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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)

Insurance & Reinsurance

James regularly acts for and advises insured’s, insurers in respect of insurance policies. He advises upon and litigated all insurance related disputes including: dealing with insolvent insured’s and insurance companies; subrogated recovery claims; and all coverage disputes (including non-disclosure and misrepresentation, notification, moral hazard and warranty cases).

James also acts for and against insurance brokers and other insurance intermediaries in professional negligence claims.

In the latest edition of Chambers UK Bar, James is recommended as a Leading junior: “James has got incredible technical knowledge and is a very good and mature cross-examiner.”

Selected Cases

  • Carebrook Limited and (2) Carebrook (Camden Market) Limited v QIC Europe Limited: (with Ben Quiney QC) acting on behalf of insurers in respect of a claim for losses incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic and which considers the correct limit of indemnity under a business interruption policy (instructed by DWF LLP).
  • X v Y: (with Andrew Rigney QC) acting on behalf of insurers against a claim under a business interruption policy claiming for multiple indemnity periods and losses incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic (instructed by DWF LLP).
  • 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).
  • Chalfin -v- PIB Risk Services: (with Ben Quiney QC) defending a firm of insurance brokers in a Commercial Court claim.
  • Confidential arbitration: (with Ben Quiney QC) acting on behalf of insurers in an aggregation dispute regarding solicitors’ minimum terms arising from various conveyancing transactions.
  • Confidential arbitration: (with Ben Quiney QC) acting on behalf of directors and officers in a dispute regarding the construction of a D&O policy.
  • Confidential arbitration: un-led against leading counsel and acting on behalf of the London market in a breach of Coverholder dispute.
  • Sole counsel acting for the London Market in a breach of converholder dispute alleging that its former coverholder breached its binding authority and continued to write risks after non-renewal.
  • Brit UW Ltd v F&B Trenchless Ltd [2016] Lloyd’s Rep IR 69; [2015] EWHC 2237 (Comm) – Acted for the insured tunneling contractor where insurers were seeking to avoid their public liability insurance (with Daniel Shapiro).
  • British Amateur Gymnastics Association v (1) Zurich (2) Brit (3) Perkins Slade Limited (with Ben Quiney QC) acted for brokers in this long running multi-million pound coverage dispute arising from cover issued to the British Gymnastics Association. Issues arose relating to cover, non-disclosure, claims made policies, the practice in the Lloyds Market, brokers’ duties, and causation. In addition there was a particular dispute as to the placing and management of excess cover, which it was successfully argued could not be added as new allegations to the claim close to trial; British Gymnastics v Zurich, Brit & Perkins Slade [2017] EWHC 2500 (Comm) (Mills & Reeve).
  • (with Ben Quiney QC) Instructed on behalf of a firm of insurance brokers to defend a £4m claim alleging that it had failed to properly assess the client’s insurance needs resulting in significant underinsurance following a catastrophic flood (instructed by Carter Perry Bailey).
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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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