Josh acts in high-profile and high value disputes across commercial and public law. He is currently instructed in proceedings concerning the enforcement of a $2 billion arbitration award, a high value cross-border dispute in the High Court and a number of complex civil fraud cases. He has considerable experience of financial services regulation and litigation having previously spent several months on secondment advising the Bank of England.
Josh has particular expertise in sanctions and international trade. He is currently instructed as sole counsel in one of the first Court challenges to a decision to designate a person for an asset-freeze under the Russian sanctions regulations. He regularly advises sanctions authorities, companies, designated persons and transactional lawyers on sanctions and export control matters.
He also has extensive experience in Human Rights Law and is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Counsel. He regularly appears in public law cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Privy Council, both on his own and led by King’s Counsel. He is one of the most junior barristers ranked in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for public law work.
Josh regularly appears in contempt proceedings, usually arising in the course of commercial litigation. Current instructions include contempt proceedings brought in respect of what is alleged to have been a £3m fraudulent claim against the Ministry of Defence and contempt proceedings for breach of a freezing order in ongoing High Court commercial proceedings.
Josh is currently instructed as sole counsel in the High Court in a £3m commercial civil fraud case involving a Canadian company’s dispute with its UK sales and distribution agent. He has acted in High Court restraint of trade cases, tech disputes between cloud services providers and commercial clients and in telecoms disputes. He also has expertise in commercial property disputes having represented commercial landlords in very high value disputes.
Josh was part of the 2019 Rail Franchising litigation counsel team for the Department of Transport, one of the top 20 cases for 2020.
He worked in private equity before coming to the Bar and as such, Josh has an excellent commercial awareness.
Appeared as led junior counsel in a contract case before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Josh is ranked in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for his public and administrative law work. He is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission panel of counsel and has acted in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Privy Council in important and high profile matters. He acts in the full range of public law cases. He is currently instructed in a major judicial review of the Secretary of State for Justice’s ongoing refusal to hold a public inquiry into the Medomsley abuse scandal, a Tax Tribunal case concerning the applicability of Article 6 ECHR in tax disputes and a High Court matter concerning the applicability of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU to people living in the UK with pre-settled status. He has appeared successfully in the Court of Appeal unled and has appeared several times in the Privy Council led by King’s Counsel.
His previous reported cases are listed below, they encompass homelessness, free speech, social care, the use of police powers, constitutional law and protest law.
R (OAO R) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  WLKUK 362
Josh regularly practises in International Administrative law and is currently instructed in proceedings before the United Nations Appeal Tribunal and the Islamic Development Bank Administrative Tribunal.
Josh has extensive experience in advising on matters arising out of sanctions and export control measures. He was the sole counsel advising the Government of Jersey on the sale of Chelsea Football Club from a sanctions perspective. He also worked intensively on the effect of financial sanctions on UK banking regulation and transactions whilst at the Bank of England. He now regularly advises private clients, law firms, Governments and corporates on sanctions issues. He has experience of working with the UK, EU and US sanctions regimes as much of his work is multi-jurisdictional. In consequence of his work in Jersey, Josh as a particular knowledge and expertise in the use of off-shore trusts for sanctions evasion.
He also regularly appears in disciplinary tribunals and has experience of representing doctors, accountants and dentists in professional disciplinary proceedings. In ACCA v Awodola  EWCA Civ 1635, Josh successfully represented an accountant who had been struck off before the Court of Appeal having previously successfully represented him in the High Court in judicial review proceedings.
Finally, Josh has considerable experience in criminal and quasi criminal proceedings relating to his other areas of practice. He has acted in Maritime Law prosecutions, prosecutions under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and has appeared in many contempt of court proceedings, most recently the important case of QRT v JBE where Josh obtained summary dismissal of contempt proceedings faced by his clients in a reported judgment by Nicklin J.
QRT v JBE  EWHC 2902 (KB)
Awodola v ACCA  EWHC 3059 (Admin)
ACCA v Awodola  EWCA Civ 1635
Whilst on secondment at the Bank of England, Josh worked extensively on the Financial Services and Markets Bill 2022 and, in particular on the proposed regulation of stablecoins. He also gained extensive experience of the regulation of banks, CCPs and other regulated firms. Having been working at the Bank on the day Russia invaded Ukraine, Josh has particular knowledge and experience of managing the UK’s regulatory response to sanctions. Josh has also been instructed extensively by the Government of another jurisdiction to advise on the legality of banking transactions spanning several countries. He also has particular expertise and understanding of the Resolution regime under the Banking Act 2008.
Joshua Hitchens is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.
“He is really wonderful; he is imaginative and a really good team player. He is a real safe pair of hands.”
Administrative & Public Law, Chambers and Partners
"Very bright and imaginative barrister with a great future."
Administrative Law and Human Rights, Legal 500 2023
Our dedicated practice management team can help you identify the right barrister for your case.