James Whittaker

Partner. Sydney.

+61 2 9210 6667 |   |  vCard
James Whittaker

James Whittaker specialises in litigation that is large, difficult and complicated. He brings practical and strategic thinking to large scale problems, making them manageable and solvable.

His 20 year career has been spent in the superior courts and tribunals of Australia – as well as keeping his clients out of them. In representing large national and international corporations, governments and associations, his work is often pioneering in nature and of international importance.

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James Whittaker specialises in litigation that is large, difficult and complicated. He brings practical and strategic thinking to large scale problems, making them manageable and solvable.

His 20 year career has been spent in the superior courts and tribunals of Australia – as well as keeping his clients out of them. In representing large national and international corporations, governments and associations, his work is often pioneering in nature and of international importance.

In addition to large scale litigation, he has particular expertise in class actions, product liability, white collar crime, corporate governance of government related entities and procedures, for example Royal Commissions.

James works in particular with large multinationals, on cross-jurisdictional litigation.

“Much admired for his strategic foresight” Chambers Asia Pacific Guide
James Whittaker

James' Expertise

  • British American Tobacco Litigator of choice for British American Tobacco since 2002. Retained in disputes ranging from commercial litigation to class actions concerning product liability issues.
  • National Broadband Network In 2008-2009 advising the Commonwealth of Australia on litigation issues arising from the National Broadband Network.
  • Collapse of OneTel Limited In the area of insolvency, since 2001 James has been lead adviser to Alcatel Lucent on its $1.6 billion exposure following the collapse of OneTel (a matter in which he continues to act).
  • Johnson and Johnson Advising Johnson and Johnson group entities on matters concerning its commercial arrangements and anti-competitive behaviour of its competitors, including actions in Federal Court proceedings. These cases have been scientifically complex and have involved international footprint litigation.
  • Commercial Disputes Acting for Woolworths, Parker Enzed (a US based multinational), Seven Limited, NRMA, Leighton Contractors, Arnott’s Biscuits (part of Campbells Soups Inc) and AMP in respect of a raft of commercial disputes.

James' Leadership

  • Latitude Volunteering Director
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors Member
  • University of NSW Guest lecturer - Indigenous People and the Law (undergraduate), Native Title (post graduate), Litigation (undergraduate)
  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth Litigation, Workplace Relations and IPT&C Division Leader
    Executive Leadership Team Member
    North America Focus Group Chair
    United Kingdom and Europe Focus Group Member

James' Thinking

What others say

  • “Best Lawyer - Alternative Dispute Resolution Law” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2013-2018
  • “Best Lawyer - Class Action Litigation Law” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2010-2018
  • “Best Lawyer - Litigation and Product Liability Litigation” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2009-2018
  • “James Whittaker wins praise from both clients and peers for his work in this space, particularly where construction, white-collar crime or product liability issues are concerned” Chambers Asia Pacific Guide, 2016
  • “Commercial and user-friendly” Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2015
  • “Impresses with his experience in complex contentious issues, particularly class actions or matters involving product liability or white-collar crime issues” Chambers Asia Pacific Guide, 2015
  • “Leading Lawyer - Dispute Resolution” Chambers Asia Pacific and Global Guides, 2006-2015
  • “Much admired for his strategic foresight and diplomatic handling of difficult situations” Chambers Asia Pacific Guide, 2014
  • “[One] of the most competent dispute resolution practitioners in Australia; [his] clients are in exceptionally good hands” Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2012/13
  • “Lawyer of the Year - Class Action Litigation - Sydney ” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2013
  • “He invests time in understanding the industry as well as our specific business” Chambers Global Guide, 2013
  • “Lawyer of the Year - Product Liability - Sydney” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2012
  • “James Whittaker heads Corrs Chambers Westgarth's ‘stand out’ national practice...that clients say ‘adds real value in complex litigation’” Chambers Global Guide, 2011
  • “Leading Lawyer - Dispute Resolution” Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2014-2017