James Legg > Chambers of David Berkley QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of David Berkley QC

Work Department



James is a family law specialist with a level of experience beyond his year of call acquired as a result of being instructed in many complex cases. His practice encompasses the following areas:

Family finance

James is regularly instructed in a broad spectrum of financial settlement proceedings including matters relating to matrimonial finance, Schedule 1 applications, transfers of tenancy, enforcement, applications for interim relief (such as maintenance pending suit) and trust disputes. James has recently been instructed in cases involving complex cross-jurisdictional property disputes involving third-party interveners.

He also advises and represents clients in proceedings relating to cohabitation claims, with a particular interest in those made under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA), and enforcement of child maintenance payments.

Children – Private law

James’s private law children practice encompasses the full range of applications under the Children Act, including applications for Child Arrangements Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders and Specific Issue Orders. He regularly appears in proceedings that are considering issues of residence, contact, schooling, removal of children from the jurisdiction and surrogacy. James also has a particular expertise in cases involving suspected parental alienation and intended relocation.

Children – Public law

James has a wealth of experience of representing all parties in care proceedings, including the children acting through their guardians and prospective special guardians. He is regularly instructed in multiday final hearings and has had a busy appellate practice. James frequently appears in proceedings involving vulnerable clients, cross-examination of expert witnesses, allegations of non-accidental injuries and sexual abuse, and applications for adoptive orders.

Other relevant experience

James has been instructed in cases involving applications for declarations of parentage, non-molestation orders and occupation orders. He is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access Scheme.

In addition to his experience within the courts of this jurisdiction, when working for the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights in Phnom Penh James drafted legal submissions to the Supreme Court of Cambodia on behalf of a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Member of the Cambodian Parliament. He also spent time providing legal assistance to inmates facing the death penalty in prisons across north-eastern Botswana and has worked alongside the Law Society of England and Wales in responding to international human rights abuses.

James was also previously engaged as a consultant with the highly reputable city firm, McCue & Partners, providing advice and practical assistance in an international dispute relating to government backed investment portfolios.

James is dedicated to utilising his skills to benefit his community and has provided pro-bono family and civil law assistance at community centres.


Having been raised in southern Africa, James has a keen interest in all sports and represented Botswana at junior international cricket tournaments. James is an ardent long distance runner, having completed the Cologne and London Marathons. He is also a diehard Newcastle United fan.


James speaks basic Afrikaans, Setswana, French and Spanish.


  • BPTC (College of Law)
  • LLM International Law – University College London
  • LLB Law (London Metropolitan University)

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > South Eastern Circuit > Family and children law

(Leading Juniors: Child Law (Public and Private)) Ranked: Tier 3

James Legg3PBHis knowledge far exceeds his year of call and his ability to think outside the box is incredible.

Nicola Martin and James Legg are the key names to note at 3PB, with Martin involved in high net worth ancillary relief proceedings and care cases, while Legg’s focus lies on children cases. The set, whose members are instructed by both well-respected private client and Legal Aid firms alike, has ‘great depth of knowledge and a greater ability to cover matters around the country‘.