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James joined Dere Street Barristers in 2017, having successfully completed a common law pupillage in Chambers. He has particular interests in property disputes and commercial dispute resolutionand also has a busy personal injury practice.

Summary of practice

James is a specialist civil practitioner with particular interests in property disputes, commercial dispute resolution, and personal injury/clinical negligence litigation.

He is known for his attention to detail and is always keen to advise with precision whilst ensuring that the commercial merits of the situation remain in clear focus.  James is highly approachable and is committed to building lasting professional relationships with both solicitors and lay clients.


Commercial Dispute Resolution

James accepts instructions in all areas of commercial dispute resolution including breaches and construction of contracts, breaches of trust and fiduciary duty, as well as general debt recovery.

Notable recent cases include:

  • H v A – representing the claimant in a claim for damages arising out of the defendant’s breaches of an agricultural tenancy resulting in deterioration of the farmland, and the defendant’s failure to transfer SPS entitlements upon termination of the lease.
  • S v C – trial of a claim for delivery up of goods and damages for loss of business profits after the defendant failed to repair work equipment that was vital to the claimant’s business, and unlawfully withheld that work equipment after termination of the contract.
  • J v J – trial of a claim by a worker against her former employer for unpaid wages over the course of several years, including complex arguments about incorporation of standard terms and several alleged variations of contract.
  • E v B – trial of a claim against a financial institution who had allegedly bribed the claimant’s mortgage broker by paying to the broker a fully secret commission, thus procuring the broker’s breach of fiduciary duty.



Prior to pupillage, James worked in the commercial property department of a solicitor’s firm where he gained experience in matters ranging from residential conveyancing to high value commercial transactions between landowners and property developers.

James receives instructions on commercial landlord and tenant matters (including contested lease renewals and applications for relief against forfeiture) and also receives instructions in matters concerning boundary disputes, nuisance, charging orders, and residential possession hearings.  He also accepts instructions in cases involving TOLATA.

James also has extensive experience in running claims relating to negligently-installed cavity wall insulation from pleadings through to trial.

Notable recent cases include:

  • G v W – 2 day multi-track trial concerning an application for relief against forfeiture of a commercial lease for breach of covenant, involving complex arguments about contractual interpretation, competition law, the terms on which relief was to be granted, and what impact the Covid-19 pandemic should have on the terms of relief.
  • C v C – 3 day multi-track trial in which damages and an injunction were claimed as a result of a neighbour dispute which had escalated beyond control, involving extensive CCTV evidence and allegations about the defendants’ monopolisation of communal parking spaces.
  • A v H – 3 day multi-track trial against three insurer defendants under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 arising out of the negligent installation of cavity wall insulation in the claimant’s property.


Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence

As well as regularly representing a mixture of claimants and defendants in road traffic cases (including those where causation of injury is challenged on the basis of LVI), James is regularly instructed in cases involving accidents at work, occupier’s liability, the Highways Act and the Animals Act, and accepts instructions on a conditional fee basis where appropriate.

James also enjoys his clinical negligence practice and has experience in representing families at inquests.

When he is not in court, James has a busy paper practice and enjoys advising in writing or in conference on all aspects of liability, causation and quantum.

Notable recent cases include:

  • Re B – representing the family of the deceased at a 3 day inquest concerning the death of a patient from sepsis, where the coroner concluded (having heard evidence from experts from three disciplines) that omissions on the part of the clinical team made a more than minimal contribution to the patient’s death.
  • H v U – advising on quantum in a claim arising from the defendant’s negligent installation of an implant on the wrong side of the claimant’s head, resulting in two avoidable operations, and marked psychological injury.
  • R v B – advising on causation and quantum in a multi-track case where the claimant had suffered life-changing injuries as a result of a road traffic accident, with a substantial claim for lost earnings.
  • E v M – advising on procedural issues and strategy in circumstances where service of the claim form was allegedly defective, involving complicated arguments about acquiescence and waiver of the requirement for service.

Memberships / qualifications / scholarships / awards

University of York, Law (LLB) – First Class Honours

BPP Law School (Leeds) – BPTC – Excellence Scholarship

The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn – Hardwicke Scholarship