James specialises in dispute resolution in the insurance and reinsurance sector. His main area of practice is the defence of professionals in civil and disciplinary proceedings. He regularly acts for lawyers, accountants, construction professionals, surveyors, valuers, insurance brokers, financial advisers and property professionals.

James also regularly acts for insurers in property damage claims covered under general liability, product liability and contract work policies. This includes undertaking recoveries for insurers.

He worked in London for four years advising insurers, reinsurers, financial institutions and professional services firms. While he was there, he advised primary and excess insurance insurers on a number of complex E&O and casualty claims.

James is also experienced in international arbitration, both ad hoc and in accordance with various rules, including UNCITRAL.

  • Defended many valuers before the Valuers Registration Board on charges relating to quantum, IVS and unethical conduct.
  • Defended valuers in claims from lenders.
  • Defended a solicitor on a claim arising out of the sale of a luxury clifftop property.
  • Defended a barrister in disciplinary proceedings arising out of his conduct during a criminal trial.
  • Defended a quantity surveyor who was engineer to the contract for a luxury apartment block, which involved allegations of negligent supervision and certification.
  • Defended an accountant in a civil claim and disciplinary complaint relating to an alleged failure to give advice on the application of temporary tax exemptions.
  • Defended accountants in civil claims arising out of audits by Inland Revenue.
  • Defended architects on claims relating to certification and inspection.
  • Acting for an insurance broker on a claim arising out of the placement of material damage and business interruption cover for a waste recycling plant.
  • Successfully advising on recoveries regarding defective turbines, printing presses, farm and forestry machinery, stolen electronic equipment and damaged buildings.
  • Gisborne, Canterbury, Seddon and Kaikoura earthquakes
  • Advising on coverage under an E&O/Official Investigations policy on a large claim arising out of mis-selling.
  • Acting for excess insurers on a blended E&O/D&O program regarding their exposure to claims arising out of the Spitzer broker compensation / anti-trust litigation in the United States.
Areas of Expertise
  • Management Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Subrogated recoveries

Industry Representation
  • Construction + Infrastructure
  • Financial Institutions + Services
  • Property + Real Estate
  • Professions + Business Services

Professional Affiliations
  • New Zealand Insurance Law Association