James has broad experience of compulsory purchase and compensation work, in particular in the context of urban regeneration and major infrastructure projects. His caseload of compensation claims is usually in excess of £100 million. Chambers and Partners have described him as "a star of the CPO world".
He is an editor of the 2-volume loose-leaf encyclopaedia 'Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Service' (Bloomsbury Publishing), and a co-author of 'The Law of Compulsory Purchase” (now in its 3rd edition). As a member of the Compulsory Purchase Association, he delivered its annual Law Reform Lecture in 2016, and has twice spoken at its annual conference.
He has 100% success rate in promoting CPOs. He acts for both claimants and acquiring authorities in compensation claims, having gained invaluable experience handing the compensation claims arising from the Olympic Park acquisitions and the acquisitions for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. He acted successfully for the London Borough of Southwark in its challenge to the controversial Aylesbury decision, eventually securing the Secretary of State's consent to judgment. Additional CPO experience arises from work on Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (for details please click here). As well as regular advocacy, he has a strong advisory practice in these areas, with particular focus on strategic case planning to maximise or minimise compensation as appropriate to the client.
Examples of work
- Leech Homes v Northumberland Council –  (decision pending) – acting for acquiring authority resisting CAAD appeal before the Tribunal.
- Curzon Park Ltd and Others v Secretary of State for Transport  UKUT 0037 (LC) – successfully acting for Claimant on preliminary issue concerning Certificates of Appropriate Alternative Development.
- Handling several substantial claims against HS2 in London, Birmingham and elsewhere along the route.
- Crossrail claims on behalf of Billingsgate Market.
- William Hill v Birmingham City Council (2016) - acted for an acquiring authority on business disturbance claim.
- Trustees of Borough Market v TfL (2015) - disturbance compensation arising from Thameslink (2015)
- Manchester University (2015) - advising the University on disturbance based objections arising from the proposed Northern Hub railway works.
- Ferguson Estates v TfL (2015) - Crossrail, disturbance and land value compensation.
- Balcombe v Veolia (2015) - disturbance compensation arising from laying of water pipes.
- Robert Dias v TfL(2014) - disturbance compensation arising from Crossrail.
- Clearun v GLA (2014) - front-runner Olympic compensation case establishing compensation on existing use rather than redevelopment basis for acquisitions in the Olympic park.
- Bishopsgate Parking v Welsh Assembly  UKUT 22 (LC) - £60+ million compensation claim.
- Successfully acting for the LDA in the compensations claims in Acrofame  UKUT 107, and Solartrack  UKUT 158, securing costs in each case.
- Over 200 subsoil claims before the Lands Tribunal which arose from the London Tunnels section of HS1 (2009/ 2010).
- Kent County Council v Union Railways North Ltd  EWCA Civ 363, acted for the successful claimant in the leading case on omitted interests.
- Kent County Council v Union Railways  23 EG 117, on the entitlement to compensation when no notice to treat is served.
- Bocardo SA v Star Energy UK Ltd  EWCA Civ 279, instructed to advise successful oil company on valuation of rights to extract oil through third party land under the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act 1966.
- Solartrack v London Development Agency  UKUT (LT) 242, acting for the LDA striking out a compensation claim on estoppel and other grounds.
- Advising Homes England in respect of CPO for strategic housing delivery at Chalgrove Airfield, Oxfordshire (ongoing)
- Major estate regeneration CPOs in Wandsworth (ongoing)
- Hackney Woodberry Down Phase 3 (2019)
- Canterbury City Council (St. Margaret’s Street) CPO 2018
- Brentford High Street Regeneration CPO (2018)
- Thamesmead Regeneration CPO (2017)
- Two housing regeneration CPOs for the London Borough of Hackney (2017).
- South Oxhey Regeneration Scheme (2016) - acting for promoter.
- Brent Cross Regeneration (2016) - objections on behalf of Marks & Spencer.
- Solihull Touchwood Shopping Centre (2015) - acted for promoter.
- Watford Health Campus redevelopment (2015) - acting for promoter.
- Former Gasworks site, Southall (2015) - objections to CPO on behalf of LB Hillingdon and the Canal and River Trust.
- Croydon Town Centre regeneration (2015) - objections to CPO.
- Eastbourne Arndale Centre (2015) - objections to CPO.
- Watford Intu Shopping centre redevelopment (2014) - acting for promoter.
- Four housing regeneration CPOs for LB Hackney (2014).
- Burbo Bank Off-shire Windfarm (2014) - CPO for the cable element of the project.
- Willington C Gas Pipeline (2014) - CPO for the gas supply pipeline to link to the Willington C power station.
- Whitemoss Landfill site (2014) - development consent order, including compulsory purchase powers, for new hazardous waste landfill site.
- Avon Cosmetics (2012) - resisting compulsory acquisition of land around Avon's European Headquarters.
- Successfully promoting CPO's for the London Olympics (2006), SEEDA (2008), Tameside Council (2011) and Gosport Council (2010).