James Wibberley > Chambers of Anna Vigars KC > Bristol, England > Barrister Profile

Chambers of Anna Vigars KC
Guildhall Chambers

Work Department

Employment and discrimination; commercial: professional negligence and indemnity; costs litigation funding; technology and construction.


James is a commercial specialist with experience of dealing with a wide range of disputes within the County Court, High Court and Court of Appeal. He has a particular interest is cases that throw up novel or complex points of law and regularly deals with cases that straddle the divisions between his main practice areas.

James has twice appeared in the Supreme Court in Swynson Limited v Lowick Rose LLP [2017] UKSC 21 (professional negligence; assessment of damages) and Gavin Edmondson Solicitors Limited v Haven Insurance Co Limited [2018] UKSC 21 (costs; solicitor’s equitable lien). He is recommended in Chambers and Partner and the Legal 500 in the fields of Commercial Dispute Resolution, Professional Negligence, and Costs and Litigation Funding.


James has a broad commercial practice focussing primarily on banking and financial services, company/shareholder, partnership, professional negligence, supply of goods and services, and contractual disputes. James also has a keen interest in cases involving restraint of trade, breach of confidence and breaches of fidelity or fiduciary duty, and is regularly brought into cases that straddle his different practice areas such as claims following the sale/purchase of companies or the collapse of business relationships.  He also has experience of dealing with more esoteric commercial work such as intellectual property disputes (including passing off and trade mark infringement) and defamation claims brought by commercial organisations.

Most of James’ work is within the High Court and James has experience of acting as sole counsel in cases worth up to £20 million.  Recent work includes acting for the purchaser of a multi-million pound waste management business in a claim for misrepresentation against its former owners, representing a soft toy company facing a $4million claim for an alleged breach of an exclusive manufacturing agreement, and representing a financial advisor in restraint of trade proceedings following the sale of this IFA business to a national network.

ames has a strong interest in all areas of costs and litigation funding. In addition to dealing with more conventional inter partes costs disputes such as drafting pleadings and attending detailed assessment hearings, James has experience of providing generic advice on the enforceability of funding arrangements, and is regularly asked to advise on issues of coverage and indemnity relating to BTE and ATE insurance agreements.

There is a significant overlap between this area of James’ practice and his wider commercial work. James is therefore ideally placed to advise on solicitor – own client disputes and professional negligence cases involving disputes around the advice given about funding arrangements and/or costs liability.

James has experience of wasted costs and non-party costs applications both in commercial (including applications for costs against directors of insolvent companies) and personal injury disputes. He also deals with disputes surrounding the costs of insolvency proceedings.


  • LLB, Nottingham Law School – First Class
  • History (Modern), Keble College Oxford, First Class

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Costs

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

James WibberleyGuildhall Chambers ‘James is outstanding, the go-to costs counsel in Bristol and the region. He has outstanding attention to detail and unparalleled knowledge of the relevant law. James’ written advice and advocacy is also excellent.’ 

Guildhall Chambersis the go-to set in Bristol and the South West when it comes to costs‘ work. With considerable experience, Oliver Moore heads the nine-strong team, which is instructed in relation to a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters. He specialises in costs appeals in connection with high-value personal injury and clinical negligence claims. James Wibberley’s practice primarily involves advising on litigation funding, as well as solicitor and own-client disputes. John Churchill is particularly experienced handling solicitor and client costs cases recently acted for the respondent in the High Court case Rushbrooke UK Ltd v 4 Design Concepts Ltd, which at the costs stage clarified the law on wasted costs orders against firms of solicitors acting without proper authority.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Professional negligence

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

James WibberleyGuildhall ChambersJames is insightful and incisive and turns around exceptionally high-quality work extraordinarily quickly. He is a brilliant strategist and quickly gets to the heart of the weaknesses in the other side’s position and is also a ruthless advocate.’ 

Guildhall Chambers has an ‘excellent‘ reputation for its professional negligence offering and members appear at all levels, from County Courts to the Supreme Court, in claims against accountants, construction professionals, solicitors and surveyors, amongst others. Holly Doyle regularly handles ‘factually and legally messy disputes‘. She possesses niche expertise in claims against independent financial advisors and insolvency practitioners. Professional negligence and indemnity work forms a core part of Hugh Sims KC’s commercial practice, while James Wibberley primarily acts in claims against solicitors, accountants, and construction professionals heard in the High Court.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Company and insolvency

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

James Wibberley  – Guildhall Chambers ‘James is very personable, client friendly and is an innovative thinker with sound commercial understanding. He is very sharp and reactive during cross-examination and is clear and concise in every point he makes. James also has a great ability to read opponents, witnesses and judges and makes the right calls based on his astute observations.’ 

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Commercial litigation

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

James WibberleyGuildhall ChambersJames is insightful and incisive. He turns around exceptionally high quality work extraordinarily quickly.  He is a brilliant strategist and a ruthless advocate – brilliant at exposing the weaknesses in the other side’s position and presenting them to judges.’