James is known for his quality advice in property and construction third party claims, as well as intentional torts, general and product liability matters. He clearly and quickly identifies key issues in providing coverage advice, as well as in defending dual insurance actions and large-scale litigated claims. His experience spans the energy, construction, government and infrastructure sectors.
James has also achieved significant success in pursuing recovery actions, including high value subrogations and on direct instructions from insureds and government agencies.
With insight gained from various secondments, James also has a deep appreciation of the commercial drivers for syndicates, corporate insureds, statutory bodies and government agencies.
He is a committee member of the NSW Claims Discussion Group and in 2018 won the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 award for the Insurance category.
- Successfully pursuing a dual insurance claim for a client involving appeals to the Court of Appeal and High Court. The case involved the difficult conundrum of competing “other insurance” clauses in two policies, leading to the absurd outcome of an insured potentially having two policies but no cover. James instructed at first instance, advised on the appeal to the Court of Appeal, and instructed on the successful appeal and resistance of an application for special leave to appeal to the High Court. He secured a substantial recovery on behalf of his client.
- Advising an operator of electrical infrastructure and its insurers on their defence of, and exposure to, a representative action arising from bushfires in March 2018. The fire damaged or destroyed 100 houses, contents, caravans and cabins. James assisted in the strategic management of simultaneous applications for preliminary discovery in the Federal Court, litigation in the NSW Supreme Court and a Coroner’s Inquest.
- Advising an owner of infrastructure on the recovery of losses associated with the contamination of its land by an adjoining service station. James acted for the infrastructure owner in proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW, which spanned five years. He ultimately assisted his client to achieve a negotiated outcome involving substantial recovery of past and future losses, together with enforceable contractual undertakings to perform remediation of the service station.
- Pursuing a simultaneous appeal against a decision of the District Court and proceedings in the Equity Division of the Supreme Court, seeking to set aside a judgment alleged to have been procured by a fraud.
- Defending a Lloyd’s Syndicate in a claim for damages under an ISR policy that was litigated in the Queensland Supreme Court. James assisted his client to achieve a sensible commercial outcome.
- Defending an electrician against a claim that it failed to properly maintain a switchboard, leading to the failure of a frost protection system. It was alleged that this resulted in significant damage to a crop of grapes intended to be used for premium wines. James advised his client on a strategy that led to proceedings being dismissed.
- General Liability
- Industrial Special Risks
- Product Liability + Recall
- Property Damage (Third Party)
- Subrogated Recoveries
- Construction + Infrastructure
- Energy, Mining + Power
- Manufacturing + Consumer Goods
- Public Sector
- Committee Member, NSW Claims Discussion Group (2016 – current)
- Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA)
- Law Society of NSW