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James Hall

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“He is very thorough, articulate and great with clients. He challenges the clients in a sympathetic way to draw out necessary information. His advice is clear and very detailed.” Chambers UK

Practice overview

James specialises in professional negligence, commercial litigation and property disputes.  His professional negligence work relates primarily to the financial services and property sectors though he also deals with a wide variety of claims arising from transactions, projects and misconduct of litigation.  He deals with a variety of commercial claims with a focus on disputes connected with his professional negligence practice, such as insurance disputes, conspiracy claims and FS sector work including claims against the FSCS.  His property work generally relates to title issues, land registration issues, mortgages and trusts issues and often overlaps with his professional negligence practice.

James is instructed in many high-value and complex matters; details of many of his cases are set out in the CVs available in the practice area links on the left.

He understands the need not only for technical excellence but also the commercial imperatives of his clients, which range from large lending institutions and professional indemnity insurers to self-insured businesses, other businesses and high net worth individuals.  He focuses on strategy and cost-benefit analysis as well as legal finesse.

Earlier in his career he spent several years as an employed barrister in an international law firm, developing and leading a team of specialist lawyers, giving him invaluable insight and understanding of the workings of solicitors’ firms and their clients.

He has regularly contributed to leading texts and had many articles published in industry periodicals and peer-review journals.  He has also spoken at the CML Fraud Conference; The Legal Week Banking Litigation and Regulation Forum and the Legal Business Financial Regulation and Disputes Summit as well as having been quoted in the Times and insurance sector magazine Post. He frequently provides seminars and training on a diverse range of topics.

 

Areas of expertise

  • Professional liability
    • Financial professionals, insolvency professionals, directors & officers

      Financial professionals, insolvency professionals, directors & officers

      James Hall specialises in professional negligence and financial services-related litigation. Apart from his time practising in chambers since 2001, between 2007 and 2011 James spent four years at an international law firm as an employed barrister, developing and leading a specialist team of lawyers. James’ time in-house gave him an invaluable understanding of both the commercial realities of practice in a full service law firm and the business of the financial services sector.

      James builds on his technical excellence by understanding that strategic overview and costs/benefits analysis are also key to finding the best solutions for commercial disputes.

      He is ranked in Chambers UK in the field of Professional Negligence, being described as ‘especially strong on claims relating to tax mitigation schemes’ and as having ‘an innovative approach to problem solving…the experience he has gained from working in-house gives his advice that commercial and pragmatic edge that the clients love’.

      James is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in Professional Negligence and has been described as having ‘excellent technical knowledge but is also very commercially savvy.’

      He is also recommended for professional negligence in Who’s Who Legal.

      James has spoken at the Legal Week Banking Litigation and Regulatory Reform Conference on ‘Ticking Timebombs: Tax avoidance scheme claims’ and at the Legal Business Financial Regulation and Disputes Summit (where he also chaired a panel discussion) on extensions to the FOS jurisdiction; he has also been quoted in The Times on similar issues and has been quoted in leading insurance sector magazine Post on solicitors’ professional indemnity policy issues. He has also spoken on professional indemnity insurance aggregation issues at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Annual Fraud Conference and has regularly delivered training seminars to law firms.

      He is a substantial contributor to Lender Claims (Edited by Tomlinson QC and Grant, Sweet and Maxwell, July 2010) in relation to subjects including equitable securities over land. James is also a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance (Sweet and Maxwell, 2018). ).  He is also a contributor to Insurance Broking Practice and the Law, Informa.

      James’ peer-reviewed article ‘Breach of Trust- the strongest of all Lender Claims?’ was published in both the Journal of Professional Negligence (Vol 28 no. 2) and Trust Law International (Vol 26 no.4)(both 2012). James also co-authored the article ‘Breach of trust- commercial lenders beware- but also an opportunity?’ in the Mortgage Finance Gazette (2013).

      Recent Reported Cases

      • Commercial First Business Limited v Munday [2014] EWCA Civ 1296 (issues over ‘all monies’ charges, estoppel, collateral contracts);
      • Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd v Knight Frank LLP [2014] EWHC 3347 (Ch) (claim against commercial valuer worth £8 -10million);
      • Carr v Formation Group Plc [2018] EWHC 3575 (Ch) (claim arising out of alleged secret commissions on selling of tax mitigation schemes).

      Financial Services /Tax Advice/Accountancy-related claims

      • Bache v AFH – claim for negligence against financial advisors relating to pension transfer arrangements.
      • Harland v St James Place Wealth Management plc & Anor – misselling of/negligent advice on investments linked to carbon-trading/tax mitigation schemes, quantum in excess of £400,000.
      • Mr and Mrs Carpenter v St James Place Wealth Management plc & Anor – relating to the misselling of/negligent advice on investments linked to new technology/tax mitigation schemes, quantum in excess of £750,000.
      • Various investors v St James Place Wealth Management plc & Others – relating to the misselling of/negligent advice on investments linked to new technology/tax mitigation schemes (including Epocket, VIP and Vismail), quantum in £millions.
      • Various investors v Openwork Limited & Others – relating to the misselling of/negligent advice on investments linked to new technology/tax mitigation schemes (Including Icebreaker, Betex and Prefect Software), quantum in £millions.
      • Individuals v Accountants – relating to alleged negligent investment advice on a qualifying registered overseas pension scheme (QROPS), quantum £8,000,000.
      • Various investors v Valuation consultancy subsidiary of major lender – negligent valuation of business/rights underlying new technology/supporting tax mitigation schemes, quantum in £millions (being led at some stages by Patrick Lawrence QC, 4 New Square- dozens of high net worth individual clients and 4 schemes involved).
      • Nahal & Gill v Crosby Insurance – Claim against insurance brokers in relation to material non-disclosure/ misrepresentation in relation to commercial property insurance, quantum in excess of £150,000.
      • Jarvis v Royal Skandia Life Assurance & Others – Claim against insurer and financial adviser re: tax liability on encashment of policy, quantum circa £25,000, jurisdiction and duty of care issues.
      • Various investors v HSBC Private Bank (UK) Limited – relating to the alleged misselling of/negligent advice on film partnership/tax mitigation schemes, quantum in the £millions.
      • Three investors v IFA firm in the North-West – relating to alleged misselling of/negligent advice on UCISs with real property, often abroad, as the underlying assets, quantum circa £2million.
      • (And on a related issue: Various investors in the ‘Icebreaker’ scheme v Enterprise Insurance Co Plc – enforceability of insurance policy/material non-disclosure/misrepresentation).
      • Individual v Accountants with in-house financial advisors – relating to alleged misselling of/negligent advice on Scottish commercial property syndicate/tax mitigation schemes.
      • Individual v Wealth Management PLC – relating to alleged negligent advice in relation to pension funds invested in property syndicates and structured products.
      • Cullum v Towergate Financial – alleged misselling of/negligence advice on medical drug-related tax mitigation scheme, quantum in excess of £1,300,000.
      • Large farming company v Insurance Brokers – claims for over £200,000 against insurer and insurance brokers in relation to fire at farm premises caused either by arson or self-heating of hay; issues as to exclusion and coverage and whether failure by brokers to advise on those issues.
      • Individual v Root 2 – claim relating to negligent advice on spread-betting/income tax avoidance scheme.
      • HNW Individuals v Accountants in the North-East – claim worth circa £10million in relation to alleged advice on investment in a QROPS.
      • Individual and company specialising in optical supplies v Accountants in the South-East – relating to failure to implement instructions regarding shareholdings and failure to advise on director’s loan/s455 tax issues.
      • London estate agency v Large accountancy practice – relating to advice on amortisation of goodwill/tax relief.
      • Adds Accountants Consulting Ltd v TEG-MJR Ltd – counterclaim for in excess of £500,000 relating to alleged negligent preparation of accounts and bookkeeping and failure to advise.
      • HNW individuals (former shareholders in music and events promotion business) v South Wales/South West based accountants – claim for around £18million for underlying alleged negligence in preparation of accounts and bookkeeping and failure to produce proper management accounts and modelling/forecasting for high value share sale.

      Other work relating to alleged misselling of financial products

      • LLP and Ltd Co. clients v HSBC Bank plc – breach of statutory duty, misrepresentation and/or breach of duty of care re: swap IRHPs – basic loss in excess of £1.3million, possible consequential loss claim of £4.35million.
      • Ltd co. client v Barclays Bank plc – breach of statutory duty, misrepresentation and/or breach of duty of care re: structured collar/swap IRHP – basic loss in excess of £300,000, plus consequential losses.
      • 2 x Ltd co. clients v HSBC Bank plc – breach of statutory duty, misrepresentation and/or breach of duty of care re: swap and cap IRHPs- basic loss over £160,000, plus consequential losses.
      • Partnership client v Lloyds Bank plc – misrepresentation/breach of duty of care re: alteration from variable to fixed rate tailored business loan- basic loss over £165,000, plus substantial consequential losses estimated at around £600,000.
      • 2 x Ltd co. clients and 1 individual v Multi Units France, Societe D’Investment a Capital Variable S.A. & Lyxor International Asset Management S.A.S – misrepresentation/breach of contract/breach of duty of care relating to stock market volatility tracking/index-linked investments – primary loss circa £500,000 plus consequential losses, jurisdiction and applicable law issues.
      • Clarke v Virgin Money plc – representing and advising defendant lender (assignee of original lender) in relation to claim for alleged breaches of statutory duty and/or negligence regarding substantial residential, self-cert interest-only mortgage loan.
      • Various Investors v FSCS – advice on claims against the FSCS relating to UCIS.
      • Investors in Icebreaker scheme v FSCS – relating to insolvent Gibraltarian insurer and whether policies relating to tax mitigation scheme are enforceable (and whether FSCS should compensate given the insurer’s insolvency)
      • Carr & Ors v Formation Group plc & Ors – representing first defendant in relation to claim for knowing receipt, alleged bribery, dishonest assistance and unlawful means conspiracy arising out of alleged secret commissions on selling of tax mitigation schemes.
      • HNW foreign national v UK plc and insurer – in relation to misselling of corporate bond and/or of bond offering insurance policy.
    • Legal professionals

      Legal professionals

      James handles a wide variety of claims against legal professionals, often related to his expertise in commercial litigation and property transactions as well as banking and finance disputes and corporate transactions.

      He is ranked in Chambers UK in the field of Professional Negligence, being described as “especially strong on claims relating to tax mitigation schemes” and as having “an innovative approach to problem solving…the experience he has gained from working in-house gives his advice that commercial and pragmatic edge that the clients love”.

      James is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in Professional Negligence and has been described as having “excellent technical knowledge but is also very commercially savvy”.

      He is also recommended for professional negligence in Who’s Who Legal.

      Recent cases

      • Lender claims including breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty; and including e.g. a multi-million pound claim, on behalf of Wave Lending, against solicitors and arising out of seven linked transactions; and another multi-million pound claim, on behalf of Mortgage Express, against solicitors and arising out of twenty-six linked transactions, re: both commercial and residential lending, mainly claimant (for high street banks and intermediary-led lenders, in securitised and non-securitised lending); claims against solicitors (and valuers) for peer-to-peer lending business; but also some defendant work.
      • Claims by lenders relating to accidental discharges of mortgages at the Land Registry.
      • Acting for claimants or defendants in claims made by large and SME companies and private clients in relation to:
        • Corporate transactions (e.g. restructures, SPAs and transfers of shareholdings).
        • Commercial and residential conveyancing, e.g.:
          • failure to protect business tenancy renewal rights- complex and substantial losses resulting;
          • failure to protect option agreements relating to business premises;
          • errors in drafting of commercial leases;
          • conveying areas of agricultural land not intended to be conveyed;
          • alleged failure to advise on restrictive covenants;
          • failure to advise on effect of overage clauses;
          • failure to advise on Listed Buildings Consent issues;
          • failure to advise on accessway maintenance and site layout issues on development site;
          • failure to advise on various risks in off-plan flats purchase;
          • failure to progress commercial conveyancing leading to loss of finance and delayed development;
        • Conduct of litigation (including e.g. defending a reputable West End firm in relation to alleged negligence in freehold enfranchisement proceedings; and negligent conduct of matrimonial proceedings in relation to insurance policy asset).
        • Administration of deceased’s estate, relating to failure to realise investment prior to investment fund becoming insolvent.
        • Tax planning including inheritance tax and capital gains tax advice, planning and mitigation schemes.
    • Property Professionals

      Property Professionals

      James’ practice has always involved him in a wide variety of property disputes and this has led him into handling the professional negligence claims associated with property transactions as well. His experience of claims against solicitors is dealt with at the Professional Liability – Legal Professionals part of his profile. His recent work involving other property professionals is listed below.

      He is ranked in Chambers UK in the field of Professional Negligence, being described as “especially strong on claims relating to tax mitigation schemes” and as having “an innovative approach to problem solving…the experience he has gained from working in-house gives his advice that commercial and pragmatic edge that the clients love”.

      James is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in Professional Negligence and has been described as having “excellent technical knowledge but is also very commercially savvy”.

      He is also recommended for professional negligence in Who’s Who Legal.

      Recent cases

      • Numerous lender claims against surveyors and valuers (re: both commercial and residential lending), mainly claimant (including e.g. development sites, hotels and farms as well as residential property).
      • Private client claims against surveyors and valuers (including in relation to the valuation of businesses and sale value of real property) ranging in value from tens of thousands to several millions of pounds.
      • Claim against an architect for negligent design in a barn and cellar conversion.
      • Claims against an estate agency with in-house architect and project manager and against separate architects relating to design of barn conversion and boundary encroachment.
      • Claim against architects, project managers, drainage engineers (and solicitors) by car dealership in relation to various issues on a development site.
      • Claim by a major household insurer against its loss adjusters, for loss of the chance to bring various subrogated recovery actions.
      • Claim for negligence against professional well-drilling contractor re: borehole drilling operation.
  • Commercial dispute resolution
    • Banking & finance

      Banking & finance

      James has particular expertise in loans, mortgages and guarantees as well as equitable securities. He has extensive knowledge of both commercial and residential secured lending and of related issues e.g. securitisation, title insurance and land registration.

      He is ranked in Chambers UK in the field of Professional Negligence, being described as “especially strong on claims relating to tax mitigation schemes” and as having “an innovative approach to problem solving…the experience he has gained from working in-house gives his advice that commercial and pragmatic edge that the clients love”.

      James is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in Professional Negligence and has been described as having “excellent technical knowledge but is also very commercially savvy”.

      He is also recommended for professional negligence in Who’s Who Legal.

      He has spoken at the Legal Week Banking Litigation and Regulation Forum on ‘Ticking Timebombs: Tax avoidance scheme claims’; at the Legal Business Financial Regulation and Disputes Summit (where he also chaired a panel discussion) on extensions to the FOS jurisdiction; and on professional indemnity insurance aggregation issues at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Annual Fraud Conference.

      He is a substantial contributor to Lender Claims (Edited by Tomlinson QC and Grant, Sweet and Maxwell, July 2010) in relation to subjects including equitable securities over land. James is also a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance (Sweet and Maxwell, 2018).

      James’ peer-reviewed article ‘Breach of Trust- the strongest of all Lender Claims?’ was published in both the Journal of Professional Negligence (Vol 28 no. 2) and Trust Law International (Vol 26 no.4)(both 2012). James also co-authored the article ‘Breach of trust- commercial lenders beware- but also an opportunity?’ in the Mortgage Finance Gazette (2013).

      See James’ professional negligence page for details of the wide variety of financial services-related professional negligence and alleged misselling claims that he has dealt with.

      Recent Reported Cases

      • Commercial First Business Limited v Munday [2014] EWCA Civ 1296 (issues over ‘all monies’ charges, estoppel, collateral contracts);
      • Carr v Formation Group Plc [2018] EWHC 3575 (Ch) (claim arising out of alleged secret commissions on selling of tax mitigation schemes).

      Related work

      • Complex mortgage litigation
      • “Title rectification” – the use of various property and commercial law doctrines to perfect or achieve best possible security
      • Fraud and undue influence in the creation of loans, securities and guarantees
      • Cross-collateralisation – consolidation and “all monies” charges
      • Breach of trust in relation to mortgage advances
      • Proceedings to establish and/or enforce equitable securities e.g. by way of subrogation
      • Professional negligence in relation to secured lending and commercial lending generally
      • Secret commissions/breach of fiduciary duty
      • Land registry adjudication and indemnity claims
      • Freezing injunctions and similar relief

      Related cases

      • Numerous lender claims against solicitors for negligence, breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty and against valuers for negligence, for high street banks ad intermediary-led lenders, securitised and non-securitised accounts, ranging up to claims involving twenty-six linked transactions and multi-million pound losses.
      • Commercial first Business Limited v Munday [2014] EWCA Civ 1296- issues over ‘all monies’ charges, estoppel, collateral contracts.
      • Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited v Mahmood – acting for the lender claimant seeking rescission of an erroneous e-DS1, so as to restore its charge; issue over onward transfer and s29 Land Registration Act 2002.
      • Nationwide Building Society v Onadeko & others – acting for the lender claimant seeking rescission of an erroneous e-DS1.
      • Wave Lending Limited v Rahman & PBG – advising the lender claimant on title rectification where security and borrower’s proprietorship registered in respect of the wrong title, and interconnection with adjoining flat; advising on linked professional negligence claim against solicitors.
      • Virgin Money v Clarke – acting for lender claimant in mortgage possession claim with counterclaim (and purported defence) by defendant for ‘misselling’ of self-cert, interest only loan.
      • Forensic Recovery Limited v West Bromwich Building Society – advising trustee in bankruptcy on claim re: appropriation to debts and unjust enrichment.
      • McCaul v Newcastle Building Society – acting for lender in mortgage possession claim involving landlocked property, borrower contesting validity of exercise of power of attorney to secure charges over neighbouring titles, s58 LRA 2002 issues, attempted appeal by borrower and difficulties in sale in possession.
      • Carr & Ors v Formation Group plc & Ors – representing first defendant in relation to claim for knowing receipt, alleged bribery, dishonest assistance and unlawful means conspiracy arising out of alleged secret commissions on selling of tax mitigation schemes.
      • HNW foreign national v UK plc and insurer – in relation to misselling of corporate bond and/or of bond offering insurance policy.
    • Commercial litigation

      Commercial litigation

      James Hall specialises in commercial litigation, professional negligence and financial services-related litigation. Apart from his time practising in chambers since 2001, between 2007 and 2011 James spent four years at an international law firm as an employed Barrister, developing and leading a specialist team of lawyers. James’ time at Eversheds gave him an invaluable understanding of both the commercial realities of practice in a full service law firm and the business of the financial services sector.

      James builds on his technical excellence by understanding that strategic overview and costs/benefits analysis are also key to finding the best solutions for commercial disputes.

      He is ranked in Chambers UK in the field of Professional Negligence, being described as “especially strong on claims relating to tax mitigation schemes” and as having “an innovative approach to problem solving…the experience he has gained from working in-house gives his advice that commercial and pragmatic edge that the clients love”.

      James is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in Professional Negligence and has been described as having “excellent technical knowledge but is also very commercially savvy”.

      He is also recommended for professional negligence in Who’s Who Legal.

      He has spoken at the Legal Week Banking Litigation and Regulation Forum on ‘Ticking Timebombs: Tax avoidance scheme claims’; at the Legal Business Financial Regulation and Disputes Summit (where he also chaired a panel discussion) on extensions to the FOS jurisdiction; and on professional indemnity insurance aggregation issues at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Annual Fraud Conference.

      He is a substantial contributor to Lender Claims (Edited by Tomlinson QC and Grant, Sweet and Maxwell, July 2010) in relation to subjects including equitable securities over land. James is also a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance (Sweet and Maxwell, 2018). He is also a contributor to Insurance Broking Practice and the Law, Informa.

      James’ peer-reviewed article ‘Breach of Trust- the strongest of all Lender Claims?’ has been published in both the Journal of Professional Negligence (Vol 28 no. 2) and Trust Law International (Vol 26 no.4)(both 2012). James also co-authored the article ‘Breach of trust- commercial lenders beware- but also an opportunity?’ in the Mortgage Finance Gazette (2013).

      Recent Reported Cases

      Commercial First Business Limited v Munday [2014] EWCA Civ 1296 (issues over ‘all monies’ charges, estoppel, collateral contracts);

      Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd v Knight Frank LLP [2014] EWHC 3347 (Ch) (claim against commercial valuer worth £8-10million);

      Carr v Formation Group Plc [2018] EWHC 3575 (Ch) (claim arising out of alleged secret commissions on selling of tax mitigation schemes).

      Commercial Litigation Work

      Including (anonymised where appropriate):

      • Agents’ Mutual Limited v Moginie James Limited (with Tom Grant QC)- high profile claim for breach of contract, misrepresentation and breach of competition law regarding the On The Market online property portal.
      • Carr & Ors v Formation Group plc & Ors – representing first defendant in relation to claim for knowing receipt, alleged bribery, dishonest assistance and unlawful means conspiracy arising out of alleged secret commissions on selling of tax mitigation schemes.
      • CK-CK Limited v NFU Mutual Insurance – advising on policy avoidance/material non-disclosure issues.
      • SIG v NDM; & NDM v SIG – linked claims concerning supply of timber, terms of agreement, alleged fraud and breach of fiduciary duty as agent.
      • AB Agri v (1) Riddell (2) Dodd – circa £800,000 claim on guarantee, allegations of misrepresentation, duress, non est factum, interpretation issues.
      • Cartrefi Fforsaron Homes v Wright – claims for debt for construction of timber-framed housing, dispute as to terms.
      • Registered charity domiciliary care provider v Welsh unitary local authority – claim for inducement of breach of contract between main contractor and claimant subcontractor.
      • Macron v Ginn – advising Italian sportswear manufacturer on enforceability of guarantee.
      • Multequip v various guarantors – claims on guarantees- issues of interpretation and whether guarantee or indemnity.
      • WH Leach v HD Drilling – claim for negligence re: borehole drilling operation.
      • Black Clawson Limited v AbbFab Engineering Limited – claim for deceit and other causes of action- re: sub-contract for machine for export, worth circa £750,000-£1m.
      • Advising re: dispute over terms of credit insurance.
      • Advising Attorney General of the Falkland Islands re: conversion claim regarding illegally caught Patagonian Toothfish.
      • Professional negligence work involving solicitors, surveyors, financial advisors and other professionals (see separate CV).
      • Insurance issues – interpretation, material non-disclosure and misrepresentation, fraudulent claims (see also Insurance section).
      • Freezing orders and other urgent interim relief in circumstances of fraud.
      • LLP v Substantial solicitors’ practice in the South-West – multi-million pound claim against solicitors for conspiracy to use unlawful means to assist debtors in defrauding creditors.
      • Carr & Ors v Formation Group plc & Ors – representing first defendant in relation to claim for knowing receipt, alleged bribery, dishonest assistance and unlawful means conspiracy arising out of alleged secret commissions on selling of tax mitigation schemes.
      • HNW foreign national v UK plc and insurer – in relation to misselling of corporate bond and/or of bond offering insurance policy.
  • Insurance
    • Professional indemnity insurance

      Professional indemnity insurance

      James’ specialist practice in professional liability work frequently requires him to advise on aspects of professional indemnity policies, both for insurers and insureds, for example in relation to:

      • Extent of cover, interpretation of policy clauses and exclusions
      • Declinature for fraud, material non-disclosure, misrepresentation, breach of warranty or lack of fair presentation
      • Aggregation issues
      • The Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Acts

      Related work

      James has advised in substantial professional indemnity insurance disputes including, by way of examples:

      • Dispute between substantial accountancy practice and insurer, as to exclusions, material non-disclosure, misrepresentation, breach of warranty.
      • Dispute between former solicitor and insurer, as to alleged fraud in over 100 conveyancing transactions.
      • Claim by lender against conveyancing solicitors where insurers had purported to aggregate many claims leading to potential shortfall in the millions of pounds.

      He is ranked in Chambers UK, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal in the field of Professional Negligence.

      James is a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance, Sweet and Maxwell, 2018. He is also a contributor to Insurance Broking Practice and the Law, Informa.  He has previously spoken on professional indemnity insurance aggregation issues at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Annual Fraud Conference.  He has also been quoted in leading insurance sector magazine Post on solicitors’ professional indemnity policy issues.

    • Insurance coverage

      Insurance coverage

      James regularly advises on aspects of insurance policies, both for insurers and insureds, for example in relation to:

      • Extent of cover, interpretation of policy clauses and exclusions
      • Declinature for fraud, material non-disclosure, misrepresentation, breach of warranty or lack of fair presentation
      • Aggregation issues
      • The Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Acts

      He is ranked in Chambers UK, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal in the field of Professional Negligence.

      James is a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance, Sweet and Maxwell, 2018. He is also a contributor to Insurance Broking Practice and the Law, Informa. He has previously spoken on professional indemnity insurance aggregation issues at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Annual Fraud Conference.  He has also been quoted in leading insurance sector magazine Post on solicitors’ professional indemnity policy issues.

      Related work

      James has advised in substantial professional indemnity insurance disputes including, by way of examples:

      • Dispute between substantial accountancy practice and insurer, as to exclusions, material non-disclosure, misrepresentation, breach of warranty.
      • Dispute between former solicitor and insurer, as to alleged fraud in over 100 conveyancing transactions.
      • Claim by lender against conveyancing solicitors where insurers had purported to aggregate many claims leading to potential shortfall in the millions of pounds.
      • Dispute with bond offering insurer as to remit of policy, reliance on Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010.

      James has also advised on insurance issues in relation to other types of policy, for example advising on a business combined policy in relation to theft of and damage to property and goods where material non-disclosure was alleged.

       

    • Insurance funded disputes

      Insurance funded disputes

      James regularly appears in and advises on claims where either or both parties are insured, including professional negligence/indemnity cases and also has substantial experience acting for household insurers in subrogated recoveries claims.

      Many of his cases also involve BTE or ATE insurance funding.

      For further details of James’ experience, see the other practice areas on his profile, most of which include cases where insurers have been involved.

  • Real property & mortgages

    Real property & mortgages

    James has throughout his career advised on and appeared in a large number of property disputes for a variety of client types.

    Related work

    • Enforceability of contracts for sale
    • Boundary disputes
    • Easements
    • Proprietary estoppel and trusts
    • Rectification of deeds and documents and other equitable relief
    • Undue influence and co-owner/occupier disputes
    • Landlord and tenant- relief from forfeiture
    • Reconstruction of conveyancing transactions
    • Equitable subrogation
    • Land registration issues, priority of mortgages and other interests in land
    • Title insurance
    • Fraudulent transactions
    • Land Registry adjudications and Land Registry indemnity claims.
    • Freezing injunctions and similar relief

    Recent cases

    • Commercial First Business Limited v Munday [2014] EWCA Civ 1296 – issues over ‘all monies’ charges, estoppel, collateral contracts.
    • Natwest Bank plc v Fox-Davies & 2 others – acting for the claimant seeking, as executor of a will, to register title in the face of attempted adverse possession by defendants.
    • Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited v Mahmood – acting for the lender claimant seeking rescission of an erroneous e-DS1, so as to restore its charge; issue over onward transfer and s29 Land Registration Act 2002.
    • Nationwide Building Society v Onadeko & others – acting for the lender claimant seeking rescission of an erroneous e-DS1.
    • Wave Lending Limited v Rahman – advising the lender claimant on title rectification where security and borrower’s proprietorship registered in respect of the wrong title, and interconnection with adjoining flat.
    • Virgin Money v Clarke – acting for lender claimant in mortgage possession claim with counterclaim (and purported defence) by defendant for ‘misselling’ of self-cert, interest only loan.
    • Timegold Limited v Kaur – claim for declaratory relief as to constructive trust and/or proprietary estoppel in order to enforce defective contract for sale of property.
    • Hanmer v Vale of Glamorgan – advising local authority on long running boundary dispute.
    • McCaul v Newcastle Building Society – acting for lender in mortgage possession claim involving landlocked property, borrower contesting validity of exercise of power of attorney to secure charges over neighbouring titles, s58 LRA 2002 issues, attempted appeal by borrower and difficulties in sale in possession.
    • Garden centre v Landlord’s successor in title – re: rectification of commercial lease as to rent review machinery
    • Commercial landlord v tenants – re: rectification of commercial leases as to rent review machinery

Recognition

“He is very thorough, articulate and great with clients. He challenges the clients in a sympathetic way to draw out necessary information. His advice is clear and very detailed.”Chambers UK
“He is able to take in immense amounts of detail, distil that knowledge and then summarise it in a way which is easily accessible.”Legal 500
“He is a rare breed in terms of being able to distil document-heavy material into detailed advice. Very practical.”Chambers UK
“Technically excellent, responsive, client-friendly and commercially minded”Legal 500
“His greatest strength is his ability to see the bigger commercial picture and not get lost in the legal merits. This is what is important to clients. In real terms that means getting results early on in the litigation”Legal 500
“Very pragmatic and excellent in discussions with clients.”Chambers UK

Professional associations

  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Lawyers Association
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
  • Association of London Welsh Lawyers
  • British Insurance Law Association

Qualifications

LLB Hons (Cardiff)

Recommendations

James is ranked as a leading junior for Professional Negligence in both Chambers UK and Legal 500. He is also recommended for professional negligence in Who’s Who Legal.

  • His greatest strength is his ability to see the bigger commercial picture and not get lost in the legal merits. This is what is important to clients. In real terms that means getting results early on in the litigation.” (Legal 500)
  • “Very pragmatic and excellent in discussions with clients.” (Chambers UK)
  • “He is a very personable lawyer – almost like an outsourced member of our team. Because of his law firm background, he understands exactly how clients like his advice to look. He’s very adept at striking a balance between detail and practicality.” (Chambers UK)
  • “He is very thorough, articulate and great with clients. He challenges the clients in a sympathetic way to draw out necessary information. His advice is clear and very detailed.” (Chambers UK)
  • “He is a rare breed in terms of being able to distil document-heavy material into detailed advice. Very practical.” (Chambers UK)
  • “He provides excellent advice and is an extremely successful advocate. His previous in-house experience is valued for its commerciality. He is extremely thorough and bright while being very easy to work with and client-friendly” (Chambers UK)
  • He is commercially astute and technically very gifted.’ (Legal 500)
  • He is able to take in immense amounts of detail, distil that knowledge and then summarise it in a way which is easily accessible.’ (Legal 500)
  • “Technically excellent, responsive, client-friendly and commercially minded” (Legal 500)
  • “Especially strong on claims relating to tax mitigation schemes” (Chambers UK)

Publications

Insights

Common mistake, rectification and the danger of box-ticking

14/09/2021

Aggregation – solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance: an update on Baines v Dixon Coles & Gill

09/09/2021

James Hall, Tom Bell and William Golightly’s article on SAAMCO and MBS v Grant Thornton picked by CIArb North West

12/07/2021

SAAMCO and MBS v Grant Thornton: a further retreat from the false binary of ‘information’ versus ‘advice’

01/07/2021

Aggregation in Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance

27/04/2021

James Hall takes part in Legal Cheek’s initiative on new working practices

22/03/2021

Focus On…Professional Liability

16/03/2021

Large v Hart: Surveyors’ negligence in property transactions and the path through (or around?) SAAMCo

09/03/2021

LGBT+ History Month – “Being an ally – what does it mean?”

26/02/2021

Assetco v GT: A chink in SAAMCo’s armour? And a lost chance to sort out loss of a chance?

05/11/2020

Upcoming events

Professional Liability Online Seminar Series – Solicitors’ and barristers’ negligence

24/09/2021

Past events

James Hall speaking at Legal Cheek’s new Living Room Law

22/04/2021

#HardwickeBrew – Property – Overage & Options

18/02/2021

#HardwickeBrew – Construction Professionals, Covid and the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010

13/11/2020

#HardwickeBrew – Professional Negligence – Surveyors Negligence

30/06/2020

#HardwickeBrew – Property – Mortgage Issues

14/05/2020

#HardwickeBrew – Property – Remote hearings in property disputes

07/05/2020

Professional Indemnity Insurance: Recent Developments

05/12/2019

A changing landscape: the impact of changes in the FOS jurisdiction on FS and professional negligence claims

12/02/2019

James Hall speaking at Financial Services Regulation & Disputes Summit 2019

07/02/2019

Newsletters

Focus On…Professional Liability

16/03/2021

Videos

Professional Liability Online Seminar Series – Solicitors’ and barristers’ negligence

24/09/2021

Aggregation in Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance

27/04/2021

Professional Indemnity Insurance: Recent Developments

05/12/2019

The impact of changes in FOS jurisdiction on financial services and professional negligence claims

25/09/2019