James Chegwidden

Barrister

James’s practice encompasses civil and commercial work, employment law, and regulatory and public law.  He brings to his practice a wide range of domestic and international experience, having worked as a lawyer in London, Strasbourg and also the Commonwealth (Australia) and in delegations to the United Nations. He has been involved in numerous defining cases under the Human Rights Act 1998 and he acts for a range of corporate clients, charities and individuals, and actively assists the Bar Pro Bono Unit as a panel member.  He was appointed to the Attorney General’s Panel for Civil Litigation (List C) in March 2013.

Employment Law and Civil Litigation

James acts for a number of banks, insurance firms, corporate and government clients and individuals in a range of civil disputes in the High Court and County Court.  Parties for whom James has appeared regularly include the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and Zurich Insurance.  James has acted in litigation against the BBC, British Airways plc, Barclays Bank, the Ministry of Defence and numerous London Borough Councils. 

James regularly accepts instructions in the following areas:

  • Breach of contract
  • Misrepresentation
  • Commercial debt
  • Breach of directors’ duties
  • Misuse of confidential information
  • Winding up
  • Strike-off and restoration to the register
  • Interim injunctions
  • Actions for malicious falsehood
  • Landlord and tenant disputes
  • Personal and corporate insolvency applications 
  • Actions arising under the Consumer Credit Act
  • Wills and probate
  • Negligence actions

James also represents a wide variety of claimants and respondents in the Employment Tribunal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) and the High Court.  He has advised and appeared for and against corporate clients and for individuals in litigation including British Airways, Barclays Bank and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 

James is an experienced advocate in:

  • Unfair and wrongful dismissal claims
  • Public interest disclosure claims (whistle-blowing) 
  • Redundancy-related claims
  • National Minimum Wage disputes
  • TUPE (transfer of undertakings) disputes
  • Unlawful wage deduction claims
  • Pregnancy and maternity leave claims 
  • Tribunal jurisdiction and procedural disputes
  • Discrimination and Equality Act 2010 claims

Restraint, Confiscation and Asset Forfeiture

James has acted both for defendants and for government agencies in financial crime, fraud claims, proceeds of crime and customs actions and has advised in relation to civil actions for the recovery of unlawful gains.

James’s experience includes:

  • Restraint orders (creation, variation and discharge)
  • Confiscation orders (creation, variation and discharge)
  • Certificates of inadequacy
  • Freezing injunctions
  • Financial Reporting Orders
  • Writs ne exeat regno 
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Benefits fraud
  • Goods condemnation hearings and appeals
  • Cash forfeiture seizures
  • Legal expenses and ancillary relief applications
  • Enforcement of UK restraint orders overseas
  • Pre-trial disclosure in MTIC fraud cases

Public and Administrative Law

James maintains a strong practice and background in public and human rights law.  He has been involved in numerous cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords/Supreme Court concerning the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention of Human Rights.  He worked in 2010 as an avocat stagiaire within the UK Division of the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg).  His fluency in French, German and Polish assists with European materials.

Licensing and Trading Standards

James acts in a variety of regulatory proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court, County Court and High Court.  He has acted for local authorities, individual and corporate defendants in matters concerning:

  • Trading Standards
  • Business Rates
  • Health and Safety
  • Food Hygiene
  • Advertising Standards
  • Immigration Services

James also appears regularly for the Immigration Services Commissioner in relation to the unlawful provision of immigration services and advice.

Appointments

  • Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel for Civil Litigation (List C)
  • Bar Public Access Scheme
  • National Bar Pro Bono Unit – Panel Member
  • Crown Prosecutions Service – Appointee to Specialist Asset Forfeiture Unit

Languages

French, German, Polish

Memberships

  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association
  • Lawyers for Liberty
  • National Secular Society
  • British Humanist Association

Barrister Details

Date of Call 2008University of Oxford, BCL, University of Sydney, LLB (Hons.) james.chegwidden@6kbw.com

Specialisms

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21 College Hill
London
EC4R 2RP

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Notable Cases

Rawson v Robert Norman & Associates
An EAT appeal from a finding in an employer’s contractual counter-claim against a dismissed employee. The appeal concerned the burden of proof in the counter-claim.

Re Holland
A County Court claim against the personal representative of a murdered intestate deceased’s estate, concerning the presumption of advancement.

Re Veolia Environmental Services
An advice on the consequences of early termination of a sub-contract by a contractor as a result of the termination of the head contract by a local authority. The advice concerned the responsibility accorded to the sub-contractor for the breach and the indemnification of the contractor.

Sarwar v Abellio (London) Ltd
A claim concerning the unfair dismissal of a disabled employee, the failure to make reasonable adjustments, unfavourable treatment arising from disability and reinstatement of the employee.

Serra v Queen Mary University
An unfair dismissal claim concerning the application of an unlawful retirement age and compulsory retirement to a non-notified employee, as well as age discrimination and tribunal costs.

OCS t/as Cannon v Nationwide Healthcare
A County Court action for the unlawful termination of a service contract during its minimum term, addressing an allegation of fraud and the legality of penalty clauses.

C4UK Ltd v Behseta
Parallel civil and criminal proceedings for the recovery of traceable proceeds of a fraudulent commercial transaction. The case involved the unlawful conversion of a millionaire’s estate, a defendant out of the jurisdiction, and a freezing order over the UK bank accounts of the defendant entity.  James successfully represented the innocent purchaser.

M v British Broadcasting Corporation
An advice on the obtaining of a High Court interim injunction to prevent the broadcast of allegedly defamatory material by a broadcaster, including the options for remedy in tort and malicious falsehood.

Re Overend
A multi-million pound mortgage fraud.  James acted for a defendant accused of masterminding the fraud and deriving benefit from it via rental incomes from the properties thereby obtained. 

Ségor v Goodrich Actuation Systems
An EAT appeal on nationality discrimination against an employee, concerning the right of a private company lawfully to apply discriminatory US laws in the United Kingdom when deciding whom to employ. 

Crouch v CEN Services Limited
A claim concerning the unfair dismissal of a company executive (manager).  The manager was dismissed following a flawed redundancy procedure in which there was evidence of pre-determination and other unfairness.

Victor Michael Ltd v Edwards
High Court and Employment Tribunal proceedings concerning the alleged theft of confidential business documents, breach of confidentiality and the use of confidential information, interference with business, and the breach of a post-termination restraint clause.  An injunction to restrain the misuse of information was granted. 

Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance Ltd v Magee
Concerning the lawfulness of a claim for debts owing under a factoring agreement.

Lipman v Carson
Concerning the commercial lease of premises where it was alleged that a written document was signed under a unilateral mistake by the innocent party.  James acted for the lessor in obtaining rectification of the lease in the County Court.

Fitzgerald v British Airways plc
An EAT appeal on disability discrimination involving failure to make reasonable adjustments for a stewardess injured on-board an airline.

A v United Kingdom
An appeal in Strasbourg addressing Article 8 and Protocol 1 of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the expulsion of a child convicted of a serious crime but who had been granted indefinite leave to remain before the expulsion order was made; issues arising included the interruption of the child’s private life and the right to education.