Admitted to practise: 1995

Called to bar: 2004

James Watson graduated from ANU with a BA/LLB (Hons) and commenced work as an associate to the Hon PD Finn in the Federal Court. He studied at Cambridge University and commenced practice at Linklaters in London in intellectual property and litigation. After returning to Australia to work at Freehills in Sydney, James was called to the Bar in 2004. James has a PhD from Sydney University, on the topic of accounts and account of profits. James has appeared in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Courts in NSW. A number of these have been leading cases in particular areas, such as the doctrine of penalties. His principal areas of practice include equity, equitable remedies, commercial disputes of all kinds, misleading conduct cases, conflict of interest cases, and representative actions. He has also been retained in a number of professional negligence disputes, including solicitor and accounting negligence claims. James’ CV contains a more detailed description of the work and matters in which he has had experience. James taught Equity at Sydney University for 5 years, and in 2012 was the founding lecturer (with JT Gleeson SC) of a new course ‘Selected Topics in Legal History’ for the University. That course led to two volumes of essays (as co-editor) titled Historical Foundations of Australian Law (Fed Press, Sydney 2013). In 2016, James published a further book, "The Duty to Account" (Federation Press). He has appeared in the Commercial Litigation section of the AFR ‘Best Lawyers’ since 2012.

James Watson CV Download CV (155 KB)

Core Practice Areas

  • Appellate
  • Arbitration
  • Commercial
  • Professional Liability
  • Representative Proceedings
  • Competition
  • Equity & Trusts
  • Family Law


Inquiries to Banco’s clerk can be emailed to Alternatively, please call (02) 8239 0201.


Tel: 8239 0248


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.