Mr James Malam > Chambers of Bill Braithwaite QC > Manchester, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Bill Braithwaite QC
Exchange Chambers
M3 3NW

Work Department

Commercial; Professional Negligence; Construction; Insurance


James was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 2002, having been granted its Lord Justice Holker Award, and completed a Chancery and Commercial pupillage at the Chambers of Geoffrey Vos QC, 3 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn. On completing his pupillage James joined Fishburns Solicitors, where he specialised in insurance and professional negligence work. During 2007, James spent six months working as a Judicial Assistant to the Court of Appeal, where he was assistant to Lord Justice Carnwath.

James practices in most areas of commercial and commercial chancery law, with a particular emphasis on professional negligence, construction and insurance matters

Professional Negligence

James has extensive experience acting both on behalf of claimants and defendants in disputes involving professionals such as architects, civil and structural engineers, insurance brokers, surveyors, estate agents, solicitors, accountants and tax advisors. He has also worked with those of a more niche profession, such as agronomists. 


James advises and represents professionals and clients in a range of matters within the technology and construction fields. His practice encompasses construction disputes under the main forms of contract (including JCT, FIDIC and the RIBA standard terms) and technology disputes dealing with matters ranging diversely from diving bells and underperforming wind turbines, to website design and search engine optimisation.

James’ experience encompasses frequent appearances in the Technology and Construction Courts, and acting in arbitrations (including internationally) and in adjudications and enforcement of adjudication awards.


James has substantial experience of advising and representing insurers, insureds and insurance brokers in all manner of disputes arising from insurance policies, including policy avoidance (whether for misrepresentation or breach of the duty of good faith), declinature of claims and the construction of the parties’ rights more generally.

Example Cases

Peaktone Ltd v. Jodrell [2013] 1 WLR 784, [2013] 1 All ER 13. Successfully represented the Respondent in first Court of Appeal case on interpretation of s.1032 Companies Act 2006: whether restoration of a company to the Register was retroactive so as to validate proceedings issued against it while struck off.

Representing a bankrupt at first instance and on appeal in resisting the Trustee’s claim to after acquired property which the bankrupt alleged was subject to a Quistclose purpose trust. Successfully sought permission for a second appeal to the Court of Appeal, after which the matter settled

Claim for £340,000 due under a contract for the manufacture of diving bell for the Spanish coastguard. Raised issues of incorporation of standard form contract terms and the extent to which it was acceptable to rectify defects during commissioning.

Acting for the former supervisor of an IVA successfully resisting an appeal and an application to the Court of Appeal for a second appeal in an application to annul a bankruptcy arising from the IVA.


Called 2002.


  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Northern Circuit Commercial Bar Association
  • Court of Protection Practitioners Association


  • Bar Vocational Course, Nottingham Law School, Very Competent, 2002
  • Lord Justice Holker Award, Gray’s Inn, 2001
  • LLB (Hons) Law, University of Sheffield, 2001
  • Plessington High School, Wirral, 1991-1998

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Commercial litigation

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 2

James MalamExchange ChambersJames is quick to identify the key issues and gets to grips with the case within a short period of time, performing well at trial.

Exchange Chambers is a ‘very impressive commercial set‘ that has ‘real strength, depth and quality‘. The set displays expertise in corporate and personal insolvency work, shareholder, company and partnership litigation and disputes, commercial fraud. David Mohyuddin QC  has a broad commercial litigation practice with expertise in handling fraud and deceit allegations. Carly Sandbach  handles a wide variety of commercial litigation cases and represents banks, multi-nationals, small businesses, professional firms and private individuals. David Went is also noted and represented Road Haulage Association in Road Haulage Association Limited v MAN SE and ors, a leg of the truck cartel competition law case. The ‘excellentJames Malam and Stephen Connolly who is a ‘strong technical lawyer‘ are also noted. Giles Maynard-Connor QC took Silk in the 2021 round, and Mark Cawson QC (as was) was appointed to the bench in November 2020.

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Professional negligence

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 1

James MalamExchange Chambers ‘Strong technical advice, clear and robust drafting of pleadings, incisive and effective advocacy. Also very easy and pleasant to work with, and prepared to give an off-the-cuff view if asked and to work through the wider strategy of a claim with us. Understands the requirements and priorities of insurer clients.’

Exchange Chambers is praised for being ‘modern and forward-facing, a real force in the Manchester market‘. The team displays expertise across a wide range of professional liability work. George Rowell is a professional negligence specialist with a strong background in tax law; he is praised for being ‘meticulous in his attention to detail‘ and ‘unrivalled‘ legal knowledge. James Malam has substantial experience acting for both claimants and defendants in professional negligence disputes for a range of professionals including those in the legal and financial services industries. Mark Cawson QC, as was, was appointed as civil circuit judge in November 2020.

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Property and construction

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 1

James MalamExchange Chambers