James Pretsell

James has a meticulous eye for detail and achieves excellent outcomes.

Legal 500

Personal Injury

James has an extensive personal injury practice consisting of multi track claims ranging from high value County Court to High Court claims. James has been briefed to appear alone in a number of High Court trials in the past eighteen months. James has considerable experience of conducting JSMs.

James largely appears on behalf of Defendants. He has been instructed by most, if not all, of the major UK insurance companies.

James also appears on behalf of Claimants where the claim is complex or of high value. For example, James recently successfully represented a Claimant in a week long High Court trial where complex legal and medical issues arose in a case where moderate brain injury was alleged.

James has particular expertise in claims involving issues of employers’ liability and/or complex injuries and conditions such as chronic pain and occupational diseases.

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Notable Cases

Atkinson v Pathak (2015) EWHC 1120
James was instructed by the Defendant insurer to defend a claim involving a Claimant who had been working as a self-employed gardener when in December 2009 the First Defendant -insured by the Second Defendant- had negligently run over his left foot when mounting the pavement in the course of doing a U-turn. The Claimant sought a total award of damages in excess of £600,000.

Szura v Dixey
Represented a Claimant injured in an rta who alleged that she sustained a moderate brain injury. This was hotly disputed by the experts (Neurologists, Psychiatrists and Neuro-Psychologists) and was heard over a five day High Court trial before HH Judge Forster QC sitting as a High Court Judge. The issue was determined in the Claimant's favour and quantum was settled. The case was one of the first in the High Court (indeed in any court) to involve experts giving evidence concurrently ('hot tubbing').

Cass DA v (1) C & C Plumbing & Heating (Southern) Ltd (2) C & C Carpentry Services Ltd (3) Bellway Homes Ltd
Successfully represented a Defendant in a claim arising out of a fall through a roof on a construction site that was heard over a number of days before HH Judge Moloney QC. The claim involved complicated questions of engineering evidence relating to the building methods and materials used.

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Thompson F v Asphaltic Roofing Supplies Ltd
Successfully represented a Defendant in a claim where it was alleged that a hydraulic arm had malfunctioned and injured the Claimant. The matter was heard before HHJ Hand QC and involved lengthy and technical expert engineering evidence.

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If you would like to instruct James Pretsell or would like help or advice in doing so, please call and talk to our excellent clerking team, led by Chief Executive/Director of Clerking, Paul Cray. Our phone number is +44 (0)20 7583 9241. Alternatively, please email us at chambers@farrarsbuilding.co.uk

For more information about our clerking team, please click here for the clerks page.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Chairman of the Appeals Tribunal of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain
  • Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
  • British Association for Sport & Law
  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Personal Injury Bar Association

Education & Qualifications

  • Karmel Scholar & Prince of Wales Scholar, Gray’s Inn
  • BVC (with Distinction in Advocacy), Inns of Court School of Law
  • Dip Law (Commendation), City University
  • BA in French & Philosophy (First Class), University of Bristol

Directory Quotes

James is ranked as a Leading Junior in the Legal 500 for Personal Injury:

He has a wonderfully relaxed manner with clients which makes him very reassuring.’ Legal 500

‘James has a meticulous eye for detail and achieves excellent outcomes.’ Legal 500


Personal Interests

James interests include playing for and now supporting London Welsh, cycling, skiing and cricket.