James Severn



James is a sport and litigation solicitor and a partner in our Marine Commercial Litigation group.


James has a broad commercial litigation and dispute resolution practice with a particular focus on shipping and insurance disputes and personal injury/fatality claims. He regularly acts for ship owners, their P&I insurers and the oil industry and manages disputes involving super yachts and the leisure industry. He is experienced in advising ship owners in relation to investigations by the MCA and MAIB following accidents and collisions and advises regularly in relation to marine injuries and the international aspects of litigation.

James has significant experience in the offshore/energy sector and acts regularly for shipowners and their insurers in disputes arising from the operation of vessels in and around wind farms and other offshore installations. He advises on contracts frequently used in the offshore/energy markets with a particular focus on BIMCO contracts about which he gives regular presentations.

James also advises on commercial contracts, particularly in relation to the Sports and Leisure industries and advises international travel and cruise operators on their UK business and the UK regulatory regime.


James specialises in football and is the joint head of our Sports Team.

He regularly advises players, clubs and intermediaries in relation to transfers, image rights and contract negotiations. James also advises in respect of disciplinary issues at a Club and FA level and has significant experience of bringing claims at FIFA and dealing with claims and appeals in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

James also acts for football associations and frequently advises on the regulatory requirements of the English FA.


James joined Thomas Cooper as a trainee in 2006, qualified as a solicitor in 2008 and joined the partnership in 2016. He read law at the University of Leeds.

James Severn highlighted as 'sensible, commercial, approachable and smart'.
Legal 500, 2017
"James Severn is highlighted for routinely representing players in disciplinary disputes, transfers and contract renegotiations.”
Legal 500, 2016