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James is a competition law specialist with strong experience in EU law. He also has a particular interest in public law and regularly acts for the Government as a panel member. He is recommended as a leading junior for Competition Law by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500:
“Hugely knowledgeable about competition law and provides great advice… He has a level of wisdom far beyond his year of call.” – Legal 500, 2023
“James is fantastically responsive and super hard- working.” “You’re getting serious bang for your buck with James.” – Chambers UK, 2021
A former référendaire at the General Court of the EU, James was a member of the European Commission’s Legal Service for 5 years. He has also worked as a solicitor at a leading London law firm.
Recent and significant cases include:
James has strong expertise in EU and UK competition law and frequently appears in the specialist Competition Appeal Tribunal, the High Court and Court of Appeal, covering the full spectrum of competition litigation including damages actions, challenges to regulatory decisions and class actions. He has considerable experience of cases across numerous industry sectors, but has particular expertise in the Pharmaceutical and Technology, Media and Telecommunications sectors.
James worked for the Competition Team of the European Commission’s Legal Service from 2008 to 2014, representing the Commission in numerous cases before the European Courts, including the AstraZeneca Article 102 TFEU litigation, the Lundbeck “pay for delay” cases (at the General Court), and the Football Association Premier League (Mrs Murphy) preliminary reference. He has also worked as a référendaire (2003- 2007) to Judge John D. Cooke who was one of the pre-eminent competition specialists at the General Court.
He co-authored (with Tim Ward KC) the chapter on “Enforcement and Procedure” in the edition of Bellamy & Child “European Union Law of Competition” (8th Edition). His specific experience includes the following:
Current and recent cases include:
James has unique experience both advising private clients and acting for the European Commission on a range of pharmaceutical cases.
He is the author of the chapter on the United Kingdom in “Antitrust in Pharmaceutical Markets & Geographical Rules of Origin” (Springer) (October 2017).
His cases include:
James acts regularly for the Government as a member of the Attorney General’s C Panel of Counsel.
Between 2003 and 2007, James worked as a référendaire to Judge John D. Cooke at the General Court of the European Union. Since then he has worked on a broad range of cases concerning issues of EU law.
1999-2000: Harvard Law School (Cambridge, US) – LL.M.
1997-1998: College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium) – Masters in EU Law.
1993-1997: Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) – LL.B. (First Class Honours in both final years).
Qualifications: New York Attorney (2001); Irish barrister (2020).
Languages: French (fluent); Irish (fluent).
Competition Law: “James is very smart and a pleasure to work with.” “He is able to work seamlessly as part of a larger team with clients, solicitors and other stakeholders to produce fantastic results.” “James is incredibly hard-working and a pleasure to work with.” “He is able to transform arguments from bad and mediocre to outstanding, and he’s very good at anticipating and preparing the response.” – Chambers UK, 2024
Leading junior in Competition: “James is very intelligent and experienced beyond his year of call; perceptive at identifying issues before they come up. ” – Legal 500, 2024
Competition Law: “James is a super smart senior junior who is responsive, hard-working and a great pleasure to work with.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2023
Leading junior in Competition: “Hugely knowledgeable about competition law and provides great advice. He has a level of wisdom far beyond his year of call. ” – Legal 500, 2023
Competition Law: “I found him to be user-friendly and extremely good at getting into technical points and understanding them – he was able to tease out the main issues.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2022
Leading junior in Competition – Legal 500, 2022
Competition Law: “James is fantastically responsive and super hard-working.” “You’re getting serious bang for your buck with James.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2021
Leading junior in Competition: ‘‘James is very knowledgeable as a result of his long years of experience in the European Commission legal service. He is rapidly gaining in stature in UK competition litigation circles, and has developed a precise style of pleading. James is very pleasant to work with.’’ – Legal 500, 2021
Competition Law: “His skill really outweighs his year of call; he is clever, thorough and knows EU competition law inside out.” “Incredibly hard-working, creative and thoughtful.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2020
Leading junior in Competition: ‘‘He has experience and knowledge beyond his year of call.’’ – Legal 500, 2020
Competition Law: “Bourke knows how the EGJ works, which is a very valuable skill, and he gets on well with the client.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2019
Leading junior in Competition: ‘‘A competition junior to watch – very bright and thorough. A class act.’’ – Legal 500, 2018
Competition Law: “He is a very detailed and meticulous guy, who is the man for complicated issues.” – Chambers UK, 2018
James co-authored the Enforcement and Procedure chapter in the edition of Bellamy & Child “European Union Law of Competition ” (8th Edition).
Antitrust in Pharmaceutical Markets & Geographical Rules of Origin, published by Springer International Publishing (October 2017). James Bourke wrote the chapter entitled Antitrust in Pharmaceutical Markets – United Kingdom.