James Burchnall


With extensive experience working in top-tier corporate law firms in Melbourne, London and most recently in Adelaide, James brings much sought-after skills specialising in public and private M&A, equity capital markets and advising on listed company compliance and corporate governance.

James recently led the Kain Lawyers teams advising:

  • SeaLink (ASX:SLK) on its acquisition of Transit Systems for $635m (plus up to $63m earn-out), together with SeaLink’s accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise $154m.
  • Ellex (ASX:ELX) on its capital raising of $23.2m from US and Australian investors.
  • Alcidion (ASX:ALC) on its acquisition of MKM Health and Patientrack.
  • SeaLink on its acquisition of Fraser Island’s Kingfisher Bay Resort Group for $43m, and SeaLink’s acquisition of Transit Marine for $125m and associated capital raising of $51m.

James has also acted on several other high profile M&A and Equity Capital Markets transactions in Australia and internationally, including acting for Envestra Limited (now Australian Gas Networks) on its $2.3 billion recommended takeover by Hong Kong listed Cheung Kong Infrastructure Group and the rival scheme of arrangement proposed by APA Group.

Whether it’s capital raising, joint ventures, M&A, commercial contract negotiation or employee share schemes, James offers leading-edge expertise, second-to-none execution skills and commercial judgement gained from years of experience advising on complex transactions in Australia and internationally (including 7 years with Herbert Smith Freehills in London and Melbourne). Understanding the entirety of his client’s situation, rather than just factors relating only to the law, enables James to partner perfectly with ASX-listed entities and private companies to develop a strategic, solutions-focused and energetic approach to achieving their desired outcome – no matter how complex the challenge.

James was named the 2021 Venture Capital Lawyer of the Year in the ‘Best Lawyers in Australia’ 2021 edition, to go along with his M&A Lawyer of the Year for South Australia in 2019. He is also listed in the areas of M&A and Equity Capital Markets in the 2018, 2019 & 2020 editions of ‘Best Lawyers in Australia’ and as a leading Corporate lawyer in the 2019 & 2020 editions of Doyle’s Guide.