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James is one of the founding partners of Cosoff Cudmore Knox.
James was admitted to practice in 1981. Prior to the establishment of Cosoff Cudmore Knox, James was a partner in both Ward & Partners (now Hunt and Hunt) and, before that, Norman Waterhouse.
Throughout his career, James has had a broad focus on commercial litigation, with particular emphasis on insolvency, banking & finance, construction and taxation matters.
James was part of a specialist legal team within the State Bank of South Australia working on issues arising from the collapse of that bank. When he returned to private practice, James was appointed by the State Bank to represent and appear for it in the Royal Commission, and also to represent the bank in the inquiry by the Auditor-General.
James has extensive experience and expertise in complex corporate insolvencies, and in bankruptcies. James acted for the liquidator of the Emanuel Group of Companies and obtained Federal Court approval for the then largest litigation funding arrangement approved by an Australian Court (re Addstone Pty Limited (in liq) (1998) 83 FCR 583). James has had the carriage of numerous complex insolvencies representing liquidators, receivers and company directors. He was responsible for our firm's successful representation of Deloitte in its challenge to certain liquidators' examination orders (Normans Wines Limited (Receivers & Managers Appointed) (in liq); Harvey & Ors v Burfield & Anor (2004) 88 SASR 541). He was also responsible for representing the interests of associates and family members of Alan Bond in extensive litigation on a range of issues relating to the insolvency of Southern Equities Corporation (formerly Bond Holdings).
James has appeared as junior counsel in many reported decisions, including successfully before the High Court of Australia (Bank of South Australia Limited v Ferguson (1998) 192 CLR 248).
James has conducted numerous matters involving taxation, including our successful representation of Futuris Corporation Limited (now known as Elders) in Federal Court proceedings involving disputed assessments exceeding $80M (Futuris v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 935).
James identified an issue arising from an amendment made to section 197 of the Corporations Act which led to his appearing as counsel before the Full Court of the Supreme Court of South Australia (Hanel v O'Neil (2003) 48 ACSR 378). That case, in turn, provoked considerable professional, academic and judicial commentary and led to the Commonwealth Parliament amending the Corporations Act: Corporations Amendment Act (No. 1) 2005.
James' diverse career has included leading a team in acting against a BHP subsidiary in what was then the largest Security of Payments Act claim ever brought in the State of Queensland.
James is a Member of the Law Society of South Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Associate Member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia.