James read Law at University College, Oxford where he was tutored in Land Law by Lord Hoffmann. He went on to serve pupillage in Lincoln’s Inn. He has practised in Birmingham since 1975. He is a versatile advocate, has wide experience of the conduct of trials and has addressed tribunals at every level from local authority committees to the House of Lords.
He appeared in White v Jones from its earliest stages in 1986 as a contested probate matter to its conclusion in 1995 in the House of Lords as a successful (3:2) case in negligence.
He has recently appeared in the Court of Appeal in the significant cases of Khaira v Shergill (Trusts and Charities) and Perrins v Holland (Testamentary Capacity) – see below.
His particular areas of interest are Contentious and Non-Contentious Trust and Probate matters (including Charities), Inheritance and Succession, Property, Contract, Professional Negligence, Inquests and Judicial Review.
He is an experienced mediator with a high rate of success and is a member of ACTAPS, PNBA, and MCCBA.
- Khaira v Shergill  EWCA Civ 983;  W.T.L.R. 1795 (Land, Charitable Trusts and Jurisdiction)
- Papanicola v Sandhu  EWHC 1431 (QB);  2 B.C.L.C. 811 (Guarantees, Collateral contracts, Unjust enrichment)
- Perrins v Holland  EWCA Civ 870;  Ch 270 (Testamentary capacity, Succession, Trusts, the rule in Parker v Felgate)
- R (Mohammed) v Chief Constable West Midlands  EWHC 1228 (Admin);  A.C.D. 90 (Judicial Review)
- R (Butler) v Coroner for Black Country  EWHC 43 (Admin);  Inquest L.R. 50 (Judicial Review)
- R. (on the application of Bassetlaw DC) v Worksop Magistrates’ Court  EWHC 3530 (Admin); (2009) 173 J.P. 599 (Judicial Review)
- Harris v Williams-Wynne  EWHC 151;  2 P. & C.R. 27 (CA); (land, acquiescence, proprietary estoppel and breach of building covenant)
- Hyett v Stanley  1 FLR (CA – trusts of land, trusts of the proceeds of insurance policies)
- R (on the application of Marshall) v Coroner for Coventry (2001) EWHC Admin 804;  Inquest L.R. 260 (Judicial Review – Inquest)
- Russell v Russell  2 F.C.R. 137 (Chancery Division – Bankruptcy and matrimonial orders)
- R. v Stafford Crown Court ex parte Chief Constable of Staffordshire  1 WLR 398 (Administrative Court – judicial review – jurisdiction of licensing justices)
- R. v. Stafford Crown Court ex parte Shipley  1 WLR 1438 (Court of Appeal -judicial review – jurisdiction of licensing justices)
- Trustee of the Property of F C Jones and Son v A B Jones  3 WLR 703 (Court of Appeal – Partnership – Bankruptcy – Restitution – Trusts – Common law tracing)
- Euro-Commercial Leasing v Cartwright & Lewis  BCLC (Chancery Division – insolvency – solicitor’s lien – client account)
- White v Jones  2 AC 127 (HL: liability of negligent solicitor to disappointed beneficiary)
- Chief Constable of West Midlands Police v. Marsden (1995) 159 JP 405 (case stated in the Divisional Court – jurisdiction of magistrates in licensing)
- R v Walsall Justices, ex parte W  A.C (Administrative Court – judicial review of justices’ decision to await change in law)
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