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James Bailey QC

Call: 1999    QC: 2019

+44 (0)20 7306


Described as “a formidable advocate, who is able to dominate a courtroom” (The Legal 500), James has been instructed in high-profile insolvency and restructuring work including Enron (Cayman Islands), Comet and the London Underground Public-Private Partnership.

“He is very hard-working and a real details man. He is also very strong on his feet and is an authoritative figure that judges listen to.” “He is a very sensible operator who is able to take a pragmatic view.” (Chambers UK Bar, 2019)

He is also described as “excellent in insolvency cases with a cross-border dimension”. (The Legal 500, 2019)

Recent experience:

  • In 2018, James acted for a consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll in the successful acquisition of the Force India Formula 1 motor racing team from Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya. The transaction was exceptionally complex and involved a structure never previously used in Formula 1.
  • James acted for the successful petitioning creditor in the matter of Re Paul Baxendale-Walker (a bankrupt), a notorious piece of litigation arising out of negligent advice given by a former tax barrister and solicitor. Unusually the case concerned the appointment of an interim receiver, and thereafter the successful appointment of specifically named trustees in bankruptcy upon the making of a bankruptcy order (reported at [2018] B.P.I.R. 1243).
  • James is instructed by office holders, creditors and debtors alike which gives rise to a broad range of work, including the challenging of the inappropriate use of the insolvency regime. Examples include the abuse of the IVA procedure in the Miss World litigation.
  • By way of sub-specialism, James’s insolvency practice includes matrimonial insolvency. He has been instructed in various high value divorces and acted for the wife against her purportedly bankrupt husband in the “quite extraordinary” Young v Young litigation.
  • James was instructed as an English law expert in proceedings before the Supreme Court of South Korea on a cross-border insolvency aspect pertaining to the “rehabilitation” (administration) of the Samsun Logix Corporation.