James Bentley

Year of call: 2012

"James is very bright, and his advice is grounded and succinct. But above all, he is meticulous."
LEGAL 500 2022

James James

James Bentley is recognised as a leading junior on circuit for both personal injury and costs. He appears for Claimants and Defendants in broadly equal measure, with most of his caseload being in the multi-track. He also has a well-established and varied clinical negligence practice, receiving instructions on behalf of both Claimants and Defendants.

Personal Injury

Personal injury work forms the majority of James’s practice.

He represents both Claimants and Defendants across the full range of liability and quantum issues, and his expertise is consistently recognised by both legal directories.

In addition to ‘standard’ RTA, EL and PL claims, James has extensive experience in more complex claims, the majority of which have been valued in excess of £100,000, and which occasionally run into seven figures. These include:

  • Brain injury claims;
  • Fraud and exaggerated claims;
  • Animals Act claims;
  • Accidents abroad/claims with a foreign law element;
  • Fatal Accidents Act claims;
  • Pain disorders, including: CRPS, Somatoform disorders, Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia;
  •  Secondary victim/complex psychiatric claims;
  • Complex loss of earnings claims.

As a result of having a well-established costs practice, James also has particular experience where difficult costs issues arise during the case, and clients have often appreciated his ability to give well-informed and commercial advice as a result.

Clinical Negligence

James has built a successful clinical negligence practice. His expertise has resulted in him being selected to co-author the Clinical Negligence chapter of Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service Manual.

Examples of recent work include cases involving:

  • General practice and inappropriate advice;
  • Hepato-biliary failures;
  • Nursing – including pressure sore cases of the utmost severity;
  • Vascular surgery;
  • Cardiology;
  • Orthopaedic negligence (including spinal surgery leading to neurological complications);
  • Delayed cancer diagnoses and inappropriate monitoring;
  • Dental negligence;
  • Radiological negligence;
  • Consent

James’s clinical negligence work involves high 5 and 6 figure claims where at least 3 or more experts have been instructed for each side. He has also been instructed as a junior and second junior in 7 and 8 figure cases involving injuries at birth.

His work includes appearing at inquests where there are some prospects of success.

Costs and Litigation Funding

James has formed a well-established costs practice, which covers everything from discrete applications to detailed assessments, including in the SCCO.

The value of those assessments varies, but more often than not the bills are up into 6 figures and arise out of complex personal injury and clinical negligence matters

Recent assessments on behalf of both paying and receiving parties include:

  • An assessment of the costs arising from a multi-defendant clinical negligence claim, where the bill totalled approximately £312,000.
  • An assessment arising from a complex cerebral palsy claim, where the bill totalled approximately £473,000.
  • An assessment arising from a 7-figure clinical negligence claim, where the bill totalled approximately £410,000.
  • Appeared for the receiving party in in the assessment arising from a Fatal Accidents Act claim, where the bill totalled over £110,000.

James also appears and advises in cases involving fixed costs and/or the protocols and/or QOCS, as well as applications involving wasted costs/third party costs. For example, he recently appeared for the Claimant in Bateman v Devon County Council (HHJ Mitchell, Plymouth County Court), an appeal that held that fixed costs did not apply to highway claims, where the injured party was a cyclist.

Recommendations


CHAMBERS UK 2022

Personal Injury - Western (Bar) - Up and Coming 

James Bentley is a junior barrister with considerable expertise in public liability claims. He is adept at handling psychiatric injury and head injury claims, and is regularly instructed in cases involving allegations of fraud or dishonesty. He acts for both claimants and defendants.

Strengths: "He is incredibly personable and a pleasure to work with."

Recent work: Acted for a claimant who suffered an injury as a result of falling from a defective ladder owned by the defendant.


LEGAL 500 2022

Personal Injury - Tier 3

‘James is very bright, and his advice is grounded and succinct. But above all, he is meticulous.’

Costs Litigation - Tier 2

'James is an accomplished and confident costs barrister whose ability in court far exceeds his call. He has a first-rate understanding of the fixed costs regimes. I am always impressed with the quality of his advocacy which is backed up by detailed and exhaustive preparation.’


LEGAL 500 2021

Personal Injury

‘James has a fantastic eye for detail. He is also great with clients and witnesses in conference before trial.’


CHAMBERS UK 2021

Personal Injury

A junior barrister with considerable expertise in public liability claims. He is adept at handling psychiatric injury and head injury claims, and is regularly instructed in cases involving allegations of fraud or dishonesty. He acts for both claimants and defendants.

Strengths: "Approachable and very good with clients." "Helpful, knowledgeable and a confident advocate. He provides an exceptional service."

Recent work: Acted for a claimant who sustained a mildly traumatic brain injury after crossing the road.


LEGAL 500 2020

Personal Injury

"Recommended for cases involving allegations of fundamental dishonesty."

CLERK CONTACT INFORMATION

For further information and enquiries please contact:

Costs & Litigation Funding: Rob McDonald or Emily Webb

Personal Injury & Clinical NegligenceCaroline Evans or Olive Kavanagh or Emily Webb

Memberships

  • PIBA
  • AvMA

education

  • BPTC, Kaplan Law School
  • LLM, University College London
  • LLB Hons, University of Exeter
  • Hardwicke Entrance Award, Lincoln's Inn
  • Sir Thomas More Award, Lincoln's Inn
  • Walter Wigglesworth Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn
  • Kaplan Law School Advocacy Scholarship