James practises in all areas of real property and landlord and tenant law, in both residential and commercial matters, and in other areas of law involving property-related issues. James joined chambers following successful completion of his pupillage under the supervision of Nathaniel Duckworth, Edward Peters, Adam Rosenthal and Joseph Ollech.
James appears regularly in the High Court, County Court and the Upper and First-tier Tribunals, and also enjoys a busy advisory practice.
James has a particular interest in rights to light, having worked with the Law Commission developing its proposals for reform (Law Com. 356) prior to pupillage.
He is also interested in the intersection between technology and property law, having advised on and appeared successfully in disputes concerning Airbnb-user of flats and how the rapid rise of the sharing economy fits in with established principles of landlord and tenant law, and is also developing a practice in electronic communications, exploring the frontiers of the New Code and legacy matters under the Old Code (acting generally for operators). James has also considered and written on the property law implications of flying drones.
James also has substantial experience of heavyweight litigation, having acted as second junior counsel under Stephanie Tozer and Jonathan Karas QC in a long running and document heavy multi-million pound dispute about the provision and management of services at a prominent Central London office building. James was involved in settling pleadings, preparing schedules, marshalling the facts (in particular by identifying key documents from the electronic document management system and preparing detailed chronologies), preparing witness statements and experts reports, advising on the law (including points on valuation) and attending many large team meetings. The case settled at mediation.
More generally he has experience in a wide-range of matters concerning business tenancies, mortgages and receivership, adverse possession, leasehold enfranchisement, development contracts, easements, restrictive covenants, land registration, trusts of land, proprietary estoppel and professional negligence. He also has particular experience of more complicated possession claims, including in appeals to the High Court against possession orders, and urgent High Court claims in respect of particularly large and/or sensitive areas. Recent highlights include successfully obtaining a possession order against trespassers covering the whole of Alexandra Park.
Education & Awards
- MA Law (First Class) – Christ’s College University of Cambridge (2012)
- Diploma in French Legal Studies – Université de Poitiers (ERASMUS Scheme) (2011)
- BPTC – Kaplan Law School, London (2013)
- Called to the Bar 2013, Inner Temple
- Major Exhibition Award (BPTC Scholarship): Inner Temple
- De Hart Prize: Christ’s College, University of Cambridge
- James is fluent in French
Prior to pupillage James worked as a Research Assistant for the Law Commission with the Property Family and Trust Law team. He worked on the Rights to Light project and assisted with the development of policy and preparation of the Commission’s final report on the subject. He also worked on the analysis of proposals for and formulation of the Commission’s 12th Programme of law reform projects.
James is a member of the Chancery Bar Association and the Property Bar Association.
James writes regularly on current legal issues for Chambers’ own newsletters, and for legal journals and periodicals. Recent publications include:
- Navigating the Lease Renewals Pilot N.L.J. 2018, 168(7786), 13-14 (with Caroline Shea QC)
- Game of Drones (Bill of Middlesex, Spring 2017 p.14) (with Ciara Fairley)
- Charging Orders on Land, S.J. 2017 161(15) 27 (with Stephanie Tozer)
- Implied terms: from "characteristically inspired discussion" to authoritative guidance (Case comment) L. & T. Review 2016, 20(1), 4-12 (with Toby Boncey)
- Under Occupation 165 NLJ 7675 (with Joseph Ollech)
- Bermondsey Exchange Freeholders Limited v Kevin Conway (County Court at Lambeth, November 2016), in which James successfully represented the claimant landlord in a claim for an injunction to prevent a tenant from letting his flat to short-stay guests via Airbnb and similar web services. Upheld on appeal  4 WLUK 619, HHJ Luba QC.
- Vanquish Properties (UK) Limited Partnership v Brook Street (UK) Limited  EWHC 1508 (Ch);  L & TR 33 in which James advised and appeared for the successful defendant tenant in a break clause dispute concerning a significant proposed development in the City of London (led by Guy Fetherstonhaugh QC).