James H. Neale

Of Counsel


646.583.0765 (office)

917.992.3989 (cell)

Practice Areas

Complex Commercial Litigation, including:

  • Contract, UCC
  • Fraud, Unfair Competition, False Advertising
  • Trademark, Trade Secret, Copyright
  • Fiduciary Duty, Director Liability
  • Lender and Successor Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Sports Organizations


Washington & Lee School of Law, JD 1981, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif.  American Jurisprudence Awards:  Contracts, Corporations, Evidence.

Princeton University, BA 1978, Politics

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

New York State, 1982

United States District Court,
Southern District of New York, 1983

United Staes District Court,
Eastern District of New York, 1983

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1996

United States Supreme Court, 1997

Prior Law Firm Experience

Norton Rose Fulbright
(f/k/a Fulbright & Jaworski), 2002 – 2015, Partner

Owen & Davis, 1987 – 2002, Partner

Butler, Fitzgerald & Potter, 1984 – 1987, Associate

Breed, Abbott & Morgan, 1981 -1984, Associate

Other Positions

USA Fencing (National Governing Body of the Olympic sport)
General Counsel, pro bono, 2012 – present

Jim Neale is a seasoned litigator and trial attorney, having more than 35 years’ experience before state and federal courts and arbitration panels in New York and other states. He has successfully represented and advised public, private and nonprofit companies, as well as individuals, in commercial and sports-related disputes presenting a wide variety of issues.

Drawing from his experience as an All-American college fencer, and now as a nationally ranked “veteran” fencer, Jim believes in preparation, strategy and skillful execution. The successful litigant will choose its battles with care, attack the adversary’s weaknesses, and be primed to defend and counter when the adversary attacks from strength. Jim approaches each case from a fresh perspective, identifying expeditious routes to success, both traditional and novel.

Jim came to WSMB in 2015 after nearly thirteen years as a litigation partner at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, one of the largest law firms in the world and the successor to Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, which Jim had joined in 2002.  In joining WSMB, Jim returned to the small-firm environment in which he had flourished from 1984 to 2002, after his formative years as an associate at Breed, Abbott & Morgan. At WSMB, Jim and his talented colleagues provide sophisticated legal representation characteristic of much larger firms, but with the nimble touch and cost effectiveness that smaller outfits can offer.

Owing to his 5-year (and continuing) tenure as General Counsel of USA Fencing, the National Governing Body of the Olympic sport, Jim also brings an insider’s perspective to his representation of our corporate and sports organization clientele. Understanding our clients’ business operations and goals, along with their legal priorities, is an important element of the services that Jim and WSMB provide.

Professional Activities

New York State Bar Association, Sections on Business Law, Commercial and Federal Litigation, Intellectual Property Law, Entertainment Arts and Sports Law, Trial Lawyers

International Trademark Association – Non-Traditional Marks Committee, 2006 – 2009;
Emerging Issues Committee, 2010 – 2011

American Bar Association, Business Law Section

Association of the Bar of the City of New York

Sports Lawyers Association

Professional Honors

New York Metro Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, Intellectual Property, 2007 – 2010
and Business Litigation, 2013 – 2020

The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, New York City, Best Lawyers, 2013 – 2020

AV Rated Lawyer – LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell

Representative Experience – Click here to open PDF

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