“An incredibly pragmatic guy and great to work with; he is able to co-operate when it is required and take all the right points.”
“Your approach was absolutely superb. Frankly, I believed the prospect of us obtaining a settlement was near zero. It was only your efforts that succeeded in a result.”
James Wilson has been mediating in the maritime and insurance sectors since being accredited as a Mediator by CEDR in 2000.
James’ mediation experience crosses a wide variety of fields, including:
Other sorts of transport – including rail, road and air
EU anti-competition laws
The amounts involved have varied up to a maximum to date of £186 million. A large percentage of the cases in which he has been involved as a mediator have settled on the day or within 7 days thereafter.
Cargo – contamination
Cargo – late delivery
Cargo – delivery without bills of lading/construction of LOU
Cargo – loss of deck cargo/heavy weather
Collision – quantum of claims
Collision – three party collision/division of liability
Fixed and Floating objects – damage to underwater cables
Charterparty – formation of contract/ lifting of ‘subjects’
Charterparty – formation of contract/certainty of terms
Charterparty – speed and performance
Charterparty – right to terminate/repudiation
Charterparty – grounding of vessel and subsequent salvage
Charterparty – unsafe port
Fishing vessel – loss arising from loss of MCA stability certification
General Average – recoverability/unseaworthiness
Norwegian Saleform – effect of Class notations
Norwegian Saleform – time for payment of deposit
Salvage – ‘ad hoc’ salvage agreement/quantum
Salvage – SCOPIC quantum
Ship Management – negligent repairs/limitation
Ship Management – unpaid fees and disbursements
Insurance (H&M/P&I) – division of loss between different insurers
Insurance (H&M) – cause of loss/scope of cover
Insurance (H&M) – material non-disclosure, construction of policy terms
Insurance (H&M) – S39(5) MIA unseaworthiness defence to claim
Insurance (P&I) – scope of discretionary cover/ quantum of loss
Insurance (Yacht) – cause of loss/scope of cover
Insurance broker – negligence
Barrister negligence – shipping matter
Solicitor negligence – shipping matter
Solicitor negligence – time limit issue
James qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales in 1985 and also in Hong Kong in 1986.
He was engaged in commercial litigation as a solicitor from 1983-2016, much of it with an international flavour. He was a partner of Ince & Co between 1991 and 2016.
At Ince & Co, James specialised in all aspects of maritime law. Prior to taking over as the firm’s International Senior Partner, James led Ince & Co’s marine casualty team, dealing with the full range of marine casualties. In addition to this wet expertise, James advised widely on issues arising in connection with charterparties, the carriage of goods by sea, insurances, ship management, and ship sale and purchase.
James worked for three years in Hong Kong and has conducted business extensively in the Far East throughout his career. The international nature of his practice is also reflected in the fact that he has overseen court litigation and arbitrations not only in the UK but also in HK, Japan, PRC, South Korea, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, USA, Canada, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Greece, France and the UAE.
James was a co-author of the Admiralty section of the current Halisbury’s Laws of England
James was elected to act as Ince & Co’s International Senior Partner from 2008-2015. Working without a traditional law firm Managing Partner, James’ role was more akin to that of a CEO, overseeing a business comprising approximately 90 partners, 600 total personnel working in 11 offices worldwide with an annual turnover of about US$150 million. James’ tenure as Senior Partner saw many changes in the business world in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and the sudden and extended downturn in the shipping and trading markets worldwide. The insights and experience gained from this period in senior business leadership has added to the skill sets that James brings to his role as mediator.
After leaving Ince in 2016, James retrained as an Executive Business Coach in 2015 and was a founding partner of Tyler Wilson Ltd which offers leadership coaching and advisory support to senior leaders in professional services. He continues as a partner in that business alongside his mediation practice.
“Down to earth, attentive, diligent listener. Strikes a perfect balance between letting the parties stay in control of the process and maintaining a positive momentum towards settlement”.
“Clear thinking, firm but sympathetic. A light touch. Helpful. A good judge of mood. Flexible”.
“Deflected animosity / personal involvement on one side and frustration of lawyers on both sides. Allowed parties to ‘vent’ properly. Elicited sensible offers / counter offers”.
“Grasped the issues in dispute quickly and well but saw the need to move the mediation into discussions on settlements quickly before it became bogged down”.
“Well prepared – good grasp of the issues. Put the parties at their ease. ‘Interrogated’ us when appropriate. Highlighted the cases at risk when appropriate”.
“Understated but robustly effective!”
“Kept things moving. Dealt with experts, parties and lawyers. Explained procedure to lay clients and kept negotiations amicable when they were in danger of breaking down”.
“Calm and assured. Very professional”.
‘Effective. Prepared to highlight strengths and weaknesses of the party’s case when appropriate. Commercially pragmatic. Easy to deal with’.
“Allowed the parties to argue their cases and then persuaded them to be sensible”.
“Interacted well with our clients. Through pre-reading had a good grasp of the facts and issues and facilitated settlement”.
“Ensured that the parties focussed on the weaknesses”.
“Engaged with client / party. Played devil’s advocate. Managed the exchange of information / arguments between the participants”.
“Kept the pressure on to consider sensible offers of settlement’. ‘Direct, determined, energetic, careful”.
“I have not come across a better conduct of a mediation and have no criticisms or suggestions to make at all. Excellent”.
MEDIATION FEEDBACK – ALL FROM CLIENTS OR THEIR LAWYERS
“Just a short note to thank you on behalf of myself and my clients for all that you did in the mediation. As a person who has now attended numerous mediations (now well into three figures), on both sides the Atlantic, … I have to say that in my view you are one of the top mediators.”
“The mediation proved to be an invaluable process here. I thought that, as the mediator, you were excellent. You challenged us where necessary but in such a way that added to the process. I think that you did very well to bring the parties together.”
“I considered your conduct of the mediation to be quite excellent and it was very much down to you that we were able to find a conclusion when, frankly, I felt a conclusion was unlikely.”
“You helped the parties isolate the 2-3 pivotal issues in dispute.”
“You dealt with the claimants in a sympathetic and emollient manner where there were strong emotional issues involved. You kept matters under control and in focus. You also shifted consideration away from claims figures to what sum the claimants needed to get on with their lives which seemed to assist the breakthrough.”
“You were approachable, had a good ‘bedside manner’ with difficult clients and were quick to isolate and identify issues.”
“James quickly established a good rapport with the clients and lawyers on both sides. He has a relaxed manner, a good sense of humour and ready appreciation of the parties’ needs. He inspired confidence and the parties found him very easy to work with.”
“You calmed the parties when necessary and kept them on track for a resolution within the day allotted. You also encouraged common sense and inspired trust.”
“Your approach yesterday I believe was absolutely superb. Frankly, I believed the prospect of us obtaining a settlement was near zerto. It was only your efforts that succeeded in a result.”
“I am pleased with the outcome of this case. Did we pay more than we should? Maybe, maybe not, and we will never know. However, as always there was a real risk that we would have lost at trial and you need to pick your battles carefully. We have brought ourselves certainty and avoided the risk by settling at this stage. It was a real eye opener to find that the claimant’s motivation for nearly 7 years of litigation was a principle not money. I tried not to fall off my chair when the claimant said as much in our final meeting. As insurers, I think we fall into the trap of thinking that everybody sees these disputes in the same clinical way we do but perhaps some claimants do not. Thank you for helping us gain all this insight!”