James actually began his career as a Barrister, the first In-house Counsel for Donns LLP; a major Personal Injury firm in Manchester, then worked extensively as a civil and commercial advocate (in the courts and on cases) across the Northern Circuit. In 2006 he relocated to Hong Kong, in order to work as General Counsel for Joseph Lee & Associates, a firm with offices in HK, mainland China and dotted throughout the Asia Pacific region. Over the next decade he gained broad experience in commercial law, contracts, intellectual property of all kinds, and latterly the emerging tech, software and gaming sectors. He was appointed managing partner at Joseph Lee in 2014, then eventually left the firm after 12 years to start his own legal consultancy; Mancunian IP, at the end of 2016.
In 2019 he brought his firm back to the UK, and has been working with a mixed portfolio of law firm projects, existing clients he has retained, and increasingly many in the SME market across the South of England and London. Nowadays his clients are generally entrepreneurial individuals with great ideas, and owner managed businesses of all descriptions.
In James’ own words...
“I find working with small businesses almost always requires a fresh perspective; for example, I have to be capable of dealing with highly complex contracts, IP issues or disputes, as well as at the same time offering a highly personalised bespoke service for each client. I always try to understand how each small business operates, especially with regards to the demands on resources and attitude to risk and reward. The scale and scope of legal advice needed and business issues faced are clearly not the same as for larger firms and MNCs. Ultimately, I try to help guide the client with every stage of their journey from getting established, investment, expansion and beyond, and it can be extremely rewarding on a personal and a professional level to see these businesses grow and flourish over time”.
- BA Philosophy (Ethics and Political Philosophy), University of Sheffield - 1996
- Graduate Diploma in Law, Manchester Metropolitan University - 2003
- Bar Vocational Course, Manchester Metropolitan University - 2004
- Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test, BPP – England and Wales - 2007
- Published a Paper on “The Application of Nicomachean Ethics in Modern Jurisprudence” - Sheffield, 1994
- Qualified after a six-year apprenticeship as a 10 colour press gravure Printer - Salford, 1998-2002
- Sat on various sub-committees of the International Trademarks Association - 2012-2015 (chaired Anti-Counterfeiting)