James has a broad chancery and commercial practice encompassing contentious trusts and estates, probate and inheritance disputes, civil fraud, insolvency, and commercial and company disputes.
He regularly appears as sole counsel in the High Court and County Court, and is frequently instructed as a junior on complex and high value disputes. Alongside a substantial domestic caseload, many of James’s cases involve working with lawyers and clients from other jurisdictions, and on matters involving international and conflict of laws elements.
James has twice been seconded from chambers for three months: first to the litigation team at Walkers (Guernsey) LLP, during which he worked on a wide range of commercial, civil fraud, and contentious trusts cases, gaining a detailed familiarity with the jurisdiction; and second to the private wealth disputes team at Mishcon de Reya LLP, during which he handled a varied caseload of trusts, probate and succession litigation.
Examples of James’s recent work include:
- Adams & ors v FS Capital Limited & ors (High Court, 2020): James acts (with Hugh Miall) on behalf of c.650 beneficiaries of 3 Jersey-law trusts who seek the recovery of trust assets in excess of £170 million on the basis that the sale and assignment of those assets out of the trusts was a breach of trust and a fraud on the power.
- Molard International (PTC) Limited & another v Rusnano Capital AG (in liquidation)  GCA077 (and ongoing): James acts (with Edward Cumming QC) as English counsel in Guernsey proceedings for a company in a Russian-owned technology investment group which seeks the termination of a trust of which it is the sole beneficiary. The Guernsey Court of Appeal decision is the leading authority on a beneficiary’s ability to terminate a Guernsey trust under the Trusts (Guernsey) Law 2007.
- Fonds Rusnano Capital SA v CRGF GP Ltd (Guernsey Royal Court, 2019): James acted (with Edward Cumming QC) in a two week trial in the Guernsey Royal Court, in which a company in the Russian-owned ‘Rusnano’ group sought the rescission of a $125 million limited partnership agreement on the basis of alleged fraudulent misrepresentations by the former member of Rusnano’s staff who owned the general partner.
- Parks v Parks & another (Lewes County Court, 2020): James successfully obtained summary judgment (both at first instance and on appeal) against an adult child claimant under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, on the basis that there was no real prospect of establishing that the deceased’s will had not made reasonable financial provision for the claimant on the evidence that had been filed in advance of trial.
Further details of James’s experience are set out below.
Areas of experience
BA English Language and Literature (First Class, top 5 in university) – Brasenose College, University of Oxford
MSt English 1550-1700 (Distinction) – Lincoln College, University of Oxford
Graduate Dip. Law (Distinction) – Oxford Brookes University
Scholarships and Prizes
Lord Mansfield Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn’s top award, 2016)
Winner, ESU-Essex Court National Mooting Competition (2016)
Lord Brougham Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn, 2015)
Hardwicke Award (Lincoln’s Inn, 2015)
Sloane Robinson Graduate Scholarship (Lincoln College, Oxford, 2014)
The Chancery Bar Association
The Commercial Bar Association
Young Fraud Lawyers Association
Panel member, Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit)