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:
- James v Scudamore  EWHC 996 (Ch)  WTLR 961 (whether a probate claim can be defeated by delay)
- HFFX LLP v HMRC  UKUT 73 (TCC)  STC 678 (partnership taxation)
- Hinduja v Hinduja  EWHC 1533 (Ch)  4 WLR 93 (appointment of a litigation friend)
Before becoming a barrister, James was a Fellow in History at Trinity College, Cambridge.
James frequently represents clients in relation to property disputes, with a particular focus on TOLATA claims and claims to the possession of trust and estate property. He also has experience of advising on a wide range of issues relating to trusts of land, settled land and estate property.
Key cases include:
- Bridgmont v Zammit (County Court at Central London): Represented the claimant in a 3-day trial at Central London County Court concerning the beneficial ownership and sale of a property formerly owned by the client’s deceased parents. The claim received media coverage in The Times and other newspapers.
- G v G: Striking out a TOLATA claim over a family home as an abuse of process in light of related family court proceedings (and representing the client successfully on appeal).
- UBS AG v Rose Capital Ventures Ltd  EWHC 3137 (Ch)  2 BCLC 47: mortgage possession claim (led by Jonathan Gavaghan)
- Re C Ltd: Application for land to be vested in a residents’ management company under s 181 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
- N v J: Interim possession order against trespassers.
‘James is extremely concise and has a great ability to distil the law into user-friendly advice. He has considered judgement and inspires confidence.’
Legal 500 2024
- 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
‘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).
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.