James Russell

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

United Kingdom
T:+44 20 7444 3902
United Kingdom
T:+44 20 7444 3902
James Russell

James Russell



James is a partner in our Sourcing and Technology team. He has extensive experience in onshore and offshore technology and business process outsourcing, DLT, smart contracts, systems procurement, as well as general commercial work, and advises primarily on a wide range of non-contentious IT, e-commerce, telecoms and outsourcing matters. 

James is ranked in Chambers and The Legal 500 as a Tier 1 leading lawyer. He is described by clients as "a very smart lawyer who is highly responsive and clearly knows his stuff". Sources commend his "good attention to detail, thoughtfulness and nice client manner"; that he "brings a real practical approach to contracting and outsourcing"; and that "he is experienced working on complex and business-critical sourcings."

Professional experience

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  • Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales


  • Barclays - on all aspects of the outsourcing to HCL of its global technology support functions, as well as all technology and mainframe support functions based out of the bank's technology hub in Lithuania. The transaction was a cornerstone of the bank's technology strategy for the subsequent four to five years, involving 31 jurisdictions and the outsourcing of critical functions.
  • Friends Life (now Aviva) - on the largest UK life and pensions outsourcing worth over £1.4bn. The deal, which involved the outsourcing of its IT and customer service functions to TCS' UK subsidiary Diligenta, is also believed to be one of the largest outsourcings in any sector since 2005 and reportedly TCS' biggest single outsourcing transaction worldwide. Over 1,900 staff transferred along with the processing of 3.5 million policies.
  • Representing a tier 1 global bank - in negotiating a ten-year, £20m outsourcing agreement with CGI IT UK Limited, the UK entity of a US-headquartered technology provider, for the implementation, use and support of Trade 360, a global trade platform provided on a SaaS basis.
  • ABN Amro, BP, Gunvor, ING, Koch Supply & Trading, Mercuria, Shell, Societe Generale and Statoil (now trading as VAKT Global Limited) - on the procurement of the system design and build contract (with Thoughtworks as the agile developer). The VAKT Platform is a digital ecosystem that supports the physical post-trade processing and management of commodities trades. 
  • A government-owned UK high street name - on a major multi-supplier outsourcing worth £750m covering telecoms network, IT, service integration and management, the provision of consumer hardware and contact centre services.
  • A $1.8bn capitalized international specialty (re)insurer based in the UK and Bermuda - in relation to its business process and IT outsourcing to WNS. The platform build is a first-of-its-kind, integrated, "IT Platform plus BPM (business process management) as-a-service" proposition.
  • On the collaboration between UBS, Erste Group, Commerzbank, Bank of Montreal, Caixabank and IBM for the purposes of developing and commercializing a distributed ledger trade finance solution using IBM's hyperledger fabric platform.
  • In relation to a tier 1 global bank's agreements with Microsoft and Amazon, involving a detailed review of the agreements in relation to commercial and risk related provisions to provide commentary on the benchmark position in the market.
  • A French international banking group - on a global technology refresh for its investment banking division. The bank procured specialist communications hardware and software for its traders from IPC. The solution was required to comply with regulatory requirements for traders' calls to be monitored and recorded.
  • The largest bank in the UAE and second largest in the Middle East - on its virtual captive outsourcing to an offshore centre in India.
  • A British multinational banking and financial services organization in relation to a major asset management outsourcing of transfer agency services with Schroders. The outsourcing involved the negotiation of a master services agreement and local service agreements to which services provided to Schroders were moved to HSBC as a single third party provider. This involved assets of more than £180bn and was a transaction of major significance for both HSBC and Schroders.