Volume 4, Issue 2, December 2018
James Sinclair is an English lawyer, academic researcher and social entrepreneur. He qualified as a barrister in 2001 and spent the first five years of his practice working principally on international litigation matters. In 2006, James co-founded FSI Worldwide, an organisation dedicated to protecting vulnerable workers from exploitation and abuse in international labour supply chains. The company has now taken many thousands of people out of modern slavery networks by providing them with ethical employment opportunities. In recognition of their humanitarian impact, FSI won the 2013 United Nations Business Leaders Award and received commendations from the Thompson Reuters Foundation and International Stability Operations Association in 2017 and 2018. The company now operates in several countries across Asia, the Middle East, the UK and US. In 2018, James was named by Sustain Worldwide as one of the top 100 modern slavery influencers in the UK. James holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from York University, a Graduate Diploma in Law and Bar Vocational Qualification from the University of Law, and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from King’s College London. He is a registered Barrister and practicing Solicitor. He won four Lincoln’s Inn Law Scholarships and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
The legal, political and commercial landscape surrounding modern slavery has developed significantly since 2008. However, the relative weakness of enforcement mechanisms within legislation designed to combat labour exploitation has meant that there have been few meaningful changes to abusive commercial practices. This article explores whether corporate accountability litigation could fill the enforcement void. It looks at the prospects for such litigation in the UK and concludes that there are significant challenges to be overcome. For litigation to be a successful lever of corporate change, it will require jurisprudential developments, extensive resourcing and dedicated, persistent professionals.