James Counsell QC
Year of Call:
James Counsell, QC is widely recognised in the fields of Clinical and Professional Negligence and in Personal Injury, acting both for claimants and for defendants. He also specialises in acting for victims of historic sexual abuse, having recently acted as lead counsel in the first successful claim against the Jehovah’s Witness organisation.
James acts for claimants and financial institutions in claims based upon the alleged mis-selling of financial products and breaches of FSMA and at common law.
His claims work is combined with a busy disciplinary and regulatory practice, regularly representing doctors, dentists, solicitors, accountants and those in the financial services sector in their respective disciplinary tribunals.
Besides defence regulatory work, he regularly represents the Council of Lloyd’s in enforcement proceedings brought against its members by the Society of Lloyd’s and recently conducted an extensive and high profile inquiry leading to successful enforcement proceedings against a Lloyd’s managing agency and its senior officers. James is also an active member of the BSB Prosecuting Panel and has represented BSB in a number of high profile cases against well known barristers in the last year or so.
James has an extremely busy personal injury practice, representing mostly, but not exclusively claimants, often funded by CFAs. He specialises in acting for claimants in historic and more recent sex abuse claims and has recently acted for a successful claimant in the first successful historic sex abuse case against the Jehovah’s Witness organisation.
Much of his PI work involves claims arising out of serious injuries sustained in accidents at work and other health and safety contexts and he also acts for both parties in RTA claims, particularly in high value claims.
A v The Trustees of the Watchtower Bible Tract Society and Others  EWHC 1722 (QB)
Landmark first successful claim against Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation for historic sexual abuse committed by one of its ministerial servants and for vicarious liability of elders in failing to safeguard member of congregation.
Rocks and Connolly v Nottingham Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees and Another – trial in 2016
Acting for claimants in two separate but linked claims based upon historic sexual abuse in church-based school.
McCouid v Adamski (ongoing)
Acting for three members of same family in claim for extensive physical and psychiatric injuries in very serious RTA.
Lisney v CLC & Willmott Dixon (Trial in 2017)
Successfully represents claimant in claim for damages for very serious injuries sustained when fell from scaffolding tower at work.
Appointments & Memberships
- European Circuit
- Western Circuit
Areas of Law
- Clinical Negligence
- Disciplinary & Regulatory
- Financial Services
- Personal Injury
- Child & Adult Abuse
- International Illness, Injury & Travel
- Professional Negligence
“His calm, collected style is particularly effective with difficult clients and complex issues.” Professional Discipline & Regulatory Law, Legal 500 2017
“Calm, robust and steady in difficult circumstances.” Financial Services, Legal 500 2017
“Exactly the sort of person you want to take you through a trial.” Banking & Finance, Legal 500 2017
“He’s very detail-focused, he picks up on absolutely everything and he’s very good at digesting large quantities of information in a very short period of time.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2017
“unflappable exterior makes him a really polished performer before the panels. He is well received whenever he appears.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2017
“Extremely thorough and knowledgeable.” Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law, Legal 500 2016
“Highly experienced in mis-selling and negligence claims.” Banking and Finance, Legal 500 2016
“He’s absolutely superb as he’s very quick on the uptake of issues and has no mannerisms or posturing.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2016
“He addresses things in exactly the right way for each individual client.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2016
“A well-regarded specialist in financial regulatory, banking and insurance law.” Banking & Finance, Legal 500 2015
“He is always well prepared.” Professional Discipline & Regulatory Law, Legal 500 2015