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.
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. Recent cases include:
- Representing a defendant in a multi-track debt recovery case where another defendant had procured the signing of a notice of discontinuance from the claimant through the exertion of undue influence, in circumstances where the claimant had died before the matter was litigated.
- Advising on and drafting particulars for a claim for injunctive relief and damages arising from an ex-employee leaving a company and setting up in direct competition using a customer list which had been stolen from his former employer.
- Successful application at a CCMC for an “otherwise” order / relief from sanctions pursuant to CPR 3.14 when the deadline for filing a costs budget had been missed for no good reason.
Real Estate Litigation
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.
Since joining Chambers, James has gained experience in commercial landlord and tenant matters (including contested lease renewals and relief from forfeiture applications), social housing, boundary disputes, as well as property development disputes. He also accepts instructions in cases involving TOLATA. Notable cases include:
- Representing a defendant at a trial on the multi-track in the Business and Property Court in a case where the claimant was seeking to realise a charge against the defendant’s home in circumstances where the charge had been created without the defendant’s knowledge and consent at a time when the house had been held for the defendant on trust by the chargor.
- Advising on liability and drafting a defence for a guarantor in a case where one of two joint tenants of a periodic tenancy had given notice to quit, and where the other joint tenant remained in occupation and accrued arrears over several years without the guarantee being varied, and without the consent of the guarantor being obtained.
- Advising the owner of a long-leasehold apartment on what action can be taken to remove a rogue director from the board of a management company where the company was not properly discharging its functions.
- Advising on liability and quantum in a proposed claim against a housing developer for losses arising out of defects discovered in a new build property which fell outside the scope of NHBC protection.
- Drafting a defence and advising a property developer in a misrepresentation and breach of contract claim made by a house purchaser who claimed the construction of social housing next to their property was concealed from them at the time of purchase.
- Advising the owner of a leasehold apartment as to the legal status of their allocated parking space and whether the management company were entitled to use the space as a storage area.
James regularly represents clients on both sides of personal injury matters from the small claims track to the multi-track. 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 also has experience 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.
When he is not in court, James has a busy paper practice and enjoys advising in writing on all aspects of liability and quantum, including contributory negligence.
Recent notable cases include:
- Successfully recovering damages at trial on the fast track in an RTA case where liability was in dispute and the defendant was alleging LVI. The claimant was a taxi driver and was successful in recovering 100% of special damages claimed, which included credit hire, storage and recovery, and vehicle damage.
- Successfully resisting a defendant’s application for permission to rely upon expert engineering evidence addressing occupancy displacement in circumstances where the application was made late in the day and the defendant had not fully complied with the Casey v Cartwright guidance.
- Advising on quantum in a case where the claimant’s teeth were significantly damaged as a result of the defendant’s negligence, where ongoing dental treatment and surgery was required for the remainder of the claimant’s life.
- Successfully recovering damages for an infant claimant at a trial in a claim arising from an RTA which (in addition to modest whiplash injuries) had caused the claimant to suffer travel anxiety for several years, in circumstances where the defendant alleged that the extent of symptoms had been exaggerated.
Education and 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