Roger James

Partner || London

Roger is a London based partner and member of Ogletree’s International Practice Group. He has a particular niche in international issues and alongside his UK workload he oversees the challenges of employing people in multiple jurisdictions for multinational clients.

Roger’s clients are across all sectors and range from global multinationals to SMEs. His work covers all aspects of employment law across multiple jurisdictions including in particular:

  • Executive hiring and firing
  • RIFs and restructuring
  • Acquisition, due diligence and harmonisation
  • Investigations and litigation
  • Union and industrial action issues

Roger qualified in 1996 and joined Ogletree in May 2017 from an international firm where he had headed the Employment Team and split his time between the firm’s UK and Singapore offices. As such Roger has particular expertise dealing with labour and employment law issues in Europe and Asia.

Roger prides himself on giving practical, commercial, proportionate advice on what you can do and how to achieve it in the most sensible way – and not to just quote law, sit on the fence or cite problems without solutions.

Learn more about Roger James
  • Advising on numerous global RIF/redundancy projects – providing a single point of contact and liaising with local counsel in applicable countries to ensure a consistent, practical, cost effective and joined-up approach
  • Misclassification of contractor issues across Europe and Asia
  • Advising on entry to new countries including preparation of “country reports” on local employment law, employment contract and associated documentation and checklist of engagement and termination considerations
  • Defending a company from a multimillion pound claim brought by a union in the UK
  • Advising on the creation of staff consultation bodies
  • Advising on employment status issues and successfully defending a high profile 5 day trial brought by freelance journalists against a media company claiming employment status
  • Advising on restrictive covenant issues – in particular on an international basis involving cross country moves
  • International secondments and associated documentation and considerations
  • A manufacturing company on the closure of its final salary pension scheme. The project involved negotiations with the relevant union and was successfully completed on time and with all 150 employees accepting the change
  • Various outsourcing contracts and ensuring employment transfer/employment risks are managed and minimised
  • Numerous clients on whistleblowing, poor performance, misconduct, ill health and other employee specific issues
  • Roger is also in demand as a speaker / trainer for clients, including being asked by a global technology company to prepare and present Finnish and Swedish versions of the Line Manager Training “Managing within the Law” he had done for them in the UK


  • University of Wolverhampton Law School, 1993
  • University of Wales, 1991

Professional Activities

  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • International Bar Association
  • The Law Society of England & Wales


  • Ogletree Deakins International Practice Group Seminar - "Employee Data Privacy Worldwide: GDPR and Beyond" - Washington, D.C. - March 29, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins International Practice Group Seminar - "Legal Update: Brexit" - Washington - March 29, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins International Practice Group Seminar - "You Can’t Take it with You: Departing Employees and Trade Secrets" - Washington - March 29, 2018
  • Association of Corporate Counsel Charlotte Chapter - "Cross-border Transactions by U.S. Businesses: Identifying and Discussing Key Employment Considerations and Challenges" - Charlotte - September 26, 2017
  • International Bar Association AGM 2016, Discrimination and Employment Section panel - "Reform of the EU Posted Workers Directive" - Washington - September 2016
  • CIPD Asia Seminar - "Uber? Grab? What’s driving employment law in Asia Pacific in 2016" - Singapore - April 2016
  • Deloitte Global Employment Services annual client Asia Pacific Seminar - "Executive Mobility and Employment Law: Covering all Bases" - Hong Kong - January 26, 2016
  • The Cambridge Network - "Policies of the New Government" - Cambridge - April 2015
  • Moscow State Institute of International Relations - "Reform of the UK Legal Market" - Moscow - September 2014
  • Legal 500
  • Chambers UK

Insights by Roger James