Photo of James Fryer-Spedding

James Fryer-Spedding

Year of call 1994, Gray's Inn  

Areas of Expertise
Business and Property Group, Mediation

Partnership: Band 2 - Ranked Chambers and Partners 2024 Edition

Chambers and Partners 2024

Ecclesiastical: Band 2 - Ranked Chambers and Partners 2024 Edition

Chambers and Partners 2024

Real Estate Litigation: Band 1
"James is my go-to counsel for complex and difficult matters."
"James is really personable, clever, thorough, very good on his feet and good with clients as well. He is very down to earth and straightforward. He is one of the top barristers in Manchester doing what he does."

Chambers and Partners 2024

Commercial Dispute Resolution: Band 2
"Very client-friendly and easy to work with."
"Very calm; very bright but measured."

Chambers and Partners 2024

Chancery: Band 1
"James is great on his feet and his pleadings and settled work is really good. He commands respect within the court; the judges like him and he delivers the message in a tough, but not overly aggressive way."
"James is my go-to person for chancery matters. He knows his stuff, he is clear and thorough, and is a formidable and unflappable advocate."
"James is fantastic, he is one of the very rare all-rounders and is incredibly experienced. He is really good on the details and is responsive."

Chambers and Partners 2024

Chancery, Probate and Tax: Ranked Legal 500 2024 Edition

Legal 500 2024

Commercial Litigation: Ranked Legal 500 2024 Edition

Legal 500 2024

High Net Worth -Chancery – Band 1 National Leaders (Outside London)
James Fryer-Spedding of 9 St John Street in Manchester remains a leading choice for traditional chancery cases, including contested probate and Inheritance Act 1975 matters.
“James Fryer-Spedding is very, very good, calm, bright and measured. He’s great”
“He is my go to person for chancery matters. He knows his stuff, he is clear, thorough and is formidable and unflappable advocate”
“He is great on his feet and his pleadings and settled work are good, articulate, and short. He commands respect with the court, the judges like him and he delivers the message in a tough but not overly aggressive way”

Chambers and Partners 2023

Ecclesiastical Law - All Circuits:
James Fryer-Spedding is Deputy Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Carlisle and regularly deals with faculty petitions in that capacity.

Chambers and Partners 2023

Commercial Dispute Resolution (Northern Bar):
James Fryer-Spedding is a highly experienced barrister who can provide expert knowledge in chancery and commercial cases. His work includes cases concerning commercial contracts, partnership disputes, professional negligence and insolvency matters. He is also adept at handling contentious probate cases.

Chambers and Partners 2023

Real Estate Litigation (Northern Bar):
James Fryer-Spedding's experience covers the full range of real estate litigation issues and he also has expertise across the breadth of chancery law. His work in ownership disputes and land access matters is particularly noted. Sources praise his strong advocacy.

Chambers and Partners 2023

Partnership (Northern Bar):
James Fryer-Spedding is active across a wide range of commercial and chancery matters, with a notable track record in partnership disputes. He is often instructed in actions for dissolution remedies.

Chambers and Partners 2023

Chancery (Northern Bar):
James Fryer-Spedding is a commercial and chancery litigation specialist acting for private individuals and corporations. He is frequently instructed in professional negligence claims, partnership disputes and corporate insolvency matters.

Chambers and Partners 2023

Commercial, Banking, Insolvency and Chancery Law:
"He is an excellent all-rounder. He is analytical and is great on the detail, but also excellent in building a rapport and delivering difficult messages to clients. He is a tough negotiator and has an excellent manner in court. The judiciary clearly listen to what he says and he has gravitas."

Legal 500 2023

Partnership – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister Band 1
"He's very well prepared, very measured and an effective advocate." "James is persuasive on his feet, very commercial and bright."

Chambers and Partners 2022

Commercial Dispute Resolution – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister Band 2
"He is very good with clients and really good in court. He ticks all the boxes." "His skeleton arguments are very good, he is very sensible and well prepared, and he adopts a very calm, neutral position even with difficult clients. He isn't afraid to have an argument in court and is a refreshing opponent." "James is very focused and has encyclopedic knowledge of the law. He is very approachable and takes the time to explain points you do not understand and also explains at length the reason for his opinion and recommended course of action."

Chambers and Partners 2022

Real Estate Litigation:
"He is extremely knowledgeable, practical and to the point. He has a great manner with clients and is quick to assess the issues and best course of action."

Chambers and Partners 2022

Chancery (Northern Bar):
"James's knowledge of the law of contentious trusts and probate is exemplary."

Chambers and Partners 2022

Ecclesiastical Law: All Circuits
"A good advocate who knows how to get on the right side of a judge."

Chambers and Partners 2022

Commercial and Property:
"James is an excellent barrister - very calm and clear with clients and with judges. A great technical grasp of the issues, and a great pleasure to work with."

Legal 500 2022

Real Estate Litigation:
"He is a persuasive advocate." "He cuts to the chase and gets the point across clearly and quickly." "He is calm and great with clients. He is very thoroughly prepared and a pleasure to deal with."

Chambers and Partners 2021

Ecclesiastical Law: All Circuits
"A very good advocate who is extremely helpful to those who instruct him."

Chambers and Partners 2021

Chancery (Northern Bar): Leading Barrister
"He has a good sense of the strengths and weaknesses of his own case." "He has a very easy presence which appeals to clients and people who deal with him in court."

Chambers and Partners 2021

Commercial, Banking, Insolvency and Chancery Law: Leading Junior Band 1
"An excellent all-rounder."

Legal 500 2020

Partnership – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister Band 2
"He's really bright and incredibly user-friendly. He tries to find a practical solution, not just theoretical answers. He is great on paper, has a really pleasant manner with clients and is really good on his feet. He conducts cross-examination in a charming way. He's very effective."

Chambers and Partners 2020

Chancery – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister Band 2
“He is very hard-working and obviously on top of his case." "Client handling is his strength and he picks the good argument and runs with it. You know if there is a point to be taken he will have spotted it.”

Chambers and Partners 2020

Commercial Dispute Resolution – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister Band 2
"He is really bright and incredibly user-friendly. He tries to find practical solutions and not just theoretical answers, and has a really pleasant manner with clients. He's really good on his feet and is a charming cross-examiner." "He commands the respect of the local bench and is fabulous with clients. He's a reliable and approachable barrister."

Chambers and Partners 2020

Commercial, Banking, Insolvency and Chancery Law – ranked Tier 1
“Imperturbable and dynamic.”

Legal 500 2019

Commercial Dispute Resolution – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister (Band 2)
"He is very clever, unflappable and always on the ball. He puts clients at ease and his advice is always given with enormous clarity."
"He is first class – his pleadings are excellent and he is a great strategist."
"He is one of the most approachable and hard-working barristers – experienced and extremely impressive on his feet."

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2019

Chancery – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister (Band 2)
"He knows his law and how to take the right points."
"He's very organised, shows great attention to detail and is calm and collected in the court room. He instils confidence in clients because he is able to get his head around the papers very quickly."

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2019

Partnership – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister (Band 2)
"His work is detailed, well prepared and incisive. He's an effective advocate and provides excellent client service."

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2019

"His advocacy is strong and uncompromising."

Chambers and Partners 2018

"He's truly excellent. His attention to detail is superb. Clients love him and judges listen to him."

Chambers and Partners 2018

'An excellent barrister – he is bright, confident and has great client empathy.'

Legal 500, 2017

“Well-regarded and experienced junior with an expansive commercial offering.” “He’s great on detail and very knowledgeable.”

Chambers and Partners 2017

“A very good and persuasive advocate; he always does an excellent job.” “His advice is always clear and he is very good on his feet at trial.”

Chambers and Partners 2017

‘Knowledgeable, responsive, commercial and genuinely able to provide good client care.'

Legal 500, 2016

"Highly regarded practitioner with considerable experience across the range of chancery and commercial issues. Areas of expertise include partnership disputes, insolvency and commercial contracts. 'Brilliant - very thorough, very good with clients. Clear and concise.' 'Extremely able and responsive, excellent when working with clients and a pleasure to work with. '"

Chambers and Partners 2016

"Highly experienced in chancery and commercial litigation, and particularly skilled at professional negligence claims, partnership disputes and bankruptcy and corporate insolvency matters. He has additional strength in traditional chancery work including estate administration and probate. 'A very thorough and proactive lawyer.' 'He is very bright, unflappable and good in both pure and commercial chancery work.'"

Chambers and Partners 2016

"He's very highly regarded, and highly technical in his approach." "He offers value for money, is very good with clients, and is able to explain and offer practical solutions which are well received by both clients and solicitors."

Chambers & Partners 2015

"He is an extremely sound lawyer. He deeply immerses himself in the cases that he is instructed in, and has a very client-friendly manner." "His skeleton arguments are excellent and well researched. He does his homework. He's not flamboyant in his questions, but he gets a thorough understanding of the case and presents it accordingly. He's very effective in his cross-examination."

Chambers & Partners 2015

"He gets straight to the point"

Legal 500 2014

"He is an extremely strong advocate; responsive, excellent with clients and a pleasure to work with."

Chambers & Partners 2014

"He has mental agility and the ability to put issues across in a very clear way, to grasp the essentials very quickly and to put it in language that non-lawyers can understand."

Chambers & Partners 2014

"approachable, flexible, and very good with clients"

Legal 500 2013

“James Fryer-Spedding of 9 St John Street is a chancery and commercial litigation purist. He frequently appears in professional negligence, contentious trusts and property cases, among others. An interviewee states that Fryer-Spedding ‘has an excellent reputation. I also have never had a client be disappointed with the way he dealt with a case’… James is ‘highly thorough’ and ‘highly effective,’ admiring sources say. His strong command of legal technicalities was highlighted to researchers.”

Chambers & Partners 2013

"9 St. John Street's James Fryer-Spedding is 'unflappable and excellent with clients'"

Legal 500, 2012

“At 9 St John Street, the ‘intelligent and personable’ James Fryer-Spedding is ‘straightforward and easy to deal with’. His practice is exclusively traditional and commercial chancery, taking in everything from inheritance and succession matters to contracts, property, partnership and insolvency work.”

Chambers & Partners 2012

"recommended for commercial and chancery work"

Legal 500, 2011

"Excellent all round junior - provides thorough yet concise commercial advice"

Legal 500, 2011


James is a well-established, highly regarded barrister of over twenty-five years call. He has vast experience in chancery and commercial law. He is viewed as a very strong advocate able to handle a large volume of paperwork in an expedient, yet thorough manner.

He can simplify the complex and uses a logical, analytical process to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients. Those who instruct James are put at ease by his clear, concise communications and his ability to talk them through the matter with a coherent, strategic viewpoint.


James Fryer-Spedding


  • Construction of wills and trusts, contentious probate, administration actions and "Beddoe" applications.
  • Inheritance Act 1975 applications for and against all classes of applicant.
  • Ranked in Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide – Band 1
  • Ranked in Chambers and Partners (Chancery – Northern (Bar)) – Band 1
  • Legal 500 – Regional Bar – Chancery, Probate & Tax – Band 1


  • Ranked in Chambers and Partners (Partnership – Northern (Bar)) – Band 1


  • Including restrictive covenants, boundary disputes, easements, adverse possession and co-ownership (constructive trust and proprietary estoppel claims, applications to court for orders for sale).
  • Ranked in Chambers and Partners (Real Estate Litigation – Northern (Bar)) - Band 2


  • Including disrepair, possession claims, forfeiture and Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 applications.


  • Legal 500 – Regional Bar – Commercial Litigation – Band 1
  • Ranked in Chambers and Partners (Commercial Dispute Resolution – Northern (Bar)) – Band 2)


  • Solicitors (especially in connection with misconduct of conveyancing and litigation), accountants and surveyors.


  • Goodwin v. Avison [2021] EWHC 2356 (Ch.) – costs – contentious probate claim
  • KSH Farm Ltd v. KSH Plant Ltd. [2021] EWHC 1986 (Ch.) – commercial contract dispute – allegations of duress and undue influence
  • Haandrikman v. Heslam [2021] UKUT 56 (LC) – adverse possession – fencing – grazing – registered land – squatters – transfer of title
  • UK Learning Academy Ltd. v. Secretary of State for Education [2018] EWHC 2915 (Comm) – 13-day trial in the Circuit Commercial Court in Leeds - contract terms – educational institutions – formalities – variation
  • Perry v. Neupert (Ch D - John Martin, KC) 19.7.18 LTL - Administration of Justice Act 1985, s.50 - application to remove a personal representative - joinder
  • Perry v. Neupert [2018] EWHC 1788 (Ch) - Administration of Justice Act 1985, s.50 - application to remove a personal representative - successful appeal against summary judgment
  • Burns v. Burns [2016] EWCA Civ 37 - validity of wills - testamentary capacity - knowledge & approval - mentally impaired testatrix
  • Anselm v. Buckle [2014] EWCA Civ 311 - landlord and tenant - damages
  • JJ Metcalfe Ltd. v. Dennison (LTL 6.12.13 HHJ Raynor, KC, Technology & Construction Court) - civil procedure - construction law
  • Re St Michael and All Angels, Isel (October 2010, Ecclesiastical Law Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2, p.248) right of way - consecrated land - easements - interested person - standing
  • Re Pearce, Decd [1998] 2 FLR 705 - Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 - claim by adult child - appeal to Court of Appeal


  • Confidential Arbitration – professional partnership dissolution dispute
  • Indian Workers Association, Bradford - litigation concerning ownerships of club premises – unincorporated association - constitutional dispute
  • O'Neill v. Holland - dispute between former cohabitees over a valuable portfolio of investment properties
  • Donohoe v. Bannister - proprietary estoppel claim to ownership of the site of stables
  • Successful family provision claim for adult children of an abusive parent - won at trial (Simpson Decd, unreported)
  • Successful defence at trial of the validity of a challenged will - issues of capacity, undue influence, knowledge and approval - associated partnership issues (Bainbridge v. Hebson, unreported, Chancery Division, Manchester, HHJ Pelling, KC)
  • Simpson v. Ridley - 5-day trial - prescriptive claim to a right of way to taxi aircraft
  • Preliminary issue in ancillary relief proceedings - issues as to ownership of valuable farms and partnership property - successfully concluded in favour of client wife
  • Sale of goods - claim concerning the quality of breeze blocks used in the construction of 22 homes - TCC Leeds
  • Professional negligence - solicitors - conveyancing - claim in the High Court concerning the purchase of a home in West Cumbria with numerous title defects
  • Bankruptcy - offshore trust - litigation concerning efficacy of a charging order


Chancellor of the Diocese of Carlisle


Chancery Bar Association,
Northern Chancery Bar Association
Professional Negligence Bar Association
Northern Circuit Commercial Bar Association
Ecclesiastical Judges Association


LLB (Hons), King's College, London (1st class), BCL, New College, Oxford (1st class)

Prescribed Information

James Fryer-Spedding is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about James Fryer-Spedding can be found here.

James Fryer-Spedding's clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that he provides. Their contact details can be found here. It is most common for James Fryer-Spedding to undertake Court, Tribunal or Mediation services for a brief fee plus additional refresher days. For advisory including paperwork and conferences it is most commonly charged at an hourly rate although fixed fees are available. James Fryer-Spedding will typically return paperwork within 21 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.

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