Call us on +44 (0)20 7465 4300

James Townsend

T: 020 7465 4300

James Townsend is Co-Head of the Employment Department and has over two decades of experience as a solicitor advising business leaders and HR professionals on strategy, engagement, reward and disputes in the field of employment law.

James specialises in statutory and contractual employment disputes, executive terminations, complaints involving the Equality Act, restraint of trade issues and the domestic employment aspects of national and international business mergers and acquisitions.

James acts in cases before the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, as well as, in the County Court and High Court.


James is a trusted adviser and often first port of call on employment matters. His clients operate in a number of different sectors, from those listed on the FTSE to smaller owner managed businesses. Clients include an international motorsport championship organiser, a national television company, one of the UK’s largest distributors of wines and spirits, an international IT retailer, manufacturers, developers, high street retailers,  companies operating in construction and a number of privately owned businesses.

Before moving to Payne Hicks Beach LLP as Co-Head of the Employment Department, James was an equity partner at a central London-based practice.

  • Recommended in The Legal 500 UK 2024.
  • Listed as Key Lawyer, Corporate and Commercial: Partnerships, The Legal 500 2022
  • Listed as Key Lawyer, Employment: Employers, The Legal 500 2022
  • “James Townsend is an incredibly good solicitor to have on your side. He is astute, commercial and a brilliant tactician.” The Legal 500 2022
  • “[James Townsend is] completely unflappable and with excellent client care qualities.” The Legal 500 2022

James is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, the East India Club and is a Freeman of the City of  London and a Liveryman.

James is a regular commentator on employment law topics, James has been interviewed on BBC Radio regarding discrimination and gender equality issues and is regularly invited to appear as an expert on employment law matters on national television.

November 2022: Long Covid | reports show over 75% of people are suffering persistent ILL HEALTH