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James Hall
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He is very thorough, articulate and great with clients. He challenges the clients in a sympathetic way to draw out necessary information. His advice is clear and very detailed.

Chambers UK

He is able to take in immense amounts of detail, distil that knowledge and then summarise it in a way which is easily accessible.

Legal 500

He is a rare breed in terms of being able to distil document-heavy material into detailed advice. Very practical.

Chambers UK

Technically excellent, responsive, client-friendly and commercially minded

Legal 500

James specialises in commercial and property litigation, in particular property and financial services related professional negligence claims.  He understands the need not only for technical excellence in both advisory work and advocacy but also the commercial imperatives of his clients, which range from large lending institutions and professional indemnity insurers to smaller businesses to high net worth individuals.  His focus is on strategy and cost-benefit analysis as well as legal finesse.

A four year stint working as an employed barrister in an international law firm, developing and leading a team of specialist lawyers, gave him invaluable insight and understanding of the workings of both large solicitors’ firms and their corporate clients.

James spoke at the Legal Week Banking Litigation and Regulation Forum  on ‘Ticking Timebombs: Tax avoidance scheme claims’; he has also been quoted in The Times on similar issues and has been quoted in leading insurance sector magazine Post on solicitors’ professional indemnity policy issues. He frequently provides training to solicitor clients on a diverse range of topics.

James is instructed in many high value and complex matters; details of many of his cases are set out in the CVs available in the practice area links on the left.

Financial Professionals, Insolvency Professionals, Directors & Officers

James Hall specialises in professional negligence and financial services-related litigation. Apart from his time practising in chambers since 2001, between 2007 and 2011 James spent four years at an international law firm as an employed barrister, developing and leading a specialist team of lawyers. James’ time in-house gave him an invaluable understanding of both the commercial realities of practice in a full service law firm and the business of the financial services sector.

James builds on his technical excellence by understanding that strategic overview and costs/benefits analysis are also key to finding the best solutions for commercial disputes.

He is ranked in Chambers UK in the field of Professional Negligence, being described as ‘Especially strong on claim s relating to tax mitigation schemes’ and as having ‘an innovative approach to problem solving…the experience he has gained from working in-house gives his advice that commercial and pragmatic edge that the clients love’.

James is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in Professional Negligence and has been described as having ‘excellent technical knowledge but is also very commercially savvy.’

James has spoken at the Legal Week Banking Litigation and Regulatory Reform Conference on ‘Ticking Timebombs: Tax avoidance scheme claims’; he has also been quoted in The Times on similar issues and has been quoted in leading insurance sector magazine Post on solicitors’ professional indemnity policy issues. He has also spoken on professional indemnity insurance aggregation issues at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Annual Fraud Conference and has regularly delivered training seminars to law firms and, during his period in-house, to banks and insurers.

He is a substantial contributor to Lender Claims (Edited by Tomlinson QC and Grant, Sweet and Maxwell, July 2010) in relation to subjects including equitable securities over land.  James is also a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance (Sweet and Maxwell, 2018).

James’ peer-reviewed article ‘Breach of Trust- the strongest of all Lender Claims?’ has been published in both the Journal of Professional Negligence (Vol 28 no. 2) and Trust Law International (Vol 26 no.4)(both 2012). James also co-authored the article ‘Breach of trust- commercial lenders beware- but also an opportunity?’ in the Mortgage Finance Gazette (2013).

Recent Reported Cases

  • Commercial First Business Limited v Munday [2014] EWCA Civ 1296 (issues over ‘all monies’ charges, estoppel, collateral contracts).
  • Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd v Knight Frank LLP [2014] EWHC 3347 (Ch) (claim against commercial valuer worth £8 -10million). 

Financial advisers 

  • Bache v AFH – claim for negligence against financial advisors relating to pension transfer arrangements.
  • Harland v St James Place Wealth Management plc & Anor – misselling of/negligent advice on investments linked to carbon-trading/tax mitigation schemes, quantum in excess of £400,000.
  • Mr and Mrs Carpenter v St James Place Wealth Management plc & Anor – relating to the misselling of/negligent advice on investments linked to new technology/tax mitigation schemes, quantum in excess of £750,000.
  • Various investors v St James Place Wealth Management plc & Others – relating to the misselling of/negligent advice on investments linked to new technology/tax mitigation schemes (including Epocket, VIP and Vismail), quantum in £millions.
  • Various investors v Openwork Limited & Others – relating to the misselling of/negligent advice on investments linked to new technology/tax mitigation schemes (Including Icebreaker, Betex and Prefect Software), quantum in £millions.
  • Various investors v Valuation consultancy subsidiary of major lender – negligent valuation of business/rights underlying new technology/supporting tax mitigation schemes, quantum in £millions (being led at some stages by Patrick Lawrence QC, 4 New Square- dozens of high net worth individual clients and 4 schemes involved).
  • Nahal & Gill v Crosby Insurance – Claim against insurance brokers in relation to material non-disclosure/ misrepresentation in relation to commercial property insurance, quantum in excess of £150,000.
  • Jarvis v Royal Skandia Life Assurance & Others – Claim against insurer and financial adviser re: tax liability on encashment of policy, quantum circa £25,000, jurisdiction and duty of care issues.
  • Various investors v HSBC Private Bank (UK) Limited – relating to the alleged misselling of/negligent advice on film partnership/tax mitigation schemes, quantum in the £millions.
  • 3 investors v IFA firm in the North-West – relating to alleged misselling of/negligent advice on UCISs with real property, often abroad, as the underlying assets, quantum circa £2million.
  • (And on a related issue: Various investors in the ‘Icebreaker’ scheme v Enterprise Insurance Co Plc – enforceability of insurance policy/material non-disclosure/misrepresentation).
  • Individual v Accountants with in-house financial advisors – relating to alleged misselling of/negligent advice on Scottish commercial property syndicate/tax mitigation schemes.
  • Individual v Wealth Management PLC – relating to alleged negligent advice in relation to pension funds invested in property syndicates and structured products.
  • Cullum v Towergate Financial – alleged misselling of/negligence advice on medical drug-related tax mitigation scheme, quantum in excess of £1,300,000.

Misselling of financial products and similar work 

  • LLP and Ltd Co. clients v HSBC Bank plc – breach of statutory duty, misrepresentation and/or breach of duty of care re: swap IRHPs- basic loss in excess of £1.3million, possible consequential loss claim of £4.35million.
  • Ltd co. client v Barclays Bank plc – breach of statutory duty, misrepresentation and/or breach of duty of care re: structured collar/swap IRHP- basic loss in excess of £300,000, plus consequential losses.
  • 2 x Ltd co. clients v HSBC Bank plc – breach of statutory duty, misrepresentation and/or breach of duty of care re: swap and cap IRHPs- basic loss over £160,000, plus consequential losses.
  • Partnership client v Lloyds Bank plc – misrepresentation/breach of duty of care re: alteration from variable to fixed rate tailored business loan- basic loss over £165,000, plus substantial consequential losses estimated at around £600,000.
  • 2 x Ltd co. clients and 1 individual v Multi Units France, Societe D’Investment a Capital Variable S.A. & Lyxor International Asset Management S.A.S – misrepresentation/breach of contract/breach of duty of care relating to stock market volatility tracking/index-linked investments- primary loss circa £500,000 plus consequential losses, jurisdiction and applicable law issues.
  • Clarke v Virgin Money plc – representing and advising defendant lender (assignee of original lender) in relation to claim for alleged breaches of statutory duty and/or negligence regarding substantial residential, self-cert interest-only mortgage loan.

Other professionals 

  • claim by a major household insurer against its loss adjusters, for loss of the chance to bring various subrogated recovery actions; advising on the professional liability of a former trustee in bankruptcy; a claim for breach of fiduciary duty against a headteacher; a claim against an architect for negligent design in a barn and cellar conversion.

Property Professionals

James’ practice has always involved him in a wide variety of property disputes and this has led him into handling the professional negligence claims associated with property transactions as well. His experience of claims against solicitors is dealt with at the Professional Liability – Legal Professionals part of his profile. His recent work involving other property professionals is listed below.

He is ranked in Chambers UK in the field of Professional Negligence, being described as “especially strong on claim s relating to tax mitigation schemes” and as having “an innovative approach to problem solving…the experience he has gained from working in-house gives his advice that commercial and pragmatic edge that the clients love”.

James is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in Professional Negligence and has been described as having “excellent technical knowledge but is also very commercially savvy“.

Recent cases

  • Lender claims (re: both commercial and residential lending), mainly claimant (including e.g. development sites, hotels and farms as well as residential property).
  • Private client (including in relation to the valuation of businesses and sale value of real property) ranging in value from tens of thousands to several millions of pounds.

Banking & Finance

James has particular expertise in loans, mortgages and guarantees as well as equitable securities.  He has extensive knowledge of both commercial and residential secured lending and of related issues e.g. securitisation, title insurance and land registration.

He is a substantial contributor to Lender Claims (Edited by Tomlinson QC and Grant, Sweet and Maxwell, July 2010) in relation to subjects including equitable securities over land. James is also a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance (Sweet and Maxwell, 2018).

James’ peer-reviewed article ‘Breach of Trust- the strongest of all Lender Claims?’ has been published in both the Journal of Professional Negligence (Vol 28 no. 2) and Trust Law International (Vol 26 no.4)(both 2012). James also co-authored the article ‘Breach of trust- commercial lenders beware- but also an opportunity?’ in the Mortgage Finance Gazette (2013).

See James’ professional negligence page for details of the wide variety of financial services-related professional negligence and alleged misselling claims that he has dealt with.

Related work

  • Complex mortgage litigation
  • “Title rectification” – the use of various property and commercial law doctrines to perfect or achieve best possible security
  • Fraud and undue influence in the creation of loans, securities and guarantees
  • Cross-collateralisation – consolidation and “all monies” charges
  • Breach of trust in relation to mortgage advances
  • Proceedings to establish and/or enforce equitable securities e.g. by way of subrogation
  • Professional negligence in relation to secured lending and commercial lending generally
  • Land registry adjudication and indemnity claims
  • Freezing injunctions and similar relief

Related Cases 

Recent cases include:

  • Numerous lender claims against solicitors for negligence, breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty and against valuers for negligence, for high street banks ad intermediary-led lenders, securitised and non-securitised accounts, ranging up to claims involving twenty-six linked transactions and multi-million pound losses.
  • Commercial first Business Limited v Munday [2014] EWCA Civ 1296- issues over ‘all monies’ charges, estoppel, collateral contracts.
  • Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited v Mahmood – acting for the lender claimant seeking rescission of an erroneous e-DS1, so as to restore its charge; issue over onward transfer and s29 Land Registration Act 2002.
  • Nationwide Building Society v Onadeko & others – acting for the lender claimant seeking rescission of an erroneous e-DS1.
  • Wave Lending Limited v Rahman & PBG – advising the lender claimant on title rectification where security and borrower’s proprietorship registered in respect of the wrong title, and interconnection with adjoining flat; advising on linked professional negligence claim against solicitors.
  • Virgin Money v Clarke – acting for lender claimant in mortgage possession claim with counterclaim (and purported defence) by defendant for ‘misselling’ of self-cert, interest only loan.
  • Forensic Recovery Limited v West Bromwich Building Society – advising trustee in bankruptcy on claim re: appropriation to debts and unjust enrichment.

Commercial Litigation

James Hall specialises in commercial litigation, professional negligence and financial services-related litigation. Apart from his time practising in chambers since 2001, between 2007 and 2011 James spent four years at international law firm Eversheds LLP as an employed Barrister, developing and leading a specialist team of lawyers.  James’ time at Eversheds gave him an invaluable understanding of both the commercial realities of practice in a full service law firm and the business of the financial services sector.

James builds on his technical excellence by understanding that strategic overview and costs/benefits analysis are also key to finding the best solutions for commercial disputes.

He is ranked in Chambers UK in the field of Professional Negligence, being described as “especially strong on claim s relating to tax mitigation schemes” and as having “an innovative approach to problem solving…the experience he has gained from working in-house gives his advice that commercial and pragmatic edge that the clients love”.

James is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in Professional Negligence and has been described as having “excellent technical knowledge but is also very commercially savvy“.

He is a substantial contributor to Lender Claims (Edited by Tomlinson QC and Grant, Sweet and Maxwell, July 2010) in relation to subjects including equitable securities over land. James is also a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance (Sweet and Maxwell, 2018).

James’ peer-reviewed article ‘Breach of Trust- the strongest of all Lender Claims?’ has been published in both the Journal of Professional Negligence (Vol 28 no. 2) and Trust Law International (Vol 26 no.4)(both 2012). James also co-authored the article ‘Breach of trust- commercial lenders beware- but also an opportunity?’ in the Mortgage Finance Gazette (2013).

Recent Reported Cases

Commercial First Business Limited v Munday [2014] EWCA Civ 1296 (issues over ‘all monies’ charges, estoppel, collateral contracts);
Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd v Knight Frank LLP [2014] EWHC 3347 (Ch) (claim against commercial valuer worth £8-10million).

Commercial Litigation Work 

Including (anonymised where appropriate):

  • Agents’ Mutual Limited v Moginie James Limited (with Tom Grant QC)- high profile claim for breach of contract, misrepresentation and breach of competition law regarding the On The Market online property portal.
  • CK-CK Limited v NFU Mutual Insurance– advising on policy avoidance/material non-disclosure issues.
  • SIG v NDM; & NDM v SIG– linked claims concerning supply of timber, terms of agreement, alleged fraud and breach of fiduciary duty as agent.
  • AB Agri v (1) Riddell (2) Dodd– circa £800,000 claim on guarantee, allegations of misrepresentation, duress, non est factum, interpretation issues.
  • Cartrefi Fforsaron Homes v Wright– claims for debt for construction of timber-framed housing, dispute as to terms.
  • Registered charity domiciliary care provider v Welsh unitary local authority– claim for inducement of breach of contract between main contractor and claimant subcontractor.
  • Multequip v various guarantors– claims on guarantees- issues of interpretation and whether guarantee or indemnity.
  • Construction adjudication re: stage payments, duress and repudiatory breaches of contract.
  • WH Leach v HD Drilling– claim for negligence re: borehole drilling operation.
  • Black Clawson Limited v AbbFab Engineering Limited– claim for deceit and other causes of action- re: sub-contract for machine for export, worth circa £750,000-£1m.
  • Advising re: dispute over terms of credit insurance.
  • Advising Attorney General of the Falkland Islands re: conversion claim regarding illegally caught Patagonian Toothfish.
  • Professional negligence work involving solicitors, surveyors, financial advisors and other professionals (see separate CV).
  • Insurance issues- interpretation, material non-disclosure and misrepresentation, fraudulent claims.
  • Freezing orders and other urgent interim relief in circumstances of fraud.
  • Solicitor-client costs assessment.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

James’ specialist practice in professional liability work frequently requires him to advise on aspects of professional indemnity policies, both for insurers and insureds, for example in relation to:

  • Extent of cover, interpretation of policy clauses and exclusions
  • Declinature for fraud, material non-disclosure, misrepresentation, breach of warranty or lack of fair presentation
  • Aggregation issues
  • The Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Acts

Related work

James has advised in substantial professional indemnity insurance disputes including, by way of examples:

  • Dispute between substantial accountancy practice and insurer, as to exclusions, material non-disclosure, misrepresentation, breach of warranty
  • Dispute between former solicitor and insurer, as to alleged fraud in over 100 conveyancing transactions
  • Claim by lender against conveyancing solicitors where insurers had purported to aggregate many claims leading to potential shortfall in the millions of pounds

James is a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance, Sweet and Maxwell, 2018 and has also spoken on professional indemnity insurance aggregation issues at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Annual Fraud Conference.  He has also been quoted in leading insurance sector magazine Post on solicitors’ professional indemnity policy issues

Insurance Coverage

James regularly advises on aspects of insurance policies, both for insurers and insureds, for example in relation to:

  • Extent of cover, interpretation of policy clauses and exclusions
  • Declinature for fraud, material non-disclosure, misrepresentation, breach of warranty or lack of fair presentation
  • Aggregation issues
  • The Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Acts

James is a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance, Sweet and Maxwell, 2018 and has also spoken on professional indemnity insurance aggregation issues at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Annual Fraud Conference.  He has also been quoted in leading insurance sector magazine Post on solicitors’ professional indemnity policy issues.

Related work

James has advised in substantial professional indemnity insurance disputes including, by way of examples:

  • Dispute between substantial accountancy practice and insurer, as to exclusions, material non-disclosure, misrepresentation, breach of warranty
  • Dispute between former solicitor and insurer, as to alleged fraud in over 100 conveyancing transactions
  • Claim by lender against conveyancing solicitors where insurers had purported to aggregate many claims leading to potential shortfall in the millions of pounds

James has also advised on insurance issues in relation to other types of policy, for example advising on a business combined policy in relation to theft of and damage to property and goods where material non-disclosure was alleged.

 

Insurance Funded Disputes

James regularly appears in and advises on claims where either or both parties are insured, including professional negligence/indemnity cases and also has substantial experience acting for household insurers in subrogated recoveries claims.

Many of his cases also involve BTE or ATE insurance funding.

For further details of James’ experience, see the other practice areas on his profile, most of which include cases where insurers have been involved.

Real Property & Mortgages

James has throughout his career advised on and appeared in a large number of property disputes for a variety of client types.

Related work

  • Enforceability of contracts for sale
  • Boundary disputes
  • Easements
  • Proprietary estoppel and trusts
  • Rectification of deeds and documents and other equitable relief
  • Undue influence and co-owner/occupier disputes
  • Landlord and tenant- relief from forfeiture
  • Reconstruction of conveyancing transactions
  • Equitable subrogation
  • Land registration issues, priority of mortgages and other interests in land
  • Title insurance
  • Fraudulent transactions
  • Land Registry adjudications and Land Registry indemnity claims.
  • Freezing injunctions and similar relief

Recent cases

  • Commercial First Business Limited v Munday [2014] EWCA Civ 1296 – issues over ‘all monies’ charges, estoppel, collateral contracts
  • Natwest Bank plc v Fox-Davies & 2 others – acting for the claimant seeking, as executor of a will, to register title in the face of attempted adverse possession by defendants
  • Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited v Mahmood – acting for the lender claimant seeking rescission of an erroneous e-DS1, so as to restore its charge; issue over onward transfer and s29 Land Registration Act 2002
  • Nationwide Building Society v Onadeko & others – acting for the lender claimant seeking rescission of an erroneous e-DS1
  • Wave Lending Limited v Rahman – advising the lender claimant on title rectification where security and borrower’s proprietorship registered in respect of the wrong title, and interconnection with adjoining flat
  • Virgin Money v Clarke – acting for lender claimant in mortgage possession claim with counterclaim (and purported defence) by defendant for ‘misselling’ of self-cert, interest only loan
  • Timegold Limited v Kaur – claim for declaratory relief as to constructive trust and/or proprietary estoppel in order to enforce defective contract for sale of property
  • Hanmer v Vale of Glamorgan – advising local authority on long running boundary dispute

Professional Associations

  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Lawyers Association
  • Midland Commercial and Chancery Bar Association
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
  • Association of London Welsh Lawyers

Qualifications

LLB Hons (Cardiff)

Recommendations

James is ranked as a leading junior for Professional Negligence in both Chambers UK and Legal 500.

“He is very thorough, articulate and great with clients. He challenges the clients in a sympathetic way to draw out necessary information. His advice is clear and very detailed.” (Chambers UK)

“He is a rare breed in terms of being able to distil document-heavy material into detailed advice. Very practical.” (Chambers UK)

“He provides excellent advice and is an extremely successful advocate. His previous in-house experience is valued for its commerciality. He is extremely thorough and bright while being very easy to work with and client-friendly” (Chambers UK)

He is able to take in immense amounts of detail, distil that knowledge and then summarise it in a way which is easily accessible.’ (Legal 500)

“Technically excellent, responsive, client-friendly and commercially minded” (Legal 500)

“Especially strong on claims relating to tax mitigation schemes” (Chambers UK)

Publications

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