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.
Private Client: Contentious
James has extensive experience in all aspects of trust, probate and estate claims (including drafting applications for service of proceedings out of the jurisdiction) and advising upon allegations of professional negligence in this context. He also has significant experience in offshore litigation.
Recent Private Client: Contentious experience includes:
- Successfully advising and representing personal representatives, beneficiaries and applicants both pre-action, in mediations and at Court in Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975 claims. James deals with estates at all values, regularly handling matters from modest estates through to those valued in the several millions of pounds. James has advised and represented spouses, former spouses, cohabitants, dependents and children of the Deceased in their claims.
- Successfully removing and defending trustees/personal representatives in removal claims (both onshore and offshore);
- Successfully applying to rectify the register of members and appointing directors after the sole director/shareholder of a ‘Model A’ Articles of Association company has died;
- Successfully applying by way of originating summons to remove final caveats;
- Successfully representing beneficiaries in construction/rectification claims;
- Advising on and drafting ‘Cobden-Ramsay v Sutton Order’ proceedings;
- Drafting section 116 Senior Courts Act 1981 passing-over proceedings;
- Successfully advising on and drafting proceedings to compel trustees to transfer assets to absolute beneficiaries;
- Successfully applying for an account and inventory of a high value estate;
- Advising on, drafting and successfully recovering possession of the Deceased’s property;
- Advising on equitable tracing and personal remedies for the recovery of misapplied trust monies;
- Advising on the operation of Discounted Discretionary Gift trusts;
- Advising on potential claims for an account of lifetime transfers allegedly procured through undue influence and/or non-compliance with the Code of Practice for LPAs;
- Advising on survivorship to joint bank accounts;
- Advising and drafting proceedings for potential claimants on testamentary challenges (including lack of capacity, want of knowledge and approval, and undue influence);
- Advising on and drafting pre-action correspondence in claims involving Quistclose and statutory trusts;
- Applications to pay funds into Court pursuant to section 63 of the Trustee Act 1925.
- Advising on vesting orders and declarations in the insolvency context.
James is also instructed to advise in relation to offshore jurisdictions, including most recently in a trustee removal application in the Isle of Man.
James’s practical and commercial approach to such cases often means he is asked to review settlement offers received, and to prepare draft Deeds of Settlement and/or Deeds of Variation.
- 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.