James Townsend has over two decades of experience as a solicitor advising business leaders and HR professionals on strategy, engagement, reward and disputes in the field of employment law.

As an Employment partner, he specialises in statutory and contractual employment disputes, executive terminations, complaints involving the Equality Act, restraint of trade issues and the domestic employment aspects of national and international business mergers and acquisitions.

James acts in cases before the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, as well as, in the County Court and High Court.

James is a trusted adviser and often first port of call on employment matters. His clients operate in a number of different sectors, from those listed on the FTSE to smaller owner managed businesses. Clients include an international motorsport championship organiser, a national television company, one of the UK's largest distributors of wines and spirits, an international IT retailer, manufacturers, developers, high street retailers,  companies operating in construction and a number of privately owned businesses.

During his career, James has been a partner in a top-tier regional firm just outside London and later Head of Employment, London, for a top 100 national firm, where he also headed up the retail and leisure team.  He is an equity partner, sitting on the firm's Corporate Leadership Group. 

A regular commentator on employment law topics, James has been interviewed on BBC Radio regarding discrimination and gender equality issues and is regularly invited to appear as an expert on employment law matters on national television.  

James is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, the East India Club and is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman.

Recent work
  • Providing day-to-day employment law support to an international motor racing business.
  • Leading corporate, real estate and employment teams on the sale of a UK business as part of an international joint venture. 
  • Securing a High Court injunction on behalf of an international IT re-seller to prevent the unlawful solicitation of work to a competitor, following a team move.
  • Regularly advising senior executives on exits and negotiating settlement terms.
  • Successfully settling an action brought under the Commercial Agents Regulations by an individual claiming agency status against one of the UK's leading wine and spirits suppliers.
  • Successfully defending statutory and contractual claims brought before the Employment Tribunals and High Court by a former director and shareholder of an international IT leasing  business.
  • Obtaining a Sponsorship licence for a large marine operations business and visa for its Canadian CFO.
  • Successfully defending a large developer against an unfounded whistleblowing claim.
Listed as Key Lawyer, Corporate and Commercial: Partnerships, Legal 500 2022

Listed as Key Lawyer, Employment: Employers, Legal 500 2022

"James Townsend is an incredibly good solicitor to have on your side. He is astute, commercial and a brilliant tactician." Legal 500 2022

"[James Townsend is] completely unflappable and with excellent client care qualities." Legal 500 2022
Did you know
James is a keen skier and has an interest in current affairs.


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