James started his career in 1993 as a commercial property agent at boutique investment practice Michael Elliott & Partners, qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor in 1996. In 1997 he joined Edward Symmons & Partners and in 2000 set up a new hotel investment department within Edward Symmons. During this time James was involved in a number of high profile hotel projects throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.
James set up J D Partners in 2002 as a direct result of the rapidly changing way in which hotels were owned and operated in the UK; The majority of the major hotel companies / brands were selling off their owned hotels (but generally retaining the management) as they started to turn themselves into pure hotel management businesses. This trend continued throughout the "noughties" culminating in some very large transactions from 2005 - 2007. This created hotel investment and structuring opportunities for both portfolios of hotels and single assets. The main transaction types in which James was involved at this time were sale and leasebacks, sale and manage backs and re-branding / repositioning of hotels in the marketplace.
James concentrates on the investment agency and consultancy side of the business and over the last five years has spent much of his time securing funding for hotel developments and mixed use schemes by arranging forward commitments and full development funding. The limited availability of finance from 2008 - 2012 meant that specialist investment sale and funding advice has been crucial to enable schemes to get off the ground. James generally advises on projects in the £5 - £50 million price bracket and usually, although not exclusively, transactions are carried out on an off market basis. He acts for a wide range of clients ranging from pension funds, specialist hotel funds, property companies and high net worth individuals.