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James Sharpe

Call 2009

"His drafting is technically excellent and very persuasive; he is also likeable, clever and easy to work with"
(Legal 500, 2020)


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

  • Epwin Logistics Limited v Corum XL: (with Daniel Shapiro QC) acting on behalf of Corum in the remaining counterclaim for rectification of a lease for mistake (instructed by Simmons & Simmons).
  • MW High Tech Projects Limited v Greenhalgh & Ors: (with Daniel Shapiro QC) acting on behalf of three former directors against a £300m claim for breach of directors’ duties arising out of the Claimant’s entry into three large waste to energy projects (instructed by Beale & Co).
  • Valero Energy Limited v B&A Contracts Limited: (with Colin Edelman QC and Daniel Shapiro QC) defending a tank cleaning contractor against a claim for a contractual indemnity following an explosion at a refinery in Pembrokeshire in 2011. The trial is listed for 3 weeks in October 2021 (instructed by Kennedys LLP)(TCC).
  • Propharma Group MIS Holdings Ltd v Certain underwriting members of Lloyd Syndicates: (with Ben Quiney QC) 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 QC) 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 QC) 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 QC) 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).
  • 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 QC and Daniel Shapiro).
  • British Amateur Gymnastics Association v (1) Zurich (2) Brit (3) Perkins Slade Limited (with Ben Quiney QC). 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 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

“He fights his cases assertively and effectively”

Legal 500, 2020

“Both detailed and excellent technically”

Legal 500, 2018

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