James Morgan QC
| Silk 2017
| Call 1996
James is a highly-regarded commercial practitioner, with particular expertise in the fields of restructuring and insolvency, company and commercial dispute resolution. He has a wealth of trial experience and considerable expertise in applications for interim relief, including freezing orders and injunctions.
Experience and Expertise
James is featured in the Legal 500 as a leading practitioner in commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery law. He has also been consistently recommended by Chambers & Partners as a leader in the fields of Chancery, commercial dispute resolution, company and restructuring/insolvency matters. The 2018 Chambers Bar Guide describes James as “a fantastic trial advocate.” James also sits as a Recorder of the County Court.
James’ recent experience includes:
- Acting in a 10-day misfeasance trial arising out of the affairs of a football league club
- Successfully acting for administrators in defeating an application to remove them on the grounds of a conflict of interest
- Acting for directors in a High Court claim for breach of duty, s.423 and under the Companies Act 2006, which is an important authority on the applicability of the duty to creditors when the company is facing a contingent claim
- Advising as to the interaction of insolvency and shipping law in the context of the administration of travel companies with various cross-border issues
- Successfully acting for an Irish liquidator in bringing proceedings in the High Court in England in reliance on the provisions in the EC Insolvency Regulation
- Successfully acting for liquidators in obtaining summary judgment in very substantial misfeasance proceedings, as well as orders on a committal application, against multiple respondents arising out of the collapse of a large retail company
- Led on a second appeal in the Court of Appeal, which is now the leading case concerning the meaning of “insolvency” in the context of avoidance claims.
- Acting for applicants in a substantial claim against an insolvency practitioner, which included successful appearances in the Court of Appeal on an expedited appeal and on the thorny issue of the defence of illegality.
- Led on two multi-million-pound shareholder disputes that settled shortly before trial and he continues to act on a range of shareholder (including s.994 and just and equitable winding up) and joint venture disputes.
- Appearing in a trial in the Chancery Division for a mortgagee concerning a £3m property portfolio, a trial in the Mercantile Court for a major energy company, obtaining a freezing order for a bank and injunction applications for various franchisors.
- Baltic House Developments Ltd v Wing Keung Cheung  Bus LR 1531. Appearing on a contested application for an administration order.
- Re TPS Investments (UK) Ltd  EWHC 360 (Ch). Successfully acting for administrators in defeating an application to remove them on the grounds of a conflict of interest.
- Re Capital Funding One Ltd  EWHC 3567 (Ch). Successfully acting for a company in establishing that administrators were invalidly appointed.
- Dickinson v NAL Realisations (Staffordshire) Ltd (in liquidation)  EWHC 28 (Ch). Acting for defendants facing claims for breach of duty, under s.423 and under the Companies Act 2006.
- Ready Rentals Ltd (in liquidation) v Ahmed  EWHC 1996 (Ch). Decision of Newey J as to the interaction of POCA 2002 and insolvency law in the context of a payment into court.
- Re Cosy Seal Insulation Ltd (in administration)  EWHC 1225 (Ch). Succesfully acting for an administrator in obtaining a judgment from HHJ Behrens for over £1m against a director and connected party for breach of duty and a transaction at an undervalue.
- Sharma v Top Brands  EWCA Civ 1140. Decision of the CA upholding the trial’s judges finding that the breach of duty claim against a former liquidator was not barred by reason of illegality.
- Power v Hodges  EWHC 2931 (Ch),  EWHC 2983 (Ch). Decisions of HHJ Barker QC granting liquidators summary judgment and making suspended orders for committal in substantial misfeasance proceedings.
- Pooni v Nazran  EWHC 1899 (QB). Acting for a defendant to a claim for breach of warranty / guarantee arising out of a property investment in Dubai.
- Top Brands v Sharma  EWCA Civ 761. Decision of the Court of Appeal on an expedited appeal upholding the first instance judge that a former liquidator had no standing to challenge the status of the applicants as creditors, thereby meaning that their misfeasance claim against the former liquidator should proceed.
- Re Casa Estates Ltd  BCC 269. Decision of the Court of Appeal (on a second appeal) as to the meaning and effect of the "cash flow" and "balance sheet" insolvency tests in s.123 of the Insolvency Act 1986 following the decision of the Supreme Court in Eurosail.
- Masters v Furber  BPIR 263. Decision of HHJ Purle QC that a supervisor of an IVA could, relying in part on a Power of Attorney in his favour, obtain a mandatory injunction requiring the debtor to comply with the terms of the arrangement in relation to the realisation of certain motor vehicles for the benefit of creditors as a whole.
- Re GP Aviation Ltd  1 WLR 166. Decision of HHJ Pelling QC as to whether a bare right to appeal was "property" within the meaning of the Insolvency Act 1986 in the context of an application by liquidator for directions as to whether he should assign the right to conduct a tax appeal to the directors of the company.
- Harris v SSBIS  1 BCLC 447. Decision of HHJ Barker QC as to the principles to be applied on an application for permission to act under sections 1A and 17 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
- Nautch v Mortgage Express  EWHC 4136 (Ch). Decision of HHJ Purle QC as to construction of mortgagee's terms and conditions and professional liability of appointed receivers.
- Re BXL Services  BCC 657 (appointment of administrators)
- Re Assured & Taurus  BCC 541 (appointment of administrators)
- Cathie v SSBIS  EWCA Civ 739 (CDDA, second appeal)
- Re Stealth Construction  BCLC 297 (preferences)Mundy v Brown  BPIR 1056 (misfeasance and Quistclose trusts)
- Hill v Stokes plc  BCC 473 (appointment of administrators)
- Green v Bramston  BPIR 44 (Re Berkeley Applegate application)
- Irwin v Lynch  1 WLR 1364 (CA) (amendments, limitation and misfeasance) Bolsover DC v Ashfield Nominees  BPIR 7 (CA)
- (council tax, winding up, limitation) Dennis Rye Ltd v Bolsover DC  4 All ER 1140 (CA) (cross-claims and winding up petitions)
- Crooks v Newdigate  EWCA Civ 283 (construction of assignment)
- Gardiner v SSBERR  BCC 742 (CDDA 1986, s.8A)
- Re Kayley Vending Ltd  BCC 578 (SIP 16 and pre-appointment costs)
- Re International Sections Ltd  BCC 574 (prescribed part)
- Arnold v Williams  BPIR 247 (bankruptcy and appeals against tax assessments)
- Re Britannia Heat (in admin)  BCC 470 (CVA's and employment law)
- Re TM Kingdom (in admin)  BCC 480 (exit route from administration)
- Re Beauvale (in admin)  BCC 912 (exit route from administration)
- OR v Dhaliwall  1 BCLC 285 (directors’ disqualification)
- De Crittenden v Bayliss  EWCA Civ 1424 (abuse of process, fiduciary duty)
- HL Estates v Parker-Lake  All ER (D) 245 (LPA (MP) Act 1989)
- MA Law (Cantab), Jesus College, Cambridge
- Jesus College Foundation Scholar (1994)
- Inner Temple Major Scholar (1995)
- Bar Vocational Course – Outstanding (1996)
- Attorney-General’s Panel of Provincial Advocates (appointed 2002; reappointed 2007 and 2012)
- Recorder of the County Court (2010) with chancery ticket (2013)
- Chancery Bar Association
- Midland Chancery & Commercial Bar Association