James’ practice is predominantly concerned with personal injury litigation, motor fraud and costs. He is recognised by the leading legal directories as a leader in each of these fields.  Respected by both those acting for Claimants and for insurers, he receives instructions regularly from leading firms such as DWF, Kennedys and Irwin Mitchell. James also has experience of all aspects of costs and regularly represents a leading legal expenses insurer on matters concerning their ATE products.


“A tough negotiator, who is compassionate and caring with clients.” Legal 500 2017 (Personal Injury)

“A sound advocate with unsurpassed legal knowledge” Legal 500 2017 (Costs)

“A leading costs junior who knows the law on ATE and success fees like the back of his hand.” Chambers & Partners 2017 (Costs)

“He’s a great all-rounder who is quick at turning papers around. You know he’ll fully consider them and look at every bit of detail. His advocacy is great as well.”
Chambers & Partners 2017 (Motor Fraud)

“He tailors his advice to the client. A very good advocate, very well prepared and very good tactically.” Chambers & Partners 2017 (Personal Injury)

“He provides strong technical knowledge and pragmatic advice.” Legal 500 2016 (Costs)

“He is a tough negotiator and an impressive advocate.” Legal 500 2016 (Personal Injury)

“He’s masterful as an advocate and his paperwork is supreme.” Chambers & Partners 2016 (Costs)

“He is always fully prepared, has excellent attention to detail and is very client-focused. He is a pleasure to work with.” Chambers & Partners 2016 (Personal Injury)

“He is a great advocate who is masterful in cross-examination and completely at ease when thrown curve balls.” Legal 500, 2015 (Personal Injury) 

“He has great ability to know which cases are sensibly viable.” Legal 500, 2015 (Costs)

“He has a great ability to think on his feet.” Chambers & Partners 2015 (Costs) 

“Robust, clear and organised, he takes a very thorough approach to cases.” Chambers & Partners 2015 (Motor Insurance Fraud) 

“He is excellent – he takes a lot of time when preparing, is knowledgeable and gets on well with clients. He is very reliable.” Chambers & Partners 2015 (Personal Injury)

“A standout barrister at the cutting edge of costs law, with great advocacy skills.” Legal 500, 2014 (Costs)

“Equally impressive in court and in settlement discussions.” Legal 500, 2014 (Personal Injury)

“He has both great technical knowledge and a pragmatic mindset, making him highly attractive to those that instruct him”. … “He’s very robust and confident in his opinions. From our point of view, time is very often of the essence, and he’s quick at dealing with issues.”  Chambers & Partners 2014 (Costs)

“He’s very effective at cross-examining and has the ability to take a witness apart.” “He gives clear, robust advice, his conferences are well-structured and clients find him easy to follow. He’s also a pretty tough negotiator.” Chambers & Partners 2014 (Personal Injury)


University of Kent, BA (Hons) Law

Professional Memberships

Personal Injury Bar Association

Public Access

Undertakes Public Access work


LOCOG v Sinfield [2018] EWHC 51 (QB)

First High Court decision addressing issues concerning “fundamental dishonesty” within the scope of section 57 Criminal Justice & Courts Act 2015.

Liverpool Victoria Insurance v Yavuz & oths [2017] EWHC 3099 (QB)

Appeared for the successful insurer in a 5-day contempt of court application against 9 Defendants. It was alleged that each had made false statements of truth in County Court personal injury claims in relation to 3 road traffic accidents that had not, in truth, ever occurred or not as described. The Judge was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the allegations were proved and imposed prison sentences ranging from 16 months to 4 months, suspended, on all the Defendants.

BNM v MGN Limited [2017] EWCA Civ 1767

Instructed as junior counsel, led by Simon Browne QC, acted for the Claimant in her successful leap-frog appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the Senior Costs Judge that the new test of proportionality applies equally to all costs, including additional liabilities.

Miller v Associated Newspapers [2017] UKSC 33

Supreme Court. Newspapers’ Article 10 challenge to the payment of Additional Liabilities. James Laughland appeared as Junior Counsel for one of three Respondents in a combined leap-frog appeal brought by three newspapers (The Times, Daily Mail & Mirror) against their liability to pay success fees and after the event insurance premiums to successful litigants in publication cases.

Broadhurst v Tan [2016] EWCA Civ 94

Appeared for the Defendants in this expedited appeal heard before the Master of the Rolls and others concerning the issue of whether In fixed costs personal injury claims governed by CPR Pt 45 s.IIIA, costs were payable on the indemnity basis under CPR r.36.14 where a claimant made a Part 36 offer and then obtained judgment which was more advantageous than the offer.

Da Costa & anr v Sargaco & anr [2016] EWCA Civ 764

James Laughland, acted for the Defendant insurer on appeal where the issue for determination was whether a Judge had been right to exclude a Claimant, against his will, from court whilst another gave his evidence. Fraud had been alleged and the trial judge agreed to the Defendant’s request that one Claimant be kept out of court whilst the other was cross-examined.

Nokes v Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust [2015] EWHC B6 (Costs)

A claimant in clinical negligence proceedings was able to recover in full by way of costs the premium she paid for an after-the-event insurance policy. This was the first SCCO case to consider the reasonableness of a post-LASPO clinical negligence ATE premium.

National Crime Agency v Namli & Topinvest Holding International Ltd [2013] EWCA

Damning findings made against the First Defendant by the  Judge below when making a civil recovery order against him and his company justified requiring him to give security for the costs incurred by the NCA in opposing their appeal against the order and for the costs of the proceedings below.

The Azimi Group of Cases

Acted for the Defendants in some of the 8 cases heard consecutively before HHJ John Mitchell at the County Court at Central London in which he concluded, based upon reliance on similar fact evidence, that all the cases were deliberate slam-on collisions and dismissed all the claims.

Heron v TNT & Mackrell Turner Garrett [2014] 1 WLR 1277; [2013] 4 Costs L.R. 551

Consideration by the Court of Appeal of whether a judge had been right to refuse an employer’s application for a non-party costs order against its employee’s solicitors, instructed on a CFA, in personal injury claim he had brought against them. The employers had not shown that in failing to obtain ATE insurance for the employee the solicitors had become a “real party” to the litigation.

Monk v Cann Hall Primary School and Essex County Council [2013] EWCA Civ 826

Court of Appeal decision on relationship between damages for unfair dismissal and common law damages for negligence causing person injury in the context of a dismissal. The Court of Appeal held that the Judge had been wrong to strike out the claimant’s case

Seaga v Harper (No. 2) [2009] UKPC 26

Consideration by the Privy Council of whether litigation could be funded by way of a CFA with recoverable success fee and ATE for litigation undertaken before that Court in the UK, but emanating from a  Commonwealth jurisdiction where CFAs were not available.

Oriakhel v Vickers & Groupama Insurance Co Ltd & others [2008] EWCA Civ 748

Consideration by the Court of Appeal of the circumstances in which it would be right to make a non-party costs order against a witness alleged to be a party to a conspiracy to bring a dishonest insurance claim.

TGC Fraud Newsletter Issue VII – February 2018

21st February 2018

Please see link below for Issue 7 of TGC Fraud Update, a publication we have set up with the stated aim of facilitating the sharing of information about decided claims involving issues of road traffic fraud and related matters.

View External Link

Cook on Costs: Jackson Review Supplement

31st July 2013

With Joanna Hughes, wrote the chapters on Conditional Fee Agreements, After The Event Insurance and Damages Based Agreements for Cook on Costs’ “Jackson Review Supplement”.

Husband and wife guilty of Contempt of Court

28th February 2018

James Laughland, on instructions from Gary Orritt of DAC Beachcroft, today secured findings of contempt of court against husband and wife, Harjit Singh Kapoor and Kuljit Kaur Kapoor of Brentford, London.

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22nd January 2018

James Laughland, instructed by Roger Jones of Kennedys Law LLP, acted for the appellant who successfully challenged the trial judge’s finding that whilst there had been dishonesty, there had not been “fundamental dishonesty” within the scope of section 57 Criminal Justice & Courts Act 2015. Mark James, also of Temple Garden Chambers, acted for the Respondent. Both had appeared at trial and on appeal

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Supreme Court Awards Indemnity Costs

10th July 2017

The Supreme Court has ordered Associated Newspapers Ltd, publishers of the Daily Mail, to pay costs on the indemnity basis. James Laughland, led by William McCormick QC of Ely Place Chambers, acted for the Claimant in one of the three appeals heard by the Supreme Court concerning whether additional liabilities are recoverable in publication proceedings.

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Supreme Court Victory

11th April 2017

Simon Browne QC and James Laughland appeared for two separate successful Respondents in the Supreme Court. Three national newspapers (The Times, Daily Mail, and The Mirror) were attempting to avoid paying any additional liabilities (success fees and ATE premiums) to privacy and defamation claimants funded by conditional fee agreements. The challenge was based upon the newspapers’ freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights

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Court of Appeal considers whether, in a fraud case, one Claimant can be excluded from court whilst another Claimant gives their evidence

14th July 2016

James Laughland, instructed by Gemma Wilkinson of Keoghs, acted for the Defendant insurer where the issue for determination was whether a Judge had been right to exclude a Claimant, against his will, from court whilst another gave his evidence. Fraud had been alleged and the trial judge agreed to the Defendant’s request that one Claimant be kept out of court whilst the other was cross-examined.

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