James is a senior lawyer in the corporate and commercial team and advises clients on a broad range of transactional and corporate and commercial advisory matters.

James prides himself on being approachable, dependable and sympathetic to clients’ needs. He has experience working with international, national, regional and local businesses involved in a variety of sectors, including healthcare, recruitment, professional services and manufacturing. He has also acted on behalf of individual shareholders, partners, members, directors, investors and other high net worth individuals on a variety of matters.

James is committed to meeting (and often exceeds) client expectations and draws upon his wide ranging experience to provide clients with added value.

James was a finalist at the 2017 TRI Awards in the Corporate Restructuring Lawyer of the Year category.


James has over ten years’ experience working with clients on a broad range of transactional and corporate and commercial advisory matters. Amongst other things, James’s experience includes:

  • Advising both buyers and sellers on share and asset purchases and disposals.
  • Advising both investors and investee companies on equity and debt investments.
  • Preparing and advising upon articles of association, shareholders’ agreements, limited liability partnership agreements, partnership agreements and other forms of constitutional documentation.
  • Preparing, advising upon and negotiating the terms of a variety of commercial contracts, including standard terms and conditions of business, supply of goods and services agreements, consultancy agreements, distribution agreements and confidentiality agreements.
  • Structuring and implementation of corporate reorganisations, and both non-tax advantaged and tax advantaged share option arrangements.
  • Advising clients upon a variety of finance documentation, including loan agreements, debentures, intercreditor agreements and personal guarantees.

James’s recent transactional experience includes:

  • Advising local entrepreneur Danny Deacon and Hollywood actor and ex-professional footballer Vinnie Jones on a new joint business venture involving Deacon Jones Fine Flooring Ltd.
  • Advising the shareholders of a company operating a pharmacy business upon the disposal of their shares to a national pharmacy chain purchaser.
  • Advising the shareholders of a company operating an online teaching business upon the disposal of their shares to an AIM listed company purchaser.
  • Advising a company operating an international payroll business upon an investment by a multi-billion dollar investment fund based in the US.

James studied law as an undergraduate and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Sheffield. He trained at SJ Berwin LLP (subsequently King & Wood Mallesons LLP) before qualifying in 2008 into the firm’s Investment Funds team. James also worked at two other regional firms before joining Debenhams Ottaway in May 2016, where he became an associate solicitor in 2017 and senior associate in May 2019.

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James is a member of the St Albans City of Expertise Young Professionals Network and the Law Society of England and Wales.

James Brawn's news

  • When you start a new venture with such unique features, it’s rare to find a team of people that fully understand what you are trying to undertake from the outset. The team at Debenhams Ottaway [led by James Brawn] has certainly achieved this and we feel very comfortable and confident working with them.

    Danny Deacon, Deacon Jones Fine Flooring Ltd