James Foster Partner

Speaks:  English, French, German

Qualified: 1981 - Solicitor of England & Wales

Primary office:  Dubai

James Foster

James Foster is a partner in our Dubai office and leads our construction disputes practice in the Middle East. He has specialised in contentious construction work for over 25 years and is consistently ranked as one of the leading construction disputes lawyers in the region by the Chambers Global Guide. He acts for domestic and international contractors and developers involved with high value infrastructure and development schemes throughout the Middle East.

During his career James has worked on some of the world's most challenging construction projects in major commercial hubs such as Dubai and Hong Kong and in rapidly developing markets as diverse as Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.

James draws on his experience to help clients navigate the complexities of major projects and avoid the pitfalls of unfamiliar legal and regulatory environments. Where disputes do arise, he has the expertise to bring matters to a quick and cost effective conclusion, based on his years of experience of international arbitration and litigation in a wide variety of different countries and legal systems.

James is Vice-Chairman of the Society of Construction Law (Gulf) and so is at the forefront of contemporary legal issues in construction in the Middle East.


James has significant experience of resolving construction disputes in the Middle East, particularly through arbitration. By way of example he has been involved in disputes on the following projects:

  • A major office development in a Dubai Free Zone for a UAE developer.
  • A mixed villas and apartments development in Dubai for an Asian contractor.
  • An underground waste collection system on a residential, commercial and sporting project in the UAE for a European contractor.
  • A strategic road system in Dubai for a major local contractor.
  • Dubai International Airport for an international roofing engineering and construction contractor.
  • A major stadium project in Dubai for a leading international contractor.
  • A leading research centre project in Saudi Arabia for a major local and international contractor.
  • A major project and facilities management contract on the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.
  • An oil and gas production sharing contract in Al Fujeirah.
  • A convention and conference centre in Qatar for a leading regional contractor.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2019

  • 2016

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, partner
  • 2014

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, partner
  • 2003

    • Career
      Lawrence Graham, partner
  • 1986

    • Career
      Manches, partner and head of construction
  • 1981

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
  • 1975

    • Education
      Magdalen College, Oxford University: MA (Oxon)