Home Barristers James Kinman

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


James Kinman

Call 2013


James has a broad practice across a range of commercial, real estate, company and insolvency matters, often involving questions of private international law.  He is listed in Legal 500 2021 as a “rising star” in the field of Commercial Litigation, and is a contributor to the leading textbook Civil Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure.

Notable current or recent instructions include:

  • Tugushev v Orlov, a large-scale dispute over the ownership of one of the largest fish harvesting, processing and distribution companies in the world, concerning allegations of conspiracy and fraud.  Currently listed for trial in 2022, it has generated notable judgments on security for costs ([2018] EWHC 3471 (Comm)), jurisdiction ([2019] EWHC 645 (Comm)) and the set aside of worldwide freezing orders ([2019] EWHC 2031 (Comm)).  (Part of a larger counsel team including Christopher Pymont QC, George Hayman QC, Benjamin John and Fiona Dewar.)
  • Asturion Fondation v Alibrahim, a dispute within the Saudi royal family over the ownership of Kenstead Hall on Bishop’s Lane.  The most recent judgment in the proceedings is the leading case on the “warehousing” species of abuse of process (see [2020] 1 W.L.R. 1627).  (Led by David Mumford QC.)
  • Arbitral and High Court proceedings concerning rights and liabilities relating to a high pressure gas pipeline running through industrial land in Somerset.  (Led by John McGhee QC.)
  • Donovan v Grainmarket Asset Management LLP, a joint venture dispute concerning the venturers’ respective rights following the departure of one of the two parties during the course of the venture (see [2020] EWHC 17 (Comm)).  (Led by Jonathan Seitler QC.)
  • BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana SA, the leading case on the application of section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 to distributions to shareholders and the directors’ duty to take account of creditors’ interests.  (Widely reported, including at [2019] 2 All E.R. 784 and [2019] B.C.C. 631).  (As part of a larger counsel team including Laurie Rabinowitz QC, David Mumford QC and Niranjan Venkatesan.)
  • United Company Rusal Plc v Crispian Investments Ltd, in which Rusal, a company associated with Oleg Deripaska, prevented Crispian, a company associated with Roman Abramovich, from transferring shares in breach of a shareholders’ agreement ([2019] B.C.C. 237).  (As part of a larger counsel team including Christopher Pymont QC, David Mumford QC and Thomas Munby.)
  • Maroil Trading Inc v Cally Shipholdings Inc, proceedings concerning an alleged breach of confidence, met with a defence that the breach exposed serious wrongdoing and therefore is protected by a public interest defence.  The proceedings give rise to little explored questions as to causation of loss in the context of a breach of confidence and the extent to which a mercenary breach of confidence can engage a public interest defence.  The most recent judgment in the proceedings is [2019] EWHC 2929 (Comm).  (Led by Thomas Grant QC.)
  • Malik v Malik, Malik and Malik, an extremely long running family dispute over the ownership of a flat in Knightsbridge.  The matter has been the subject of proceedings in England and Pakistan since 1987.  Recent judgments in the case consider the circumstances in which parallel proceedings in the County and High Courts should be consolidated ([2020] 1 P. & C. R. DG 18) and the necessary intent to establish adverse possession ([2019] EWHC 1843 (Ch)).  (Generally sole counsel, including at trial.  Led by Timothy Dutton QC at some hearings.)
  • National Infrastructure Development Co Ltd v Banco Santander SA, a dispute over whether the beneficiary of standby letters of credit relating to a major infrastructure project in Trinidad and Tobago was entitled to call upon those letters.  The latest judgment in the proceedings ([2018] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 156) is the leading authority on the test to be applied in applications for summary judgment on letters of credit.  (Led by Andrew Ayres QC at first instance and Jonathan Russen QC on appeal.)
  • Plant v Vision Games 1 Ltd, a dispute over whether the proceeds of certain tax credits were caught within a floating charge granted by a video games developer to its funder ([2018] B.P.I.R. 777).  (Led by Andrew Ayres QC.)
  • Chliaifchtein v 3-10 Crescent Management Limited, proceedings over whether a development for high net worth individuals was entitled to reduce its night time concierge provision from two persons to one, reported in the Evening Standard, 15 November 2017 (led by Timothy Dutton QC).
  • Newson-Smith v Al Zawawi, an application to bring committal proceedings based on answers given during Part 71 proceedings, in which the line between dishonest recklessness with the truth and accidental provision of inaccurate information was explored ([2017] EWHC 1876 (QB)).  (Led by Thomas Grant QC.)
  • Cephia HK Ltd v Character Group Plc, a claim for specific performance of a share option granted by a leading toy distributor ([2016] EWHC 3133 (Comm)).  (Led by David Mumford QC.)

Before coming to the Bar, James was an associate at Slaughter and May for two years.  In that role, he acted on a variety of transactions including secured bank lending, securitisations, derivative products and debt capital market issuances.  He studied history at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with a double first and subsequently received distinctions on each of the Graduate Diploma in Law course and the Legal Practice Course.

The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which James will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which James accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.


Chancery Bar Association, COMBAR, The City of London Law Society


Chambers UK

Chancery: Commercial

"A particularly user-friendly junior." (2021)

Legal 500

Commercial Litigation

“Really intelligent, calm under pressure, hard working, commercial, and always on top of the detail.” (2021)