James Culverwell

James joined Lamb Chambers at the start of 2020 having commenced his practice at a common law set in the Temple. James’ expertise encompasses a broad range of work with a particular emphasis on matters involving property, construction disputes and commercial litigation. James appears in the High Court and County Court at first instance and on appeal.

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

“I’ve been very impressed with all of your advice, as have a number of Partners and Solicitors within our Dept. I am an advocate of giving praise when it’s due and my experiences with you have certainly led me to the conclusion it’s due.” Solicitor, CE Ltd v MED Ltd & Q Ltd v H Ltd.

“I am delighted with the services provided by chambers and particularly that of James; there is no question that he went above and beyond. His diligence, efficiency and clear ability to sort wheat from chaff was invaluable and to top it all a thoroughly nice chap.” – H Ltd v TBDS, lay client

“Another very thorough and well-thought out advice. Thank you.” – Solicitor, F v E Council


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. Having postponed his own wedding to July 2021, 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 postponements.

Contact to book an appointment with James.

Further Information

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.


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


  • Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
  • Property Bar Association
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Technology & Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)


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

James regularly advises on significant commercial construction disputes as well as residential renovation cases, generally involving breach of contract and negligence. James has also had a number of cases requiring a careful and technical application of implied payment terms under the Scheme for Construction Contracts and the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. James is experienced in drafting pleadings, advising and providing representation in the High Court and County Court at all stages of litigation as well as drafting referrals and responses in adjudications and advising on enforcement.

Recent Cases

  • Hirst & Anor v Dunbar & Ors [2022] EWHC 41 (TCC) – acting as sole counsel pre-trial and then led junior from trial preparation for a building company on a long-running claim for unpaid fees in a dispute involving limitation, disputed ownership of land, existence of a contract and value of works.
  • A Ltd v C Ltd (2021) – Advising on limitation arising from a contract implied by the scheme for construction contracts and drafting pleadings in defence of a claim for breach of contract and negligence arising from a central London development.
  • E v M Ltd (2021) – acting for the consumer on a contract and negligence dispute arising from a residential renovation including drafting pleadings and successfully striking out a defective defence.
  • C v U Ltd (2021) – advising and drafting pleadings in a claim for breach of contract and negligence arising from construction of a dwelling. The claim involved multiple limitation periods and amendments after expiry leading to an increase in value of approximately £100,000.
  • H Ltd v D Ltd (2021) – acting for a contractor and responding to an adjudication seeking a repayment against value of work, and pleading set-off for non-payment arising from a breach of contract for work on a large development.
  • A Ltd v D Ltd (2021) – successfully responding to an adjudication for non-payment for the same contractor on the above development.
  • F Ltd v L Ltd (2021) – advising on a complex dispute relating to cladding arising from a purchase agreement, building contract and a remediation agreement between a building owner, building contractors and a contract administrator.
  • A v L (a firm) (2021) – drafting a claim for breach of contract and negligence arising from a residential renovation which led to a settlement.
  • I Ltd v DHH Ltd (2021) – providing advice and settling a defence and counterclaim in a case involving multiple construction sites and a detailed application of the Scheme for Construction Contracts.
  • F v E Council (2020) – advising on the requirements of the Community Infrastructure Levy and Planning Act 2008 including an analysis of ‘material operations’.
  • A v E (2020) – advising in a professional negligence claim centred around valuations for stage payments and causation and remoteness of loss.
  • J Ltd v J (2020) – settling a defence and counterclaim in a residential dispute relating to quality of work and unpaid fees.
  • S Ltd v O Ltd (2020) – acting for the main contractor in a dispute with a sub-contractor over payment terms and quality of work including successfully defending an application for summary judgment.
  • N Ltd v A Ltd (2020) – advising and drafting an adjudication response resulting in a successful defeat of a claim for unpaid fees based on interpretation of the Scheme for Construction Contracts.
  • H v D (2020) – acting for a construction firm in a claim for recovery of unpaid fees involving disputes over the identity of parties and ownership of land.
  • J Ltd v J (2020) – drafting a defence and counterclaim in a construction dispute alleging breach of contract and negligence.
  • 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.

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

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