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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
James Cranston

James Cranston


James Cranston

James Cranston is a commercial litigator with a broad range of experience including in commercial contract and company law disputes. James has also worked on several arbitration and investigatory matters.

James works particularly with financial investor clients, such as private equity houses and sovereign wealth funds. James also has significant experience working with clients in the sport sector, having spent time on secondment at a governing body and a global sports franchise. James co-leads the firm's Sport Industry Group in London.

  • Seconded to a multi-club sporting franchise as Interim Head of Litigation.
  • Acting for the International Paralympic Committee in a joint venture dispute.
  • Sitting as an arbitrator through Sport Resolutions.
  • Member of the Football Association's Judicial Panel.
  • Acting for the Pakistan Cricket Board in a multi-million-dollar arbitration with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
  • Acting for a shareholder in an English football club in relation to the under-payment of income owed under a joint venture agreement to finance the construction of one of the stands at the Club's stadium. The case resulted in a six figure payment to our client pending an account of the profit due. Citation: [2017] EWHC 339 (QB)
  • Acting for a shareholder in an English football club in an unfair prejudice petition. The case related to numerous multi million pound payments that were made to the majority shareholder and its directors, following the Club's promotion to the Premier League. The Court ordered a buyout of the petitioner's shares for over £31 million, after finding a "gentleman's agreement" entitled the Petitioner to be treated as an equal shareholder. Citation: [2017] EWHC 2767 (Ch)
  • Advising a US Defence Contractor in a multimillion pound dispute with a UK Government entity, arising from the termination of an IT contract
  • Advising two individuals in relation to numerous applications to the European Court of Human Rights, following their prosecution by a former Soviet State
  • Advising a professional sports team in relation to an anti-doping matter
  • Advising a tennis player in relation to an anti-doping violation
  • Seconded to World Rugby during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
  • Advising a director of a global supermarket chain in relation to an SFO investigation
  • Representing a major financial institution on the SFO’s investigation into alleged LIBOR manipulation
  • Successfully acting for a US defence contractor in arbitration proceedings with a UK Government entity over the termination of a US$1 billion IT project
  • Seconded to the Investment Banking Division of a major international bank
  • Home Office ordered to pay Clifford Chance client Raytheon £224m

News and client work

View all news and client work featuring James Cranston

Contact details

Career and qualifications

  • University of Nottingham (BA, History) 2007
  • Joined Clifford Chance 2009
  • Admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales 2011
  • Partner since May 2023

Professional bodies

  • James is a Member of Sport Resolutions' Panel of Arbitrators and the Football Association's Judicial Panel.

Awards and citations


  • Rising Star, Legal 500 2023 – Sport
  • "James Cranston is one of the best senior associates I’ve ever come across – a total superstar."
    Legal 500 2023 – Sport
  • "James Cranston is a superb associate – clever, massively hard-working, and a joy to work with."
    The Legal 500 2020: Commercial litigation
  • Senior associate James Cranston goes above and beyond to provide a great client service
    The Legal 500 2019: Sport
  • James Cranston is “an outstanding senior associate”.
    The Legal 500 2018: Commercial litigation
  • James Cranston is “brainy, hardworking”, “always in command of the detail” and “a joy to work with”.
    The Legal 500 2018: Sport