James Morgan QC
Call: 1996 Silk: 2017
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Professional Liability Profile

James' practice has an insolvency focus and in that context he has acted for a number of office-holders in professional liability claims against solicitors and accountants including those arising out of: release of monies to third parties; entry into unauthorised transactions; failure to secure an interest in a property for a trustee in bankruptcy within the time limits in the Insolvency Act 1986; and failure to advise as to the tax consequences of a transaction. Crossing James' insolvency and professional liability work, he has been acting for applicants in a substantial negligence claim against an insolvency practitioner, which included successful appearances in the Court of Appeal on an expedited appeal and in relation to the thorny issue of the defence of illegality.

James is also at home in advising and acting outside the insolvency context and has experience of a claims against solicitors, surveyors, LPA receivers, accountants and financial advisors, including a successful High Court trial against two surveyors. He also advises in relation to mortgage fraud cases against solicitors and other professionals.

He is featured in the Legal 500 as a leading practitioner in commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery law. He has also been consistently recommended by Chambers & Partners as a leader in the fields of Chancery, commercial dispute resolution, company and restructuring/insolvency matters. The 2018 Chambers Bar Guide describes James as “a fantastic trial advocate.”

  • What-the-Directories-Say

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      • "He has a great intellect and never loses sight of the client's commercial objectives.", "Very approachable and good with clients.", "An excellent operator who instils confidence with his technical knowledge and user-friendly manner.", "Very good at insolvency - he's one of the go-tos. He's extremely intelligent and his knowledge of the law in that area is second to none. He is good with clients and highly approachable. He's happy to speak to the clients and find a commercial solution.", "He is very, very good; just very tidy and highly efficient." and"He's well organised, reassuring, knowledgeable and always brilliantly well prepared." - Chambers UK 2019
      • "He's extremely professional in the way he goes about his work. He's got a very appropriate and measured manner in court. Judges like his style, which isn't overly combative or bombastic. He's particularly strong in the company area." "Very good on the law, and clever." - Chambers UK 2018
      • "He's an extremely assured courtroom performer who readily gains complete client confidence." "James is superb - he is who you want in your corner in a dispute. He is meticulous in his preparation, well organised and always available." "He is very easy to work with, approachable and very thorough. He's technically very, very good and is able to look at and assimilate information quickly. He's able to think about the case from both a legal and commercial angle as well." - Chambers UK 2018
      • "He's good on his feet and a pleasure to work with. He has a vast knowledge of the area of law we engage him in." "Very approachable and always contactable." - Chambers UK 2018
      • "He thinks quickly on his feet and responds calmly and intelligently to any issues which arise." "He is technically the best barrister I have ever dealt with." "He is forceful and capable without being overdramatic." Chambers & Partners (2018)
      • “His legal advice is first-rate.” - Legal 500 2017
      • "His advice is always spot-on, he's always across the brief. He's very good with clients, dispensing the right advice in the right way." - Chambers UK 2017
      • "A very user-friendly barrister who is good at dealing with clients, meticulous in his preparation, and quick at responding. He is also a very good advocate who has given one of the best performances I've ever seen in court." "He is calm, bright and always on top of the detail." - Chambers UK 2017
      • "Comfortably the leading junior counsel in the region, James is intelligent, pragmatic and commercial. He also has a terrific bedside manner with both clients and judges." - Chambers UK 2017
      • "He is very clever and applies himself well to disputes." - Chambers UK 2017
      • “He demonstrates a very impressive intellect and thorough preparation; up there with the brightest counsel.” - Legal 500 2016
      • "He is tenacious, but understated - a quietly efficient and highly effective counsel." - Chambers UK 2016
      • "You could put any work with him and it would be safe. He provides everything you need for really big litigation." "He has great paperwork and drafting skills and is very calm with a good bedside manner." - Chambers UK 2016
      • “Fantastic attention to detail and agile on his feet.” - Legal 500 2014
      • "A silk in the making - he has the attributes to be a team leader and his depth of knowledge certainly matches any QC that I have dealt with." - Chambers UK 2014
      • “Garnered acclaim from all sides.” "A star with a fantastic career ahead of him". - Chambers UK 2013
      • "Highly intelligent, pragmatic and commercial”. "accessible, polished and meticulous" Chambers UK 2013

  • Recent-Experience

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      • Acting for claimants in a claim for breach of duty against a firm solicitors arising out a property transaction and subsequent litigation, which settled at mediation
      • Acting for applicants in a substantial professional liability claim against an insolvency practitioner, which included successful appearances in the Court of Appeal on an expedited appeal and on the thorny issue of the defence of illegality.
      • Successfully acting for a mortgagee in a 5-day High Court trial that raised issues as to the duties of LPA Receivers.
      • Successfully acting for a number of claimants in a high value High Court claim against solicitors arising out of a corporate transaction
      • Acting in High Court claims for a mortgagee against a negligent surveyor and for a liquidator against a firm of solicitors in connection with the entry into an unauthorised property transaction pre-liquidation.

  • Reported-Cases

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      • Sharma v Top Brands [2015] EWCA Civ 1140. Decision of the CA upholding the trial’s judges finding that the breach of duty claim against a former liquidator was not barred by reason of illegality. http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2015/1140
      • Top Brands v Sharma [2014] EWHC 2753 (Ch). Decision of HHJ Simon Barker QC finding for applicants in professional liability claim against an insolvency practitioner arising out of the loss of over £0.5m of cash which should have been available for distribution to creditors. http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2014/2753.html
      • Top Brands v Sharma [2014] EWCA Civ 761. Decision of the Court of Appeal on an expedited appeal upholding the first instance judge that a former liquidator had no standing to challenge the status of the applicants as creditors, thereby meaning that their professional liability claim against the former liquidator should proceed. http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2014/761.html
      • Nautch v Mortgage Express [2012] EWHC 4136 (Ch). Decision of HHJ Purle QC as to construction of mortgagee's terms and conditions and professional liability of appointed receivers. http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2012/4136.html

  • Specialist-Areas

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  • Qualifications-and-Appointments

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      • MA Law (Cantab), Jesus College, Cambridge
      • Jesus College Foundation Scholar (1994)
      • Inner Temple Major Scholar (1995)
      • Bar Vocational Course – Outstanding (1996)
      • Attorney-General’s Panel of Provincial Advocates (appointed 2002; reappointed 2007 and 2012)
      • Recorder of the County Court (2010)

  • Professional-Associations

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      • Midland Chancery & Commercial Bar Association

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Further Information

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