James is a Partner in our projects team, the Head of Decarbonisation and the Co-Head of the ESG practice at Osborne Clarke.

He specialises in the energy sector and supporting funder, investor and developer clients in developing, investing in and financing projects in the renewables (solar, onshore wind and hydro), demand-side response/Capacity Market, energy storage, waste resource management/waste to energy (including RDF/SRF supply and export, AD and biomass), combined heat and power and defence sectors. James has a keen interest in decarbonisation and helping businesses achieve their net zero goals. His areas of focus are supporting the development of sustainable infra, challenges connected to funding the transition to net zero carbon, the decarbonisation of transport and tackling the carbon challenge. James helps clients address these legal challenges within a larger framework of good corporate governance and proactive compliance. He helps clients with developing and implementing their ESG strategy for their internal operations as well as compliantly communicating it externally.

He also advises on funding options, security packages, risk management, supply chain structuring, grid connection, power offtake and supply arrangements, renewable incentives, embedded benefits, interface issues and legal documentation development and completion.

In addition, James advises on the early development and structuring, bidding, contracting, negotiating, financing, closing and post-completion and post-completion matters arising on complex infrastructure projects. He has acted for sponsors, funders, investors, sub-contractors and public authorities.

He is a member of The City of London Law Society Energy Committee and the Association for Decentralised Energy.

James joined Osborne Clarke in August 2011, having spent nine years in the projects team at Pinsent Masons in London. Prior to that he was at Clifford Chance, where he qualified.

James Watson leads the team fantastically and ensures everyone provides a very high level of service and availability."

Legal 500




Advised long standing client and leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager, Foresight, on an £80 million investment by two of its funds into a portfolio of biomethane Compressed Natural Gas refuelling stations for HGVs, which will enable fleets to switch from diesel to carbon-neutral fuel, read more.

John Laing Investments

Advised on the acquisition of three Cornwall-based solar farms and two large onshore wind farms. 

Clean Growth Fund

Advised on a co-investment with Gulf Oil in Indra, the UK's leading smart charging technology company, read more.


Strategic advice across various large supply contracts in the defence and security sector. 

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