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James Counsell QC

James Counsell QC

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James Counsell QC, one of Outer Temple Chambers’ heads of chambers, responsible for governance, is widely recognised in the fields of Clinical and Professional Negligence and Personal Injury, acting both for claimants and for defendants. He also specialises in acting for victims of historical sexual abuse, having recently acted as lead counsel in the second successful claim against the Jehovah’s Witness organisation and the first of a series of cases against professional football clubs. He currently represents numerous claimants not only in cases against football clubs but also other sporting bodies, religious and educational organisations and the Scout Association.

James also 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, both in the UK and the Middle East.

His claims work is combined with a busy disciplinary and regulatory practice, regularly representing doctors, dentists, barristers, solicitors and those in the financial services sector in their respective disciplinary tribunals.

Besides defence regulatory work, he represents the Council of Lloyd’s in enforcement proceedings brought against its members by the Society of Lloyd’s. He is also an active member of the BSB Prosecuting Panel and has represented the BSB in a number of recent high profile cases against well-known barristers, including proceedings against Constance Briscoe, Shaun Wallace, Damian McCarthy and Howard Godfrey, QC.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Consultant Editor, Halsbury Laws, Vols 74 and 74A – Medical Professions
  • Advocacy trainer for the Academy of Law, Dubai
  • Civil Practitioner Representative on the Western Circuit Committee

Membership of

  • APIL
  • ARDL
  • Bristol Medico Legal Society
  • PIBA
  • PNBA
  • DIFC Part II Registered Advocate
  • Western Circuit

James Counsell QC is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

Areas of Law


“He is a gentlemen’s advocate: very charming, personable and effective.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2021

“Very thorough, diligent and provides good client care.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2021

“A strong advocate who is clearly very passionate about his cases. He’s also extremely professional.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2021

“A go-to QC for financial services litigation – bright, personable and good with judges.” Financial Services Regulations, Legal 500 2021

“James is reliable, resilient and a brilliant tactician. He has a calm and measured yet devastating approach in the examination of witnesses and captivates his audience in submissions.” Professional Disciplinary and Regulatory, Legal 500 2021

“A specialist barrister when it comes to the niche area of law covering sexual abuse.” Personal Injury, Legal 500 2021

“Terrific at cross-examination – you want to be on his side, not on the receiving end.” Financial Services Regulations, Legal 500 2020

“His forensic attention to detail leaves no stone unturned.” Personal Injury, Industrial Disease and Insurance Fraud, Legal 500 2020

A self-possessed and imperturbable silk.” Professional Disciplinary and Regulatory, Legal 500 2020

“He’s an extremely pragmatic fighter and is very good with strategy. He is excellent on his feet in court and can change a case through his cross-examinations.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2020

“A leader in his field, who has a calm and unflappable approach.”
Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2020

“Cool, calm and collected.” “He’s really excellent to work with. You know you are in good hands. He does it all beautifully.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2019

“A very charming advocate.” “Very dedicated.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2019

“His main strengths are his approach to clients and his positive outlook on cases.” Personal Injury, Legal 500 2019

“All round, he is always available and helpful; his cross-examination is a considerable strength.” Financial Services, Legal 500 2019

“Highly recommended for banking litigation work.” Banking & Finance, Legal 500 2019

“Thorough, approachable and very switched-on in relation to the issues that need to be resolved.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2018

“Technical, well prepared and a very good advocate.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2018

“Very meticulous and excellent on his feet.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2018

“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





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