James practises across the entire array of housing matters, taking instructions from Local Authorities, Social Landlords, Private Landlords and tenants.
James’ experience includes straightforward possession, disrepair and unlawful eviction cases; he has a particular interest in Public Law defences.
Recent cases involve defending complex disrepair counterclaims and public law defences relying on Shearer misrepresentations in succession.
Areas of Practice
- Possession claims
- Disrepair claims
- Anti-social behaviour possession cases and injunctions
- Unlawful eviction
- Commercial landlord and tenant disputes
- Disputes over the right to buy and succession claims
- Housing related appeals
- Public Law and Human Rights Defences
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James is an experienced personal injury practitioner. He is available for high value Fast Track and Multi-Track claims. His experience includes serious injuries arising from road traffic accidents, pubic liability and accidents at work; the latter overlaps with James’ Health and Safety and Coronial practise.
James also has extensive experience in all aspects of fraudulent cases including fundamental dishonesty and s57 of Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. He regularly acts for all the major solicitors and insurers in this sector.
James is available to advise both in person and on paper and has a strong paper practise settling pleadings.
James will always make himself available to those who instruct him on the telephone and via email.
James regularly delivers talks and provides training on all aspects of personal injury litigation.
If you would like to book James for a talk, please contact his clerks.
- Acting for the Defendant in a claim for large loss personal injury arising out of a road traffic accident. The claim included a large Smith v Manchester claims for loss of earnings.
- Acting for the Defendant in a large loss claim for personal injury with a subsequent claim for loss of earnings and loss of opportunity following the claimant being unable to take up his place in the armed services.
Acting for the local authority in a public liability case. The claimant alleged to have tripped on unstable stairs. The defence was one of reasonable inspection
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James approaches all cases in a pragmatic and objective manner. He is able to provide realistic and commercially sound advice at all stages of a case.
James appears regularly in Multi-Track and High Court cases.
For those cases which are not compromised, James is a robust and very well prepared advocate for whom no detail is too small. He prides himself on well planned and well executed cross examinations.
James’ focus is on breaches of commercial contracts. His keen commercial awareness makes him well-placed to advise and act on all aspects of potential breaches/causes of action. He provides pragmatic advice and will assist clients in pitching well-placed Part 36 offers as well as attending settlement meetings. If matters should go to trial, he is always diligently prepared and is robust and forensic in his cross-examination.
Clubs/ Unincorporated Associations
James has great experience dealing with Unincorporated Associations. The issues in these cases often go outside of simple legal and factual disputes and James is well placed to advise on the use of ADR and attend in those instances. Pleadings need to be done carefully and James is happy to assist at any stage.
James frequently advises insurers in relation to all aspects of their contractual and non-contractual obligations, including breaches of the contracts of insurance, avoidance of indemnity and other obligations arising out of indemnity insurance; such as those under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Article 75 of the Memorandum of Understanding.
Rights of Way/ Trespass
James has experience acting for large landowners in relation to claims for trespass and nuisance, including claims against neighbouring land which has built new properties in breach of easements and defending claims for nuisance for failure to properly maintain rights of way.
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James accepts instructions in cases arising out of serious or fatal injuries in the workplace. He is able to provide advice at an early stage and deal with all areas of court proceedings thereafter.
James routinely acts for insurance companies in personal injury and HSE prosecutions and is well placed to advise defendant companies and insurers at the first sign of HSE involvement or civil claims.
James also regularly attends coroner’s inquests and is available to act in other regulatory cases, with special interests in Health and Safety and Environmental / Waste Management prosecutions an area in which James is assisted by his Bsc (Hons) in Geo-chemistry.
James has a successful professional discipline practice. He regularly drafts, advises and presents for professional bodies such as the NMC and SWE. This also crosses over with his increasing inquest practice where he often represents professionals such as GP’s and Paramedics, where he is able to assist with any potential disciplinary proceedings arising from the inquest.
James sits on the Yorkshire RFU discipline Committee and the National RFU discipline committee. Whilst he is, at present, unable to assist rugby union players, he is well placed to represent other sports people who are subject to discipline proceedings.
James can also act in all other professional disciplinary tribunals including but not limited to:
- Fire Fighters
James is also available to assist clients in the following areas:
- Care Quality Commission
- Firearms; appeals and prosecutions
- Food Safety / Hygiene
- Licensing Hackney Carriage
- Licensing Premise
- Local Authority / District Council Prosecutions
- Sporting disciplinary (especially rugby union)
- Trading Standards
James is an experienced inquest advocate. He represents professional bodies, companies, healthcare professionals and families, alike. His experience in personal injury and healthcare professional discipline is of great advantage to clients in the coronial arena.
- Inquest touching the death of TB. James acted for a paramedic who was the rear seat passenger along with the deceased at the time that the ambulance crashed. There was a suggestion that the driver of the ambulance and a third-party lorry driver were the cause of the crash. In addition, one of the contributing factors in the injuries sustained by the deceased was the fact that he was unlikely to have been fully strapped onto the stretcher bed; a job that was the responsibility of James’ client.
See links for News Coverage:
- Inquest touching the death of NP. The deceased died from multi organ failure as a result of contracting salmonella from duck eggs bought at a country. James represented the paramedic who was called the the deceased’s house. Notwithstanding some significant markers and reasons to take NP to hospital the client made the decision not to immediately transfer NP to A&E. She subsequently did a number of days later. One of the issues was the effect that the delay in transportation had on NP’s prognosis. It was evident that his prognosis was much poorer as a result of the delay. Notwithstanding this, James made written and oral submissions to the Senior Coroner to withdraw from the jury the issue of causation in relation to the delay. The Coroner agreed.
See link for News Coverage:
- Inquest touching the death of CNC. The cause of death was hanging, as a result of suicide. James acted for the GP (instructed by the Medical Protection Society) who had had telephone contact with the deceased on the day of her death. She had expressed suicidal thoughts. The Coroner was considering a Regulation 28 Prevention of Future Deaths Report in relation to the systems at the GP Practice. James invited some time to provide further evidence. He then assisted the GP Practice in drafting new policies to alleviate the Coroner’s concerns.
- Inquest touching the death of EC
James represented the family in a case following of an unlawful hold under the Mental Health Act.
- Inquest touching the death of MC
James was instructed by the Medical Protection Society to protect the interests of a General Practitioner in a case where a patient had committed suicide following contact with their GP.
James drafted a new risk assessment policy for the practise and thus avoided a Prevention of Future Deaths Report.
- Inquest touching the death of TB
James was instructed by Telemedicine Ltd on behalf of a radiologist. The deceased died following ruptured coeliac aneurysms.
- Inquest touching the death of SW
James was instructed by the family of the deceased who was a paraplegic; she ultimately died as a result of complications to her bed sores. She had been held under the Mental Health Act and died following a decline in her food and fluid intake.
- Inquest touching the death of CW
The deceased was under medication for Bipolar depression. Emergency services were called to deceased home where she was in a distressed state and causing damage to the premises in the presence of her young family. She died shortly after arrival at hospital.
- Inquest touching the death of KT
Representing the bereaved family of a 30-year-old woman who had a number of complex medical issues. She was steroid dependant, but none was administered until moments before her death.
- Inquest Touching the Death of Mr CH
James represented the family of the deceased who died having been admitted to hospital for severe alcoholism. The deceased was subject to a hospital restriction order at the time of his death.
- Inquest Touching the Death of IH
James is representing the family of an 18 month old boy who was in remission from Leukaemia following a bone marrow transplant. He subsequently died of a heart attack, whilst in hospital.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
- HSE v Pauls Malt Ltd T/A Boormalt
Representing a European company with a U.K turnover of £129m (and so outside of the top bracket of the sentencing guidelines).
A guilty plea was entered to an offence contrary to section 33 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 act by breaching its duties under s 3(1) of the Act.
The starting point for sentence for a company with a turnover of £50m was £300,000 with a range of £130,000- £750,000. The potential fine was therefore in excess of £750,000.
James advised at an early stage in terms of the relevant evidence to put before the court, including the extent of financial disclosure and the specific risk assessments and training given to employees across the country.
Following a guilty plea and mitigation, the Defendant was fined just £100,000.
- HSE v ICH Ltd
Representing a company that provided air conditioning services to supermarkets and department stores with a turnover of £6m.
The Defendant pleaded guilty to one offence contrary s33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by breaching its duties under s 3(1) of the Act. The sentencing range was £25,000- £230,000. Mr Wilson drafted the basis of plea and, following mitigation, the Defendant was fined £20,000.
- HSE -V- Longcross Construction Ltd (In Administration ) (1) Fewell Engineering Ltd (2)SJT Site Management Ltd (3) Stuart John Tombs (As a director) (4) Stuart John Tombs (As an individual)
James represented the Second, Third and Fourth Defendant who were prosecuted as a result of a crushing injury that occurred at Armley Prison, Leeds. The complainant was run over by machinery driven by a third party contractor. Both the machinery and the contractor were under the control of the Second Defendant company and the Fourth Defendant as an employee of the company.
The Defendant company pleaded guilty to offence contrary to s33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by breaching its duties under s 3(1) of the Act. The charge against the company director was discontinued. The Fourth Defendant pleaded guilty to tampering with the evidence post accident and therefore obstructing the investigation.
The HSE suggested that the relevant fine bracket for the company was £30,000- £110,000.
James drafted the Basis of Plea and successfully argued that the culpability was less than the HSE submitted. Following mitigation, the company was fined £600. The Fourth Defendant was fined £100 for evidence tampering.