James joined chambers in 2018 following successful completion of his pupillage. He is developing a broad commercial and chancery practice, and accepts instructions both as sole counsel and as part of a counsel team across the full range of chambers’ expertise. James regularly appears in the County Court and High Court, and undertakes a wide variety of drafting and advisory work.

Examples of James’s current and recent work include:

  • Advising in relation to a potential claim for dishonest assistance following a fraud in the value of $1.2 million.
  • Acting (with Edward Cumming QC) in relation to a complex ongoing dispute involving the administration of a family trust and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
  • Advising (with Edward Cumming QC) beneficiaries of a trust in relation to potential claims against present and former trustees and directors of underlying companies.
  • Regularly representing airlines (including British Airways, Icelandair, TUI, and Easyjet) in claims brought under EU Regulation 261/2004 and the Montreal Convention.
  • Advising owners of an aircraft as to the interpretation of a contract for the aircraft’s repair.
  • Settling a defence and counterclaim for owners of a property in relation to a construction dispute following defective building works.
  • Regularly appearing in the High Court in relation to corporate and personal insolvency matters, including winding up and bankruptcy petitions, and other related applications.

James’s pupil supervisors were Hugh Miall, Erin Hitchens, Edward Cumming QC, and Oliver Assersohn. During pupillage, James gained experience across all of chambers’ practice areas, including trusts and probate litigation, commercial litigation, civil fraud, banking and financial services, company litigation, and insolvency.

Before pupillage, James was awarded Lincoln’s Inn’s top scholarship for the Bar Professional Training Course, and won the 2016 ESU National Mooting Competition, the largest and oldest of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Further details of James’s experience are set out below.

Areas of experience

Checked sections will be included in the PDF download.

Select: All | None

  • Aviation

    James regularly appears in the County Court representing defendant airlines in relation to claims made by passengers under EU Regulation 261/2004 and the Montreal Convention.

    During pupillage, James’s experience included a claim in which the purchaser of a part-share in an aircraft sought US$4m on the grounds of non-delivery, breach of contract, and conversion.

  • Banking and Financial Services

    During pupillage, James gained experience across a range of banking and financial services matters, including:

    • Mis-selling claims in relation to the sale of mortgages, pensions, savings products, and interest-rate swap products.
    • A judicial review of a final decision made by the Financial Ombudsman Service.
    • A claim involving the brokering of contracts for difference with a fraudulent and insolvent hedge fund.
  • Civil Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

    During pupillage, James gained a broad experience of claims for personal and proprietary remedies in cases involving allegations of fraud and dishonesty, including:

    • A claim brought by an airline for deceit, breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy against seven defendants.
    • Proceedings for the fraudulent introduction of an insolvent hedge fund to a global brokerage firm.
    • A claim brought by an art dealer seeking the return of artworks which had been consigned on the basis of alleged fraudulent misrepresentations.
    • An application made by a company seeking rescission of the fraudulent establishment of a Limited Partnership.
    • An alleged oil trading fraud involving claims for unlawful means conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contractual duty, dishonest assistance, and knowing receipt.
    • A claim against a former employee alleged to have been stealing company money throughout her employment.
  • Commercial Litigation

    Throughout his pupillage, James worked with his supervisors on a wide range of commercial matters. Alongside developing his drafting skills in relation to advice, pleadings, skeleton arguments and other documents, he gained experience of issues concerning the conflict of laws and applications for interim relief (including freezing and proprietary injunctions). Cases James worked on included:

    • Assisting Edward Cumming QC in Yukos International UK BV & Ors v Merinson [2018] EWHC 335 (Comm) concerning the interpretation and scope of Article 23 of the Brussels Recast Judgments Regulation.
    • A claim by an investment banking advisor for unpaid success fees in relation to the introduction of a Chinese investor to a defendant property development company.
    • A claim brought against three pharmaceuticals companies for breaches of contract and fiduciary duty.
    • A claim for allegedly due commission payments following the sale of a business, engaging issues under the Estate Agents Act 1979.
    • A claim for breach of contract brought by a company acting as an intermediary in the egg production market against a couple running a free-range egg farm, involving arguments concerning contractual interpretation and penalty clauses subsequent to Cavendish Square Holding BV v Makdessi [2015] UKSC 67.
    • A claim for damages for breach of contract, conversion, and restitution for unjust enrichment concerning unpaid sums pursuant to a contract for the provision of telecommunications and security equipment and services.
  • Company

    During pupillage, James gained experience of a range of company law matters, including:

    • claims alleging breaches of directors’ duties;
    • winding-up petitions; and
    • unfair prejudice petitions pursuant to section 994 of the Companies Act 2006.

    James also assisted Edward Cumming QC in the mediation of a dispute involving the exclusion of a director and shareholder from the management of a large family business.

  • Construction & Projects

    During pupillage, James:

    • Drafted a Defence and Counterclaim for a couple facing a claim for unpaid invoices having withheld payments to a builder due to defective work.
    • Assisted Hugh Miall in Harvil Roofing Limited v Lakehouse Contracts Limited (2017), a trial in the Technology and Construction Court of a claim against a building contractor for alleged breaches of an oral contract relating to the exclusivity of future work
  • Insolvency

    James regularly appears in the High Court winding up list on behalf of petitioners, other creditors, and debtor companies. During pupillage, James assisted his supervisors – and was himself instructed as counsel – in a range of matters concerning both corporate insolvency and personal bankruptcy including:

    • winding-up and bankruptcy petitions;
    • acting for the respondent to an application for an injunction restraining the presentation of a winding up petition;
    • applications for the setting aside of a statutory demand; and
    • claims under section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 for transactions at an undervalue.

    James also assisted Oliver Assersohn in Barons Finance Ltd v Barons Bridging Finance 1 Ltd & Ors [2018] EWHC 496 (Ch), a claim brought for a declaration that an assignment was void under section 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986 and that it should be set aside under sections 238 and 423 of the Act.

  • Partnership and Joint Ventures

    During pupillage, James assisted Hugh Miall in advising members of LLPs as to their liability under various partnership agreements to make contributions upon the LLPs’ insolvency.

  • Trusts, Probate & Estates

    During pupillage, James gained a broad experience of chambers’ work across trusts and probate litigation, assisting his supervisors and drafting advice, pleadings, and other documents in relation to a wide range of cases including:

    • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
    • Claims for the removal of trustees.
    • Applications for the disclosure of trust documents.
    • A claim for the rescission of a trust on the basis of mistake or misrepresentation.
    • A contentious probate claim for a declaration that a will was not validly executed on the basis of (i) lack of testamentary capacity and (ii) lack of knowledge and approval of the contents and effect of the will.
    • A claim for the rectification of a will under section 20 of the Administration of Justice Act 1982.

    James also assisted Edward Cumming QC in Lehtimäki v The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK) and others [2018] EWCA Civ 1605, concerning the scope of the court’s inherent jurisdiction to supervise charitable companies.