James Barker


Year of Call 1984



General Profile


James Barker has a busy Chancery litigation practice with a particular emphasis on disputes arising out of insolvencies, corporate governance and directors’ duties, commercial contracts, banking and security transactions, and commercial property. James is consistently recommended by the legal directories as a leading junior in Enterprise Chambers’ core areas of insolvency, commercial chancery / commercial dispute resolution, and property.


Insolvency
James acts for, and against, liquidators and other office holders in the wide range of claims and issues that arise in the context of corporate insolvencies including, in particular, misfeasance on the part of directors; fraudulent and wrongful trading; preferences and transactions at an undervalue; and the payment of unlawful dividends.  He also receives regular instructions in the area of personal bankruptcy. 


Commercial Chancery
James advises and represents corporate and individual clients in all manner of commercial contract disputes.  He has considerable experience in shareholder and partnership actions, and he acts for, and against, banks in claims concerning mortgages and guarantees, and more general disputes relating to commercial lending and associated negligence claims.

 

Property
Disputes concerning the ownership of land and associated rights and interests (including easements, covenants, mortgages, and beneficial interests). James also acts in commercial landlord and tenant matters.

 

 

The Directories

 

“He's got one of the best minds for knotty legal problems - he just untangles difficult law and difficult facts." "Clients like him as he's straight talking and really easy to get on with. You feel really secure when he's on your team."

(Chambers & Partners 2018)

 

‘He has authority, provides really clear advice and is good with clients.’

(Legal 500 2017)

 

‘An excellent, well-rounded barrister, who always provides brilliant technical and commercial advice.’

(Legal 500 2017)

 

‘A well-rounded barrister, who is a pleasure to work with.’

(Legal 500 2017)

 

“He is impressive on his feet, robust, well-prepared and very professional”

(Chambers & Partners 2017)

 

“He continues to provide very thorough, well thought out opinions. He’s a great tactician who gives an excellent and timely service, in addition to being a formidable advocate who is very well prepared”

(Chambers & Partners 2017)

 

“He always goes the extra mile and will roll his sleeves up at trial”

(Chambers & Partners 2017)

 

The directories highlight James’s robust commercial approach, and his skill as an advocate. He is recognised as a Leading Junior in Commercial Litigation, Insolvency and Property Litigation, Legal 500, 2016.

“A real star: strong in every department, from paperwork to advice and advocacy”

(Legal 500, 2016)

“A strong advocate, who is clear, concise and has a great eye for detail”

(Legal 500, 2016)

“Easy to get on with and very professional, providing clear and robust advice”

(Legal 500, 2016)

 

"He is very technical. He has case law at his fingertips, and produces excellent pleadings."
(Chambers & Partners 2016)

 

"He's robust, practical and commercial. He is impressive in cross-examination and you can feel completely at ease putting him in front of the client."
(Chambers & Partners 2016)

 

"A great advocate who is prepared to roll up his sleeves and get on with assisting the client."
(Chambers & Partners 2016)

 

"He is an absolute pleasure to deal with, really client-friendly and also brilliant on his feet."
(Chambers & Partners 2016)

 

“He provides great advice and great advocacy; he is robust and never over-bullish”

(Legal 500  2015)


“Reliable, always prepared, easy to work with, and great with clients”

(Legal 500  2015)


“He has excellent technical knowledge, and gives sound, practical and commercial advice”

(Legal 500  2015)

 

"He is tenacious, very thorough and very commercial."

(Chambers UK 2015)

 

"A strong and capable counsel."

(Chambers UK 2015)

 

"He is very strong and highly capable."

(Chambers UK 2015)

 

“Has a well-regarded chancery practice, focusing on insolvency, commercial contracts and directors”

(Chambers UK 2015)

 

“He is very able technically, and gives good strategic and tactical advice.”

(Legal 500  2014)

 

“A formidable opponent in court and his cross-examination skills are second to none.”

(Legal 500  2014)

 

“Explains things clearly to clients and fights hard to meet their expectations.”

(Legal 500  2014)

 

‘Sources are quick to commend both his technical prowess and his amiable manner, highlighting his welcome sense of humour and his ability to build a strong rapport with clients.’

(Chambers UK 2014)

 

“A first choice for complex contractual and professional negligence matters, he’s extremely good in conference, in court and with clients.”

(Chambers UK 2014)

 

“Excellent and very practical, he has a nice dry sense of humour and is just a pleasure to work with.”

(Chambers UK 2014)

 

“James’ strengths are his technical expertise, commercial awareness and the quality of his paperwork.  He has a very approachable style and an ability to communicate matters in a very straightforward way to the lay client.”

(Chambers UK 2014)

 

“Excellent on the technical side, and very commercial and robust when necessary.”

(Chambers UK 2014)

 

“You can trust his opinion absolutely.”

(Chambers UK 2014)

 

A formidable opponent in court”,James Barker’s “cross-examination skills are second to none

(Legal 500, 2013)

 

Instructing solicitors attest that he is "very responsive, excellent and popular with clients," and that he provides "first-class legal and tactical advice."  Praise was also bestowed on him for the fact that he is "very calm, very reasoned and very intellectual."

(Chambers UK 2013)

 

James Barker is "good on his feet" and "highly user-friendly".  Solicitors are quick to say they value his "pragmatic and focused  approach" and add "he is not shy to tell you when you're wrong"

(Chambers UK 2013)

 

Sources commend James Barker for "providing first-class legal and tactical advice"

(Chambers UK 2013)

 

combines "intellectural know-how" with "strong commercial sense"

(Legal 500, 2012)

 

James Barker is "one of the best"

(Legal 500, 2012)

 

"an excellent advocate" with "a great work ethic, returning advice and assistance promptly."

(Legal 500, 2012)

 

Chambers & Partners, 2012 say James Barker is a "heavyweight litigator" and "someone you can trust to deliver" in cases arising out of contract disputes, such as those over business sale agreements, enforcement of securities and partnership agreements.  Sources are quick to cite his impressive powers of advocacy. James Barker of Enterprise Chambers is "equally as impressive on his feet as he is on paper; he is incredibly thorough and an expert cross-examiner," say sources.  He excels in heavyweight litigation...Landlord and tenant and property cases are a substantial feature of James Barker's caseload, as well as insolvency, partnership and general commercial law matters.  His recent cases include Nora Hotels v Liddon Properties, the trial of an action for relief from forfeiture, and Sahota v RR leisureways, a case concerning declarations as to the true meaning of rent review provisions. Interviewees praise James Barker as "an excellent advocate who really gets stuck into a case."  He delivers "fantastic client service and is quick and accurate in his advice."

 

The Legal 500, 2012 refer to commercial litigator James Barker as a "tenacious, reliable and efficient advocate," who "combines intelligence with a strong commercial sense"

 

Chambers & Partners, 2011, refer to him as being “lightening quick at identifying the commercial aspects of any case”; and “a formidable advocate who takes no prisoners.” It is said that “being up against him always feels like clashing with a titan”. The Legal 500, 2011, says that he “combines intelligence with a strong commercial sense.”

 

Earlier editions of the directories have referred to James as “tough and tenacious”, “a powerful advocate”,and somebody who is committed to our cause, strong on his feet and technically brilliant” (Chambers & Partners, 2009). He has also been described as “having a fantastic modern approach”, and as “giving clear and easily understood advice” (Chambers & Partners, 2010).

 

James’s personal strengths have also been recognised. He is described as “approachable, practical and helpful ….. clients love him”,andliked by clients as he is tough, straight talking and a great advocate”  (Legal 500, 2009).

 

James is ranked as a leading insolvency junior by Chambers & Partners, 2011, who say that His technical knowledge of insolvency is excellent and he is noted as a superb tactician”.

 

 

Notable Cases

 

22/03/2012 – Re Bickland Ltd
26/11/2010 - Sahota v RR Leisureways (UK) Ltd
16/10/2009 - Bank of Scotland Plc v Makris & O’Sullivan
22/09/2009 – Close Invoice Finance v Korpal
09/05/2008 - Daleri Ltd v Woolworths Plc
09/03/2007 - Corporate Development Partners LLC v E-Relationship Marketing Ltd
26/10/2006 - CBR (Wakefield) Ltd and others v Puccino's Ltd
16/10/2006 – Phillips v Symes
27/01/2006 – Belfield Furnishings Ltd v Isaacs & Harrison
05/12/2005 - Re Chicago Holdings Ltd
28/05/2004 - Fliptex Ltd v Hogg & Ors
11/11/2003 - Marchday Group Plc v British Telecommunications Plc
01/11/2002 - Tindle v Lancaster
02/05/2002 - UCB Corporate Services Ltd v Williams
21/03/2002 – Allan v UCB Group Ltd
20/06/2001 - Champion v Workman
09/11/2000 - Re D.W.S


Publications

 

Contributor to Enterprise Chambers’ Annotated Guide to Insolvency Legislation and Practice.

 

Contributor to Estates Gazette “Questions & Answers”

 

 
Areas of Emphasis

 

Insolvency
Company and partnerships
Commercial
General chancery 
Real property
Landlord & tenant

 

 

Career & Associations

 

LLB, University of Birmingham
Called to the Bar in 1984
Member of the Chancery Bar Association
Member of the Property Bar Association