James Ratcliffe

Commercial Partner

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Having qualified as a solicitor in 1998, James advises on a wide range of commercial matters, drawing on his deep experience with commercial and technology contracts.

I started my career in private practice as a corporate lawyer, working for one of the ‘Magic Circle’ firms in the City, where I gained fantastic grounding in core legal skills such as drafting, negotiating and deal-management. From there, I moved into several in-house legal roles, starting at BT where I spent several years working on major IT infrastructure deals for customers such as Reuters and the UK government, eventually joining the leadership teams of the legal department and one of the commercial divisions.

Over the years, James has worked in various in-house teams, including at a private equity-owned media business and with the Boston Consulting Group. At Boston Consulting Group, he served as Senior Director, overseeing client contracting for several regions across Europe and the Middle East.

I’ve always been passionate about the commercial aspects of law - understanding clients’ businesses and objectives to help them find good, practical solutions, decoding legal issues into business decisions.

Over the years, James has worked on a wide variety of commercial matters, from procuring hardware, software, and services of all types to selling large-scale IT services, software development, consulting, and media services. He’s also worked in several regulated industries such as telecoms.

I think one benefit of working with a lawyer who’s spent time in-house is their ability to understand a business from the inside, rather than just focusing on the legal issues. When you’ve spent years on management and leadership teams you appreciate what drives a business and how to deliver your legal work to support commercial objectives, with a keen eye on the practicalities of any solution.

James advises clients of all types and sizes, including start-ups, scale-ups, SMEs and substantial, established businesses.

As a lawyer, I love knowing I’ve contributed to a client’s business by solving a problem, facilitating a deal, or similar. This all starts with listening and understanding the issues, truly collaborating with clients to deliver what they need most effectively.

James lives in London with his wife and two daughters and enjoys exploring the city with his family. He also enjoys hill walking with good friends when he can.

Interested in working with James?

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James Ratcliffe

James Ratcliffe

Commercial Partner

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Our commercial lawyers are based in or close to major cities across the UK, providing expert legal advice to clients both locally and nationally.

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