James has over 30 years experience in corporate turnaround and restructuring and strategic consulting assignments



James became a Partner of Ferrier Hodgson in 1994 and has practised in the field of corporate turnaround and restructuring and strategic consulting for over 30 years. James has been Ferrier Hodgson’s retail practice leader since 1999 and is currently the managing partner of the firm’s Melbourne office.

James is also the Executive Leader of Azurium, a boutique provider of performance improvement, change management, digital and real estate services, owned by Ferrier Hodgson.

James has developed a reputation as one of Australia’s leading retail corporate doctors. His deep knowledge of the retail sector is unique in his field. James is highly regarded as a key advisor on retail and is a frequent public speaker and commentator on changes in consumer behaviour and the impact on retail models, having travelled extensively overseas with Westfield studying international retail business models and global trends.

Recent major projects

While the majority of James’ retail assignments are confidential and involve supported turnaround and restructure strategies, he has dealt with some of Australia’s biggest retail restructures representing over AUD 6 billion of retail sales in Australia and New Zealand.  Some of James’ more notable assignments include:

  • Receiver and Manager to Dick Smith, one of Australia and New Zealand's largest consumer electronics retailers with an exposure to the banking syndicated of AUD130 million. 
  • Debt / equity restructure of the Colorado Group, specialty apparel and footwear business with an annual turnover of AUD430 million.
  • Restructure and going concern sale of Australian Discount Retail, a discount variety business with a turnover of AUD930 million.
  • Restructure and sale of department store, Harris Scarfe with an annual turnover of AUD400 million.
  • Voluntary administrator of Borders, a book retailer with an annual turnover of AUD177 million.


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