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James Davies

James DaviesPartner

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As a founder partner of Lewis Silkin’s employment practice, I have over 30 years’ experience of advising clients on employment issues large and small.

Through my role with our global alliance of employment lawyers, Ius Laboris, I enjoy an international focus to my work, as well as advising organisations on a wide range of domestic employment law issues. I founded the firm's employment practice with Michael Burd in 1992 and have seen it grow to over 150 employment lawyers. A variety of legal guides including Chambers and The Legal 500 and The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers recognise me as a leading employment lawyer nationally and internationally. I have recently been listed in the top five Thought Leaders in employment law across Europe by Who's Who: Labour and Employment 2019 and am listed as one the three ‘eminent practitioners’ in employment law in the UK in Chambers and Partners Global Guide 2019.

I am a regular speaker at employment law conferences both domestically and internationally, Executive Editor of Age Discrimination (published by Bloomsbury). I am also Regional Editor and National Contributor of European Employment Law Cases. I have an interest in the interface between technology and employment laws and co-chair the Employment Lawyers’ Association’s working group on artificial intelligence and employment law.


I advise a diverse group of employers large and small on everything from restructurings to discrimination claims. I have a particular interest in advising law firms on their internal employment and partnership issues.

A major part of my practice is advising organisations on their international employment law needs so am a good person to contact if you need the best employment law advice in, say, Gabon or Tajikistan. I am also a francophile having obtained a Diplôme d’Etudes Juridiques Françaises from the University of Strasbourg to add to my Masters degree in Employment Relations.

Partnerships and LLPs

Many of my clients are partnerships and LLPs. Amongst these clients are several major national and international law firms as well as financial services and other professional firms.

Partnership disputes regularly require me to apply discrimination law and those employment laws which cover partnerships as well as partnership and LLP law. I have been involved for many years in the issues surrounding retirement age for partners. Additionally, the issues surrounding the management and remuneration of partners are of particular interest
as I was formerly managing partner of the Firm’s employment division and sat on its various boards as well as studying leadership in law firms at Harvard Law School.

I am an author of Partnership and Discrimination Law for Professional Partnerships (published by Legalease).

Awards & Recognition

  • Chambers 2024 (Employment: Employer – London (Firms)) - "James possesses an incredible breadth of expertise and experience in employment law, particularly around the area of discrimination and the Employer of Record model." "James is just the safest pair of hands. He is smart, intelligent and everything you want to help you resolve issues."
  • Chambers 2023 (Employment: Employer – London (Firms) "I like working with James Davies, he is very pragmatic and to the point. He is also very accustomed to handling cross-border matters."
  • Who's Who Legal 2022 - 'James Davies is an accomplished and "highly intelligent practitioner" with a well-developed employment practice advising domestic and international clients'
  • Hall of Fame in Legal 500 2022 (Employment)
  • Chambers 2022 (Employment) - 'There is no complex dispute he does not bring value to'
  • Chambers 2022 (Employment) - 'He is clearly a leader in his field and he is hugely respected across the profession; the other side's lawyers just nod along in agreement as James lays down the law'
  • Chambers 2021 (Employment: Employer) - "He's very commercial"
  • Chambers 2021 (Employment: Employer) - "He has a fantastic reputation in employment"
  • Who's Who Legal Global Leader - Labour & Employment (England) 2021
  • Who's Who Legal Global Leader: Labour and Employment 2020 - James Davies comes highly recommended for the breadth of his experience advising employers on restructurings and complex disputes.
  • Chambers 2019 - The "excellent" James Davies draws praise for his experience acting on high-level employment matters, both domestic and international.
  • Recognised in WWL: Thought Leaders - Global Elite 2020: a "very creative and innovative" name in the space and received widespread plaudits for his expertise acting for large multinationals on a range of issues in the field.
  • Chambers 2019 Eminent Practitioners - Employment: Employer - London (Firms)
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