Barrister James Macdonald

James Macdonald

Year of call: 2010  

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“Professional in conference, with a manner that clients find truly reassuring.”

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Overview


James is a specialist advocate, recognised for his approachability and client-focused manner.

James completed a multi-disciplinary pupillage at 7BR. His practice currently focuses on three main areas.

James is frequently instructed in all aspects of injury-related civil litigation. He regularly appears in the county courts and the High Court for both claimants and defendants. He has a particular interest in clinical negligence and product liability.

James acts for Claimants and Respondents in all aspects of employment and discrimination law. He has extensive experience of tribunal-based advocacy and is regularly instructed in contested hearings and applications.

James has an established practice in general crime. He has appeared at all levels from the magistrates’ court to the Court of Appeal and is regularly instructed in the Crown Court on both the midland and south-eastern circuits. In recent years James’ practice has become increasingly focused on international and financial crime and he has a particular interest in civil and criminal fraud in the context of offshore jurisdictions.

 

Clinical Negligence Complex Fraud Crime Employment Offshore & International Personal Injury Product Liability Public Law

Clinical Negligence


James’ advisory work spans the breadth of a clinical negligence case, from pre-action disputes and analysis of initial expert evidence, through to trial preparation and complex quantum assessments. He is regularly instructed to settle complicated statements of case and advise on settlement negotiations and tactics.

James regularly appears in the county courts and High Court for applications and hearings. He is willing to accept instructions on a CFA basis.

James has a particular interest in inquests arising out of instances of alleged clinical negligence. He has both advised on, and appeared at, numerous inquests representing the families of the deceased, including Article 2 inquests. He is known for his compassionate approach to client care in this context.

Memberships


  • AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents)

Clinical Negligence Cases


 

  • Advising on the successful settlement of a claim involving an allegedly negligent, failed pregnancy termination procedure, on the basis that the defendant’s position was not Bolitho-compliant.
  • Advising and settling Particulars of Claim in a failure-to-diagnose case involving various limitation arguments, including one premised on a discrepancy between the date of issue and the date that proceedings were actually sent to the court.
  • Advising and representing the family of a young child born with pulmonary atresia and a ventricular septal defect at the inquest touching his death following a cardiac catheterization procedure.

Complex Fraud


James has a rapidly expanding practice in complex fraud. He has particular experience in the area of criminal fraud, especially where linked to overseas jurisdictions.

James is currently instructed by the Attorney General of Jersey as junior counsel in a multi-million pound complex fraud case.

His areas of expertise include, in particular, liaising with police and prosecution authorities, working closely with forensic accountants and dealing with issues of disclosure and admissibility. James’ work has also involved consideration of jurisdictional disputes, non-UK law and co-operation between national criminal investigatory authorities.

Memberships


  • YFLA (Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association)
  • IBA (International Bar Association)

Crime


James regularly appears in the Crown Court throughout the south-eastern and midland circuits. He has extensive trial experience as well as frequently appearing for prosecution and defence at plea and case management hearings, bail applications and sentencing hearings.

Memberships


  • CBA (Criminal Bar Association)
  • YFLA (Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association)
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Midland Circuit

Crime Cases


  • R v Daffern [2014] EWCA Crim 461: Representing the Appellant in an appeal before the Lord Chief Justice concerning the proper approach to sentencing defendants already serving a period of imprisonment.
  • Securing an acquittal for a defendant running a defence of necessity in a trial for dangerous driving.
  • Ensuring a non-custodial sentence for a Defendant of good character charged on a multi-handed money laundering indictment worth in excess of £100,000.
  • James is currently instructed by the Attorney General of Jersey as junior counsel in a multi-million pound complex fraud case.

Employment


James has extensive experience of employment tribunals around the country, appearing in both preliminary hearings and contested trials. He frequently represents claimants and respondents in claims for unfair, wrongful and constructive dismissal, discrimination, equal pay, deductions from wages and claims arising out of the TUPE regulations.

James has particular expertise in matters involving disputes over employment status.

Memberships


  • ELA (Employment Lawyers’ Association)

Employment Cases


  • Successfully representing the lead claimant therapist in a claim for automatic unfair dismissal under TUPE, reg. 7 following the transfer of a Primary Care Trust’s talking therapy services to a new private provider. The claim was defended on the basis that the claimants were all self-employed and therefore had no employee rights. Following a five-day preliminary hearing, the employment tribunal found that the claimants were in fact employees for the purposes of TUPE and the Employment Rights Act 1996.
  • Representing the respondent private care provider in a claim for unfair dismissal, pregnancy discrimination and personal injury including a claim for career loss of earnings. The claimant’s claim for loss of earnings was dismissed in its entirety, despite the claimant succeeding on her discrimination claim.
  • Successfully representing the respondent local authority in a claim for unfair dismissal brought by an employed architect following his dismissal for redundancy in the wake of the nationwide public sector spending cuts in 2009/2010.
  • Representing the claimant in a two-day, nationally reported pregnancy discrimination claim in the Central London Tribunal, involving a respondent company in the music industry. The claimant received an award of £16,000 damages for injury to feelings.

Offshore & International


James has a rapidly developing practice in offshore and international work focused on two main areas: fraud and product liability.

James is currently instructed by the Attorney General of Jersey as junior counsel in a multi-million pound complex fraud case. His work inevitably involves consideration of jurisdictional disputes, non-UK law and co-operation between national criminal investigatory authorities.

As well as James’ individual product liability practice, he is also involved in an ongoing cross-jurisdictional action concerning defective artificial joints. James forms part of a small team of 7BR barristers working on the case. Their work includes advising on jurisdiction, analysing liability and limitation issues in a multi-jurisdictional context and providing complex quantum assessments.

Memberships


  • IBA (International Bar Association)

Personal Injury


James’ work covers a broad spectrum of personal injury litigation. He acts for claimants and defendants in employers’ liability, public liability and general breach of duty disputes, including high value road traffic claims.

As well as regularly appearing in fast track and multi-track trials, James is frequently instructed to settle statements of case and advise on liability and quantum. He has particular expertise in complex future loss claims.

James has extensive experience of appearing for both claimants and defendants in case management conferences, costs case management conferences, application hearings and pre-trial reviews. He has been instructed on a number of applications involving relief from sanctions under the recently amended CPR, r. 3.9.

Memberships


  • PIBA (Personal Injuries Bar Association)

Personal Injury Cases


  • Advising and representing the claimant in relation to an application for relief from sanction following the filing of a completed, but unsigned, Precedent H form; post the Court of Appeal decision in Denton et al.
  • Advising and settling a Schedule of Loss in a complex road traffic claim involving post-traumatic stress disorder, pre-existing underlying conditions and alleged permanent disability requiring an Ogden VII-style future loss of earnings analysis.
  • Advising the local authority in a highway claim involving a dispute as to the extent of the adopted highway and related duties of care.
  • Settling Particulars of Claim and advising on jurisdiction, liability and quantum in a case involving a soldier injured during a military training session undertaken at a UK Army barracks abroad.
  • Successfully representing the claimant in a trial in which the very occurrence of his accident was called into question by the defendant insurer.

Product Liability


James is regularly instructed in cases involving product liability and sale of goods legislation.

His recent work has centred on issues arising out of the PIP breast implant litigation. James has advised on numerous cases in relation to limitation, liability and quantum, including cases falling outside of the current Group Litigation Order. He also regularly advises potential claimants on case strategy and tactics where uninsured or insolvent clinic defendants are involved.

As well as James’ individual product liability practice, he is also involved in an ongoing cross-jurisdictional action concerning defective artificial joints. James forms part of a small team of 7BR barristers working on the case. Their work includes advising on jurisdiction, analysing liability and limitation issues in a multi-jurisdictional context and providing complex quantum assessments.

Memberships


  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers)
  • PIBA (Personal Injuries Bar Association)
  • AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents)
  • IBA (International Bar Association)

Public Law


James has a particular interest in inquests arising out of instances of alleged clinical negligence. He has both advised on, and appeared at, numerous inquests representing the families of the deceased, including Article 2 inquests. He is known for his compassionate approach to client care in this context.

Memberships


  • AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents)

Public Law Cases


  • Advising and representing the family of a young child born with pulmonary atresia and a ventricular septal defect at the inquest touching his death following a cardiac catheterization procedure.
  • Pro bono representation of the deceased’s family at an inquest concerning the appropriate implementation of the Liverpool Care Pathway for very elderly patients.
  • Representing the family of a young woman with a coronary artery stent who died following a decision to withhold ticagrelor in the context of a pulmonary embolism.
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