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James Hurd

Year of call 1994, Gray's Inn  

Areas of Expertise
Employment, Regulatory and Professional Discipline Group, Insurance Fraud, Inquests & Public Inquiries, Personal Injury, Travel & International Personal Injury Law

Personal Injury:
"James has excellent attention to detail and he is quick to cut through any chaff straight to the salient information and points. He inspires confidence in his advocacy and has a very good bedside manner with clients."

Legal 500 2024

"James's preparation is meticulous, which is manifest by the sound legal analysis which he employs in his skeleton arguments. His precise advocacy is easy for any judge to follow such that it undermines the opponent’s application or case with compelling subtlety; a first rate advocate."

Legal 500 2024

Personal Injury: "James is a fantastic all round advocate. He is approachable but professional at all times. His turnaround of work is incredible but he maintains attention to detail and gets to the crux of the legal issues very quickly. James is calm and thorough when explaining technical issues to clients and his written advice is considered and logical. He is extremely reliable and responsive."

Legal 500 2023

Employment: "James is extremely competent, technically excellent, and a highly skilled advocate. He is professional, friendly and approachable, fantastic with clients and easily contactable."

Legal 500 2023

Personal Injury:
"Attention to detail is second to none and always responds to any queries in a highly efficient manner. Grasps the issues of a case very quickly and advises accordingly. Intelligent, professional and reliable whilst being down to earth and approachable. Really good people skills. These qualities make him an excellent advocate."

Legal 500 2022

"James is able to put clients at ease with his friendly but professional approach, a skilled advocate and extremely efficient in drafting complex pleadings."

Legal 500 2022

Employment: Leading Junior Band 2
"Recent work includes defending against disability discrimination and stress at work claims."

Legal 500 2020

Personal Injury: Leading Junior Band 2
"Always identifies the key issues and potential weakness in a case."

Legal 500 2020

Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence – ranked Tier 1
“Clients appreciate his practical advice.”

Legal 500 2019

Employment – ranked Tier 1
“Congenial, sagacious and conscientious.”

Legal 500 2019

"He has great client communication skills."

Legal 500 2017

"He is knowledgeable, approachable and quickly turns work around."

Legal 500 2017

"An assertive cross-examiner with excellent judgement."

Legal 500 2016

"Always turns work around in a very reasonable time and is punctual in returning instructions."

Legal 500 2015

"He does not give up easily, and demonstrates unflagging enthusiasm throughout the case."

Legal 500 2015

Knowledgeable, practical and helpful

Legal 500 2014

He makes well-timed decisions to meet the needs of the situation.

Legal 500 2014

works very hard, and relishes a good challenge

Legal 500 2013

a very good grasp of complex factual and legal issues

Legal 500 2012


James is described by the Legal 500 as a Leading Junior on the Northern Circuit in relation to both Personal Injury and Employment work. Being able to be considered a respected expert in both practice areas gives James a somewhat unique position in Chambers. He is able to combine solid, strong advocacy with sensitive intelligence. He is able to distil issues down to their key elements, understand and advance key arguments and do so while remaining calm and in control. James combines his technical ability with practicality - always having a strong focus on the commercial realities of any situation. He is both approachable and friendly and prides himself on his excellent reputation for providing a high standard of customer service and an efficient turnaround on paperwork.

Outside of work, James enjoys creative writing, music, football, classic cars and motorcycles, cinema, and travel. James is a published author, with his debut novel, 'A Bold Deceiver', being set in Manchester in the 1990's (see for further details)



James undertakes multi track personal injury litigation on behalf of both Claimants and Defendant insurers. He also receives regular instructions on behalf of other institutional Defendants in the public sector.

He is often instructed in cases of high value/catastrophic injuries, requiring expert evidence and the drafting of extensive and complex schedules and counter schedules of loss. He deals with complex trials, as well as advising on paper and in conference.

He also has a huge amount of experience in conducting Joint Settlement Meetings:

  • Acted for Claimant at JSM: claim settled for figure in excess of £1million, for PSTD and complex physical injuries following high speed road traffic accident.
  • Acted for Defendant at JSM, where Claimant had developed psychiatric illness in the workplace, caused by homophobic abuse and being required to handle corpses, following traumatic or unnatural deaths.
  • Acted for Defendant in Highways Act claim arising out of for ice on motorway, resulting in upper limb amputation.
  • Obtained six figure settlement for pedestrian Claimant who suffered life changing physical and psychiatric injuries when struck by car on pavement close to his home.

As a keen motorcyclist, he is also often instructed in relation to motorcycle claims. He has a detailed knowledge and personal experience from riding for over 30 years. Road traffic and highways work from a considerable part of his practice and he is regularly instructed by Defendant insurers in relation to fraud cases where fundamental dishonesty is alleged.

He has a vast amount of experience in advising and conducting road traffic claims, including:

  • Staged accidents/exaggerated claims & phantom passengers,
  • Fraud rings and linked accident claims,
  • Late notification of claims defences,
  • Bogus/opportunistic injury claims,
  • Low speed impact defences,
  • Disputed causation/inconsistent medical records/credibility issues,
  • Intelligence gathering and inconsistent social media evidence,
  • Exceptions to QOWCS, fundamental dishonesty and Section 57 of the Criminal Justice & Courts Act 2015.

James also acts on behalf of travel/tour operators defending fraud allegations in holiday illness litigation and accidents abroad.


James mainly undertakes Respondent work in the Employment Tribunal. He has considerable expertise in dealing with complex discrimination and whistle-blowing ET cases, especially in the public sector. Recent examples include:

  • Defending disability discrimination claim by legal representative who developed PTSD after accompanying terrorist suspect/informant during multiple police interviews.
  • Successfully represented public sector client in the EAT in respect of the strike out of whistleblowing detriment claims, which had not been properly particularised.
  • Successfully defended claim for sexual orientation discrimination, after Claimant was disciplined for leaving work IT equipment in bar on Canal Street in Manchester.
  • Successfully defended constructive dismissal claim by Director, alleging employees had been bribed by the managing director to give false evidence in grievance investigation.

James frequently advises both Claimants and Defendant insurers on issues that span both employment and personal injury law, such as claims for psychiatric injury in the workplace, stress at work, and bullying/harassment claims pursuant to the Harassment Act 1997. James also has an excellent understanding of disciplinary and regulatory law. He sists as a Legal Assessor for the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and as a Legal Advisor to Social Work England.


As an accredited public access barrister, James is able to accept advice and advocacy work directly from individuals or businesses through the Public Access Scheme, and is happy to discuss fixed fee or retainer rates for such work.


As part of a continuing commitment to building and enhancing client relationships, James regularly gives training seminars to clients on legal developments. He is happy to devise bespoke training, tailored to clients' requirements, to deliver at their businesses or remotely.


Junior Counsel to the Crown (Regional Panel) - appointed 2007 and re-appointed 2010, 2015 and 2020 (A Panel)
Legal Assessor to the Health and Care Professions Council (2010)
Legal Assessor for Social Work England (2019)
Deputy District Judge (2022)
Bar Standards Board - Member of the Independent Decision-Making Body


Personal Injury Bar Association
Employment Law Bar Association
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers


LLB (Hons) University of Birmingham

Prescribed Information

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

James Hurd's clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that he provides. The Employment clerks contact details can be found here, and the Personal Injury clerks contact details can be found here. It is most common for James Hurd to undertake Court or Tribunal for a fixed fee or brief fee plus additional refresher days. For advisory work, drafting and conferences it is most commonly charged at an hourly rate, although fixed fees are available. Conditional Fee Agreements will be considered in cases with favourable prospects of success. James Hurd will typically return paperwork within 14 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.

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