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James Sharpe

Call 2009

“Hard working, pragmatic, approachable, clever, meticulous, insightful.”
(Legal 500, 2024)


James is regularly instructed in commercial matters involving sale of goods, supply of goods and services, bailment and agency; as well as claims arising out of SPAs, joint venture agreements, commission agreements, franchise agreements and agency agreements. James also often acts in respect of agreements between insurers and/or insurance brokers. James also has experience of obtaining injunctions (interim and freezing) at short notice.

Selected Cases

  • MW High Tech Projects Limited v Greenhalgh & Ors: (with Alison Padfield KC) acting on behalf of three former directors against a £320m claim for breach of directors’ duties arising out of the Claimant’s entry into three large waste to energy projects. This is set down for a 5 week trial in November 2025 ([2022] EWHC 2000 (TCC)) (instructed by Beale & Co).
  • Re a fintech company (Isle of Man) – James (with Isabel Hitching KC) is acting for the respondents to an alleged minority prejudice claim pursuant to s.180 of the Isle of Man Companies Act 2006 (ongoing), in June 2023, the First Deemster granted James a temporary advocate’s licence to appear in this matter.
  • University of the Arts London v Legal & General – James (with Daniel Shapiro KC) acted for UAL in relation to the rectification of VAT provisions in a commercial lease ([2023] EWHC 994 (Ch)) (instructed by Simmons & Simmons).
  • Corum XL v Epwin Logistics – James (with Daniel Shapiro KC)  acted for a development financer in respect of the rectification of a commercial lease (instructed by Simmons & Simmons).
  • Valero Energy Limited v B&A Contracts Limited: (with Colin Edelman KC and Daniel Shapiro KC) defended a tank cleaning contractor against a claim for a contractual indemnity following an explosion at a refinery in Pembrokeshire in 2011. The case settled shortly before trial in 2021 (instructed by Kennedys LLP) (TCC).
  • Propharma Group MIS Holdings Ltd v Certain underwriting members of Lloyd Syndicates: (with Ben Quiney KC) acting on behalf of the London Market in defence of a claim that a Buyer-Side Warranty and Indemnity Insurance Policy has been triggered following the purchase of a company pursuant to a SPA (Commercial Court)(instructed by DAC Beachcroft LLP).
  • Harwood Capital v Lonsdale Insurance Brokers: sole counsel for the brokers in a claim that may rise up to £10m. The claim centres on an allegation that the brokers failed to procure sufficient cover so as to indemnity Harwood in respect of a claim being brought in the United State for assisting breach of breach of fiduciary duty and interference with contract. (Commercial Court)(instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP).
  • Confidential arbitration: (with Daniel Shapiro KC) acting on behalf of a bank in relation to a €80million claim made against it for its role as depositary of a fund.
  • Belmont Farms v Duynie – (with David Elvin KC) in the Commercial Court acting for a supplier in a £10 million claim arising out of the sale of contaminated animal feed (instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP).
  • Chalfin -v- PIB – (with Ben Quiney KC) acting on behalf of insurance brokers in a Commercial Court claim.
  • Brit UW Ltd v F & B Trenchless Ltd [2016] Lloyd’s Rep IR 69; [2015] EWHC 2237 – Comm acted for the insured tunnelling contractor where insurers were seeking to avoid their public liability insurance (with Daniel Shapiro KC).
  • Global Draw v IGT (2015) – In the Commercial Court acting for a vendor of a video gaming   company in respect of various claims arising out of a share purchase agreement. The claim was valued at over £50 million and settled after one week of trial on confidential terms. Between January and May, James worked almost exclusively on this matter assisting with disclosure, witness statements and preparing applications for specific disclosure (with Christopher Butcher KC and Daniel Shapiro KC).
  • British Amateur Gymnastics Association v (1) Zurich (2) Brit (3) Perkins Slade Limited (with Ben Quiney KC). Acting for Third Defendant in Commercial Court claim concerning a dispute between an insured, two insurers and brokers. The case raises points regarding insurance brokers’ duty of care  in negligence and contract as well as in relation to the doctrines of waiver, estoppel and rectification (instructed by Mills & Reeve).
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  • Walter Wigglesworth Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2011)
  • European Commission Scholarship (unable to accept), Lincoln’s Inn (2009)
  • Blackstone’s Mooting Competition (finalist) (2009)
  • BVC, City Law School (2008 – 2009)
  • Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2007)
  • BA (Hons) Jurisprudence, Somerville College, University of Oxford (2004 – 2007)


  • PNBA


“James shows incredible energy, commitment and intellect.”… “James is just so easy to work with and so knowledgeable. He has a calming touch in stressful situations.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024

“Easy to deal with both for solicitors and for clients. User-friendly and good legal analysis.”

Legal 500, 2024

“Hard working, pragmatic, approachable, clever, meticulous, insightful.”

Legal 500, 2024

‘James is great on his feet, calm and clear. He is also really excellent in conference. I always feel that I can chat anything and everything through with James, even on very difficult cases, or cases where there is no clear way through. Very collaborative and very commercial.’

Legal 500, 2023

‘James is a good lawyer and very approachable, particularly with clients, and very good at marshalling the litigation.’

Legal 500, 2023

“James is highly sought after.” “He is an excellent barrister.”

Chambers & Partners, 2023

“He is a really nice individual to deal with. He is user-friendly and I trust his advice.”

Chambers & Partners, 2023

“James has got incredible technical knowledge and is a very good and mature cross-examiner.”

Chambers & Partners, 2022

“James is a very effective operator – he has good communication skills and knows the law.”

Legal 500, 2022

“James is extremely easy to work with and reliable – gets down to the core of the case and avoids distractions.”

Legal 500, 2022

“He has all of the relevant precedents at the forefront of his mind. Presents well to professional and insurer clients and is a reassuring sounding board on complex issues.”

Legal 500, 2021

“Does a good and detailed job, with sound judgement and common sense. A true all-rounder, who is bright, personable and commercial – a great asset to any team!”

Legal 500, 2021

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