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Mr James Cliff

Call: 2008

Practice Areas


Personal Injury

James has considerable experience of all types of Personal Injury litigation. He is regularly instructed to act in high value claims concerning employers and occupiers liability and as a result he has been placed on the approved counsel panel for J Sainsbury plc and is regularly instructed to represent them in complex and high value multi-track cases. James also acts for both Claimants and Defendants in Product Liability cases, including but not limited to, breaches of Sections 2 and 3 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 arising out of defective consumer and commercial products. James deals with cases from the advisory stage, pleadings, the interlocutory stage (including costs-case management) through to trial. He is happy to consider acting on a conditional fee basis and can arrange to turn papers around on short notice on request.


James has attended interim hearings in serious and fatal accident cases, representing both corporate and individual defendants. He has assisted leading Counsel by providing both research and advice in relation to gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter charges. James grounding in personal injury litigation, combined with his increasing experience of regulatory work, has made him very familiar with the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the statutory regimes it has introduced.


James represents companies, public bodies and individuals at inquests. He has extensive experience of cases that arise out of accidents at work and road traffic accidents as well as dealing with Article 2 inquests.

Notable Cases

Personal Injury

Neary & Neary v Bedspace Resource Ltd (2015): James acted on behalf of both Claimants. This case raised the novel question as to whether each Claimant was entitled to an award of fixed costs under CPR 45.29B, or are they limited to one award of fixed costs between them? His Honour Judge Pearce ruled that where there are multiple successful Claimants within the same claim, their legal representative is entitled to the equivalent number of fixed fees and trial advocacy fees. James was therefore able to recover costs for each Claimant.

Pickard v Wincanton Group Limited & J Sainsbury Plc: James represented J Sainsbury Plc who were the second Defendant in a multi-track case in which the Claimant had been crushed during a HGV delivery. The Claimant withdrew his case against J Sainsbury plc following James submissions in relation to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Baljit Singh Mann v J Sainsbury Plc: James represented J Sainsbury plc who were the Defendants in a very high value multi-track case which involved a Claimant who, as a result of the Defendants negligence, was alleging he had developed Complex Pain Syndrome.

Mr Stephen Storr v (1) Opus Industrial Services Limited (2) AMEC Group Plc:  Represented second Defendant in a scaffolding collapse matter in which the Claimant was injured. Matter settled against the second Defendant following James submissions in relation to whether the Claimant was carrying out Construction Work within the meaning of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 at the relevant time and if said regulations applied to the second Defendant.

Mrs Karen Hipkiss v West Midlands Travel Limited: Acted on behalf of the Defendant in a complex and sensitive case involving facial scaring and disfigurement.

Mr Leslie Tassell v Amey Services Ltd: Represented Claimant at a trial on quantum in a complex multi-track case in which the Claimant had lost most of his hearing due to an explosion at the plant where he worked.

Desmond Anyigwi v Lean On Me Ltd: Representing the Claimant in a multi-track matter in which the Claimant, whilst working as a carer in a patients home, tripped and fell. As a result of the fall he suffered blunt trauma to the right eye resulting in a traumatic macular hole in his right eye. As a result of this, his vision has been recorded at being 6/60 (10% of the normal range).

Tobias v Easyjet Plc: Represented a quadriplegic Claimant who suffered a scrotal injury which resulted in him not being able to have any further children.



R (HSE) v Amec & Buro Happold: James assisted Mr. Ageros of Crown Office Chambers, who was acting on behalf of a major multinational construction company in both an inquest and trial. This concerned a fatality during a large CDM project, which resulted in the company being charged with breaches under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. This was a tremendously complex case which involved live evidence from 40 witnesses and many thousands of documents.

R (HSE) v W Carroll and Sons Ltd: James worked on behalf of the Defendant company who were charged with an offence of failing to comply with a health and safety duty, namely the duty to conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure that non-employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety, contrary to section 3(1) and 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 after a sub-contractor was seriously injured when he fell from a roof while carrying a bag of asbestos board. As a result of the fall, he was rendered tetraplegic and will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. James provided an advice on plea, basis of plea and conducted the Newton trial.



Jordanna Goodwin and Megan Story (both deceased): Inquest into the deaths of two 16-year-olds, who were killed in a car crash in South Yorkshire. The crash also claimed the lives of three other teenagers. The inquest attracted both national and local media coverage including BBC and ITV news, the Metro and the Sheffield Star.

The Redfern Inquiry into Human Tissue Analysis in UK Nuclear Facilities: James was appointed by Michael Redfern QC as part of a team to investigate concerns that body tissue, including bone and organs had been removed from deceased nuclear workers for tests without the consent of relatives.


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