Josh acts in high-profile and high value disputes across commercial and public law. Current or recent instructions include a multi-jurisdictional civil fraud claim in which Josh acted as sole counsel and obtained a freezing order for $21.6m USD, acting as sole counsel in the first sanctions delisting challenge brought by a mono-British national and acting as junior counsel in proceedings concerning the enforcement of a $2.4bn arbitration award. Josh regularly appears as sole counsel against much more senior opponents and is one of the most junior barristers ranked in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for public law work.

He regularly appears in high value commercial disputes both as sole and led counsel. He is currently instructed in the Crescent v National Iranian Oil Company litigation as junior counsel for the Iranian Retirement and Welfare Fund of Oil Workers in an application concerning the enforcement of a $2.4bn arbitration award. In Ignite v Inpero & Cooper [2024] EWHC 220 (KB), Josh acted as sole counsel for the Claimant in a £3.5m civil fraud claim. He successfully obtained judgment for the Claimant, freezing orders, non-party disclosure orders and a finding of contempt against the Defendant. Josh was also recently instructed in a $20m unlawful means conspiracy and civil fraud claim arising out of a commercial agreement involving Brazilian, Chinese, Swiss and Dubai Companies.

Josh has particular expertise in sanctions and international trade. In Phillips v Foreign Secretary [2024] EWHC 32 (Admin), Josh was sole counsel for the first mono-British national to bring a delisting challenge under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. Johnson J described Josh’s presentation of the case as “excellent”. Josh is currently writing a book for Bloomsbury on the regulation of international trade, with a focus on export control and sanctions. He has advised transactional lawyers, governments, regulators, designated persons and financial institutions on sanctions and export control matters.

Josh has considerable experience bringing and defending contempt proceedings. In QRT v JBE [2022] EWHC 2902 (KB), Josh secured the summary dismissal of a contempt application in proceedings concerning the alleged blackmail of the Claimant. In MOD v Muyepa, the Ministry of Defence sought the committal to prison of a former solider and his wife said to have conspired to bring a fraudulent £3.7m claim against the MOD.  Josh represented Mrs Muyepa against whom proceedings were ultimately dismissed.

Josh has written extensively on legal issues. He is an author of Hitchens and Daly on Forced Marriage Law and Practice, which was nominated for the Inner Temple Book Prize, he is a contributor to Atkin Court Forms and is currently writing a book on the Regulation of international trade for Bloomsbury.


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.

Notable Commercial Litigation cases

Maloo et al v Somar [2019] UKPC 2016/0071

Appeared as led junior counsel in a contract case before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

De Zwarte Band v Kanhai [2019] UKPC 48

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.

Notable Public Law cases

R (ZLL) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government [2022] EWHC 85 (Admin)

R (OAO S) v Kent County Council JR/986/2021

R(OAO Tiemo) v Lambeth London Borough Council [2020] EWHC 1193

R (OAO Awodola) v Association of Chartered Certified Accountants [2020] EWHC 3059 (Admin)

R (Ncube) v Brighton and Hove City Council [201] A.C.D 57

Betaudier v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago [2021] UKPC 7

R (OAO R) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] WLKUK 362

R (Robinson) v Buckinghamshire County Council and anor [2021] EWHC 2014 (Admin)

Duncan and another v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago [2021] UKPC 17

R (Maxey) v High Speed 2 Ltd [2021] EWHC 246 (Admin)

ACCA v Awodola [2021] EWCA Civ 1635

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 [2021] 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.

Notable Sanctions, Business Crime and Regulatory cases

QRT v JBE [2022] EWHC 2902 (KB)

Awodola v ACCA [2020] EWHC 3059 (Admin)

ACCA v Awodola [2021] 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.

Related updates

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.

"Joshua is effective and tenacious, he fought his client's corner in a very effective way."; "He is not afraid to push a new point and he works hard for the applicants."

Administrative & Public Law, Chambers & Partners 2024

'A very astute junior who is committed to his clients.'

Administrative Law & Human Rights, Legal 500, 2024

“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

To find out more, contact Lexie Johnson on + 44 (0) 207 427 0801 or George Bennett on +44 (0)207 427 0807 for a confidential discussion.

Our dedicated practice management team can help you identify the right barrister for your case.

  • Forced Marriage Law and Practice, 2021, Bloomsbury Professional Press

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts;
  • The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, Walter Wigglesworth pupillage scholarship;
  • The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, Sir Louis Gluckstein Advocacy Prize for best advocate in the Inn;
  • Lord Denning Scholarship, Hardwicke Award and Accommodation Award;
  • The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, Lord Haldane Scholarship

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