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James Shaw
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James has a wide-ranging commercial dispute resolution practice, encompassing commercial litigation, insolvency, company, construction, and professional negligence disputes. He is regularly instructed as sole counsel across his specialisms.

You can find further detail on James’ experience within each of the specialist area tabs of his profile.

Prior to joining Chambers, James gained substantial experience at a leading silver circle firm, litigating a range of complex and high-value commercial, fraud, and commercial/chancery disputes, often in a sensitive reputational context. For example, he was involved in:

  • Group Seven & Anor v Nasir & Ors [2017] EWHC 2466 (Ch) (conspiracy, dishonest assistance, breach of trust etc.) (judgment for Claimants upheld in Court of Appeal: [2019] EWCA Civ 614);
  • IOEC v Dean Investments & Ors [2019] EWHC 472 (Comm) (conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, knowing receipt etc.) (acting for D5 and D6 prior to trial);
  • Twin Benefits Ltd v Barker [2017] EWHC 177 (Ch) (legal professional privilege, non-party disclosure, confidentiality clubs);
  • Barker v Confiance Ltd [2018] EWHC 2965 (Ch) (trusts, effect of settlement agreement, representation of unascertained members of a class);
  • Barker v Baxendale-Walker [2017] 10 WLUK 593 (non-party costs application against litigation funder);
  • A v Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (2017) (anonymised) (professional disciplinary proceedings involving allegations of fraud and resulting in exceptional costs award in favour of accused);
  • A v B (compromised) – arbitral dispute with state-owned oil company concerning non-payment of over $100m.

James is very committed to encouraging access to legal services and legal training. You can see further details of his activities in the CSR tab of his profile.

Outside of Chambers, James enjoys football, snooker, cooking, and travelling.

Commercial Litigation

James’ core specialism is as a commercial litigator and he has a particular interest in claims involving allegations of fraud and dishonesty.

Recent Work:

  • Obtaining judgment in a substantial unjust enrichment claim following the collapse of a proposed investment
  • Drafting security for costs application in respect of a substantial counterclaim (matter ongoing)
  • Advising on non-competition and inconsistent jurisdiction clauses in a shareholder agreement following the acquisition of a business
  • Obtaining summary judgment in a claim for unpaid invoices arising out of the provision of temporary workers
  • Acting for a Claimant seeking a mandatory injunction for delivery up of a vehicle
  • Striking out a claim for lost profits arising from an aborted contract in the context of a discretionary government scheme
  • Bringing and defending claims brought under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • Acting for a major airline in defending claims brought for alleged breach of contract, negligence, breach of various EU regulations, and the Montreal Convention
  • Assisting Stephen Brown in a claim for breach of warranties and fraudulent misrepresentation arising from the acquisition strategy of an international corporation
  • Assisting Stephen Brown in a claim for mandatory injunctive relief and substantial damages for lost profits, including preparations to resist an interim mandatory injunction application: Perkier Foods Ltd v Halo Foods Ltd [2019] EWHC 292 (QB)
  • Assisting Stephen Brown in a claim for lost profits against a major retailer arising out of an aborted JV agreement
  • Assisting PJ Kirby QC in the Trucks Cartel Litigation before Mr Justice Roth sitting in the Competition Appeal Tribunal: see Road Haulage Association Ltd & Ors v MAN SE & Ors [2019] CAT 26
  • Drafting Particulars of Claim alleging fraudulent misrepresentation, deceit, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract
  • Assisting Stephen Brown in a challenge to the enforcement of a Letter of Request, considering the appropriate scope of an order for discovery in US proceedings
  • Drafting Particulars of Claim in a claim by a litigation funder concerning the construction of a Litigation Funding Arrangement
  • Drafting Particulars of Claim seeking to enforce various contractual indemnities and personal guarantees in connection with a loan facility

James also worked on a range of complex and high-value commercial matters prior to joining the Bar, including commercial fraud litigation, oil & gas arbitrations, regulatory investigations, and commercial chancery disputes.

Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

James has excellent experience of bringing and defending claims involving allegations of fraud and dishonesty, often revolving around the economic torts.

Prior to joining Chambers, he helped to litigate a series of high-value and high-profile fraud cases, and is looking to develop his practice in this area.

Recent Work:

  • Assisting in litigating various civil fraud claims arising out of a €100m fraud perpetrated against the investment vehicle of an ultra-high net-worth individual: Group Seven & Anor v Nasir & Ors [2017] EWHC 2466 (Ch)) (judgment for Claimants upheld in Court of Appeal: [2019] EWCA Civ 614)
  • Advising on allegedly fraudulent investment schemes similar to those exposed in the above litigation.
  • Assisting with defending a civil fraud claim worth over $70m arising out of the failed sale of an oil rig and raising conflicts of law issues, the illegality defence in the context of breach of EU and US sanctions, and abuse of process on grounds of political persecution
  • Assisting PJ Kirby QC in advising on a potential claim arising out of the termination of an international distribution agreement entered into allegedly in breach of EU and US sanctions
  • Assisting Stephen Brown in defending a claim alleging, inter alia, fraudulent misrepresentation and deceit arising out of the acquisition of a business
  • Assisting in the bringing and defending of applications for the private cross-examination of individuals suspected of fraud regarding the extent and locations of their assets under CPR Part 71
  • Drafting Particulars of Claim in a claim involving allegations that a written loan agreement was a sham document
  • Drafting Particulars of Claim alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and deceit in the context of a property transaction against a company and its directors

Banking & Finance

James is developing his practice in banking and finance litigation and has good experience of the kinds of issues which arise in this area. He has a particular interest in claims arising out of the trading of cryptocurrencies.

Recent Work:

  • Acting for a well-known currency exchange platform in litigation concerning contractual termination fees
  • Drafting Particulars of Claim on behalf of a lender seeking to enforce various contractual indemnities and personal guarantees in relation to a loan of approximately £1 million
  • Drafting an Advice on the prospects of obtaining an extended civil restraint order against a borrower
  • Assisting in litigating dishonest assistance and vicarious liability claims against bank personnel and their employers

Employment & Executive Disputes

James accepts instructions relating to employment and executive disputes and has particular experience in disputes involving high-level employees and CEOs.

For instance, James is currently instructed to assist in two substantial offshore disputes involving the alleged constructive dismissal of the CEO and CFO of an international company following its acquisition by foreign investors.

He also has experience of:

  • Drafting an Opinion on the enforceability of various anti-competitive restrictive covenants within the partnership agreement of a major LLP.
  • Acting for a Claimant in a whistleblowing and constructive dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal
  • Drafting Grounds of Resistance in a claim for wrongful dismissal, discrimination and victimisation, and advising on state immunity and other jurisdictional issues
  • Assisting in a claim for disability and gender-based discrimination

 

Insolvency litigation

James has experience of acting and advising on a wide range of corporate insolvency matters, including claims concerning the sale of company assets at an undervalue, directors’ misfeasance, antecedent transactions, and obtaining orders for sale.

He is currently instructed on a claim worth over £14m considering cash flow insolvency and directors’ duties in the Channel Islands and corporate governance issues internationally.

James’ other experience includes:

    • Advising on wrongful trading and the ‘asset-stripping’ economic torts against directors
    • Advising a majority shareholder as to alleged mismanagement of company affairs by company directors and potential remedies arising from the same
    • Drafting Particulars of Claim in a misfeasance claim under s.212 Insolvency Act 1986 against registered, de facto and shadow directors, alleging preferential and undervalued transactions and breaches of fiduciary duties
    • Drafting an Advice on the effect of s.127 Insolvency Act 1986 and the merits of a ‘change of position’ defence
    • Assisting in an international shareholder dispute arising out of the sale of a state-controlled company’s sole assets at a significant undervalue

 

Personal Insolvency

James is regularly instructed in personal insolvency matters and acts for creditors, trustees in bankruptcy, and debtors in the County Court in relation to a wide range of issues.

His recent experience includes disputed bankruptcy petitions, applications to set aside statutory demands, obtaining orders for sale and validation orders, applications to annul bankruptcy orders, and resisting urgent applications for stays of execution.

Director Disqualification

James has experience of advising in respect of director disqualification and accepts instructions from all interested parties, including directors, office-holders, and, where appropriate, concerned creditors.

Construction Litigation

James has experience across the full range of construction disputes and is comfortable advising and acting in adjudication (including adjudication enforcement), litigation, and arbitral disputes.

Recent Work:

  • Acting for the Defendant to a claim for property damage caused by defective works
  • Applying to strike out claim against construction employer for damage caused by sub-contractor (matter compromised)
  • Drafting an Opinion on the enforceability of liquidated damages provisions within a large oil and gas contract and the application of the ‘prevention principle’
  • Drafting a Defence to a claim for payment under a sub-contract
  • Drafting an Advice in a claim for negligent asbestos disturbance and trespass
  • Assisting with preparations for a mediation in a large nuisance claim

He is also regularly instructed on professional negligence claims against a range of construction and property professionals. Further details can be found within the Professional Liability tab on his profile.

Property & Construction Professionals

James has excellent experience of claims involving allegations of professional negligence or misconduct and is regularly instructed as sole counsel in such disputes.

Recent Work:

  • Acting as sole counsel in a dispute concerning allegedly defective services by a firm of surveyors overseeing a large project at residential premises in London
  • Acting as sole counsel in defending a negligence action against a property management company following multiple unsuccessful attempts to evict tenant
  • Drafting an Advice in a claim for negligent asbestos disturbance and trespass

 

Costs Litigation

James’ core specialisms regularly throw up costs issues and he has advised on and acted in a wide range of costs cases.

Recent Work:

    • Drafting a security for costs application in respect of a substantial counterclaim
    • Acting in an application for wasted costs against a claimant’s legal advisors following discontinuance
    • Assisted PJ Kirby QC in the Trucks Cartel Litigation (Road Haulage Association Ltd & Ors v MAN SE & Ors [2019] CAT 26), in which the Competition Appeal Tribunal decided a novel point of law with industry-wide consequences for litigation funders
    • Assisted the Third Party Respondent in an application for a non-party costs order against a litigation funder and alleged controller: see Barker v Baxendale-Walker [2017] 10 WLUK 593

Prior to joining Chambers, James acted as part of a small team in securing a “truly exceptional circumstances” costs award against the ACCA in failed regulatory proceedings against a chartered accountant.

 

International

James has worked on a range of international litigation across a number of jurisdictions in Europe & the Channel Islands, the USA, Middle East, China and West Africa. He is developing a practice with a strong international element and is comfortable dealing with issues which frequently arise in cross-border disputes.

Recent Work:

  • A substantial claim in the Channel Islands concerning corporate activity in multiple European, Asian and West African jurisdictions, advising on a range of cross-border disclosure, privilege, and jurisdictional issues
  • A claim worth over $75m seeking to enforce a US judgment against a UK-based individual

Commercial Landlord & Tenant

James has good experience of property and housing disputes and regularly appears as counsel in the County Court in this area.

Examples of James’ recent work include:

  • Acting for a landlord enforcing restrictive covenants against a bankrupted lessee in circumstances where the bankrupt’s legal interest has been invalidly transferred
  • Acting for trustees in bankruptcy seeking orders for the sale of residential property
  • Acting for a variety housing associations and local councils in injunction and possession proceedings
  • Assisting with defending a claim for forfeiture of a commercial lease agreed orally

Qualifications

BA, Jurisprudence (St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford)

Bar Professional Training Course (University of Law, London)

Scholarships & Prizes:

    • Major BPTC Scholarship (Astbury Award), Middle Temple
    • Performance Award, University of Law
    • Access to the Bar Award, Middle Temple

CSR

James has volunteered for a range of CSR and pro bono initiatives, including:

  • Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit), offering pro bono legal and advocacy services to members of the public
  • The SPITE Project, which advises victims of revenge porn and related civil and criminal issues
  • The Own-It! Project, which advises arts students on IP and copyright issues arising in the course of their work
  • The Free Representation Unit (FRU)
  • The Access Project, which assists school-age students from under-represented backgrounds in their aspirations to apply to Oxbridge​
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