James Culverwell

James joined Lamb Chambers in February 2020 having commenced his practice at a common law set in the Temple. James’ practice encompasses a broad range of civil and commercial work with a particular emphasis on matters involving property, commercial disputes, and personal injury. Since joining Chambers, James has also cemented himself in the construction team and is building on his previous experience in this area. James appears in the High Court and County Court at first instance and on appeal.

Before commencing pupillage, James worked in a top-ranked city law firm with the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team on large-scale commercial disputes as well as assisting the Real Estate Disputes and Contentious Construction teams.  James then spent two years as a County Court Advocate gaining extensive experience in the areas of landlord and tenant law, mortgage repossessions, insolvency, contract, personal injury as well as all manner of procedural hearings across the litigation process.

James has extensive experience of advocacy work having started his career with a common law practice covering Civil, Crime and Family.  He is also well-experienced in drafting and advisory work.  James has been commended for his personable style putting clients at ease and engaging tribunals.  He brings a practical and common-sense approach to his work translating complex legal matters into comprehensible advice.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, James’ experience means he is able to advise on the altered regime for residential possessions and forfeiture of commercial leases as well as the connection with alternative remedies such as insolvency and bankruptcy.

James’ commercial and general civil background mean he can provide expert advice and representation in cases involving contracts that have been affected by coronavirus or the government’s response.  With a wedding currently planned for the summer, James is particularly well-placed to advise clients who have had weddings or other events cancelled or postponed as a result of the current restrictions and social-distancing measures.  This includes termination, cancellation charges and moving the event to a new date.

James is available through the Lamb Chambers COVID-19 Q&A Service which offers a free video consultation (which will take no more than 30 minutes of your time) to solicitors, business or individuals who have issues arising from the pandemic.

Contact to book an appointment with James.

Further Information


  • Bar Professional Training Course – Very Competent
  • LLB (Hons) – First Class


  • Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
  • Property Bar Association


James is a keen skier and a follower of the Hampshire and England cricket teams, as well as the Harlequins and England rugby teams. He is also an enthusiastic cook and enjoys good food and drink.


James acts for landlords and tenants in possession claims, claims for recovery of service charges, and deposit protection disputes. James also advises and represents clients in other property matters including leasehold disputes, trespass, mortgage repossessions, boundary disputes and TOLATA claims.

Recent cases

  • J v F (2020) – advising the prospective claimant in a long-running multi-million pound dispute over a series of investments and loans issued in respect of successive property developments.
  • L v D (2020) – advising the joint owner of commercial premises in a dispute over a contract for sale and the most advantageous method of achieving resolution following the winding up of the parties’ company.
  • B v B (2020) – advising and representing the prospective claimant in a dispute with his brother over the joint ownership of the family home before and after the demise of their parents, and a mortgage secured thereon solely for the benefit of the prospective defendant.
  • SN Ltd v CR (2019) – advising a freeholder company in respect of compliance with both landlord and tenant repairing covenants as well as apportionment and non-payment of service charges.
  • H v I (2019) -provided advice and drafted pleadings for a wrongful forfeiture claim seeking injunctive relief and damages. The dispute centred around a sub-lease for restaurant premises which the defendant conceded following cross-examination at trial. Also acted in subsequent enforcement hearings.
  • RC v M & M (2019) – representing a specialist lender in a long-running possession dispute arising from large loans secured against a number of properties.
  • S v Y-H (2018) – represented the claimant freeholders in a trial for recovery of ground rent and service charges. The claimants were awarded all of the sums claimed and recovered costs under the lease.
  • SS v AP (2018) – defeated an application to set aside judgment and obtained a possession order for the lender on a mortgage of large commercial premises.
  • G & Ors v K & Ors (2018) – acting for freeholders in a claim for injunctive relief and damages relating to interference with an easement by multiple neighbouring landowners.
  • A v L (2018) – represented the landlord in a difficult section 8 possession claim and advised on how to remedy defects as well as service of a section 21 notice following the change in regulations.
  • EP Ltd v P (2018) – successfully represented the claimant in an application for an interim possession order over part of retail premises on which trespassers had taken up residence.
  • S & T v N (2017) – provided advice and representation in relation to TOLATA issues in a dispute between joint owners of property previously the subject of an agreed order for sale.
  • A v G (2017) – advised and represented a Landlord in a deposit protection dispute which centred around the definition of an assured shorthold tenancy and whether the rooms let to the claimant formed ‘part of a building’. A favourable settlement was negotiated part-way through the hearing.

James is regularly instructed in the Small Claims Track, Fast Track and Multi-Track for road traffic accident, credit hire, and holiday sickness claims, which include advising on quantum and drafting pleadings.

Recent Cases

  • M v SR (2019) – defeated an application for relief from sanctions at trial and succeeded on all points in a credit hire dispute resulting in the claimant refunding part of an interim payment.
  • L v S Ltd (2019) – acting for a claimant in an employer’s liability claim alleging unsafe exposure to vibrations.
  • O v H (2019) – succeeded in obtaining a generous award for general damages on behalf of a child beating a part 36 offer.
  • M v T Ltd (2018) – acted for the claimant defending an application for a finding of fundamental dishonesty after discontinuance.
  • L v S Ltd (2018) – successfully appealed against a decision to refuse permission to substitute parties after expiry of limitation. The claim was wrongly issued against a previous employer and both the first instance application and appeal involved issues of employer’s liability, TUPE transfers, limitation and QOCS.

James has appeared in the County Court and in the High Court in insolvency and bankruptcy matters, and has a wealth of experience in debt claims, general contract disputes, and issues of tortious liability.

Recent Cases

  • EE Ltd v ZH Ltd (2020) – advising an engineering firm in a claim for non-payment of numerous invoices for materials and services rendered against the firm’s former client with a complex corporate structure
  • J v F (2020) – advising the prospective claimant in a long-running dispute over a series of investments and loans issued in respect of successive property developments.
  • MR v HMRC (2019) – advised and represented the debtor in an application to set aside a statutory demand. The debt arose from allegations of deliberately inaccurate company returns and penalties issued against the debtor as director.
  • RC v M & M (2019) – acting for a specialist lender and petitioner in bankruptcy proceedings connected with significant unpaid loans secured against properties in negative equity.
  • O Ltd v B Ltd (2019) – acted for a company defending a claim for unpaid invoices and fees which centred on the interpretation of a non-compete clause. The matter was settled on advice following a Pre-trial Settlement Hearing.
  • O v O (2019) – negotiated full concession at trial by defendant for order for sale in repayment of a series of loans. Subsequently succeeded on an application to take carriage of sale of a property following the failure by the defendant to perform its obligations under the order.

James has been instructed on both domestic residential commercial construction disputes. He advises and represents clients at all stages of litigation and ADR.

Recent Cases

  •  S v S (2020) – advising a building contractor in a Claim and Counterclaim arising from unpaid fees and a dispute over the quality of the work. The dispute grew in complexity when several sub contractors were joined.
  • H v PC Ltd (2019) – advising a family embroiled in domestic construction dispute following termination of a construction contract. The matter involved disputes over quality of work, contractual interpretation and the measure of damages, and was eventually resolved through adjudication.

News & Resources

*This barrister is authorised to practice in England & Wales. Click here to search on the Bar Standards Board Barristers’ Register.

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