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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)

Construction & Engineering

James has wide experience in construction disputes including trial work in the TCC as well as arbitrations and adjudications. He has dealt with cases for both employers and contractors.

James also has experience in cases involving construction professionals. The cases that he has been involved in have included allegations against professionals including architects and quantity surveyors. James has experience of most standard form contracts, including JCT, ICE, NEC, FIDICC.

Selected Cases

  • Acting (with Crispin Winser) in a complex Party Wall Act dispute arising out of a basement conversion in Chelsea.
  • Acting (with Andrew Rigney QC) in a multi-million pound subrogated claim arising out of a large fire.
  • Howmet v EDL [2016] B.L.R. 555; [2016] EWCA Civ 847 – (with Ben Quiney QC) in Court of Appeal acting for a factory owner in a recovery action resulting from a serious fire that causes £24m losses arising from an alleged failure of failsafe devices (instructed by RPC). James also appeared in the first instance in a 3-week trial in the TCC (157 Con. L.R. 1; [2014] EWHC 3933 (TCC)).
  • Gittins v A-Consult Ltd (TCC): acted for the employer against the designer of an anaerobic digester tank following the collapse of an internal concrete wall which led to business interruption losses. Settled shortly before it was due to be heard for 5 days by the TCC in July 2018 (instructed by Clyde & Co).
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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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