James is a partner in our growing corporate and commercial team.

He has over twelve years’ experience dealing with corporate and commercial matters working with clients across multiple sectors including healthcare, banking and finance and private wealth. City trained, James has an extensive network of contacts and referrers and a loyal client base, ranging from investors, companies, LLPs and partnerships. James has an extensive knowledge of data protection laws and advises clients on a wide range of data protection-related matters. James also works alongside the firm’s dispute resolution team on transactional matters with an insolvency element (such as pre-packaged administration sales).

James is currently ranked in Chambers & Partners in the “Up and Coming” category for Corporate/M&A work. He was also shortlisted as a finalist at the 2017 Turnaround, Restructuring and Insolvency (TRI) Awards in the Corporate Restructuring Lawyer of the Year category and has since been included in the TRI 250 index of influence and best practice.



James works with clients on their acquisitions, disposals, investment/shareholders’ agreements, share schemes, bespoke articles of association (with different classes of shares, drag & tag, good & bad leaver provisions, growth shares), other constitutional documents (such as partnership and LLP agreements), company administration and share buy-backs. His excellent technical ability, personable approach and his tenacity mean that his services are regularly in demand.


James has wide-ranging experience of advising on a multitude of commercial agreements, including standard terms and conditions of business, supply of goods and services agreements and distribution agreements.

Data protection

James leads the firm’s data protection law offering and has an extensive knowledge of data protection laws. He advises clients on a wide range of data protection-related matters, including data processor agreements and general compliance-related advice.


James is a key member of the firm’s healthcare sector group, helping drive the success of the group by initiating new relationships and cementing existing relationships. He played a leading role in the firm’s recent pitch to a multinational business operating in the sector, where the firm successfully retained its position on the client’s panel. James has significant transactional experience in this sector, most notably in relation to care homes, where he has led on a number of care home acquisition and disposal matters over the past few years.

Banking and finance

James advises both lenders and borrowers on loan and security documentation, including facility/loan agreements, debentures, corporate and personal guarantees, intercreditor arrangements and deeds of subordination.

Private wealth

James frequently engages his technical skills in the course of supporting the members of the firm’s private client team on a number of matters, including succession planning and business lasting powers of attorney.

Transactional matters with an insolvency element

James leads the corporate and commercial team’s offering in the context of the firm advising directors, companies and insolvency practitioners on  transactional matters with an insolvency element. Working closely with members of the dispute resolution, commercial property and employment teams, James is frequently instructed to work on transactions with incredibly challenging timeframes.

Recent work highlights include:

  • Advising the buyer on a £4.8m purchase of an SPV which owned a substantial property asset ripe for development.
  • Advising the buyer on a £1.4m and £1.6m purchase of two companies operating care home businesses.
  • Advising a company operating an international payroll business upon an investment by a multi-billion dollar investment fund based in the US.
  • Advising a prominent UK-based operator of domestic and international walking holidays on a £4.7m refinancing of their property portfolio.
  • Advising a local developer on a £4.5m refinancing of their property portfolio.
  • Advising a significant appointed representative of St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc in relation to various corporate administrative matters and the production of a shareholders’ agreement and bespoke articles of association.
  • Advising a leading national firm of property advisors on the production of a shareholders’ agreement and bespoke articles of association.
  • Advising a multi-billion dollar US-based healthcare sector client in connection with the incorporation of a UK-based subsidiary and subsequently providing to that subsidiary corporate governance advice.
  • Advising a multinational panel healthcare client upon a number of GDPR compliance-related matters.
  • Advising a secured creditor of the Burningnights Group (in Administration) in connection with the sale of various Bierkeller bars to a national leisure sector operator.
  • Advising a sizeable care home operator on the purchase of a care home business from a company in administration.

In Touch

James studied law and completed the legal practice course at the University of Sheffield. He trained at a Silver Circle firm and qualified as a solicitor in 2008. James joined Debenhams Ottaway in 2016, rising to the position of senior associate in 2019 and partner in 2021.

James is a member of the Law Society and is a keen sportsman, playing tennis and cricket. James is also a family man who loves spending time with his wife and two sons.

  • TRI 250 Turnaround, restructuring and insolvency

James Brawn's news

What Clients Say
  • I have worked with James for a number of years and he is a superstar. He is always readily available to assist in his courteous and professional manner.

    Chambers and Partners 2022
  • I have worked with several individuals from the practice, but in particular James Brawn stands out. He is incredibly engaging, very easy to work with and has a fantastic recall of what we have discussed on previous engagements. You never feel you start from scratch.

    The Legal 500 2022
  • 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
  • Your performance in this process has been exemplary…I will definitely be using your services in the future as and when we require them.

  • Many, many thanks for your indomitable spirit, wise advice and amazing work ethic – it would have been good to have had you on board…in our early days.

  • Your advice, both on the contract and the way to approach it was bang-on, so thanks a lot James, really appreciate it.

  • You were excellent to deal with.

  • Thank you so much for your support and patience on such an important transaction for me.  It really has been a pleasure to work with you.

  • Thanks ever so much for your help in this matter – extremely grateful that you were able to accommodate us in achieving our tight schedule. It’s been a pleasure dealing with you so far.

  • James had an excellent understanding of our business and needs, and always provided a first class service.

    IndigoZest Ltd
  • Considering how stressful, complicated and long this has been – you’ve done a phenomenal job. Thank you so much.

  • Thank you! For all you have done, you’ve been exceptional.