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Year of Silk: 2020

Year of Call: 1991


T: 020 7405 9471

Clerk: Duane Hitchman

Clerk: Kenya Mendoza


James specialises in all areas of commercial litigation with a particular emphasis on commercial fraud, insolvency, and professional negligence.

Highlights include representing the liquidators in the well-known “Hyde Park Hotels” fraud, the administrator in the high profile A1 Grand Prix insolvency, the financiers behind a Hollywood movie, provisional liquidators in one of the first crypto-currency insolvencies, the creator of breakthrough gambling software in a multi-million pound commercial IT trial, several well-known football clubs, the shareholders in a leading celebrity chef-owned London restaurant, a lender in a professional liability claim arising out of Channel 4’s Brookside housing estate, and a Swiss banker trustee in a Liechtenstein trust fraud trial. As well as the above, James has appeared in numerous well known and reported cases and is highly regarded within the Chancery and Commercial Bar.

James is a regular speaker at events both domestic and overseas. Recent highlights include speaking in New Delhi, Istanbul, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man. James also has a particular interest in CIS and middle eastern work.

In February 2016 James was appointed as a Deputy Master of the High Court and in September 2018 he was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge. In March 2019 he was elected as Head of Chambers and in March 2020 he was appointed silk.

  • He is an elegant advocate," who "offers clear, pragmatic advice

    Chambers and Partners 2022
  • Extremely knowledgeable but also able to convey his complex ideas to clients in simple terms, and his general conduct with clients is second to none

    Legal 500 2022
  • He is very thorough, works the court with his charm and is always in control of his cases

    Chambers and Partners 2022
  • He is just unflappable - very reassuring and doesn't miss a detail.

    Chambers and Partners 2021
  • Excellent in front of judges and very considered in his approach

    Chambers and Partners 2021
  • A very impressive advocate

    Legal 500 2021
  • A polished and measured advocate, particularly good a presenting complex arguments in straightforward and attractive terms

    Legal 500 2021
  • He knows insolvency law backwards and as he's a judge he's able to bring a different perspective and is very valuable in identifying what is important and how to formulate applications and claims in a way the court will like

    Chambers & Partners 2020
  • A hard hitter who always gives a good steer on liability and the prospects of success in a case

    Chambers & Partners 2020
  • A very impressive advocate, he makes difficult points straightforward

    Legal 500 2020
  • A tactically astute, excellent advocate with great client care

    Chambers & Partners 2020
  • He is user-friendly and a very capable advocate.

    Chambers & Partners 2020
  • He is good at the paperwork, good on his feet, and approachable

    Chambers & Partners 2020
  • He makes difficult points straightforward and is a very impressive advocate

    Legal 500 2020
  • He is very client-friendly and personable, as well as being calm and measured in his approach." "He is charming, clever and great on his feet." "He is very approachable and thorough.

    Chambers & Partners 2019
  • Always brings something new to a case and is always original. With him you always feel like he's a member of the team. His rapport with clients is absolutely fantastic and he always seems to have very good chemistry with them from the minute he meets them. As an opponent he is ideal because he is sensible and doesn't take bad points. You know you can trust him.

    Chambers & Partners 2019
  • Puts clients at ease, and his cross-examination is excellent. He knows his papers inside out, and he has a very good manner with the judges, putting his points in a very considered, balanced and authoritative way. He displays an understanding of very complex cases.

    Chambers & Partners 2018
  • He is brilliant - he has good commercial judgement and is excellent on the detail. The advice he gives is always very measured, clear and very client-friendly. He is tactically astute and an excellent advocate.

    Chambers & Partners 2018
  • Very client-friendly in his approach and easy to get on with.

    Legal 500 2017
  • Very charming, calm on his feet and well liked.

    Legal 500 2017
  • James Pickering is recognised as a Leading Junior in Commercial Litigation and Insolvency.

    Chambers & Partners 2017
  • He is utterly charming, and clients are generally enthralled by him. He’s a very patient cross-examiner who has a patient but very effective style which is true to his personality. Calm, measured and in control, he is always on top of his brief

    Chambers & Partners 2017
  • He is a brilliant cross-examiner, offers excellent client service and delivers every single time.

    Chambers & Partners 2017
  • He is personable, easy to work with and responsive.

    Chambers & Partners 2017
  • Very quick to grasp the detail of the brief and hone in on the key issues.

    Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 2016
  • He has an excellent courtroom manner and presence combined with a superb grip of the law.

    Insolvency, Legal 500 2016
  • He is excellent on his feet.

    Chambers & Partners 2016
  • He is very impressive on his feet in court.

    Chambers & Partners 2016
  • He has a keen eye for considering and summarising complicated issues.

    Legal 500 2015
  • Very responsive to clients’ needs; thorough and very calm.

    Legal 500 2015
  • A brilliant trial lawyer and very charming with it.

    Chambers UK 2015
  • A strategic thinker and a strong advocate, who always has the ear of the judge.

    Legal 500 2014
  • He is a calm and collected voice, who eschews the aggressive approach preferred by many barristers. He keeps both the client and the judge in touch with reality.

    Chambers UK 2014
  • He is excellent at inspiring confidence in the client, and he’s tactically astute.

    Chambers UK 2014
  • Charming and thorough, he has a great eye for detail.

    Chambers UK 2014
  • Very good on his feet, he is excellent at cross-examination.

    Chambers UK 2014
  • Charming and able

    Legal 500, 2013
  • Clients see him as possessing "everything you want in a senior junior" noting that while "he seems quiet and unassuming, he proves to be an absolute genius at whatever he turns his hand to".

    Chambers UK 2013
  • He is "absolutely unflappable and so talented"

    Chambers UK 2013
  • James Pickering provides "excellent, commercially strategic" advice

    Legal 500, 2012
  • James Pickering is a popular choice for his "gentle but persuasive manner." His practice is a mixture of commercial, contractual and insolvency litigation, with many of his cases having a delinquency of directors or professional negligence element to them.

    Chambers & Partners 2012
  • James Pickering is a "hands-on, practical and brilliant orator," and a "very effective cross-examiner."

    Legal 500 2011
  • James Pickering is "cool, calm and collected" and "bright as a button" .

    Chambers & Partners 2011
  • The "unruffled and responsible" James Pickering is "the calm in the eye of the storm" say commentators; "when things are urgent and chaotic, he can bring everything together and marshal a case very quickly."

    Chambers & Partners 2009
  • Rising star James Pickering is lauded for being "urbane, methodical and very client-friendly."

    Chambers & Partners 2008

Practice Areas

Significant Cases

Career and Associations

Harmsworth Law Scholarship (1990)

Inns of Court School of Law (Outstanding) (1991)

JJ Powell Prize (1991)

Joined Enterprise Chambers (1992)

Appointed Deputy Master of the High Court (2016)

Appointed Deputy High Court Judge (2018)

Elected Head of Chambers (2019)

Member of the Chancery Bar Association

Member of INSOL

Member of Commercial Bar Assocation

Member of the Property Bar Association

Appointed King's Counsel (2020)


Handling Insolvent Tenants – advice for landlords

Enterprise Chambers’ Annotated Guide to Insolvency Legislation (Sweet & Maxwell)

Landlord & Tenant Factbook (Butterworths)

Corporate Counsel (New York)

The Lawyer (London)

Estate Gazettes (London)