James Poole joined chambers in October 2017 following the successful completion of his pupillage in Chambers, where he sat with Richard Dew, Jonathan Gavaghan, Jeremy Callman, Georgia Bedworth and Naomi Winston.
James has experience across the full spectrum of Chambers’ work, including: probate, inheritance and trust disputes, partnership matters, Court of Protection work, insolvency, property and Landlord and Tenant issues, and is available to accept instructions in all areas of work undertaken by Chambers. He is instructed and appears regularly in his own right in the High Court and County Court, and is very happy acting as part of a team.
Before coming to the Bar, James taught at secondary and tertiary level in England and Vanuatu, and is equally comfortable being instructed in both English and Bislama.
James has a broad and busy practice encompassing a range of commercial areas. His recent cases have included:
- Company disputes:
- Advising in a number of shareholder and share valuation disputes, including those arising from the administration of estates.
- Acting on behalf of a member and director of a company in a dispute involving allegations of unfair prejudice made by both parties.
- Interim relief:
- In recent months James has successfully obtained in the High Court: freezing injunctions, Norwich Pharmacal orders, interim injunctions and orders for disclosure;
- Contractual disputes – recent cases have involved claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and professional negligence in areas including:
- Contracts of sale;
- Contracts for services in the healthcare sector; and
- Construction disputes.
- Insolvency – both individual and company:
- James appears regularly in the Winding Up Court, including making applications to set aside winding up orders.
- Conducting public examinations of a Bankrupt under s.366 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
James is regularly instructed in onshore and offshore contentious private client matters, often including complex and difficult family relationships. Recent experience includes:
- Inheritance disputes, including 1975 Act claims, including:
- Re W: A complex dispute involving a derivative claim to set aside a lifetime transfer on the basis that it was procured by undue influence and/or breach of fiduciary duties.
- Re R: A dispute focusing on the beneficial ownership and valuation of shares forming part of the deceased’s estate.
- Re N: A claim for provision by two siblings in very difficult family
- Re J: A claim for provision made by an estranged spouse who had been disinherited by the deceased’s will.
- Contested probate proceedings, including:
- T v W: a challenge to the validity of a will on the basis of undue influence, lack of knowledge and approval, and lack of formal validity.
- Re J: a challenge to the validity of a will on the basis that the deceased lacked testamentary capacity when making his final will.
- Applications to remove or pass over executors and trustees, including:
- Robinson v Robinson  EWHC (Ch): A three day high court trial focusing on the removal of the trustees of two trusts on the basis of a number of breaches of trust and breaches of fiduciary duty.
- Ruhl v Ruhl  EWHC (Ch): An application to pass over one of the executors of a will on the basis that her conduct had prevented the administration of the estate.
- H v J: An application to remove a co-executor due to their conflict of interests arising from claims the estate had against them.
- Advising in respect of trustee liability for breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duties, including in respect of offshore trusts in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
- Representing the family of one of the victims of the Universal Wealth Management scandal. Successfully obtained judgment, followed by wide-ranging freezing injunctions, orders for disclosure, Norwich Pharmacal Orders and Third Party Debt Orders in order to trace and recover the monies that had been unlawfully retained.
- Crociani v Crociani: involved on behalf of the successful claimant in this long-running claim for breach of trust (led by Eason Rajah QC).
James gained substantial experience of Partnership and LLP matters during pupillage, especially during his time sitting with Jeremy Callman, Jonathan Gavaghan and Naomi Winston. He has worked on a large number of Partnership and LLP disputes, for both firms and individual partners, including:
- Expulsion and compulsory retirement (both in an advisory capacity and after disputes have arisen);
- Drafting and updating partnership and LLP agreements;
- Advising on the enforceability of restrictive covenants;
- Part 8 claims for declaratory relief;
- Disputes involving solicitors’ firms, hedge funds, medical practices, farms, and family investment partnerships.
James has significant experience of non-contentious private client matters, including:
- Variation of Trusts applications;
- Construction and rectification of wills and trusts;
- Advising on the taxation of estates, particularly in relation to inheritance tax planning.
James has substantial experience in Property and property-related matters and is regularly instructed on behalf of landlords and trustees in relation to residential and commercial property disputes.
Recent experience includes:
- Robinson v Robinson  EWHC (Ch), a three day high court trial involving disputes over the development, sale and trusteeship of valuable agricultural land in Cambridgeshire held in two separate trusts.
- Commercial property claims involving service charge disputes and breach of covenants; James is regularly instructed on behalf of one of Britain’s largest breweries to deal with the landlord and tenant issues arising from the 1000+ pubs they own.
- Numerous residential property claims, variously involving: complex offshore ownership arrangements, TOLATA disputes, disrepair, unlawful eviction, rent arrears and conversion.
- Advising and acting in possession claims against both tenants and licensees, including tenants of charitable trusts and licensees of Almhouse charities.
- Successfully defending a claim for possession against LPA receivers appointed by a mortgagee.
James gained broad experience of Court of Protection matters during pupillage, especially during his time sitting with Georgia Bedworth, Naomi Winston and Richard Dew. He gained particular experience of:
- Statutory will applications;
- Advising with regard to investments made by P’s attorneys;
- Deputy and attorney liability.
James has significant experience of acting in and advising in respect of arbitral proceedings, including arbitrations under the LCIA Rules involving non-UK based entities. He was recently led in two long-running commercial arbitrations involving a very wide range of legal and factual issues, ranging from alleged breaches of fiduciary duties to estoppel by convention.
- Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding), City Law School (2016)
- Buchanan Prize, Lincoln’s Inn (2016)
- Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2016)
- Graduate Diploma in Law (Commendation), City Law School (2015)
- Hardwicke Award, Lincoln’s Inn (2015)
- Lord Bowen Scholarship, Lincoln’s In (2015)
- MA Modern History, University of Oxford (2009)
- “Persons Unknown”, New Law Journal, 21 November 2014 (with Tim Lawson-Cruttenden)
James Poole is a self-employed, independent barrister whose practice is regulated by the Bar Standards Board [Bar Council Ref 67708]. He is fully insured with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund [BMIF Ref 2360/077] 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 278659634.