James Popperwell Partner

James is head of the firm’s fraud practice. He specialises in asset tracing and enforcement and the management of complex, international disputes in state courts and arbitration. As well as running disputes at all levels of the English courts, James has significant experience in managing parallel proceedings in different jurisdictions.

James has over 19 years of experience acting on disputes relating to Russia, Ukraine and the CIS and has represented clients from these regions in various courts across the world, including in the Eastern Caribbean, the Channel Islands, Cyprus and Hong Kong, as well as in ICC, LCIA and VIAC arbitrations. James has significant experience of obtaining and defending interim injunctive relief in support of proceedings in England and elsewhere.

James also advises on corporate and shareholder disputes (including in relation to companies incorporated overseas), bribery and corruption, sanctions, money laundering and insolvency proceedings. He is often asked to represent overseas clients in jurisdictional challenges in England and has done so on the basis of diplomatic and sovereign immunity as well as the more traditional grounds.

James combines his fraud expertise with an intricate knowledge of litigation funding in all its forms. James has advised litigation funders on structuring some of the most innovative funding arrangements in recent years. James is a contributing author to the Law Society’s Handbook on Litigation Funding and a regular speaker on funding issues.

James is qualified to act as an independent supervising solicitor on search orders.

James is a partner champion of our Balance network, a forum providing networking and peer support for all staff managing careers and home lives, to achieve a sustainable work-life balance.

Professional Memberships

  • Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association (CFLA)
  • Commercial Litigators’ Forum (CLF)
  • Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
  • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
  • British Russian Law Association (BRLA)

What people are saying


"The 'tactically astute' James Popperwell receives praise for his fraud practice, which has particular focus on Russia and the CIS. According to one source: 'James is extremely methodical and ensures the strategy chosen is most beneficial for the client in terms of cost and probability of success'."

Chambers UK 2019

"James Popperwell has ‘great experience of acting on disputes in Russia and the CIS’ and is 'very good at handling the unpredictable challenges of complex, high-value, cross-border litigation’."

The UK Legal 500 2018

"James is 'adept at managing the challenges that arise in complex, cross-border fraud disputes'."

The UK Legal 500 2017

"James Popperwell is highly regarded for his handling of complex financial, corporate and regulatory disputes, and for his expertise in cross-border litigation. He is especially well versed in work in the CIS region and Russia, and is described as 'very able and a great team organiser. He's very good'."

Chambers UK 2015

Quick reads