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Jim Harrowell AMPartner

Jim Harrowell
Jim Harrowell AM

Providing easy to understand comprehensive advice while taking into account key issues has been the driving force of Jim’s success as a specialist commercial and litigation lawyer for more than 30 years.

His managerial responsibilities reflect the invaluable skills he brings to our practice. Jim is currently the Head of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group in our Sydney office and the Chief Legal Representative of our Shanghai office having previously been the National Chairman and National Managing Partner of the firm.

With clients spanning Australia and the globe, Jim’s commercial law expertise is widespread, covering legal, strategic, commercial, governance and reputation issues.

Jim’s in-depth knowledge of international legal issues is second to none. As a Director and former Chairman of Interlaw and through his wide network of contacts in more than 115 major global cities, Jim has provided commercial advice to clients for over 20 years ranging from negotiating joint ventures and resolving disputes, to mediation, litigation and arbitration.

China is undoubtedly his stronghold. In 2006, Jim was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to international relations, particularly the development of legal and business links with China. He is one of seven Australians appointed to the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) panel of arbitrators, and is the only Australian appointed to the Shanghai Arbitration Commission. Plus, he regularly presents seminars on China and assists Austrade programs in Beijing and China.


Jim appears as Counsel on matters in the Supreme Court, Federal Court and, at times, the High Court. A selection of the matters on which Jim represents his clients include:

  • Construction – the Moomba- Sydney Gas Pipeline and the Sydney Superdome
  • Defence – acting for Australian Submarine Corporation on many issues including contractual matters and intellectual property and for Thales on a tender dispute concerning the Australian Advanced Air Traffic System ("TAAATS") contract
  • Trade Practices – advising on exclusive dealing and misleading conduct, for example Jewel Foodstores on interstate trade in milk
  • Corporations Law – including ASIC investigations
  • Insolvencies – acting for the US receiver appointed by the US Securities & Exchange Commission regarding a US$300 million Ponzi scheme
  • Enforcement of foreign arbitration awards.

    Jim's corporate experience includes over 12 years working with government as Chair of the Commonwealth company responsible for the accreditation of aged care faculties in Australia where he reports directly the Minister of the day and works closely with Commonwealth government departments.
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Sydney City
T: +61 2 9391 3187
F: +61 2 9391 3099
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Areas of practice
  • Commercial law
  • Insolvency law
  • Litigation and dispute resolution
  • Bachelor of Commerce, University of New South Wales
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of New South Wales
Memberships and appointments
  • Arbitrator, China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission
  • Arbitrator, Shanghai Arbitration Commission
  • Arbitrator, Shanghai International Arbitration Commission
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • CPA, CPA Australia
  • Associate, Hong Kong Society of Accounting
  • Member, Law Council of Australia China Experts Panel
  • President, Australia China Business Council (NSW)
  • Member, UNSW Foundation
  • Former member UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Scientia Fund Raising Committee
  • Member Advisory Board , UNSW Confucius Institute
  • Former Member Commonwealth Attorney-General's China Working Group
  • Member, NSW Government Export and Investment Advisory Panel
  • Member, National Advisory Council, Export Council of Australia
  • Selected by industry peers for inclusion in the Seventh Edition of Best Lawyers in Australia in the practice area of Alternative Dispute Resolution
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