James Jaffa ranked in Legal 500

James advises owners, shipyards and finance institutions, principally in the Superyacht sector but also in commercial shipping. He has advised on the construction, acquisition and financing of vessels with an aggregate value of several hundred million euro and works with clients from all corners of the globe.

James has an extensive and impressive network of international contacts which makes him suited to complex, cross-border transactions.

Examples of James’ work in the last year:

  • Advising an Indian client on the construction and financing of a 70 metre new-build Feadship, with the loan facility provided by Societe Generale in Monaco.
  • Acquiring a Superyacht for a North American client from a Russian seller. The transaction was notable because the client relied on James and his network of international contacts entirely. The yacht was purchased in Montenegro without the client inspecting her in person. An outgoing mortgagee, opaque seller’s owning structure and the need to transport the vessel to North America within a very short timeframe made the transaction complex.
  • Advising on the purchase of a Superyacht which was under arrest by French customs, with an additional mortgage (in default) in favour of a French bank. The yacht was purchased out of arrest, with the purchase monies being distributed at completion to several different parties.
  • The acquisition of a 92 metre seismic research vessel for the Russian government. Details are, naturally, confidential but suffice to say Trade Sanctions and Export Controls added complexity. The transaction was truly international and involved the UK, US, Russia, Mexico and Norway.


James was shortlisted for the 2016 CityWealth ‘Lawyer Of The Year Award’ and has been included in the 2017 CityWealth ‘Leaders List’, which recognises London’s leading wealth management professionals.

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