James has been a partner at Russell McVeagh since 2001. He is a leading advisor on economic regulation and competition law, and also has extensive experience in general commercial litigation, information technology issues, Māori/Treaty issues and public policy formation.
James advises in relation to a number of industries including dairy, energy, telecommunications, banking, ports and airports.
He joined Russell McVeagh after studying in North America and the United Kingdom and working at Sullivan & Cromwell (New York), the IMF (Washington DC) and the OECD (Paris).
James has taught law and economics, and cyberspace law at Victoria University of Wellington.
- Acting for Fonterra in relation to processor eligibility under the Raw Milk Regulation (due to be heard by the Supreme Court, 2012).
- Acting for Vector in relation to its review of the Commerce Commission's input methodology determinations (ongoing).
- Acting for ANZN, BNZ and Westpac in proceedings in relation to the status of unpresented drafts and bank cheques under the Unclaimed Money Act (Supreme Court, 2011).
- Acting for IBM between 1999 and present in relation to various project disputes in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand (including the INCIS project in 1999).
- Acting for for Te Rūnanga-ā-iwi-o-Ngāpuhi in the Maori Land Court in relation to the withdrawal of Ngāti Hine under the Maori Fisheries Act 2004 (ongoing).
- Acting for Tūhoronuku, the group seeking to acquire mandate to represent Ngāpuhi in Treaty of Waitangi settlement negotiations with the Crown, in relation to the mandating process (ongoing).
- Acting for Meridian Energy in relation to the Commerce Commission's investigation of the wholesale and retail electricity markets (concluded 2009) and in relation to legislative issues arising from the Ministerial Review into the electricity sector and the associated industry and regulatory reforms
- Acting for South Port in relation to an arbitration with a major customer as to access charges (2010).
- Acting for Auckland Airport in relation to the setting of landing charges and subsequent judicial review litigation (Court of Appeal, 2009).
- Acting for Westpac in relation to Commerce Act proceedings brought by the Commerce Commission and various retailers over credit card interchange fees (settled 2009).
- Acting as an arbitrator in relation to various telecommunications matters in Bahrain (2007 and 2009).
- Acting for Auckland Airport in relation to duty free concessions (concluded 2008).
- Acting for Todd Energy in relation to a Commerce Act claim against Transpower over the effect of its transmission pricing methodology on distributed generation (Court of Appeal, 2007).
- Acting for ONTRACK (as owner of the NZ rail network) in its relationship with Toll NZ including in relation to the determination of its track access charge (concluded 2007).
- Acting for Westpac in relation to its local incorporation to comply with the Reserve Bank's regulatory requirements and drafting the associated Westpac New Zealand Act 2006.
- Acting for Telecom in relation to a leaked Cabinet paper (2006).
- Acting for a consortium of major electricity generators in the preparation of submissions on water allocation rights (2005).
- Acting for Telecom in relation to various Commerce Commission matters including local loop unbundling (2004).
- Advising Telecom in relation to its outsourcing relationship and contractual arrangements with EDS.
- Acting for the Electricity Governance Board industry project team in its successful application to the Commerce Commission for the new industry rulebook (2002).
- Acting for the entities which promoted the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 in order to merge to form Fonterra.
- Advising clients such as Fonterra, Auckland Airport, Westpac, Meridian Energy, Telecom, Mobil and Todd Energy on general regulatory, competition and public law and policy issues.
- Advising clients on e-commerce issues such as jurisdiction, statutory compliance, online contracting, unauthorised email access and domain name issues.
LLB (Hons) BA (Hons) University of Otago
LLM Harvard Law School
D.Phil University of Oxford
Admitted to practise in New Zealand in 1994
Admitted to practise in NSW, Australia in 2000
Partner: Russell McVeagh since 2001
Contributing author to Laws of New Zealand (Restitution), Equity and Trusts in New Zealand, and Electronic Business and Telecommunications Law.