Our People

James Francis
Senior Associate | Head of Employment Disputes

James Francis


James is an experienced employment and workplace lawyer who works with businesses and individuals and is known for his commercial and practical approach to resolving workplace issues.

He advises on all employment related matters, including performance management, termination claims, anti-discrimination matters, and preparation of employment contracts.

James has experience in employment and commercial litigation both on behalf of employers and employees, having conducted matters in the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the Federal Court of Australia, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the County Court of Victoria, and the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, as well as the Fair Work Commission.

James acts for employers in a wide range of business sectors, including retail, construction, financial services, IT, mining and resources, agriculture, and peak industry bodies.

James also has particular experience in acting on behalf of executives in circumstances of wrongful termination, and has a particular interest in matters where such terminations involve disputes regarding shares.

James also has an interest in alternative dispute resolution, having completed an intensive course on negotiation and mediation at Humboldt University of Berlin. 

About James

Before joining Hicks Oakley Chessell Williams, James was the principal solicitor of his own boutique employment and commercial law firm. He enjoys travel, playing music, and good food and wine.


  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Accredited Specialist - Workplace Relations - Law Institute of Victoria


  • Supreme Court of Victoria
  • High Court of Australia

Memberships and Committees

  • Law Institute of Victoria
  • Industrial Relations Society of Victoria
  • Essendon District Football League Tribunal Panel

Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Specialist  Law Institute of Victoria