James Hughes

James Hughes

Call 2011 (Middle Temple)
Qualifications LLB (Hons) (Nottingham University) –  Law with European Law (2010); BPTC, College of Law (2011); LLM, Bristol University (2012)
Awards Erasmus Scholar; Nottingham University Mooting Competition and Law Graduates’ Association Moot Prize Winner; Westlaw UK Mooting Competition Winner(judged by Jackson LJ); Lord Justice Jackson’s Award for Best Submissions at Westlaw UK Moot Final; National Mock Trial Competition Semi-Finalist; Herbert Smith Mooting Competition Winner  (Bristol University, judged by Lord Kerr, Supreme Court Justice)
Professional memberships Personal Injuries Bar Association; Western Circuit


James has experience, in both the County Court and the High Court, acting for claimants and defendants across a broad spectrum of clinical negligence claims. His experience includes:

  • Late/wrongful diagnosis of cancer
  • Dental negligence, including cases where future losses for the cost of dental implants and crowns are claimed
  • Advising a claimant who had received alleged negligent physiotherapy and muscle manipulation treatment
  • Settling a defence to a claim where the claimant, who suffered with epilepsy, alleged that he had been negligently prescribed opiod analgesics
  • Advising a claimant in relation to alleged negligent cosmetic treatment involving electrolysis
  • Settling the defence to a claim in the High Court concerning allegations of negligently performed gastric bypass surgery
  • Advising and settling the particulars of claim in relation to a claim arising from a failure to recognise and treat a fracture to the claimant’s IP joint of his dominant thumb, so as to give rise to a need for permanent fusion surgery of that joint
  • Settling the defence to a claim where the claimant was alleged to have developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome following surgery to her hand after sustaining a palmar laceration
  • Failure to advise ante natal patients in relation to the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis
  • Settling the defence to a claim where the claimant alleged that she had been wrongly prescribed morphine where she suffered with a morphine allergy

James has experience of Pre Inquest Review hearings and inquests. Cases include:

  • Representing the family at a two day Article 2 ECHR inquest of a patient, who was a known self-harm risk, admitted to a hospital psychiatric ward who died by self-asphyxiation.
  • Representing the family of an elderly patient who was a known risk of falls who had fallen and sustained a serious head injury on a hospital ward. A narrative conclusion critical of the Trust was returned by the coroner. The case settled pre-issue without the need for medical evidence.
  • Representing the family of the deceased who was involved in a multi car road traffic accident giving rise to complicated medical evidence in relation to the cause of transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • Appearing on behalf of the family of a deceased HGV driver involved in the M5 collision inquest in Taunton. The inquest involved working with a team of senior counsel over multiple days and included other interested parties who were represented by senior leading counsel.
  • Appearing at the Pre Inquest Review on behalf of the family of a deceased employee of a major power distribution company who died after an electricity pole which he had been climbing snapped and fell to the ground

James has experience of claims across the full range of personal injury work, including:

  • Road Traffic Accidents: James regularly acts for claimants and defendants and has significant experience of the full range of road traffic claims, including injuries commonly arising out of lower speed impacts. He has experience of accidents involving motorcycles and agricultural vehicles and for defendants where allegations of fraud are pleaded.
  • Employers’ Liability: James has experience of workplace accidents and in particular those involving work equipment. He was involved in the prepration for the appeal in Hide v The Steeplechase Co [2013] EWCA Civ 545, now the leading case on the interpretation of foreseeability for the purposes of PUWER Regulation 4. He also advises on manual handling cases.
  • Occupiers’ Liability: James regularly advises claimants and defendants on the liability of occupiers for accidents on their premises, including trips and slips on shop floors, commercial premises and living accommodation.
  • Inquests: James has appeared on behalf of families at inquests arising out of fatal road traffic accidents. He appeared with a team of senior counsel in the M5 collision inquest in Taunton.
  • Highways: James regularly advises claimants on liability and quantum in relation to highways claims. He also has experience of defending these claims for Highway Authorities, including cases involving flood damage. James assisted in preparing for the appeal in Devon CC v TR [2013] EWCA Civ 418 which gives guidance on the status of and the extent to which Highway Authorities can depart from the Code of Practice for well maintained highways.
  • Credit Hire: James acts for both claimants and defendants in credit hire claims. He is happy to advise on technical points commonly arising out of such claims.
  • Animals: James has experience of claims arising out of injuries caused by animals, including dog bites and farm livestock.
  • Holiday and Travel claims: James has experience of claims arising out of the Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tours Regulations 1992, including claims for gastric illness and future complications arising out of such illness. He has also appeared on behalf of a Spanish insurer following a road traffic accident in Spain involving an English child claimant hit by a Spanish motorcyclist, where jurisdictional questions as to the applicable law under the International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995 were raised and Spanish law experts instructed.
  • Work Related Upper Limb Disorder: James has experience acting for both claimants and defendants in cases where the claimant has alleged breach of duty by a defendant employer by reason of a repetitive or over exertive movement at work. His experience includes close analysis of the reports of ergonomists or consulting engineers instructed in such claims.
  • Costs: James is frequently instructed on Costs and Case Management Conferences across the full spectrum of personal injury work. He has a good command of the court’s approach to both costs budgeting and directions in multi track personal injury claims.
  • Applications to Set Aside Judgment in Default: James is currently instructed on an appeal in the County Court which raises an important question as to the court’s correct approach to applications to set aside default judgment where the court at first instance did not, on the face of the order made, consider the merits of the defence to the claim where the application was made following a period of delay.

Practice Overview

James is a specialist personal injury practitioner and has a developing clinical negligence practice. He has developed a strong following amongst solicitors for his courtroom advocacy. He is equally happy to draft pleadings and provide written advice. James can provide bespoke seminars on all personal injury topics and will happily work to tight deadlines. He accepts instructions on a CFA basis.


James joined Chambers in June 2014 on successful completion of his pupillage under the supervision of Glyn Edwards and Matthew White. He studied Law with European Law at Nottingham University and spent his third undergraduate year studying French law at the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale in Brittany. James completed the Bar Professional Training Course the following year and an LLM at Bristol University after his Bar exams. He speaks French and Spanish.