James Newman is a versatile barrister with particular expertise in commercial/chancery and property litigation. In the last 18 months he has been involved in a $150 million construction dispute arising out of major construction and infrastructure projects in Trinidad & Tobago. As a barrister he combines a positive and practical approach with sound judgment. Solicitors and clients find him user friendly and he is often complimented for his clear and confident advocacy.
He is instructed in a range of commercial disputes that include contractual disputes, directors/trustees breach of fiduciary duties, construction disputes, minority shareholders, s.994 petitions, finance, and professional negligence. His experience in commercial litigation means that he is able to act in most types of insolvency matters.
His current and recent work include:
Namalco Construction v EMBD – A $150 million dispute involving significant infrastructure projects in Trinidad & Tobago. James is instructed as a junior on behalf of Namalco Construction. Namalco are seeking payment of approximately $150 million in respect of major road and infrastructure projects that they were contracted to complete by Estate Management & Business Development Company Limited (EMBD). The contracts in dispute are based upon the Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils (FIDIC) Red Book. The dispute is multi-layered and complex. EMBD have raised issues over the quality of the works, the quantities used, the prices applied and have made allegations that the Contract Supervisors failed to act independently. In addition there are serious allegations that the bidding process was flawed because Namalco were part of a cartel. The case will be heard in Trinidad and has a time estimate of at least 6 weeks.
Taray Investments Limited v Gately Heritage LLP – A High Court claim in which he acts for the Claimant (a property development company) in a professional negligence action in which the Claimant seeks damages for the lost opportunity of purchasing and developing a residential site.”
Company A v Company B – James is instructed as junior by the Defendant in a multi-layered contract claim involving insurance and coverage issues which is said to be worth circa £9M. The matter is proceeding to Arbitration.
First Call Services v Bulgari Hotel And Residence – Acting for the Defendant in a contractual dispute arising out of the provision of security services at its Knightsbridge Hotel
Truck Cartel Claim – Currently advising one of the largest logistic company’s in the UK in respect of a claim arising out of the European Commission’s decision that 5 major European truck manufacturers had participated in a cartel”
Complete Business Installation Ltd v The Workstation (London) Ltd – A contractual dispute issued in the High Court in which damages in the sum of £300,000 are being sought.
Brian White v Drain Doctor Limited  EWHC 3998: Acting for the Claimant in a successful appeal in which Mr Justice Popplewell found that the Recorder hearing the trial was biased, or at the very least, had shown the appearance of bias against the Claimant because of his funding arrangement.
John Poulton v Basildon District Council [2010[ EWHC 3024 (admin): Case in which the Court provided guidance as to how it should approach application to strike out cases involving direct statutory appeals.
Media & sport
In conjunction with his commercial practice James is also developing a practice in Sports Law. He has recently achieved notable success in a matter that has attracted significant interest in the national press. The Claimant was an academy player (who because of his age cannot be named) with a Premier League Club when he was illegally approached by Liverpool FC. As a result Liverpool FC was banned from signing academy players from other English clubs and being fined £100,000. Under the terms of the settlement with the Premier League and Liverpool FC, James’ client will be able to continue with his education at his current private school at no cost to him, and be free to join another club within the academy system without that club being required to pay compensation in the sum of £49,000 to Stoke City FC, that sum having been settled.
Property & private client
James has a flourishing property practice that includes disputes relating to boundary positions, adverse possession, easements, restrictive covenants nuisance and mortgage (which include undue influence, capacity, enforceability and possession). He has significant experience in claims that involve issues surrounding the Consumer Credit Act 1974 that complements both his commercial and property practice.
His current and recent work include:
Gelle v (1) Kamal (2) Akhtar – James was representing the Defendants in a mortgage repossession case where arrears were alleged to have been over £1M. The Defence raised three issues, the mortgage was void because it was a clog on the equity of redemption, alternatively the Claimant was in breach by failing to allow the Defendants to redeem the mortgage, and in the further alternative the mortgage and the Claimant’s conduct created an unfair relationship pursuant to section 140 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The matter was successfully concluded at a mediation.
(1) A Wahab (2) A Jan v S Akhter – A two day trial concerning a long running family property dispute. The allegation was that Grandson had obtained a transfer of the Grandparents’ legal and beneficial interest in their home without proper consent. The case concerned allegations of undue influence, non est factum and priority of interests under the Land Registration Act 2002.
Shadwell Park Ltd v Motley (and others) – A relief from forfeiture matter which is listed in the Court of Appeal in November 2017.
Various Claimants v Various Commercial Lenders – James has been instructed in a number of claims involving commercial property lenders where the lender has failed to disclose to the borrower commissions (bribes) paid to the broker.
Vishal Jay Vadher v Property Arck Ltd: A leasehold dispute concerning relief from forfeiture and unlawful eviction.
Fitzwilliam House Ltd v Samuel Bryans: A director of a property management was alleged to have breached his fiduciary duties by placing himself in a conflict of interest in a property transaction. A freezing injunction was obtained against the director to prevent him from dissipating his assets.
Stanley v Rawlinson  EWCA 405 (CA): A boundary dispute that required the first instance court to decide who was to blame (if anyone) for the collapse of an ancient wall situated on the Appellant’s land. As part of its decision the Court of Appeal provided some useful guidance on an expert’s role in the preparation of a claim.
Satnam Singh Ark v Sukhvinder Kaur Sandhu  EWHC 2314 (Ch): An eight day High Court hearing in which the Defendant argued that a will allegedly executed in India by the Deceased was not validly executed, and if so, whether the Deceased was coerced into doing so by the Claimant.