James Quirke
Call: 1974
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Professional Liability Profile

James read Law at University College, Oxford and went on to undertake pupillage in Lincoln’s Inn. He has practised in Birmingham since 1975.

James appeared throughout in White v Jones [1995] 2 AC 127, perhaps the most significant authority in professional negligence since Hedley-Byrne v Heller. This began as a contested probate case in 1986 and ended in the House of Lords in 1995 as a solicitor's negligence case. He addressed their Lordships on the treatment of prospective beneficiaries under European, American and Commonwealth jurisdictions. For a full discussion of the conduct and implications of this case by Professor Sir Basil Markesinis of Oxford, UCL and University of Texas at Austin see “Five Days in the House of Lords: Some Comparative Reflections on White v. Jones”. 3 Torts Law Journal, (pp. 169-201) (1995). James advises and appears in cases involving professional negligence and breach of trustees’ duties by accountants, surveyors, solicitors and professional trustees.

  • Recent Experience

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      • James successfully defended a claim against the Trustees of Sikh Gurdwaras in the Midlands (in Khaira v Shergill [2012] EWCA Civ 983; [2012] W.T.L.R. 1795) in which a rival overseas sect sought to impugn their trusteeship and seize control of their assets. The Claimants’ appeal will be heard by the Supreme Court this year.

  • Reported Cases

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      • Khaira v Shergill [2012] EWCA Civ 983; [2012] W.T.L.R. 1795 (Land, Charitable Trusts and Jurisdiction) – permission to appeal to Supreme Court granted 4 February 2013
      • Perrins v Holland [2010] EWCA Civ 870; [2011] Ch 270 (Testamentary capacity, Succession, Trusts, the rule in Parker v Felgate)
      • Hyett v Stanley [2004] 1 FLR (CA - trusts of land, trusts of the proceeds of insurance policies)
      • Euro-Commercial Leasing v Cartwright & Lewis [1995] BCLC (Chancery Division – insolvency – solicitor’s lien – client account)
      • White v Jones [1995] 2 AC 127 (HL: liability of negligent solicitor to disappointed beneficiary)

  • Specialist Areas

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  • Qualifications and Appointments

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      • B A (Oxon)

  • Professional Associations

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      • Professional Negligence Bar Association
      • Midland Chancery & Commercial Bar Association
      • Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists