James is a Partner and Head of Burnetts' Dispute Resolution team.
“Senior associate and team head James Johnston is singled out for his ‘great legal knowledge’ and is praised as being ‘good at seeing ways through a client’s problem and achieving a good outcome” – Legal 500 2019
James is a Partner and Head of the firm’s Dispute Resolution team. He specialises in contractual, construction and commercial litigation, including professional negligence.
Examples of recent work include, acting for Mr. Thorpe in the successful case of Culliford v. Thorpe; successfully settling a multi-million pound shareholder dispute involving shares in a company worth over £8m; acting for two generations of a farming family in a partnership and farmland dispute worth £3m; and professional negligence cases including acting for an engineering company against its former lawyers in a claim worth over £1m, and representing the owners of a luxury property in a six-figure claim against their architect.
As a commercial lawyer, James appreciates and understands that a business’ reputation is often the most important thing at stake and in all matters, he is determined to ensure that any dispute causes the least possible amount of damage to the client’s business.
“Authoritative and intelligent” with “good tactical judgment” and “thorough, attentive, detailed and a strategic thinker” - Legal 500 2018
James studied Law at Durham University and completed his Legal Practice Certificate at the College of Law in York. He qualified as a solicitor in July 2010 with a Law degree (LLB), having completed his legal training with Burnetts.
James was promoted to equity partner in 2019. He lives in Carlisle with his wife and their four children and is Chair of Governors at Cummersdale Primary School and a governor of Trinity School.