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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)

Professional Liability

James regularly acts for and against a variety of professionals including solicitors (including matrimonial finance and pension sharing order disputes), surveyors, architects, mortgage and insurance brokers, IFAs and pension providers and administrators.

In the latest edition of Legal 500, James is recommended as a Leading junior “He fights his cases assertively and effectively”.

Solicitors

James acts in claims arising out of the full range of legal work including arising out of litigation and the settlement of litigation, commercial transactions,  SPAs, private equity, tax advice, commercial property, conveyancing, Friday afternoon frauds, ancillary relief and crime.

  • Hall v Saunders Law Ltd [2020] EWHC 404 – (with Daniel Shapiro QC) acted for Saunders Law in a successful summary judgment application on a claim brought by a litigation funder.
  • Perry v Raleys Solicitors (with Ben Quiney QC) acting as part of the team defending the series of claims arising from the alleged under-settlement of miner’s VWF claims by, amongst others, Raleys solicitors. Perry is a key Supreme Court decision reviewing important issues for solicitors’ negligence. It deals with the test for lost chances and honesty, the principles in Allied Maples, and questions of the Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction (BLM).
  • Hinkel v Simmons & Simmons: James successfully struck out a claim alleging fraudulent misrepresentation against a counterparty’s solicitors arising out a failed property transaction(instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP).
  • Oyekoya v Simmons & Simmons: acting for the successful Applicants before Birss J for the strike-out of numerous sets of proceedings certified as “totally without merit”.

Insurance brokers

  • Chalfin -v- PIB Risk Services: (with Ben Quiney QC) defending a firm of insurance brokers in a Commercial Court claim.
  • Harwood Capital v Lonsdale Insurance Brokers: acting as 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).
  • (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).
  • 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).

Finance professionals

  • Confidential arbitration: (with Daniel Shapiro QC) acting on behalf of a bank in relation to a €90million claim made against it for its role as depositary of a fund.
  • T George v Shoosmiths v Chase de Vere: James is acting as sole counsel for a firm of IFAs in respect of a contribution claim being brought by a solicitor who had power of attorney of a HNV individual’s financial affairs. The main claim alleges that an investment of c. £9m should have been made on a joint names’ basis saving a tax liability and loss of investment gains. The claim is pleaded in the region of £4m (instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP).
  • Jago v Mortgage4you: (with Daniel Shapiro QC) acting on behalf of mortgage broker in respect of a claim that the mortgage adviser negligently advised an interest only mortgage. James is instructed on behalf of a number of mortgage brokers in a  raft of cases that are being brought with respect to mortgage advice given in the mid 2000s (instructed by RPC).
  • Successfully defended a trustee in bankruptcy against a professional negligence claim brought by the bankrupt (instructed by Browne Jacobson).

Other professionals

  • James often acts for other professionals or quasi-professionals: for example fire service (Wembridge Claimants & Ors v East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service [2013] EWHC 2331 (QB) ) and Fire safety engineers: Howmet v EDL & ECS 157 Con. L.R. 1 & [2016] B.L.R. 555

Selected Cases

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Qualifications


  • 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)

Memberships


  • COMBAR
  • LCLCBA
  • PNBA
  • TECBAR

Recommendations


“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

“Clear written opinions”

Legal 500, 2018


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