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James Stewart, Partner at Penningtons Manches
Areas of expertise: Family law, Private wealth


James is among the leading international family lawyers in England and one of only three family lawyers to be included in the London Super Lawyers ‘Top 10 list’. Ranked highly in all legal directories, including current editions of Chambers UK, The Legal 500 and Citywealth, James has also been named in The Lawyer’s ‘Hot 100’ which highlights those ‘at the very top of their game’.

Described in the legal directories as ‘very impressive’ and ‘warm and engaging’ with ‘astonishing skills in international financial matters’, James is adept at putting clients at ease and prides himself in seeing the bigger picture. A Sunday Observer profile describes James as ‘confident and successful’ and says that ‘his fresh approach to family law is turning heads’.

Widely recognised as a family lawyer with a commercial edge and a pioneer in family dispute resolution, James is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Chair of Collaborative Family Law. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) and co-chairs Multilaw’s Private Client, Trust and Family Law Practice Group. He is a member of the International Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) and is well-known for his expertise in Anglo-American divorce.  He is one of a small group of family law experts who serve on the Consultation Board of Practical Law.

James is general editor of the IAFL supported 'blue book' Family Law: A Global Guide (2018, Thomson Reuters), which has become the definitive text in the field of international family law. The publication includes a chapter on family law in the UAE. In addition, he has co-authored chapters on Russia and Ukraine for International Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements.

James is admitted as a solicitor in Northern Ireland and chairs the legal committee of Co-operation Ireland, the leading peace building charity whose patrons are Her Majesty the Queen and the President of Ireland.

Recent work highlights

  • Acting for the successful wife in the case of AB v JJB, one of the first reported cases to focus on the English court’s jurisdiction under Article 3 of the European Maintenance Regulation.
  • Being named ‘Lawyer of the Week’ in The Times, following judgment in AI v MT, the first case where a High Court judge delegated authority to a Jewish religious tribunal.
  • Acting for the husband, the co-founder of one of the world’s leading hedge funds, in a divorce which was concluded collaboratively in less than six months. This case is indicative of the effectiveness of a round table approach in dealing with high value and complex cases.

Penningtons Manches LLP

Penningtons Manches LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. San Francisco is an associated office.

Penningtons Manches LLP