James Stuart

James Stuart is an English barrister, specialising in commercial dispute resolution and litigation.  His practice focuses upon shareholder disputes, company and insolvency, partnerships, franchises, employment, insurance, guarantees, banking and supply of goods and services.  James represents individual and corporate Claimants and Defendants, and has built up considerable experience in recent years in conducting more protracted cases, often with an international element.  He regularly deals with applications for Freezing Orders and other injunctions in restrictive covenant, confidentiality and similar disputes.

Recent publications: In July 2022, James wrote an article for Lexis PSL entitled Carriage of Goods and CMR Convention on the recent commercial court case Knapfield v C.A.R.S. which can be read here.

James is a member of COMBAR, Employment Law Bar Association, Employment Lawyers Association, and TECBAR.

Further information


  • MA (Law) Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge


  • COMBAR, Employment Law Bar Association, Employment Lawyers Association, R3, TECBAR, Bar Golfing Society

James deals with disputes covering a wide range of commercial areas, including specifically supply of goods and services and construction, sale and carriage of goods (domestic and international), partnerships, franchises, public procurement, commercial agency, agents, consumer credit, insurance, guarantees, banking and mortgages and COBS regulations. His current practice includes conducting international and domestic arbitrations and the enforcement of international arbitral awards.

In relation to Company and Insolvency litigation, over the past few years he has been instructed in substantial cases (including long trials, interlocutory and appellate work) for both personal and corporate clients, including shareholder disputes, minority shareholders’ claims, directors’ duties and directors disqualification proceedings.

In the Professional Negligence field, James’s practice covers claims involving solicitors, accountants, financial advisors, surveyors and architects.

James also has considerable recent experience in relation to many areas of Professional Disciplinary Tribunal work – including barristers, solicitors, legal executives, property professionals and valuers.

James regularly deals with cases requiring Urgent Interlocutory Relief applications in commercial cases, including applications for Freezing Orders and other injunctions in restrictive covenant, confidentiality and similar disputes.

Recently reported cases

Greetham -v- Greetham 2022 EWCA Civ 49 Court of Appeal; 2021 1 WLUK 508 – James successfully represented the respondent in this appeal which concerned issues of partnership, committal, custodial sentences and recusal.

J Robbins Capital Partners Limited -v- Zamsort and others 2022 EWHC 1055 (Comm) – This international mining dispute involved  company director and shareholders issues and security for costs.

Brian Leighton Garages -v- Allianz Insurance plc 2022 EWHC 1150 (Comm) – This case related to commercial insurance, property damage and business interruption.

La Cotte Consulting Ltd -v- Sovereign Steel Stockholders 2021 EWHC 1517 (Comm) – This metals trading case involved issues of contract, joint venture and unlawful means conspiracy.

Re: ETP UK Limited 2021 EWHC 1747 (Ch) –This case related to pharmaceutical services and involved a share purchase dispute.

Greetham -v- Greetham 2021 EWHC 998 QB – James represented the successful claimant in this partnership dispute, involving issues of protected parties, capacity and litigation friends.

Abaidildinov -v- Amin 2020 EWHC 2192 (Ch) –This case related to company directors, shareholders and declaratory relief.

Dodoun -v- Collings 2019 EWHC 2008 (Ch) – These proceedings included derivative claims, a freezing injunction and a commercial dispute regarding an international payment services business.

Gladman -v- Gill & others 2019 HC BPC BL 16-10-19 BL-2019-LDS 000015 – James represented the successful party in this solicitors’ partnership arbitration case related to arbitration proceedings and setting aside of an arbitral award

JSC BM Bank -v- Kekhman 2018 EWHC 791 (Comm) –  This case related to banking and dissipation of assets. James represented the Defendant in a 5 week Commercial Court trial involving a £200m+ claim by Bank of Moscow, including issues of commercial fraud and Russian law.

Bing Holdings -v- Hue-Williams 2017 EWHC 3149 (QB) – This was a commercial contract claim relating to international art sales, involving issues of quantum meruit and unjust enrichment

Stark -v- Walker 2017 EWHC 3535 (Ch) – This case related to transfer of claims between High Court divisions

Previous reported cases of interest

Kudos Catering (UK) Ltd –v- Manchester Central Convention Complex Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 38 in the Court of Appeal – a case involving the provision of services  under a 5-year venue catering services agreement where the central issue involved the contractual interpretation of exclusion of liability clauses.

James also represented the Appellant in Crinion –v- IG Markets Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 587  in the Court of Appeal, which involved issues regarding Regulated Financial Services trading,  powers of attorney and classification under COB/COBS rules.

In Greaves –v- Stolkin [2013] EWHC 1140 Ch – James represented the successful Claimant in a 2 week Chancery Division trial which concerned the validity of a codicil and testamentary capacity.


James deals with a wide range of Employment and Equality cases, involving litigation on service contracts, restrictive covenants, confidentiality, discrimination and wrongful and unfair dismissal, whistle blowing and advising on TUPE and contractual interpretation

As well as High Court litigation, he regularly appears in the Employment Tribunals (throughout England), for both Claimant and Respondent clients.

Recently reported cases

By way of illustration of the breadth of James’s employment practice, some recent reported cases are:

Humed -v- Sight and Sound Solutions Ltd [2023] EAT 53 – James represented the successful appellant in the EAT in a victimisation claim under the Equality Act.

Holmes -v- Tellemachus 2022 EAT 71 (EAT) –a case involving constructive dismissal and the application of the penalty clause doctrine.

Greenberg -v- DPP Law  2021 EWCA Civ 672 Court of Appeal; EAT 2020 8WLUK 40 EAT – This case related to solicitors and disciplinary procedures

Hewson -v- Bar Standards Board 2021 EWHC 28James represented the BSB in this case regarding social media abuse and second appeals.

Couvaras -v- Fine Clinic Limited 2202750/2020 (reported 2021) – James represented the successful Respondent company in a whistleblowing claim where the issue of employee/worker status was addressed.

British Council -v- Jeffery 2018 EWCA Civ 2553 Court of AppealJames represented the successful claimant in this significant appeal dealing with employees working abroad, conflict of laws and human rights.

Shah -v- Insafe International Ltd 2017 EWHC 1036 (Ch)This commercial contract case related to employee benefit trusts.

James is regularly instructed in personal and corporate and partnership insolvency matters, representing administrators, liquidators, companies, LLPs, creditors, company directors and individuals facing personal bankruptcy proceedings.  He has significant experience in Company Directors Disqualification proceedings (dating back to representing the successful directors in a Carecraft procedure in SSTI -v- Banarse [1997] 1 BCLC 653).

More recently he has advised liquidators and administrators in relation to assigning causes of action, valuing such choses of action and deeds of settlement between companies in administration or liquidation and the directors of those companies.

Examples of recent insolvency work

  • Harrling -v- Midgley 2019 EWHC 3278 (Ch) – This case related to Guarantees, insolvency and statutory demands
  • Advising Liquidators upon, and drafting deeds of settlement and release and assignments of causes of action under ss.212/238/239 & 423 Insolvency Act 1986 and advising re s.246ZD IA 1986. [Feb 2018]
  • Representing creditor in defending claim brought by liquidators of a company under s.127 Insolvency Act 1986 – monies paid by Company to creditor post-presentation of winding-up petition – advising upon the application of Express Electrical Distributors Ltd -v- Beavis [2016] EWCA Civ 465 [May 2018]
  • Successfully representing company director in Company Director Disqualification Proceedings brought under s.5 CDDA 1986 – Court exercised discretion not to disqualify the director
  • Advising Administrators  upon methodology for valuing choses in action to be assigned.


  • Company Directors Disqualification Proceedings – A guide to process and assessment of length of disqualification.
  • Express Electrical Distributors Ltd -v- Beavis – Claims under s.127 IA for void transactions.

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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