James specialises in Chambers’ core practice areas of Commercial Litigation/Chancery and Professional Negligence and has extensive experience in Construction Disputes. He is an experienced and noted litigator who is sought after for his strategic approach to litigation. As well as being led by well-regarded KCs he is very comfortable acting as sole Counsel.
He is recommended for Commercial Dispute Resolution in Chambers and Partners 2023 and the Chambers and Partners Global Guide 2023 and recommended as a Leading Junior for Professional Negligence in The Legal 500 (2023).
“James is very pragmatic, concise and always keeps sight of the bigger picture.” [Legal 500 (2023)].
He “has a really good commercial head on his shoulders, he is excellent at reading what the client needs and at finding the approach to suit” [Chambers & Partners (2023)].
He is also noted as being “easy to get on with” and that his “attention to detail is excellent”, and “if you have situations where you really need to be rescued, he’s your man”. He is “very impressive, wise beyond his years, and a good advocate” with “the ability to think on his feet”. [Chambers & Partners (2022)].
An Ad hoc insurance company arbitration between ATE Insurer and solicitor that issued thousands of ATE policies under numerous Coverholder agreements over a 7-year period. The insurer claimed that the solicitor agreed to an oral variation to the Coverholder agreements under which the solicitor agreed to bear a proportion of the adverse costs awarded, the solicitor then committed wholesale breaches of the Coverholder agreements and concealed the full extent of those losses. The claim was valued in the region of £9,000,000. James was led by William McCormick QC.
Civil Fraud & Asset Recovery
Representing a company being sued by numerous finance companies for allegedly executing numerous non-regulated hire agreements concerning office equipment. The company alleges that it knew nothing of these agreements and that its finance director conspired with the supplier to execute the hire agreements for their own benefit. The claim is worth approximately £900,000.
He is instructed in a range of commercial disputes that include contractual disputes, directors/trustees breach of fiduciary duties, minority shareholders, s.994 petitions, finance, claims under the Commercial Agents Directive and professional negligence. His experience in commercial litigation means that he can act in most types of insolvency matters.
He has extensive experience in a range of Construction Disputes including advising and acting for parties involved in proceedings under the Building Safety Act 2022.
Recent examples of his cases include:
Artisan Food Hall Ltd (and others) v Redefine Paragon Square Hull Limited (2023) – Acted for the Defendant (being led by Ian Clarke KC) in this complex £3M High Court claim concerning alleged defective construction works that the Claimant was required to undertake under an Agreement for Lease.
Kingsbury Stone Limited (and others) v Ross Kemp (and others) (2023) Acted for the Claimant (being led by William McCormick KC) in this highly complex High Court claim worth an estimated £100M arising out of a merger of two companies.”
Pharmapac (UK) Ltd v HBS Healthcare Ltd  EWHC 23 (Comm) – Acted for the Defendant in this £750,000 Commercial Court claim concerning the supply of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indigo Michael Limited (t/a SafetyNet Credit) v The Claims Expert Limited (t/a Impakt Claims) (2022) – Acting for the Defendant in this Commercial Court claim in which the Claimant alleges that the Defendant has caused it loss by unlawful means.
London Victoria Insurance Co Ltd v Kammar Abbas Khan and Others  (SCCO reference: SC-2020-BTP – 000037) – Acting for the Fourth Defendant in ongoing Detailed Assessment proceedings. Case concerns, amongst others, the proper interpretation of a CFA and the applicability of numerous Statutory provisions.
Interclass Company Limited v Hambro Roofing Limited (2022) – Acting for the Defendant in this ongoing claim in the Technology and Construction Court. The Claimant alleges that D, a roofing contractor, started a fire at Ludgate House causing losses in the region of £800,000.
Troika Talent Agents LLP v Lena Headey (2022) – Acting for the Defendant in this ongoing claim in the Business List (ChD). The Claimant seeks to recover commissions from a well-known and successful television and film actress.
GHR Construction Limited v Mr Yotnam Yinhal (2022) – Acting for the Claimant in this ongoing claim in the Business List (ChD). The Claimant seeks to recover damages pursuant to an indemnity.
Jabac Finances Limited v Maplegate Homes Limited and others (2022) – Acting for the Claimant in it £1M plus issued claim. Claim concerns the alleged variation of various short term bridging loans.
Heat Trace (UK) Ltd v Heat Trace Ltd (2020)– Acted for the Claimant in this long running dispute in which the Claimant alleges that the Defendant breached the terms of a Distribution Agreement.
McAlpine Grant ILCO v AFR Refrigeration Ltd  EWHC 106 (QB) – Dispute concerning the supply of a faulty refrigerator unit that caused damage to a third party’s high value pharmaceutical products.
Hart v Derek Ingram Limited and another (2020) – Acted on behalf of the Defendant in a claim issues in the Technology and Construction Court concerning alleged defective construction works.
Namalco Construction v EMBD (2019) – A $150 million dispute involving significant infrastructure projects in Trinidad & Tobago. James is instructed as a junior on behalf of Namalco Construction. Namalco are seeking payment of approximately $150 million in respect of major road and infrastructure projects that they were contracted to complete by Estate Management & Business Development Company Limited (EMBD). The contracts in dispute are based upon the Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils (FIDIC) Red Book. The dispute is multi-layered and complex. EMBD have raised issues over the quality of the works, the quantities used, the prices applied and have made allegations that the Contract Supervisors failed to act independently. There are serious allegations that the bidding process was flawed because Namalco were part of a cartel.
Rattan v Carter-Ruck Solicitors  5WLUK 633 – Acting for the Defendant in successfully striking out the Claimants application for a detailed assessment of a bill of costs. The Master found that the Claimants conduct amounted to an abuse of process.
First Call Services v Bulgari Hotel and Residence (2019) – Acting for the Defendant in a contractual dispute arising out of the provision of security services at its Knightsbridge Hotel.
Rugby BC v Mr and Mrs Tayton  EWHC 898 (QB) – Successfully obtaining an award of indemnity costs against the Applicant for failing to provide full and frank disclosure whilst obtaining a Freezing Injunction against Respondents.
Media & Entertainment
In conjunction with his commercial practice James is also developing a practice in Sports Law. He has recently achieved notable success in a matter that has attracted significant interest in the national press. The Claimant was an academy player (who because of his age cannot be named) with a Premier League Club when he was illegally approached by Liverpool FC. As a result, Liverpool FC was banned from signing academy players from other English clubs and being fined £100,000. Under the terms of the settlement with the Premier League and Liverpool FC, his client will be able to continue with his education at his current private school at no cost to him and be free to join another club within the academy system without that club being required to pay compensation in the sum of £49,000 to Stoke City FC, that sum having been settled.
He has acted for various agents and football clubs regarding disputes concerning player commissions and agency fees.
Taray Investments Limited and others v Gately Heritage LLP  EWHC 716 – Five-day professional negligence trial in which James acted for the Claimants in which they sought damages from their solicitor for the lost opportunity of purchasing and developing a residential site.
Aston Shaw Limited v Thomson Sawmills Limited (2022) – Acting for the Claimant/Part 20 Defendant. It is alleged that the Claimant failed to properly prepare several cashflow forecasts which meant that the Defendant was unable to renew its overdraft, causing losses more than £1M.
X v Y (2022) – Acted for the Claimant who is a HNI. The Defendant was a letting agency of luxury apartments. The Claimant alleged that the Defendant negligently let its client, who was the previous owner of the Claimant’s property and the Claimant’s former landlord, into the property. The Claimant alleged that the previous owner then stole over £250,000 in fine wines, electrical equipment, and clothing. This was against a background of disputed rent arrears between the Claimant and the previous owner. The claim recently settled on a confidential basis, with the Defendant’s insurers making a substantial payment to the Claimant.
A v B (2022) – James was instructed as junior Counsel to Lord Garnier KC who were acting for the Claimant in his professional negligence claim. The Defendant was instructed as Leading Counsel for the Claimant in his failed defamation claim against various medical professors and an NHS Trust. The Claimant sought to recover from the Defendant the legal fees he incurred and the costs he was ordered to pay within the defamation proceedings. The claim has recently settled on a confidential basis with the Defendant’s insurers making a significant payment to the Claimant
Currently instructed on behalf of numerous investors in their professional negligence claim against a firm of conveyancing solicitors. The claims arise out of two failed building developments in Leeds and Liverpool. The Claimants allege that the solicitors failed to properly protects their interests by failing to properly advise each claimant of the risks of purchasing an “off-plan” property. The total value of the claim exceeds £1.5M.
James has a flourishing property practice that includes disputes relating to boundary positions, adverse possession, easements, restrictive covenants nuisance and mortgage (which include undue influence, capacity, enforceability and possession). He has significant experience in claims that involve issues surrounding the Consumer Credit Act 1974 that complements both his commercial and property practice.
Gelle v (1) Kamal (2) Akhtar – James was representing the Defendants in a mortgage repossession case where arrears were alleged to have been over £1M. The Defence raised three issues, the mortgage was void because it was a clog on the equity of redemption, alternatively the Claimant was in breach by failing to allow the Defendants to redeem the mortgage, and in the further alternative the mortgage and the Claimant’s conduct created an unfair relationship pursuant to section 140 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The matter was successfully concluded at a mediation.
(1) A Wahab (2) A Jan v S Akhter – A two-day trial concerning a long running family property dispute. The allegation was that Grandson had obtained a transfer of the Grandparents’ legal and beneficial interest in their home without proper consent. The case concerned allegations of undue influence, non est factum and priority of interests under the Land Registration Act 2002.
Motley v Shadwell Park Ltd  11 WLUK 213 – The Court of Appeal considered whether the Judge was correct in granting the Respondent relief from sanctions in forfeiture proceedings.