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James Sharpe

Call 2009

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

Property Damage

James has extensive experience in property damage disputes arising out of explosions, fires and floods. He deals with coverage, recoveries and defences. His experience includes being led in large property damage disputes in the TCC as well as acting unled.

Selected Cases

  • 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).
  • Murphy v Barnsley MBC: successfully defended a flooding claim following a 4 day trial in September 2018 (instructed by Kennedys).
  • Acting in a multi-million pound subrogated claim arising out of a large fire (with Andrew Rigney KC).
  • Successfully defended a tree root claim in a three day trial in the Central London TCC List (instructed by Clyde & Co).
  • Howmet v EDL [2016] B.L.R. 555 ; [2016] EWCA Civ 847 (with Ben Quiney KC) – In the Court of Appeal acting for a factory owner in a recovery action resulting from a serious fire that caused £24m losses arising from an alleged failure of failsafe devices (instructed by RPC). James also appeared at first instance in a 3-week trial in the TCC (157 Con. L.R. 1; [2014] EWHC 3933 (TCC)).
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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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