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  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.
Commercial & Business Disputes
James has extensive experience in the full range of insolvency matters, and has been instructed in proceedings across the county including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, and Harrogate. James also has experience in dealing with conflicts of law and offshore insolvency law issues. For example, in the recent reported case of Harbour Fund lll LP v Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc  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 included, amongst other issues, disputes over the extent of the authority of a Rehabilitation Manager under Kazakh rehabilitation/insolvency law in relation to a company in rehabilitation. Mrs Justice Moulder found in favour of Kazakhstan Kagazy JSC on all issues in her 72-page judgment which can be viewed here. James has also recently appeared on behalf of one of the defendant directors in a four-day High Court misfeasance trial with allegations of transactions at an undervalue and/or preferences claimed in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Recent Insolvency experience includes:
- Successfully obtaining and defending winding-up petitions against domestic and international companies, insolvent partnerships under the Insolvent Partnerships Order 1994, and/or the winding-up of LLPs under s14 LPPA 2000 and the LPP Regulations 2001. James has also regularly been instructed to advise upon and deal with claims involving the temporary restrictions on presenting winding-up petitions during the coronavirus pandemic under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020;
- Successfully obtaining and defending injunctions to restrain presentation and/or advertisement of winding up petitions;
- Successfully applying to rectify the register of members and appoint directors following the death of the sole director/shareholder of a ‘Model A’ Articles company;
- Advising on and successfully obtaining orders to re-vest the family home following bankruptcy where the automatic re-vesting provisions were not engaged;
- Successfully obtaining extensions of company administrations;
- Setting aside a sham trust within bankruptcy proceedings;
- Successfully obtaining validation orders for payments made/to be made following presentation of a petition;
- Successfully advising upon and obtaining orders for restoration of companies to the Register;
- Successfully making and opposing applications to set aside statutory demands;
- Successfully advising upon, drafting and ultimately making and defending bankruptcy and winding-up petitions (both in relation to limited companies, traditional partnerships, LLPs and unincorporated associations);
Recent Commercial experience includes:
- In the recent reported case of Harbour Fund lll LP v Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc  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 This dispute spanned multiple areas of law including 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.
- Successfully obtaining worldwide freezing and proprietary injunctions, Norwich Pharmacal orders, interim injunctions and orders for disclosure;
- Advising and successfully representing banks, credit providers and customers within commercial disputes arising out of the sale of goods (including pursuant to the Sale of Goods Act 1979, Supply of Goods & Services Act 1982, Consumer Rights Act 2015 and The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013);
- Advising on agency agreements;
- Successfully representing parties in claims concerning guarantees and indemnities;
- Advising on and successfully representing parties in Consumer Credit Act 1974 claims;
- Advising on jurisdictional disputes (forum and choice of law) arising from international supply contracts.
- Advising on and drafting pre-action correspondence in claims concerning Quistclose trusts, and statutory trusts (for example, under the Estate Agents Act 1979) in the commercial context;
- Advising and drafting unjust enrichment and restitution claims
James is also happy to provide non-contentious contractual advice and drafting particularly in the context of contract renewal processes.
Recent Company experience includes:
- Advising on and dealing with unfair prejudice petitions under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006 (as to which, see further experience under the ‘Insolvency’ heading above);
- Successfully applying for the Court to relieve a director from liability for breach of directors’ duties under section 1157 of the Companies Act 2006;
- Advising and drafting corporate governance documentation (including resolutions, minutes of meetings, and amendments to Articles of Association).
- Assisting Lesley Anderson QC in Bhullar v Bhullar & Ors  EWHC 407 (Ch) which was a complex High Court derivative claim trial concerning breach of directors’ duties, the Re Duomatic principle, limitation issues under sections 21 and 32 of the Limitation Act 1980, and relief under section 1157 of the Companies Act 2006.
Business Rates Disputes
James is experienced in advising and representing parties within business rates avoidance schemes and subsequent applications to set aside liability orders.
- 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’)
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.