Ranked by Chambers 2019 as the sole "Star Associate" in Cross Border Children Law, and by The Legal 500 2018-2019 as a "Recommended Lawyer", James trained at Dawson Cornwell and joined the Children Department in September 2013.
James specialises in all areas of private and public children law, with particular experience of international child abduction and the international movement of children. He is regularly instructed by parents and children in child abduction proceedings, as well as parties in complex parentage disputes, children-related human rights claims, and in international care proceedings. Significant cases that James has been instructed on include the first 1980 Hague Convention child abduction between Japan and the UK, the first reported case of a child being returned to Algeria, the first reported case of a child being returned to Sudan, and the first case concerning the 1996 Hague Convention to reach the UK Supreme Court. He has also been involved in a number of high-profile and widely-reported appeals, interventions and committals.
James is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Child Abduction and European and International Law. James further qualified as a Solicitor Advocate (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings), and regularly conducts his own advocacy in the family and High Courts. He is also one of just a handful of lawyers admitted to Bar of the British Sovereign Base Area of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, having appeared in what is thought to be the first international children case in that jurisdiction.
James studied European Law at the University of Warwick and spent a year studying in France and in Germany as part of his degree. He has a Master’s degree with distinction in Comparative European Law from Université Lille II, France (2011). His dissertation (focusing on families in the refugee and asylum legal process) has since been published.
He is a regular speaker at talks and conferences within the UK and abroad. He is an active member of the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), the British Spanish Law Association, Friends of the British Overseas Territories, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and a member of Resolution. He is also part of the organising committee of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association.
James also volunteers extensively to help young lawyers from diverse backgrounds to enter the profession. He is an Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors and AskMe Legal.
He is fluent in Spanish and French, with a high level of German.
James Netto is highly acclaimed for the strength of his practice in matters involving the international movement of children, with a particular emphasis on complex abduction cases. He draws praise as a "very skilful and effective advocate" who, according to one source, "has one of the best legal minds I've come across."
Chambers and Partners 2019
The "diligent" James Netto has a "wide breadth of experience in child abduction".
Legal 500 2018-2019
Associates to watch
James Netto attracts significant praise for his handling of cross-border children matters. "He's very passionate. He fights awfully hard for his clients and knows far more than his years would suggest. He's a real rising star."
Chambers and Partners 2018
Solicitor James Netto is "a rising star of child law, with wisdom beyond his years".
Legal 500 2017
The Legal 500, 2017