James Holden

Partner, London


“James Holden works well with the client team and experts, bringing focus.”
Legal 500 UK 2023


James is a partner in the Firm's market leading International Arbitration Practice, based in London.

James advises clients in complex disputes and acts as an advocate in international arbitrations. He has broad experience across a number of sectors, including infrastructure, power, and oil and gas, and has particular expertise in construction and engineering disputes. His approach is to gain a deep understanding of the technical issues that are central to the dispute and to use this to develop innovative strategies to deliver clients' commercial goals.

James has acted as counsel in arbitrations around the world and under the rules of all major arbitral institutions. He also has experience of Dispute Adjudication Boards and a broad range of litigation in the English Courts, including anti-suit injunctions in support of arbitration and enforcement proceedings. James is also an active contributor to the Firm's pro bono activities.

Bars and Courts
England and Wales
History (MA)
Christ Church, Oxford University
Nottingham Law School


US$2.5bn infrastructure project dispute
Representing a consortium of European construction companies on one of the world's largest infrastructure projects located in Central America, in a long-running series of related ICC arbitrations against the employer, worth in excess of US$2.5bn. Issues included unforeseen ground conditions, substantial and complex engineering changes to the mechanical aspects of the project, and significant delay and disruption claims.

LNG processing plant
Representing the consortium owner of one of the world’s largest and most modern LNG processing plants, located in Western Africa, in an arbitration relating to multi-billion dollar defect and delay claims against the US contractor.

Cargo scanning systems
Representing a US manufacturer in an arbitration worth in excess of $350m against an Eastern European state arising out of a contractual dispute relating to the provision of cargo scanning equipment and services at a number of customs points across the country following a change in government. The arbitration was successfully settled following a re-negotiation of the contractual terms that dealt with the political issues raised by the new government.

Warranty claim relating to a power station
Representing European clients in a significant warranty claim in relation to a number of highly technical issues experienced at what was Europe's largest gas fired power station that had been purchased under an SPA. The dispute covered numerous elements of the plant, including the turbines, gas pipeline, and supporting infrastructure, as well as the commercial operations. The case was named as one of "The Lawyer's" Top 20 litigation cases of 2013.

Airport arbitrations in the Middle East
Representing Turkish contractors in a series of linked arbitrations in the Middle East relating to a major airport expansion project, including the construction of a new terminal and aircraft maintenance facilities. Issues included complex delay and disruption claims covering multiple interrelated elements of the works.

Arbitration relating to defective circuit breakers
Representing a leading German engineering company in an arbitration against an Asian supplier of defective circuit breakers. The arbitration sought to recover damages relating to a large scale product recall that was instigated once the defects were identified.

McCain Foods (GB) Ltd v Eco-Tec Europe Ltd
Advising McCain Foods on all aspects of a complex technical dispute relating to gas cleaning technology for the generation of electricity from biogas. The case was resolved during a two week trial in the Technology and Construction Court resulting in a multi-million pound award in favour of McCain, including the recovery of lost renewable energy certificates, the first time that such an award was made by the English courts.


International Arbitration: A Practical Guide, Global Law & Business, 1 December 2012