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Bremen, James
Direct Tel: +44 20 7653 2270, Direct Fax: +44 20 7653 2100
Tel: +44 20 7653 2000 Fax: +44 20 7653 2100

James is Chair of Quinn Emanuel’s Construction and Engineering Practice and has over 20 years of experience in the world’s largest and most complex construction projects and most difficult disputes.

In the Chambers Global 2024 guide, a client said, "Of all the lawyers I have worked with, James Bremen is head and shoulders above the rest, both for his contacts and for his tactical awareness."2023 Legal 500 says “James Bremen: knows everyone and is trusted by rulers and governments alike. A superb strategic thinker”. While clients describe him to be “exceptionally knowledgeable about the market”, highlighting that “his experience as a front-end lawyer gives him a lot of perspective on clients' matters" -- Chambers Global 2023. They also describe him to be “peerless in his knowledge and tactical awareness” – Legal 500 UK 2022 and compliment his strategic abilities, saying “James is great at formulating a clear strategic vision and is very calm under pressure." – Chambers UK 2022. He is “first-class, he’s our preferred lawyer on arbitrations” – Chambers Global 2020 and is an "exceptional litigation lawyer" – whose “reputation spreads widely throughout the Middle East” and who is “formidable wherever he goes.” – Chambers Global, 2017. He has a “stellar disputes practice” – Chambers Global 2017 and has worked in over 25 countries on both project documentation and claim resolution (including as Counsel in some of the world’s largest construction arbitrations) in the oil and gas, power and major infrastructure sectors. James “commands considerable respect from peers and clients alike” and “has a wealth of experience from working with multinational oil and gas companies, which gives him excellent insight into the industry” – Chambers Global, 2017. “Market observers affirm James Bremen’s prodigious construction disputes practice and praise his skills in litigation. One source describes him as the most experienced and skilled construction litigator in Qatar, if not the region” – Chambers Global, 2016Who’s Who Legal, 2016 notes his “vast experience on the international scene” and “breadth of expertise”. Who’s Who Legal has ranked him in the area of Construction for a decade and as a Global Thought Leader in Construction in 2020. He has over a decade's experience in representing the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in construction disputes, and “understands Arab clients' needs extremely well” – Chambers Global, 2015, as well as regularly representing clients in emerging markets, in particular Malaysia and the CIS countries. He is “one of the main players in the market for Qatar-related disputes” – Chambers Global, 2018. James won the prestigious UK Client Choice Award for Construction for 2020, with clients commenting “his availability and commitment are fantastic”.

  • Capital Market Authority of Saudi Arabia
  • Dragon Oil
  • Jebel Omar Development Company
  • Kingdom Holdings
  • Maersk Oil
  • Qatar Chemical Company
  • Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development
  • Qatar Petroleum

Claim Resolution

  • Represented Qatar Foundation in relation to a multi-billion dollar, Qatari law governed, ICC arbitration seated in London arising from a major healthcare project.
  • Represented Qatar Petroleum in relation to the resolution of very significant construction claims (across multiple contracts) related to the Ras Laffan Port Expansion Project.
  • Represented SK E & C in a US$2 billion ICC arbitration, seated in Mexico City, related to the construction of a major oil refinery in Mexico.
  • Represented Qatar Foundation in relation to the resolution of very significant construction claims, related to a major sports facility in Doha, Qatar.
  • Represented a major middle eastern government entity on delay and disruption claims from a contractor valued in excess of US$200 million relating to the construction of a large oil and gas infrastructure project.
  • Represented Qatar Chemical as counsel in a Qatar law governed, London seated ICC arbitration arising from a major petrochemical project.
  • Represented a Qatari Government entity in relation to an expert determination arising from a US$40 million construction dispute related to the construction of its new headquarter tower.
  • Represented a Government Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in both contentious and noncontentious matters related to the US$5 billion King Abdullah Financial District Project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented a Saudi Arabian development company in a US$50 million ICC arbitration, under Saudi Arabian law, relating to the construction of an international hotel, shopping mall and convention centre (FIDIC contract).
  • Represented a US oil company in a US$200 million UNCITRAL arbitration relating to the construction of offshore oil and gas facilities in Indonesia.
  • Represented a Saudi Arabian development company in relation to disputes arising from the construction of multiple high-rise towers at Mecca, KSA.
  • Represented a Chinese government contractor in a Beijing seated ICC arbitration against the government of Yemen related to the construction of a waste water treatment project in Aden.
  • Represented WOQOD in relation to construction disputes arising from the construction of a heavy fuel oil bunkering facility in Qatar.
  • Represented the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara in relation to disputes arising with the construction (including ICC arbitration) of the Batumi-Kobuleti highway project.


  • Representing Petronas on all EPC, EPCM, FEED and infrastructure procurement aspects of the US$25 billion RAPID petrochemical and refinery complex project in Johor province, Malaysia.
  • Represented a major European oil company in its EPCC contracts for US$2 billion offshore oil and gas project in Angola.
  • Represented Qatari Diar/Emiri Diwan/Qatar Holding in relation to the acquisition, operation and redevelopment of the port of Tarragona, Spain.
  • Advised Saudi Aramco, Al Jomaih and Maruberi on the EPC, O&M and LTSA arrangements for three greenfield industrial steam and electric co-generation plants in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented the project sponsors, Samruk Energy and Samsung Corp, on the EPC and O&M arrangements for the 1350MW coal-fired independent power project in Balkhash, Republic of Kazakhstan.
  • Represented Dragon Oil in relation to the drafting and negotiation of EPC contracts for the construction of a major gas processing facility in Turkmenistan.
  • Represented Astad Project Management in relation to the drafting of their Professional Services Agreement.
  • Represented Qatar Petroleum in relation to the revision of the “Regulations for Purchases, Works and Auctions”.
  • Represented Comsar in the construction of a 2 x 300MW thermal power plant in Bosnia.
  • Represented Qatar Petroleum in relation to the development agreement and construction aspects at the QP District (formerly Barwa District) in Doha, Qatar.
  • Represented Capital Market Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in relation to the super-tall CMA Tower and the King Abdullah Financial Academy within the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented Lusail Real Estate Development Company in the negotiation of the project documents for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of a US$80 million marinas project in the new 21 km2 Lusail City development in Qatar.
  • Represented Deutsche Bahn in relation to the Qatar Integrated Rail Project.
  • Represented Industries Qatar in relation to drafting their internal procurement regulations.
  • Represented project sponsors on the US$11.3 billion Qatargas II liquefied natural gas project in Qatar, involving the engineering, procurement and construction arrangements for onshore and offshore facilities in Qatar, and onshore terminal facilities at Milford Haven in Wales.
  • Advised the sponsors on a US$2.5 billion development of a bauxite mine, captive power plant port, railroad and Alumina refinery in Guinea.
  • Advised UC Rusal in the EPCM contract for the development of a US$2 billion Alumina refinery project in Sayanogorsk, Russia.
  • Advised the project sponsors on the construction and procurement arrangements for the 9 billion euro Nordstream II pipeline project.


  • Griffith University
    (B. Com/LLB, with Honours, 1998)
    • Griffith Award for Academic Excellence, 1997
  • The University of Queensland
    (B.A., Government, 1995)
  • Solicitor, England and Wales
  • Solicitor, Queensland
  • Solicitor, New South Wales
  • Solicitor, Western Australia
  • High Court and Federal Court of Australia
  • Solicitor Advocate (Higher Rights Civil)
  • Herbert Smith Freehills:
    • Partner, 2011-2016
  • University of Westminster (UK):
    • Lecturer, Construction Law, LLM program, 2011-2012
  • King & Spalding:
    • Partner, 2009-2011
  • Maxwell Winward LLP:
    • Partner, 2007-2008
  • White & Case LLP:
    • Senior Associate, 2003-2007
  • McCullough Robertson:
    • Associate/Senior Associate, 1998-2002
  • Ranked by Legal 500 Construction: Contentious Tier 4, 2024
    • "James Bremen: knows everyone and is trusted by rulers and governments alike. A superb      strategic thinker."
  • Ranked by Chambers UK Construction: International Arbitration Band 2, 2024
    • "James is an intellectually savvy and experienced construction dispute practitioner who offers practical advice." "James Bremen has a spectacular practice in the Middle East."
  • Ranked by The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom for International Arbitration, 2024
  • Ranked by Lawdragon 500 Leading Global Litigators Guide for International Disputes, esp. Construction, 2023
  • Recognized by Euromoney’s Best of the Best for Construction; 2020, 2022  

James has over 40 published articles on construction law issues, and has taught construction law in the LLM course at the University of Westminster (UK).  James is a highly sought after speaker on construction topics worldwide, and regularly provides construction law training to our clients.  James is the author for Global Arbitration Review’s chapter on construction arbitration in Qatar, and also authors the Saudi Arabian chapter.  James is also the joint author on Construction Disputes in “The Guide to Advocacy” (now in its second edition) as well as the chapters on contractor’s claims and employer’s claims in “The Guide to Construction Arbitration” (also in its second edition) both published by Global Arbitration Review.

Member, the Society of Construction Law (UK), London Court of International Arbitration Users Group