Senior Associate Overseas Qualified (Hong Kong and New York)

James Lewis

James is a Senior Associate in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution team

James joined Hesketh Henry in October 2021 after nearly 10 years of practice with leading international law firms Pinsent Masons and Mayer Brown in Hong Kong. He is admitted in both Hong Kong and New York.

James acts for clients in contentious and non-contentious construction matters and, more generally, in international arbitration and various forms of dispute resolution.

In his construction practice, James has specific non-contentious expertise in review and drafting construction tender and contract documentation (both bespoke and based on standard forms), and providing mid-project advice to contractors, principals, sub-contractors and suppliers on a wide variety of construction-related issues. For a portion of his time in Hong Kong, he was seconded with a major Hong Kong contractor on multiple high-profile strategic Government infrastructure projects in Hong Kong advising, coordinating claims team and strategy and carrying out in-house legal work.

James also acts for clients in relation to all types of contentious construction matters, including claims relating to delay, variations and defects in a variety of dispute resolution forums including negotiations, mediations, court litigation and both institutional and ad hoc arbitrations.

James’ construction practice has involved a wide variety of project sectors including cultural developments, high-tech infrastructure, healthcare, education, high-end residential, mixed-use residential and commercial, commercial, hospitality and infrastructure (including roads, railways, power and airports).

James also specialises in international arbitration and dispute resolution where he has advised, and acted for, clients in mediations and international arbitrations seated in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mainland China governed by both ad hoc regimes and a range of well-known institutional rules. These international arbitrations have involved construction, commercial and insurance related matters.

James has written regularly on construction and dispute resolution issues and has been published in the Journal of International Arbitration and International Arbitration Law Review. Prior to moving to New Zealand, James was a Council Member of the Hong Kong Society of Construction Law. He holds an LLB and MSC in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution from King’s College London and an LLM from Columbia University in New York.


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Examples of work completed by James include:


Insights & Opinion / James Lewis

HH News NZS  Release
What You Need to Know About the New NZS3910:2023
The new NZS3910:2023 (conditions of contract for building and civil engineering construction) was released by Standards New Zealand in December 2023 (see our article here).  It is now gaining relevan...
10.04.2024 Posted in Construction
Properly sequencing your Construction Adjudications: Henry Construction Projects Ltd v Alu-Fix (UK) Ltd
According to the UK’s Technology and Construction Court (TCC) (in Henry Construction Projects Ltd v Alu-Fix (UK) Ltd [2023] EWHC 2010) valid payment claims must be paid before the underlying merits ...
30.10.2023 Posted in Construction & Disputes
Construction Framework Wide BW
Major milestone passed – NZS3910:2023 expected in time to fill Christmas stockings
As the most widely adopted standard form construction contract in NZ, NZS 3910 was more than ready for updated conditions given the changes in the industry since its last review in 2013.  After almos...
09.10.2023 Posted in Construction
How to load a magic bullet: Legal considerations to facilitate BIM (Building Information Modelling)
Building Information Modelling, or “BIM”, is potentially transformational for the New Zealand building and construction sector.  It has been credited with the potential to spark a “step-change...
15.09.2023 Posted in Construction & Disputes
Chicken or Egg – Does C v D (Hong Kong) help New Zealand solve the question of whether a dispute is decided by arbitration?
Arbitration is increasingly viewed as a beneficial alternative to traditional court litigation, but how do you know if your dispute should go to arbitration or to the courts?  Several recent foreign ...
31.08.2023 Posted in Construction & Disputes
A return to orthodoxy: Demasol Limited v South Pacific Industrial Limited affirms the CCA’s “pay now, argue later” principle
The Court of Appeal in Demasol Limited v South Pacific Industrial Limited [2022] NZCA 480 has overturned the earlier High Court judgment from last year, shutting the door on suggestions that those who...
20.10.2022 Posted in Construction & Disputes