the UK and internationally) and the experience he draws from acting across a wide range of sectors. He has worked extensively for clients in the Food & Drink, Pharma, Industrial Manufacturing and Logistics sectors, and he leads the Walker Morris Manufacturing sector group.

Known as a skilled and dogged negotiator, James can cut through complexity and distil difficult legal concepts into user-friendly language.

James says, “I love the mental challenge of commercial contracts. Getting under the skin of a client’s business, their commercial drivers and vulnerabilities, and getting to the heart of what will make the deal work (or not) is almost always a challenge and almost always fascinating. There is a competitive element of pitting your wits against the other party during a deal which can be genuinely exciting”.

Part of the client team

When James is working with a client on a deal he becomes part of the client team, and commits to getting the deal done for the good of the client just as though it was for him personally.

“Commercial law can’t be practiced from an ivory tower and my style is to try and build relationships with my clients where I am ‘one of the team’. It’s easier to do the hard stuff when the client knows you are fully committed to their cause and trusts that you will do everything in your power to surmount any problems”.

Quick to assimilate and understand complex issues, James identifies ways to achieve the desired outcome even in difficult circumstances: “I back myself to think on my feet and react quickly and intelligently in negotiations”, he says. “Boiling complex issues down to basic principles and building arguments and drafting to cut through is core to the value I bring clients”.

Getting close to clients’ businesses

James prefers to work collegiately with clients and colleagues and can adapt his working style to fit client needs where necessary. He is confident that he can remain calm and very rarely gets stressed, even in quite fraught or time pressured environments.

The calm and relaxed atmosphere at Walker Morris suits James well, especially the sense of collegiality and partnership that is present at every level.

“The thing that excites me most about my practice is the ability to really get close to clients’ businesses. You can’t beat the sense of pride that comes from knowing that we’ve brought real value to the table and that we have made a positive contribution to getting a deal the client is happy with. Adding value like that comes from understanding our clients and the markets they operate in – and that is what I constantly strive to do.”


“James is an extremely reliable and technically strong, commercial contracts lawyer. He is very pragmatic and extremely easy to deal with, for both lawyer and non-lawyer clients alike. He is a skilled draftsman and can apply his knowledge and skills to almost any situation. He has one of the best negotiating styles I have ever come across; firm, yet with a natural ability to find a conciliatory way through difficulties when required. As a commercial contracts lawyer, he would be my “go to” wherever he is”.

James's contact details