James Cutress specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, including:
- Insurance and Reinsurance
- Professional Negligence
- Commercial Contracts
- Banking & Finance, including securitisations, swaps and derivatives
- Civil Fraud
- Jurisdiction and Conflict of Laws
Recommendations (Practitioners' Guides):
Recommended as a Leading Junior by Legal 500 in:
- Commercial Litigation
- Insurance and Reinsurance
- Professional Negligence
Recommended as a Leading Junior by Chambers and Partners in:
-Commercial Dispute Resolution
-Banking and Finance
Recommended as a legal expert by UK Legal Experts in Commercial Litigation.
Comments about James in the legal directories in recent years include:
- “one of the cleverest juniors at the bar”
- “exceptional and smart as a whip”
- “delivers ‘superb quality of service‘”.
- “incredibly bright, very good to work with and excellent at cutting to the chase”
- “Super clever and hardworking”
- “nimble and tenacious”
- “thorough, insightful and highly responsive”
- “Quickly establishing himself as an outstanding rising star.”
- “'destined for a very bright future'".
- “punches above his weight when undertaking top quality insurance matters”
- “an indicator of the talent that is coming through the ranks at Fountain Court … His tenacity has not gone unnoticed by sources, who comment that “he has gained the respect and confidence of some extremely demanding clients.”"
James Cutress has a broad commercial practice. He has considerable experience as an advocate in his own right, as well as of working as part of a team in heavy and complex commercial disputes. He acts both before the English Courts and in international arbitrations.
Insurance & Reinsurance
Lloyds and Non Lloyds (including Bermuda Form), acting for (re)insurers and (re)insureds and in claims for and against brokers.
Banking & Finance
Acted for and against banks in a wide range of disputes and recovery proceedings, including in particular in relation to securitisations, swaps and derivatives and in jurisdiction disputes.
Acted in respect of a large number of contractual disputes of varying sizes and nature.
Acted in very substantial claims in a wide range of disciplines, including for auditors and solicitors.
Including the obtaining of freezing injunctions and tracing of assets.
Acted in claims both within and outside the scope of the Warsaw Convention including lease and financing disputes, cargo claims, and disputes between suppliers.
Extensive arbitration experience in a number of commercial contexts, including insurance/reinsurance disputes, commercial contracts, fraud and aviation.
Has considerable experience both of preparing position papers for and attending mediations.
Aston Hill Financial Inc v African Minerals Finance Ltd  EWHC 2173 (Comm)
For lenders in $17m dispute in relation to a prepayment fee under a $500m syndicated loan agreement.
Kookmin Bank v Rainy Sky and others  1 WLR 2900 (SC)
For Kookmin Bank in a $50m dispute recently determined by the Supreme Court relating to the construction of a series of advance payment bonds.
All Leisure Holidays v Europaische Reiseversicherung AG and others  Lloyd's Rep IR 193
Issues of construction relating to over 400 claims on a passenger protection insurance policy arising out of the insolvency of a tour operator.
Multi Veste 226 BV v NI Summer Row Unitholder BV  33 EG 63 (CS)
£30m claim on guarantees relating to a joint venture to construct a £300m shopping centre.
Joujou, Zakhour, All-Hajjar v. Masri  EWHC 409 (Comm);  2 CLC 566 (CA)
Acting on behalf of judicial administrators appointed by the Lebanese Courts in relation to a dispute over the permissible extra-territorial scope of receivership orders by way of equitable execution.
Alpstream and others v PK Air Finance  EWHC 1002 (Comm)
US$30m claim arising out of the repossession and purported sale of 7 airbus aircraft.
Melinda Holdings v Hellenic Mutual War Risks Association  2 Lloyd’s Rep 141
US$20m coverage dispute under a war risks insurance relating to alleged corruption in the Egyptian courts.
UBS AG v Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig  2 CLC 499
For UBS in dispute with German utility arising out of a series of CDO and CDS transactions.
Bermuda Form Arbitration (2009-2010)
Acted for insurers in £100m Bermuda Form dispute.
Deutsche v Highland (2009)
Instructed by Deutsche Bank in US$70m dispute arising out of the purchase of asset backed CLOs, including a dispute as to the grant of anti-suit injunctions in relation to which the Supreme Court granted permission to appeal.
Hitachi Capital (UK) Plc v V-12 Finance Ltd  EWHC 2432 (Comm) and  EWHC 1566 (Comm)
For Hitachi in Commercial Court trial against agent involving issues of contractual construction and in non party costs application.
Royal & Sun Alliance v BAE Systems (Operations) Limited  1 Lloyd’s Rep 712
For BAE in major LCIA reinsurance arbitration against RSA and others involving US$3bn worth of cover.
Re: Sabre (2005-7)
For a law firm sued for professional negligence in connection with the structuring of a US$2 billion Collateralised Bond Obligation transaction.
Re: Independent Insurance (2005-6)
For auditors sued for professional negligence by the provisional liquidators of Independent Insurance.
BA Law, Oxford (Top First in the University)
BCL, Oxford (First Class)
LLM, Harvard Law School (magna cum laude equivalent)
Inns of Court School of Law (Second in year)
Prizes & Scholarships:
Eldon Scholarship (Oxford University, 2000)
Denning Scholarship (Lincoln's Inn, 2000)
Scarman Scholarship (Inns of Court School of Law, 2000)
Mansfield Scholarship (Lincoln's Inn, 1999)
Hardwick Entrance Award (Lincoln's Inn, 1999)
Kennedy Scholarship (Kennedy Memorial Trust, 1998)
British Academy Award for Postgraduate Study (1997)
Andrew Dixon Scholarship (Worcester College, Oxford, 1995)
Martin Wronker Prize (Oxford University, 1997)
Field Fisher Waterhouse Prize (Oxford University, 1997)
Prize for Best Finals Performance in Trusts (Oxford University, 1997)
Henry S.Q. Henriques Prize (Worcester College, Oxford, 1997)
Co-Author, The Law of Privilege (2nd Ed. Thanki, OUP, 2011)
Summer Associate, Litigation Department, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, New York (2000)
Winner, Robert Wright Mooting Competition, Lincoln's Inn (2000)
Tutor in Law (Part Time) City University (1999)