People Detail | Setfords
James Wilkes

James Wilkes
Senior Consultant Solicitor

James joined Setfords as Head of Litigation from a leading London and South East based practice in 2016 and after 7 years in this role transitioned to be a Senior Consultant with Setfords. James has a robust, commercial and results orientated approach to cases.

Instructed in commercial litigation and employment matters by regional SME's and private individuals, James also acts for national PLCs as part of a larger project or legal team.

Where possible James' preference is to attend upon his commercial clients at their place of business to facilitate an understanding of their business and operational model.   Taking the time to do this enables James to provide contextual advice more akin to that which is typically only available from in-house General Counsel.

Commercial Litigation:

As regards contentious work, James is principally instructed in commercial contract disputes arising from contracts for supply, insurance, commercial leases and professional negligence cases, focusing on: 

  • Legal (solicitors, barristers, licensed conveyancers)
  • Financial services (accountancy, IFA, insolvency)
  • Technology (app & web developers) and 
  • Property related professionals (agent, surveyor, valuation, builders non-JCT contracts)  


James is also regularly instructed by Claimants and Employers in employment matters in the County Court, High Court and Employment Tribunal – focusing particularly on breach of contract and discrimination cases.   

In addition to this James  frequently advises upon and negotiates executive or C-Suite termination packages (Settlement Agreements) and those arising from discrimination. 

Commercial Advisory: 

James’s experience principally consists of the following:

  • General contract advisory, review and drafting (focusing on provision of goods and services)
  • Distribution agreements and commercial arrangements
  • Generalist employment matters supporting an internal HR function
  • Employment and Contractual Due diligence during business transfers or acquisitions
  • Advising upon TUPE Regulations relating to business transfers or acquisitions

James often advises on an ad-hoc basis for his commercial clients on a variety of issues, often initially as a sounding board for the routine concerns which arise in the course of business where timely contextual legal advice is of substantial benefit.

Private Client / Individuals:

James' private client practice is a generalist civil litigation and employment advisory practice which has a significant overlap with his core commercial practice areas. Typical client instructions include employment matters and residential property disputes focusing on ownership / equitable interest cases.

Specialist Area - Equine Law:

In addition to his commercial civil litigation practice, James has a particular interest in Equine Law on account of an extensive personal background and interest in horse racing, eventing and show jumping.  James acts for owners, riders and professionals at the highest international levels of their respective disciplines, where cases frequently involve multi-national or cross-border elements.

James will advise on disputes arising from purchases, ownership/syndicate disputes, agent sales, regulatory issues, and professional negligence cases relating to veterinary advice, farriers, trainers and other ‘industry’ professionals. 

Contacting James

James is always pleased to hear from new clients with prospective cases to discuss their matter on a no-obligation basis. Contact James by email or phone now.



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