James is an experienced environmental and resource management practitioner, and the current head of Russell McVeagh's Resource Management practice group.
He also specialises in public and local government law, including local authority rates and development contributions.
James' experience includes advising on development projects, district and regional planning matters for a wide range of clients, and local government process and procedure. He has represented clients in environmental litigation at Council, in the Environment Court and in the Higher Appellate Courts.
James is also experienced at local and central Government lobbying, and has appeared on behalf of clients at Select Committee hearings.
James joined Russell McVeagh as a graduate in 2001, and became a partner in 2009.
- Leading the EPA/Board of Inquiry process for New Zealand King Salmon's proposals for new marine farms in the Malborough Sounds
- Advising on the Auckland Rail upgrade and double tracking project (DART), Auckland Electrification, the Wellington Rail upgrade project (WRRP), the proposed Marsden Rail Line, CBD Rail Loop and Alternate Waitemata Harbour Crossing project
- Achieving protection for airlines at various airports around New Zealand from reverse sensitivity effects
- Providing strategic advice on the potential new or enhanced terminal facility in Wellington as part of the Cook Strait ferry service
- Advising Gore District Council on process and procedure relating to Solid Energy's lignite proposals
- Undertaking the resource management and Māori legal due diligence for a major forestry due diligence, for Hancock
- Successfully appearing in the High Court for Ngati Kahu in proceedings to protect waahi tapu
- Acting in the Wairau Pak 'N Save and Discount Brands judicial review cases, being successful challenges (including in the case of Discount Brands on appeal to the Supreme Court) to non-notified grants of consent
- Securing emergency works consents following a major wash-out of rail infrastructure in Matata
- Successfully securing consents for Watercare's replacement sewer tunnel in Hobson Bay
- Consenting numerous supermarkets across New Zealand for Progressive Enterprises Limited
- Advising on Westfield's Albany shopping centre developments
- Consenting the Frankton Lake Edge residential apartment development, Queenstown
- Providing advice on proposed legislation, including the most recent round of proposed amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991, the 2011 Aquaculture reforms, and the current EEZ legislation.
LLB (Hons) BSc University of Auckland
Admitted to practise in New Zealand in 2001
Author of the Hazardous Substance chapter of New Zealand's major environmental textbook, Environmental and Resource Management Law
Author of the Lexis Nexis Practical Guidance to Resource Management
Chair of the Wellington branch of the Resource Management Law Association