Public Access : Yes
Arbitrator : Yes
Mediator : Yes
- MA (Philosophy and Law), St Mary’s University, Twickenham
- Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Diploma in Law, PCL
- Joint Services Command and Staff College, Watchfield (tacsc)
- Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
- Trinity College, Melbourne University (History)
- Australian National University (PPE) (Distinction in Economics)
- Commonwealth University Scholar (Australia) (Dux in Economics)
James is a senior member of the Civil and Disciplinary and Regulatory Teams in Chambers.
James has an extensive and broad-based commercial practice, with some high profile public law experience, in addition.
He is an experienced advocate appearing in complex commercial disputes before the English courts at all levels (including in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal) as well as in commercial arbitrations.
He is instructed by UK and international clients in a wide range of commercial disputes, with a particular emphasis on commercial contracts, financial services, banking, fraud, insurance, international trade, shipping, joint-ventures and shareholder disputes. Many of these disputes are complex and have multi-jurisdictional and foreign law aspects.
James advises and acts at all stages of litigation, from development of the litigation and commercial strategy, pre-action and interim applications, including to protect confidential information, in jurisdictional and conflict challenges, anti-suit injunctions, freezing orders and seizure orders, up to the final trial or hearing, and beyond to appeals and post-trial enforcement and litigation.
He also acts in commercial property litigation and related trust claims. He also has experience in international nuisance and dumping claims and in public law claims, notably in health-related areas, and in other health related litigation.
He accepts appointments as an arbitrator and acts as a mediator. He is also an advocacy tutor on the Middle Temple Continuing Education Programme.
James served as a regular army officer for 5 years, commissioned from Sandhurst into the Queen’s Own Hussars, serving in West Germany and Berlin. Upon leaving the regular army he qualified for and was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple.
He also transferred to the reserve and served as a territorial officer for 20 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He was later appointed Colonel Commandant of Army Cadets, in the rank of colonel. He was awarded the Territorial Decoration (TD) and the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (VRSM) and made a Freeman of the City of London.
James was Deputy Head of Chambers (and effective Head, after the semi-retirement of the then Head of Chambers, Claudius Algar) for 12 years from 2002 to 2014.
- Business and commercial: Litigation and advice arising out of commercial contract disputes, commercial dispute resolution, banking & financial services (including letters of credit and derivatives), shipping & admiralty, international trade, commodity disputes and sale and carriage of goods, civil fraud & asset tracing, economic torts, insurance & reinsurance, conflict of laws/private international law, information technology, confidential information & data protection, director’s duties, shareholder disputes, partnerships & LLPs, offshore litigation, arbitration & related court applications, mediation, injunctions & interim relief, regulatory law & investigations, agency disputes, consumer law and debt, personal and corporate insolvency, commercial property litigation, restitutionary claims, restrictive covenants and professional negligence claims.
- Property: Litigation and advice arising out of property ownership, including commercial tenancies, mortgages, co-ownership and trusts, restitutionary claims, nuisance, family property and inheritance, professional negligence, and judicial review claims.
- Health: Litigation and advice arising out of international nuisance and dumping claims, claims for and against the NHS and pharmaceutical companies, in the Court of Protection, and in health-related public law claims.
Disciplinary & Regulatory
Chiefly in health-related areas (GMC, NMC, GOC etc). James is a legal adviser to the General Optical Council.
- Law and Medical Ethics (with Dr Philip Howard)
- Territorial Decoration (TD) (for reserve military service)
- Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (VRSM)
- Chancery Bar Association
- COMBAR (Commercial Bar Association)
- Professional Negligence Bar Association
- Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association
- Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- German (conversational)
Cricket, skiing, shooting, fishing. Former Colonel in the Army Reserve.
- R (Miller and anor) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, UK Supreme Court,  UKSC 5 (Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lords Mance, Kerr, Clarke, Wilson, Sumption, Reed, Carnwath , Hughes and Hodge): The “BREXIT case”: acting for the 5th intervenor. Constitutional law, European Union; Administrative law. Treaty of the European Union Article 50; Brexit; Devolution; European Union; Ministers’ powers and duties; National Assembly for Wales; Northern Ireland Assembly; Notice; Parliament; Prerogative powers; Referendums; Scottish Parliament; Sewel convention; Withdrawal from the EU. The Government did not have power under the Crown’s prerogative to give notice pursuant to TEU art.50(2) for the UK to withdraw from the EU. An Act of Parliament was required. The secretary of state appealed against a decision that the Government could not give notice of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU pursuant to TEU art.50(2) without Parliamentary approval. Devolution questions were raised on a further appeal against a decision that the constitutional arrangements for Northern Ireland did not affect the Government’s power to give notice under art.50(2). Held: Appeals dismissed, devolution questions answered (Lords Reed, Carnwath and Hughes dissenting as to need for an Act of Parliament before giving notice under art.50(2) of the TEU).
- Ikon International (HK) Holdings Public Co Ltd v Ikon Finance Ltd and ors. High Court (QB Commercial Ct)  EWHC 3088 (Comm) (Andrew Smith J): acting successfully for the Claimant. Civil procedure. Applications without notice. Arbitral proceedings. Dissipation of assets. Freezing injunctions. Joint venture agreements. Urgent applications. The claimant company applied without notice for worldwide freezing orders against the defendants and injunctive relief in support of arbitration proceedings. The claimant was a joint venture company registered in Hong Kong. The joint venture was to earn profits from providing online services to customers trading from home on personal computers by accessing a trading programme over the internet through which the customers could take a position in stocks, currencies or commodities. The second defendant and companies in which he was interested had a 50% interest in the joint venture. The remaining 50% was held by another individual (T) and his companies. Trading took place through the second defendant’s companies and the joint venture agreement provided that he and his companies were to be jointly and severally liable to make and effect the payment of “trading profit”. Under the agreement the obligation to pay the trading profit was to be “absolute and unconditional, free standing and autonomous of all other rights and obligations whatsoever”. The joint venture agreement provided for English law and exclusive jurisdiction. The claimant sought a worldwide freezing injunction up to £40 million and interim relief under the Arbitration Act 1996 s.44 in support of arbitration proceedings. In order to obtain a freezing injunction a claimant had to show a real risk that a judgment would go unsatisfied if the order was not made and that the order would mitigate that risk, and the claimant’s evidence was just sufficient to cross that threshold. Thereafter, the Defendants settled the underlying claim after lengthy negotiations.
- Edward Scriven v Lee Scriven & Ors, High Court (ChD)  EWHC 1690 (Ch) (Barling J): acting successfully for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants. Breach of trust. Breach of fiduciary duty. Breach of contract. Restitution. Accountant’s duty of care. Breach of duty. Negligence. Agency. Company law. Rights and duties of directors. Shareholders’ rights. Causation of loss. Equitable compensation. Damages. Exemplary damages. Trial. The claimant alleged that his sons, without his knowledge, wrongfully set out to deprive him of his interests in two businesses and sought substantial damages and other relief from them, his nephew and an accountancy company. Commenced by claim form on 3 April 2012, the trial took nearly six weeks, beginning January 2014 and thereafter continued in various stages until October 2014, with 20 witness of fact, 2 experts and 8 witnesses read, a bundle comprising 55 lever arch files and tens of thousands of documents. Counsel was instructed very late in proceedings (on direct access, for the first 3 defendants, all of them unwell) to settle statements and for the final CMC, only 6 weeks before trial, other counsel having been instructed 2 years earlier. He received the very large trial bundle only 3 ½ weeks before trial, requiring an extremely heavy and near-impossible workload and was first to cross-examine. The judge later found that “in the course of evidence and submissions dozens, if not hundreds, of issues of fact emerged”. Nevertheless, he succeeded, the judge dismissing all claims against the first 3 defendants and impugning the truthfulness of the claimant’s case. The extensive claims against the 4th defendant accountants also failed. Indemnity costs were awarded to all defendants with substantial interim costs payments ordered.
- Edward Scriven v Lee Scriven & Ors, High Court (ChD)  EWHC 186 (Ch) (Barling J): acting successfully for the Applicants. Fresh evidence. Specific disclosure. Opportunity for further cross-examination. Overriding objective. The claimant sought to adduce further witness statement evidence. The defendants objected. The court ruled that the statement be allowed because (1) a significant part of the material in the witness statement is probably justified as being in response to the fourth defendant’s notice and the other defendants’ requests for specific disclosure; (2) whilst there is certainly a quantity of material which is not so attributable – the last one-third or thereabouts of the witness statement – some of this is of a kind which could ordinarily have been introduced by way of supplementary questions in examination-in-chief; (3) the scale of this case is already considerable, the time estimate of 13 days was never realistic and, given the non-availability of experts, it was virtually inevitable that the case was going to be part- heard and the material would not add significantly to the overall length of the trial, nor create any significant disruption to a timetable nor unduly prejudice any party; (4) the exclusion of evidence, not on its face irrelevant or embarrassing, can create a strong sense of injustice, particularly in a family dispute such as this, a consideration of particular weight in the present case.
- Wingfield Financial Heritage Ltd v Ikeji, High Court (QB Appeals)  EWHC 4761 (HHJ Seymour QC): Appeal: acting successfully for the Respondent. Civil procedure. Costs. Late service. Witness statements. A claimant had been properly ordered to pay the costs incurred in dealing with evidence that it should have filed earlier, notwithstanding that the defendant had filed his own witness statement late. The master had shown that there was no justification for the claimant’s delay. When considering a costs order the appeal court was considering the exercise of a broad discretion by a judge who was best placed to make the decision.
- Edward Scriven v Lee Scriven & Ors, High Court (ChD),  EWHC 4223 (Ch) (Edward Murray) LTL 10/2/2014: acting for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants. Civil Procedure. Adjournment. Case Management. Overriding objective. Trials. Application to vacate trial date. Factors relevant to exercise of power to adjourn. Imminent trial. Civil Procedure Rules 1998 r.3.1(2)(b), Pt 3 r.3.1(2)(b), Pt 3(2)(b). The judge refusing to vacate trial dates to allow the first 3 defendants to obtain an expert’s report (among other matters), this represents a relatively severe example of the court’s reluctance to vacate fixed dates for trial although, as the judge stated, he had “not found this an easy application”, for that reason. The first 3 defendants were thus obliged to go into trial without an expert’s report.
- C F Asset Finance Ltd v Okonji and ors, Court of Appeal,  EWCA Civ 870 (Lord Dyson MR, Sullivan LJ, Patten LJ), LTL 24/6/2014: acting successfully for the Defendant-Appellants. Contracts. Agency. Where a trading agreement between a retailer and a finance company gave the retailer authority to act as the finance company’s agent for the purpose of introducing customers and submitting proposals, it also gave the retailer at least ostensible authority to receive and communicate notice of the revocation of any such proposals.
- RB of Windsor & Maidenhead v David Rawlins and ors, High Court (QB) (2011); Stratford upon Avnon DC v Coward and ors, Birmingham CC (2009); Wychavon DC v Birmingham and ors, High Court (QB) (2008); Stubley v Huntingdonshire DC v Gaskin and anor, High Court 9QB) (2007), Court of Appeal (2007); and numerous similar cases: acting successfully for the Respondents. Public law. Planning. Setting aside. Regulations. Interpretation.
- Aboubakare Mavin Ouattara and ors v Trafigura Ltd and Trafigura Beheer BV (2010), High Court, (QB): acting successfully for the Claimant-Applicants. Group litigation. Nuisance. Illegal dumping of toxic waste. Personal injury. Limitation. Follow-on group action claims (with over 30,000 claimants) arising out of earlier group action claims (which were settled) following the alleged illegal fly-tipping of chemical waste at locations around Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, in August 2006, and the subsequent inhalation of fumes by a large number of victims. Publication of the existence of the litigation was initially prevented by “super-injunction”, later released following disclosure under privilege in Parliament. The follow-on litigation was successfully transferred to the courts in the Netherlands where the defendant had been subject to criminal sanctions.
- Kalas v Farmer, Jan 2010, Court of Appeal,  EWCA Civ 108, LTL 29/1/2010: acting successfully for the Appellants. Landlord and tenant. Assured tenancies. Surrender. Unlawful eviction. Housing Act 1988.
- Re N (A Child) sub nom A v (1) G (2) N (By His Rule 9.5 Guardian); Re N (A Child) sub nom G v A, Aug 2008, High Court, (Fam),  EWHC 2042 (Fam),  1 WLR 2743,  2 FLR 1899, LTL 27/8/2008 (Munby J): acting successfully for the Applicant. Civil Procedure, Family law, McKenzie friends, Rights of audience. Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. Children Act 1989.
- Lancashire Mortgage Corporation and anor v Ikoku v Onobrakpeya and anor, Oct 2007, High Court (ChD) (Blackburne J): acting successfully for the 2nd Defendant. Freezing injunctions. Breach of trust. Breach of fiduciary duty. Partnerships. Restitution. Tracing. Constructive trusts. Declarations.
- Swindale v Forder & Forder (Intervenor), Jan 2007, Court of Appeal,  EWCA Civ 29, (2007) 1 FLR 1905: acting for the Appellant. Civil Procedure. Administration of justice. Amendments and slip rule. Inference of judicial intention.
- Maximus IT Ltd v Bassi , High Court, Queens Bench Division (QB) (Evans J): acting successfully for the Claimant. Confidence. Breach of covenant. Injunction. Service of documents. The Defendant was held in breach of covenants of confidence and other covenants and interim injunctions were continued, later discharged by settlement.
- Marketmaker Beijing Co Ltd and ors v CMC Group plc and ors  EWHC 2208 (QB), Oct 2004, High Court (QB),  All ER(D) 99 (Stanley Burnton J): acting for the Claimants-Applicants. Contracts. Agency. Banking and finance. Injunctions. Agents. Implied terms. Introducing broker. Foreign exchange and financial derivatives. Chinese criminal and civil law.
- Re: F (a bankrupt); F v F and ors (S intervening) (Financial Provision: Bankruptcy: Reviewable disposition), Oct 2002, High Court (FD),  EWHC 2814 (Fam),  1 FLR 911, FD per Coleridge J ; Oct 2002, Court of Appeal,  EWCA Civ 1527 (unreported): acting for the Respondent, later Appellant. Bankruptcy. Reviewable dispositions. Family Law. Matrimonial property and provision. Civil Procedure.
- Looker v Capital Credit Ltd and City Mortgage Corporation Ltd, May 2002, Central London CC (Chancery List): acting for the Claimant. Mortgages. Contract. Fraud. Misrepresentation. Mistake. Unfair terms. Exclusion clauses. Consumer and credit contract terms. Extortionate credit bargain. Penalty clauses. Restitution.
- Kent (Administratrix ad colligenda bona of Mabel Chapper) v M & L Management & Legal Limited, Mar 2002, High Court (QB) (Aylen QC): acting for the Claimants. Property. Breach of fiduciary duty. Undue influence. Constructive trusts. Disclosure. Injunctions.
- R (Smeaton) v Sec of State for Health (Schering Ltd intervening), Feb 2002, High Court (QB),  EWHC 610 (Admin); Costs  EWHC 886; (Admin);  2 FLR 146, QBD (Admin) per Munby J: acting for the Claimant. Judicial review. Health. Administrative Law. Criminal law. Statutory Construction. Offences Against The Person Act 1861. Costs.
- R (Pretty) v DPP and Sec of State for Health, Oct 2001, High Court (Div Co),  EWHC (Admin) 788; Nov 2001, House of Lords, UKHL 61,  1 AC,  3 WLR 1598,  1 FLR 268, HL; Apr 2002, European Court of Human Rights,  2 FLR 45, ECHR: acting successfully for the 1st intervenor. Judicial review. Human rights. Administrative law. Criminal law. Suicide Act 1961. Human Rights Act 1998. European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950. European Convention on Human Rights.
- Dawodu (a bankrupt) v American Express Bank, Jan 2001, High Court (ChD),  BPIR 983 ChD, per Etherton J: acting successfully for the Defendant. Bankruptcy. Consumer credit. Breach of contract. Loan agreements. Set off. Wrongful deductions. Fraud. Collusion. Miscarriage of justice.
- Re S (Costs), Apr 2000, Court of Appeal, LTL 10/4/2000: acting successfully for the Appellant. Civil Procedure. Family law. Costs. Exceptional circumstances. Judge’s independent discretion. Reporting maliciously. Social Services.
- Gulf International Bank v Balkanbank and ors, , High Court (QB) (1999) (Popplewell J): acting for the 2nd Defendant. Insolvency. Liquidation. Stakeholders. Claims in the fund. Notices. Settlements. Release of funds. The parties to a settlement and other creditors sought to litigate various claims in the remaining funds, following litigation between the principal parties and an enquiry as to damages following the release of a worldwide freezing injunction against a defendant.
- Safa Ltd v Banque du Caire SAE, High Court (QB), Oct 1999 (Timothy Walker J); Jul 2000, Court of Appeal, (2000) Ll Rep (Bank) 323, CA; (2000) CLC 1556, CA: acting for the Claimant-Appellant. Letters of Credit/performance bonds. Claim by assignees. Summary judgment. Breach of duty. Misrepresentations. Set off. Shipping. Banking. Bills of Exchange. Insurance. Fraud. Civil procedure.
- Ardley v LB Wandsworth, Sep 1999, Central London CC (Chancery List): acting successfully for the Claimant. Real property. Construction of leases. Unusual covenants.
- Fox v Davies Arnold Cooper (a firm), Mar 1999, High Court (QB): acting for the Claimant. Solicitors’ retainer. Professional negligence. Solicitors’ negligence.
- International Investment Foundation and ors v PGI Ltd and ors, Dec 1998, High Court (QB); Re: PGI (in liquidation), Mar 1999, High Court (ChD): acting successfully for the Claimants. Shipping. Carriage of goods by sea. Charter parties. Banking. Bills of Exchange. Letters of Credit. Assignment. Insurance. Lloyd’s register. Admiralty marshal. Breach of contract. Insolvency.
- Allied Irish Bank Ltd v Lewis and anor, Oct 1997, Central London CC (Chancery List): acting for the Defendant. Banking. Guarantees. Bills of Exchange. Choses in action. Breach of contract. Misrepresentation.
- Taylor v British Telecom, Sir Iain Vallance and ors, Oct 1997, High Court (QBD): acting for the Claimant. Interference with contractual relations. Procuring breach of contract. Conspiracy. Intimidation. Restraint of trade. Competition. Breach of contract. Economic torts.
- Hole v Hopkins (t/a Chelsea Luxury Charters), Jul 1997, High Court (QBD): acting successfully for the Claimant. Loan. Debt. Execution writs. Scope of powers of HC enforcement officer.
- Chauhan v The Federation of Communication Services Ltd, Dec 1996, High Court (QBD): acting successfully for the Claimant. Interference with contractual relations. Procuring breach of contract. Conspiracy. Restraint of trade. Competition. Economic torts.
- Caspian Company Ltd v Derakshandeh, Oct 1996: acting for the Claimant. Long trial. International trade. Contract. Sale and carriage of goods. Shipping. Bills of Exchange. Private international law. Iranian law.
- Bass Holdings Ltd v O’Brien, Sep 1996, High Court (QBD): acting for the Defendant. Property. Leases. Forfeiture. Unusual Covenants. Judicial discretion.
- Moore and anor v Chaffin-Laird and ors, Jan 1994, High Court (ChD) (Andrew Morritt J): acting for the Claimant. Freezing injunctions. Shipping. Charter party. Banking. Bills of Sale. Letters of Credit.
- Re: H (Minors) (Legal Aid and Costs), June 1992, House of Lords,  2 A.C. 303;  3 W.L.R. 198;  3 All E.R. 380;  2 F.C.R. 421;  Fam. Law 68 (Lord Griffiths, Lord Bridge of Harwich, Lord Brandon of Oakbrook, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton and Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle): for the Defendant, as pupil. Costs; jurisdiction to award; defendant initially unassisted; subsequent grant of legal aid; plaintiff aided throughout; order for unassisted costs to be paid out of legal aid fund; order suspended to allow objection; whether jurisdiction to make order “forthwith”.