Skip to content
Admissions and Appointments
  • Admitted as a Barrister: 2004
  • Admitted as a Solicitor: 2002
Degrees and Qualifications
  • B Economics (Hons) from University of Newcastle.
  • First Class Honours in Bachelor of Laws/Diploma of Legal Practice, University of Newcastle.

James McLeod

e:    p: (02) 9224 9733

James is an experienced and practical barrister who for over 20 years has been briefed to advise and appear in a diverse range of civil litigation. He appears in trials and on appeal, both led and unled, and accepts briefs throughout Australia from law firms, and direct access from in-house lawyers (such as from tertiary academic institutions and sporting organisations). James seeks to provide persuasive advocacy and a thoughtful approach to achieving outcomes in legal disputes. Prior to being admitted to the Bar in February 2004, one of James’ two years working as a solicitor was as Associate to then Federal Court judge the late Richard Conti QC (in 2002).

James was admitted to the Bar in February 2004 after two years of practising as a solicitor, the first as an Associate to his Honour Justice Richard Conti QC in the Federal Court. He has since developed a practice that involves advocacy and advisory work across a range of litigious areas.

Some of James’ main areas of practice are: commercial disputes, inquests and inquiries, sports law, employment law, and discrimination law. More specifically, he works in legal fields including: commercial litigation including contractual disputes, employment law (including disputes involving dismissals and alleged workplace misconduct, issues relating to employment contracts, and cases involving post-employment restraint clauses), commercial matters alleging misleading or deceptive conduct, inquests and inquiries, corporate matters, discrimination law disputes, and sports law (including appearing at sporting disciplinary tribunals and advising on regulatory issues).

During James’ career at the Bar, he has appeared in the High Court, Federal Court, NSW Court of Appeal, NSW Supreme Court (Common Law and Equity), Land and Environment Court, District and Local Courts. He has also appeared in the CTTT, ADT and NCAT, the Fair Work Commission, the NSW IRC, and at various sports tribunals. He has also held many briefs to appear at mediation, and is a trained and formerly an accredited (NMAS) mediator. James’ interest in mediation reflects his belief that some disputes are best resolved through negotiation.

In relation to sports law he provides advice and advocacy in respect of sporting regulatory issues, and I has appeared in sports tribunals representing athletes, sporting organisations, and sporting clubs, including in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), at the National Rugby League (NRL) Judiciary, at Football Federation Australia (FFA), in relation to anti-doping provisions of the WADA Code, and at the Racing Appeals Tribunal (RAT). In recent years he has regularly defended professional rugby league players at the NRL Judiciary, including as the counsel of choice for the Sydney Roosters and New Zealand Warriors.

In 2010 and 2011, James was the legal member of the Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee. It assesses applications by researchers seeking approval to conduct studies involving the participation of humans. Complex legal and ethical issues arose in that setting.

He has presented papers to NSW lawyers, including multiples times as a presenter at the NSW State Legal Conference.

During the period 2022 to 2024, James’ work as a barrister has included: appearing unled to provide separate representation to the then second in charge of legal at The Star Entertainment Group in the government inquiry in connection with The Star presided over by Adam Bell SC; appearing unled in a five day commercial dispute hearing in the Supreme Court; appearing unled in a three day commercial dispute hearing in the Federal Court; and appearing unled for athletes at the NRL’s peak disciplinary tribunal.

Areas of Practice

  • Administrative & Public Law
  • Appellate
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial
  • Competition & Consumer Law
  • Corporations Law
  • Discrimination Law
  • Employment & Restraint of Trade
  • Equity & Trusts
  • Inquests & Commissions of Inquiry
  • Insurance
  • Professional Indemnity
  • Sports Law

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.


(02) 9224 9733



Level 9, 75 Elizabeth St Sydney NSW 2000