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James Egan

James has a busy and successful traditional and commercial chancery, property and private client practice. Both in and out of Court, he is often commended for his attention to detail, focused legal analysis, and his persuasive written and oral advocacy. He takes a calm and considered view to all cases, combining his legal knowledge with practical, commercial advice. Whilst he is often recommended for his amicable and sensitive interaction with lay clients, he is not afraid to advise lay clients realistically about the prospects of success and financial implications of proceeding to trial. Notwithstanding, in Court, James is a robust litigator and does not shy away from pursuing a difficult argument.

Whilst James is regularly instructed in cases of all sizes and complexity, his expertise has led him to be instructed by a number of leading firms often in high value and complex cases. For example, in the recent reported case of Harbour Fund lll LP v Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc [2021] EWHC 1128 (Comm) James, led by Rupert D’Cruz QC, successfully defended Kazakhstan Kagazy JSC against numerous claims by Harbour Fund III LP in relation to a $300 million judgment obtained in early Kagazy v Zhunus litigation. This high value dispute spanned multiple areas of law including conflicts of laws (particularly the application and interpretation of Kazakh rehabilitation/insolvency law), alleged contractual variation and interpretation, alleged agency and authority issues, and alleged unjust enrichment/restitution. Mrs Justice Moulder found in favour of Kazakhstan Kagazy JSC on all issues in her 72-page judgment which can be viewed here.

James’s multi-disciplinary expertise means that many of his cases span multiple different areas of law, his practice largely focuses upon:

  • Trusts, inheritance and probate matters
  • Corporate and personal insolvency matters
  • Property and residential/commercial landlord and tenant claims
  • Court of Protection
  • Commercial disputes
  • Partnership and company disputes

James is also regularly instructed in cases brought by or against children and/or protected parties, and he is therefore very familiar with acting on behalf of or litigating against ‘litigation friends’ for children and protected parties (and consequently the procedures set out in Part 21 of the Civil Procedure Rules and/or Insolvency Rules 12.23-12.25). Having dealt with multiple such cases, James is experienced in adapting his approach sensitively to ensure the best and most appropriate handling of such cases.

Capital Taxes

James has a keen interest in capital taxes. He is fully familiar with the tax treatment of Deeds of Variation when effecting post-death variations, and also Deeds of Variation/consent orders within Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975.

Recent Tax experience includes:

  • Advising on sections 142 and 144 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 and section 62 of the Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 when dealing with variations and distributions from will trusts;
  • Advising on gift with reservation of benefit issues arising in the context of Discounted Gift Trusts;
  • Advising on the calculation of the residence nil-rate band in a high value estate;
  • Drafting Deeds of Appointment out of a discretionary will trust;
  • Drafting a Defence & Counterclaim in a claim concerning negligent tax advice.

James also has experience in winding-up and bankruptcy cases arising from tax-related liabilities.


  • MA, Downing College, University of Cambridge (2018)
  • Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding), BPP University (2015)
  • BA Law (Double First Class), Downing College, University of Cambridge (2014)

Associations & Memberships

  • Contentious Trusts Association (‘ConTrA’)

For more information and advice


Call: +44 (0)20 7405 0758



Pricing Policy

Unless otherwise agreed my Clerk will calculate my fees based on my current hourly rate. My rates are reviewed annually and details can be obtained from my Clerk. Once a rate is set for any particular case the hourly rate will only ever be adjusted with express agreement between my Clerks and those instructing me. All fees are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate where applicable.


James has been awarded several academic prizes for academic performance including:

  • Hubert Greenland Pupillage Award, 2015 – Lincoln’s Inn
  • Buchanan Prize, 2015 – Lincoln’s Inn
  • Graduating Scholar, 2014 – Downing College, University of Cambridge
  • Senior Harris Scholarship, 2014 – Downing College, University of Cambridge
  • Platt Prize for Especial Distinction in University & College Examinations, 2014 – Downing College, University of Cambridge
  • Clifford Chance CJ Hampson Prize 20 June 2014
  • Lord Denning Scholarship, 2014 – Lincoln’s Inn
  • Excellence Award, 2014 – BPP Law School
  • James William Squire Scholarship, 2013 – Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge
  • Hardwicke Entrance Award, 2013 – Lincoln’s Inn
  • Harris Scholarship, 2013 – Downing College, University of Cambridge
  • Seton-Cavendish Award – Downing College, University of Cambridge

James Egan is a self-employed, independent barrister whose practice is regulated by the Bar Standards Board [Bar Ref 66449] and governed by the Conduct Rules of the Bar of England and Wales. He is fully insured with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund [BMIF Ref 2360/078] to provide legal services, please refer to the BMIF website for full details of the cover provided. He is registered for VAT under the reference 256487860.

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