Admiralty Chambers

James H.M. McGowan

Year of Call: 1989 (HK), 1979 (UK)

Other qualifications:

  • HK Accredited General Mediator
  • FSI Arb
  • MNI

About James:

James is a former career Royal Navy Officer who was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple 1979) in between his seatime, subsequently prosecuting and defending and later “Judging” over 150 Courts Martial, many involving Collisions, Navigation and Ship Handling allegations, as well as serving in HMS TAMAR in Hong Kong, being called to the Bar here in 1989.

After an appointment as the Senior Lawyer in the Fleet Headquarters, he “came ashore” in 1993, and has since been practising in Hong Kong, largely specialising in Admiralty and Crime (and sometimes both together!), and Prosecuting and Defending from the Magistracies to the Court of Final Appeal. He is also briefed in Disciplinary Tribunals, Marine and Pilotage Inquiries, and has a significant Appellate practice.

James is a former member of the Hong Kong Bar Council, and a longstanding member of its International Practice, and Criminal Law Committees, the International Bar Association (where he represents the Hong Kong Bar on the Bar Issues Commission), the Union Internationale des Avocats, the US National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers, and the Nautical Institute.

He is also a HKIAC Accredited Mediator and a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. He has also twice been the Chairman of the New Medico-Legal Society.

Notable cases, those reported include:

  • HKSAR v. Lo Shing Lok [2017] 2 HKLRD 106 
  • HKSAR v. Amarasinghalage [2016] 4 HKLRD 1 
  • HKSAR v. Kay Sik Hong Billy [2014] 1 HKLRD 812
  • HKSAR v. Mahal Harpreet Singh [2012] 1 HKLRD 517
  • Asian Atlas [2008] 3 HKLRD 461 
  • HKSAR v. Xiao Wei [2003] 3 HKLRD 1063 
  • HKSAR v. Palgue Jonita Awas [CACC 261/2011]
  • HKSAR v. Chan Sung Wing [2008] 1 HKLRD 126 
  • HKSAR v. Lo Wai Ming [2007] 3 HKLRD 191 
  • HKSAR v. Yau Hok Kwan [2004] 1 HKLRD 41 
  • HKSAR v. Zabed Ali [2003] 2 HKLRD 849; (2003) 6 HKCFAR 192
  • HKSAR v. Leung Shuk Man [2002] 3 HKC 424 
  • HKSAR v. Wan Hon Sik [2001] 3 HKLRD 283
  • HKSAR v. Dove & Another [1998] 1 HKLRD 179 

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