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James Kirby

James Kirby has a broad Chancery practice, focused on Trusts and Estates (contentious and non-contentious), Court of Protection and Private Client Tax.

James appears regularly in the High Court, County Court and Court of Protection, and has also appeared in the Court of Appeal, the Upper Tribunal and First-tier Tribunal. He is equally happy being instructed on his own account or as a junior within a wider team.

James is an editor of Williams on Wills (11th edition, 2021).

In 2023, James was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel.

James’s reported cases include:

Before becoming a barrister, James was a Fellow in History at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Partnerships & LLPs

James has experience of advising on partnership and LLP law, especially in relation to trusts and estates.

He has also acted as junior counsel in LLP tax cases, including HFFX LLP v HMRC [2023] UKUT 73 (TCC) [2023] STC 678 (an income tax dispute in which the tax at stake is approximately £22.5m) and Odey Asset Management LLP v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 31 (TC) (another high-value income tax dispute). Both cases raise significant points of partnership/LLP law concerning profit allocations and the nature of a member’s interest in an LLP. He is also currently instructed by HMRC as junior counsel in two appeals to the Court of Appeal in the BlueCrest tax litigation.


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

Associations & Memberships

  • Member of the Chancery Bar Association
  • Member of the Court of Protection Bar Association and CoPPA (Court of Protection Practitioners’ Association)
  • Member of ConTrA (Contentious Trusts Association)
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society


Williams on Wills (11th edition, 2021) (with Francis Barlow KC, Susannah Meadway and James MacDougald).

‘Delay can defeat a probate claim (James v Scudamore)’. This article was first published by LexisNexis on 17 May 2023.

Statutory Wills and Probate Disputes: Contested Wills in the Court of Protection’, Private Client Business, 2022, 3, 104-111 (with Richard Dew).

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

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.

Seminars & Webinars

Breakfast Briefings 2023

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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