Skip to content
James Carleton lawyer photo

James advises individuals, families and trustees on estate and succession planning, asset protection, philanthropic and charitable structures. He is particularly recognised for his expertise in art and heritage law.

James advises clients on a broad range of personal tax, trusts and succession planning issues, and his expertise extends to Court of Protection matters and attorneyship. He regularly acts for clients setting up philanthropic and charitable structures. He has considerable experience advising on the legal issues linked to high-value art and heritage assets, including how these assets are treated in tax planning, as well as the sale, financing, purchase and export of high-value artworks. Many of his clients have complex needs and he collaborates with colleagues across the firm, bringing together specialist expertise to find clients the solutions they need.  

James is regularly invited to speak at leading sector conferences and events. He is an honorary legal trustee for several charities. In addition to being a member of Professional Advisors to the International Art Market (PAIAM), he is also a member of both the International Bar Association and the Charity Law Association. For many years, he was a member of the STEP Philanthropy special interest group.

James qualified as a solicitor in 1996.


"James Carleton's knowledge and attention to detail is invaluable." (Legal 500 2022)

James is ranked in Band 1 for Art and Cultural Property Law in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2021.

"Very well known as one of the top art lawyers in London." (Chambers HNW 2021)  

"He is a leader in the art law arena. He is highly intelligent, thorough and amazing with clients. I would highly recommend him." (Chambers HNW 2021)

James is ranked Band 1 for Art and Cultural Property in the Chambers UK 2022 Guide. 

"Highly intelligent, thorough and amazing with clients." (Chambers UK 2022)

"Really good for non-contentious matters." (Chambers UK 2021)

"He is highly intelligent and has an excellent grasp of his subject. He is able to think around a problem." (Chambers UK 2021)

"James Carleton is prominent in the non-contentious field." (Legal 500 2021)

"James Carleton is excellent for art and chattels." (Legal 500 2021)

“Really good for non-contentious matters. He is a deal maker. He is very well known, and one of the most respected art specialists.” (Chambers HNW 2020)

“He is highly intelligent, has an excellent grasp of his subject, and is able to think around a problem.” (Chambers HNW 2020)

"A well-regarded lawyer who principally acts for art dealers, banks, international families and charitable organisations." (Chambers HNW 2019)

"I think he is brilliant. I like him very much, he is very sharp." (Chambers HNW 2019)

This site uses cookies to help us manage and improve the website and to analyse how visitors use our site. By continuing to use the website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For further information about cookies, including about how to change your browser settings to no longer accept cookies, please view our Cookie Policy. Click for more info

Back to top