James is a senior associate in the Manchester office and specialises in catastrophic injury claims, involving brain injury, spinal injury, and limb amputation claims, and combinations of serious injuries sustained in a single accident, otherwise known as polytrauma claims. James can deal with cases which occur in any setting, weather accidents on the road, at work, or in a public place.
James is able to take a view on cases quickly and push for early admissions of liability and where necessary to commence proceedings in order to take matters to a liability only trial, in order to secure findings of liability and obtain substantial interim payments.
James is passionate about the rights of injured people and making sure that the highest possible compensation is achieved for his clients.
James has acted for the first person in the UK and only the second person in the world to undergo simultaneous elective amputation of the foot and ankle and the insertion of a metal implant into the shin bone which supports an electronic ankle and foot, which has now enabled the client to walk with a normal gait and to be pain free. James’s client went to Australia to have the surgery with his family for a month and returned to an adapted vehicle and an adapted rented bungalow, paid for by funds obtained following a contested interim payment application.
James currently acts for another amputation client who has moved from a below knee to an above knee amputee, with the insertion of an implant which supports an electronic knee and ankle, to improve her movement and ability to walk with a prosthetic limb, following an earlier traumatic amputation. This was achieved within 15 months of the case coming to James from another firm where the necessary interim payment had been refused and the progress with the claim had stalled.
James also acted for the first person in Europe to obtain a LUKE arm, which was developed by the US military and has an electronically operated shoulder, elbow and wrist and fingers and thumb, all of which move together as one and which is the only device with a powered shoulder, and which is one of the most advanced in the world. That case involved an insurer who sought to avoid the policy and then went into run-off; the bringing in of an umbrella company and its insurer; a 5 day trial on liability against both insurers; a successful appeal against a finding of 10% contributory negligence against the client to the Court of Appeal; and a successful contested application to the High Court for a significant interim payment, which allowed the client to travel to the USA to purchase the LUKE arm and together with further interim payments, to have a bungalow purchased and adapted and an adapted vehicle, all before final settlement.
James also acts for clients who have suffered significant brain injuries including those who have lost the capacity to give instructions, manage money and in some cases decided where to lives, what care to have, what medical treatment to have and so on. James regularly liaises with Court of Protection colleagues in order to ensure that his clients remain protected, including contested proceedings in the Court of Protection, and that the right decisions are arrived at.
Part of the reason for seeking early admissions and indeed significant interim payment is so that James’s clients and their families can have peace of mind from an early stage that their claims will succeed and there are sufficient funds in place to meet mortgage and rent payments and other necessities, as well as to ensure that there are sufficient fund to engage case managers and other medical professionals for a holistic package of private health care and treatment, so that the injured person can achieve the best possible recovery in the quickest possible time.
James liaises with King’s Counsel, Case Managers, Consultant Physicians and Surgeons, and a whole host of other allied professionals to ensure that the maximum amount of compensation is recovered.
Career History and Education
James qualified in 1993 and worked for two trade union firms in Liverpool acting for members injured at work, which became part of Simpson Millar, and for a third firm in Chester which became part of Slater + Gordon.
James thereafter moved to another local firm and took over a case load of serious injury claims from a departing partner and then in 2014 he moved to another Liverpool firm and conducted a series of catastrophic injury claims, involving brain injuries and amputation. In 2020, James moved to work in Manchester, initially at Thompsons and then later that year to the Manchester office of Hugh James, where he deals with cases of the utmost severity.
- Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)