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James Shaw
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James is building a broad commercial practice across Chambers’ core specialisms, with a particular focus on commercial, insolvency, construction, and professional negligence disputes. He is happy working as sole counsel or as part of a counsel team.

Prior to joining Chambers, James gained substantial litigation and pre-action experience in the Private Commercial Litigation group at Mishcon de Reya LLP, working on a range of complex and high-value commercial, fraud and commercial chancery disputes, often in a sensitive reputational context. He therefore also has excellent experience of bringing document-heavy claims to trial and conducting mass disclosure (and e-disclosure) exercises.

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 work, James enjoys football and snooker.

Commercial Litigation

James has gained experience in a wide range of commercial matters. His recent work includes assisting in:

  • A claim for breach of warranties and fraudulent misrepresentation arising from the acquisition strategy of a multi-national corporation
  • 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)
  • A claim for lost profits against a major retailer arising out of an aborted JV agreement
  • The Trucks Cartel Litigation in the Competition Appeal Tribunal relating to the determination of a novel point of law concerning whether litigation funding agreements fall to be regulated as damages-based agreements, with industry-wide potential consequences (reserved judgment pending)
  • 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 for the payment of sums under a Litigation Funding Arrangement where the underlying claim had settled during the due diligence process
  • Acting for a Claimant seeking a mandatory injunction for the delivery up of a vehicle
  • Setting aside default judgment and striking out a claim for lost profits arising out of the administration of a local government discretionary housing payments scheme

Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

James has substantial experience of litigating claims involving allegations of fraud and dishonesty. He also has a growing interest in claims arising from, or involving, alleged breaches of international sanctions.

His recent experience includes:

  • 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)
  • 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 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 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 for the enforcement of indemnities and personal guarantees on a loan agreement, including allegations that the loan was a sham
  • Drafting Particulars of Claim alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and deceit in the context of a property transaction against a company and one of its director

Banking & Finance

James is looking to build on his commercial experience and develop his practice in Banking & Finance.  He has already been in involved in:

  • Acting for a currency exchange platform in the recovery of early termination fees
  • Drafting an Advice on the prospects of obtaining an extended civil restraint order under CPR 3.11 in the retail banking context

Employment & Executive Disputes

James accepts instructions relating to employment and executive disputes and gained experience in this area during his pupillage.

James is currently instructed to assist with a substantial dispute in Jersey involving the alleged constructive dismissal of the CEO of a large international company following its acquisition.

James has also gained experience of:

  • Drafting an Opinion on the enforceability of various anti-competitive restrictive covenants within a partnership agreement
  • Drafting Grounds of Resistance in a claim for wrongful dismissal, discrimination and victimisation, and advising on state immunity and other jurisdictional issues
  • Litigating a claim for disability and gender-based discrimination


Insolvency litigation

James has experience of assisting with corporate restructuring and insolvency matters, including:

  • An international shareholder dispute arising out of the sale of a company’s main assets at a significant undervalue
  • Assisting the provision of advice to a majority shareholder as to alleged mismanagement of company affairs by company directors and potential remedies
  • Drafting Particulars of Claim in a misfeasance claim under s.212 Insolvency Act 1986 against de facto and shadow directors, alleging breaches of fiduciary duties, preferential transactions and transfers at an undervalue
  • Drafting an Advice on the effect of s.127 Insolvency Act 1986 and the merits of a ‘change of position’ argument

Personal Insolvency

James accepts instructions in personal insolvency matters and has experience acting for creditors and trustees in bankruptcy in the County Court.

Construction Litigation

James accepts instructions across the full range of construction disputes. His recent work has included:

  • 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
  • Assisting in preparations for a mediation in a nuisance claim
  • Drafting an Advice in a claim for negligent asbestos disturbance and trespass
  • Acting for a Defendant to a claim for negligent property damage arising from construction works to a neighbouring property
  • Acting for a Defendant to a claim for defective workmanship in the installation of flooring

Property & Construction Professionals

James has good experience of claims involving allegations of professional negligence or misconduct and is developing a strong practice in this area.

James is currently instructed as sole counsel in a dispute concerning allegedly defective services by a firm of surveyors overseeing a large project at residential premises in London, and has gained experience of drafting advice in a claim for negligent asbestos disturbance and trespass.

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


  • BA, Jurisprudence  (St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford), 2.1
  • BPTC, Very Competent (University of Law)

Scholarships & Prizes:

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

Awards and Achievements

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


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

  • 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 Access Project, which assists school-age students from under-represented backgrounds in their aspirations to apply to Oxbridge​
  • The Free Representation Unit (FRU)

James is also a panel volunteer with Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit), offering pro bono legal and advocacy services to members of the public.