James Clayton-Payne advises clients on complex, cross-border transactions including mergers and acquisitions, divestments, joint ventures, and venture capital financings across the Asia region and all sectors. Drawing on more than a decade of on-the-ground experience working in Asia, Mr. Clayton-Payne serves a range of private equity and venture capital firms, financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, companies, family offices, and government entities doing business in the region, especially in Southeast Asia and India. He handles matters involving a multitude of industries, with a particular focus on infrastructure, financial services, technology, power, oil and gas, and natural resources.

Based in Asia since 2010, Mr. Clayton-Payne has practiced in London, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

James is recognized as one of five Next Generation M&A lawyers by The Legal 500, a Rising Star by IFLR1000, an Up and Coming lawyer by Chambers Asia-Pacific, and was recently recognized as one of three Asia Future Leaders for M&A by IFLR1000.

Mr. Clayton-Payne’s experience includes advising:

Energy and Infrastructure

  • Evolution Data Centres on its pan-Asian joint venture with Warburg Pincus to build and operate data centres
  • I Squared Capital on its acquisition of a controlling interest in cloud computing companies Mateen Cloud Ventures and Infofabrica Holdings*
  • Frontier Tower Associates Philippines on its joint venture with KKR to establish a telecom tower platform across Southeast Asia*
  • SDIC on its acquisition of the Batang Toru hydropower plant in Indonesia 
  • PTTEP on its acquisition of Partex Holding B.V. from Lisbon-based Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation*
  • PETRONAS on its sale of an interest in the RAPID Refinery and Petrochemical project in Malaysia to Saudi Aramco for US$8 billion*
  • MIND ID on its acquisition of an interest in PT Vale Indonesia, the largest nickel producer in Indonesia, from Vale and Sumitomo*
  • Vena Energy on its renewables joint ventures in the Philippines*
  • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) on its acquisition of a minority interest in CLP India Private Limited*
  • Pertamina on various strategic M&A opportunities across Asia

Private Equity and Venture Capital 

  • Investcorp on its acquisition of a controlling interest in Viz Branz, a distributor of F&B brands across China and Southeast Asia*
  • Barings Asia on its investments into and restructuring of Cath Kidston, a UK based lifestyle retailer*  
  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan on its investment into Spandana, an Indian microfinance company*
  • TPG NewQuest on its secondary acquisition of a portfolio of assets from DFJ*
  • Standard Chartered Private Equity (now Affirma) on multiple investments, exits and secondary sales*
  • Tybourne on its Series C investment into Kopi Kenangan in Indonesia 
  • Vertex on various venture capital investments across Asia 
  • Gojek on several of its recent acquisitions and joint ventures, including its joint venture with Air Asia, its e-commerce joint venture with JD.com and its Series A fundraises for GoPlay and RUMA*

Financial Services 

  • AXA on its acquisition of HSBC’s general insurance businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong and associated bancassurance arrangements*
  • Standard Chartered, CIMB, DBS Bank, Friends Provident, and Citibank on their exclusive pan-Asian bancassurance arrangements*

*Matter handled prior to joining Latham

Bar Qualification

  • England and Wales (Solicitor)


  • LPC, Oxford Institute of Legal Practice
  • GDL, Oxford Brookes University
  • BA, Durham University
    First Class Honours