"James Ford is incredibly well connected and well regarded, combined with humility, diplomacy and superb people skills."
Legal 500


James Ford helps clients to navigate the complex and overlapping worlds of sanctions and export controls, anti-corruption, particularly business and human rights, and anti-money laundering.

James advises corporates across a range of sectors, including energy, mining, extractives, oil and gas, retail, defence, and transport, as well as a host of financial institutions, insurers, brokers and professional services firms.

Clients turn to James for insights from his time working in-house across four different sectors.  He has previously been seconded to: the global sanctions team of a major European bank; the group legal team of a European-headquartered mining company; the group export controls team of a major defence company during the term of a Consent Agreement with the US State Department; the disputes team of a major international bank; and the bribery and corruption team of a global oil and gas company.

A passionate thought leader, James is a regular contributor to the firm’s “Eye on ESG” blog, and has written articles for a range of publications including Global Investigations Review (GIR), Law360Financier WorldwideGovernance & ComplianceEuropean CEO, and IPE Magazine.  He has also participated in numerous panel discussions on sanctions, anti-corruption, and ESG, and has been a guest speaker on the Royal United Services Institute’s flagship podcast, the “Suspicious Transaction Report.”

James sits on the Board of Transparency International UK, a leading anti-corruption NGO, and established and leads the Transparency International Professional Supporters (TIPS) Network, a volunteer initiative of professionals, academics, and students aimed at supporting Transparency International's advocacy and outreach efforts.


Regulatory advice

  • Provided sanctions advice to a range of financial institutions and corporates, including in response to the expansion of UK, EU, and US financial and trade sanctions targeting Russia.
  • Provided ongoing sanctions advice to a range of professional services companies in response to the imposition of UK, EU, and US sanctions targeting the provision of certain services to Russia.
  • Advised on a range of regulatory disclosures and licence applications relating to sanctions and export controls to authorities in the United Kingdom and United States.
  • Advised on the money laundering risks of a company's operations in the Middle East, CIS Region, and Africa.


  • Provided ongoing anti-corruption, business and human rights, and broader supply chain risk management advice to a major European-headquartered mining company.
  • Advised on the conduct of anti-corruption, sanctions, and broader compliance risk assessments for clients in a number of sectors, including mining, retail, offshore, chemicals, heavy industry, construction and, defence and aerospace.
  • Designed and implemented anti-corruption and sanctions compliance programmes and delivered associated training for various clients, including a multinational food and beverage company, a global retail company, and a European-headquartered mining company.


  • Advised a European-headquartered financial institution in connection with a multi-year US regulatory investigation.
  • Advised a European food company in connection with alleged adverse human rights impacts in its supply chain.
  • Advised a European construction company on an internal investigation in connection with whistleblower allegations around potential claims of anti-corruption, fraud, and related misconduct.

Transaction advice

  • Advised on the divestment of Russian business interests for a number of European clients.
  • Provided transaction due diligence support in the areas of anti-corruption, sanctions, and human rights in relation to a number of M&A transactions.
  • Advised on the UK's National Security and Investment Act regime and assisting on disclosures to the Investment Security Unit under the regime.

Pro bono

  • Advised a number of NGOs on a range of matters relating to anti-corruption, whistleblowing and human rights.


Yale University, BA (Political Science)


  • England and Wales


  • Mayer Brown NextGen
  • OFSI Legal Sector Engagement Forum
  • Transparency International UK
  • Transparency International Professional Supporters (TIPS) Network
  • Listed as a “key lawyer” for EU and Competition and Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime, James Ford is highly regarded for his capabilities in anti-corruption, ESG and money laundering matters - Legal 500.
  • Listed as a “key lawyer” for Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime, 'James Ford is incredibly well connected and well regarded, combined with humility, diplomacy and superb people skills.' - Legal 500.
  • Listed as a “key lawyer” for EU and Competition, James Ford is noted for his knowledge of regulatory compliance and financial services sanctions programs - Legal 500.
  • Listed as a “key lawyer” for Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime, 'James Ford is a rapidly rising star, superb analyst and networker.’ - Legal 500.
  • Listed as a “key lawyer” for EU and Competition - Legal 500.