James Maton

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No case is ever the same and I relish problem solving and strategy.

About James

James heads Cooley’s versatile UK disputes practice. He acts for companies in a wide range of commercial, contractual, privacy, and product compliance disputes, whether resolved in Court proceedings or arbitration. His cases are often multi-jurisdictional and his work is particularly focused on the technology and manufacturing sectors. He conducts and co-ordinates internal investigations, and is experienced at helping companies to manage and resolve the numerous legal and reputational challenges that unexpected crises can present. 

James has advised states worldwide on sensitive public international law issues, and on domestic or international remedies for the corrupt activities of public officials, including representing states in civil proceedings seeking to trace, freeze and recover the proceeds of corruption or seeking compensation for corruption and advising on termination of corrupt contracts. James is a co-author of the Third Edition of “Corruption and Misuse of Public Office,” published in October 2017 by the Oxford University Press.

James is recommended in UK and international legal directories for asset recovery and civil fraud, commercial litigation, international arbitration, and public international law.

Representative Experience

  • Acting in a wide range of contractual and commercial disputes in the Commercial Court and in arbitration under ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and ad hoc rules
  • Acting in proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court or in arbitration concerning the design, construction, operation and/or repair of industrial assets, sites and technology 
  • Conducting internal investigations for clients and helping to resolve the issues and disputes that arise, often in crisis situations where there is significant threat to the business or reputation of the client, including matters involving disclosure of potentially improper conduct to regulators and thousands of customers 
  • Advising a manufacturer in a substantial criminal investigation examining alleged breaches of product safety laws regarding product design and the implementation of product recalls
  • Advising tech companies on sensitive privacy issues and claims arising from the alleged misuse or loss of data
  • Representing the Claimant in a UNCITRAL arbitration brought under NAFTA Chapter 11 seeking compensation exceeding US$2 billion for the arbitrary denial of an environmental permit for a subsea phosphate dredging project
  • Advising a Government on various land and maritime boundary disputes with neighbouring countries, and on a range of related commercial disputes arising under joint venture arrangements and contracts between state-owned companies of the client and its neighbours
  • Advising Governments in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean on English and foreign civil proceedings seeking to recover the proceeds of corruption from former leaders, senior public officials and their associates

Recent publications and speaking engagements:

  • Speaker, Lawyer GC Summit, “How to crack a crisis (and not let the crisis crack you)”, 2021 
  • Quoted, "The Morning Risk Report: U.K. Brings its First Wealth Orders," Wall Street Journal, March 2018
  • Co-author, "Corruption and Misuse of Public Office," Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2017
  • Quoted, "One way or another - British police get a new weapon to fight corruption - Foreign crooks will find it harder to hang on to their London mansions and sports cars," The Economist, September 2017


BPP University Law School
LPC, 1996

Oxford University, New College
BA, 1994

Rankings & accolades

The Legal 500 UK: Leading Individual - Public International Law (2022)

The Legal 500 UK: Commercial Litigation - Premium (2022)

The Legal 500 UK: Crime, fraud and licensing (2022)

The Legal 500 UK: Dispute resolution (2022) 

Chambers UK: Public International Law

Who's Who Legal Asset Recovery: Lawyers