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James Kirby

James Kirby joined chambers in October 2018 following the successful completion of his pupillage in Chambers. He appears regularly in both the High Court and County Court, and enjoys acting both on his own account and as a junior.

James has experience across all areas of Chambers’ work, including Private Client (both Contentious and Non-Contentious); Property (including Landlord and Tenant); Court of Protection; Partnership; and Commercial Chancery. During his pupillage he was supervised by Richard Dew, Jonathan Gavaghan, Georgia Bedworth and Jeremy Callman.

Before coming to the Bar, James was a Research Fellow in History at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he published a book with Oxford University Press.


Practice Areas

Private Client: Contentious

James’ experience includes:

  • Appearing successfully to strike out a TOLATA claim over the family home as an abuse of process
  • Attending mediation and drafting mediation position statement in a claim for family provision under the Inheritance Act 1975
  • Drafting a Part 8 Claim Form and witness statement in an application by executors for directions in the administration of an estate
  • Assisting in the preparation for trial (including skeleton argument and cross-examination notes) of a claim for undue influence regarding a will and the lifetime transfer of the family home
  • Drafting a letter before claim regarding breach of fiduciary duty by executors and trustees

Private Client: Non-Contentious

James’ experience includes:

  • Drafting a deed of appointment for an offshore trust
  • Drafting advice on a proposed application under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 and related inheritance tax issues
  • Drafting advice on rectification of a trust instrument in a family settlement


James appears regularly in the County Court in landlord and tenant disputes. Other experience includes:

  • Appearing (led by Jonathan Gavaghan) in a high-value mortgage possession claim in the High Court
  • Appearing successfully to strike out a TOLATA claim as an abuse of process
  • Applying successfully for land to be vested in a residents’ management company under the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Appearing at final hearing of Part 8 Claim for an order for sale
  • Drafting Part 8 Claim Form and Witness Statement in TOLATA claim
  • Drafting advice concerning freehold covenants and residential property

Court of Protection

James’ experience includes:

  • Drafting a Position Statement for the Official Solicitor in a dispute concerning unauthorised gifts by an LPA attorney
  • Drafting advice regarding professional negligence and the creation and abuse of Lasting Powers of Attorney


James has extensive experience of partnership and LLP work having sat with partnership practitioners Jeremy Callman and Jonathan Gavaghan during his pupillage.

Particular experience includes:

  • Attending mediations in high-value “partner exit” disputes
  • Drafting advice concerning partnership property
  • Drafting statements of case for the First Tier Tax Tribunal concerning partnership taxation
  • Drafting written submissions for arbitration in a partnership dispute

Commercial Chancery

James appears regularly in the Winding Up Court and before Insolvency & Company Court Judges in chambers.

James’ experience includes:

  • Applying successfully for a vesting order under section 181 of the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Appearing for both petitioning creditors and respondent companies in the Winding Up Court
  • Making applications in Bankruptcy Petitions
  • Drafting application notice and skeleton argument for setting aside service of freezing order out of jurisdiction


  • Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding), City Law School (2017)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction; Equity & Trusts Prize), City Law School (2016)
  • Princess Royal Scholarships, Inner Temple (BPTC and GDL)
  • DPhil in History, Balliol College, Oxford (2014)
  • MSt in History (Distinction), Balliol College, Oxford (2011)
  • BA in History (First Class – highest of year), Balliol College, Oxford (2010)

Associations & Memberships

  • Member of the Chancery Bar Association


Tax Planning in the Court of Protection’, Lawskills (Sep. 2018).

For more information and advice

Call: +44 (0)20 7405 0758


James Kirby is a self-employed, independent barrister whose practice is regulated by the Bar Standards Board [Bar Council Ref 69244]. He is fully insured with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund [BMIF Ref 2360/079] to provide legal services, please refer to the BMIF website for full details of the world-wide cover provided. He is registered for VAT under the reference 304589790.

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