Called to the Bar in 2006, James began his career working as a criminal barrister. Regularly appearing before juries and the Court of Appeal, James grew a reputation amongst his peers and clients as a considered and persuasive advocate and quickly began to accept instructions in only the most serious financial and regulatory crime. James’s ‘career in crime’ reached its zenith when he was instructed to act as junior counsel on behalf of the Serious Fraud Office in respect of prosecuting the LIBOR fixing scandal. This series of cases has received worldwide attention.
Looking for new challenges, James started to accept instructions in Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury. It was a revelation from which he has not looked back. Now an established practitioner at one of London’s leading chambers, 9 Gough Square, James joins Complete Counsel with the intention of growing his practice further so he can genuinely call himself a heavyweight in the field.
The keystone to his success is simple; he is approachable, compassionate, hard-working and professional.
With a wife who practices as a doctor, James has a first-hand no-holds barred insight into the unique pressures, experiences and systems of a medical professional and the hospital environment they operate in.
James accepts both Claimant and Defendant instructions (inc. NHSLA and private individuals). His work is wide ranging, covering all aspects of clinical negligence from cosmetic and dental surgery to data protection to claims arising out of hypoxia at birth. James is as comfortable dealing with high value claims of the utmost severity as he is with lower value claims that have difficult causation or evidential issues.
James is currently LexisNexis’s expert on consent issues and has drafted a range of practice notes on the subject.
James accepts instructions in respect of industrial disease, particularly asbestos exposure, road traffic matters, work place accidents, and public and occupiers liability. He recently assisted in the writing of the new chapter about limitation periods in “Asbestos Claims: Law, Practice and Procedure” (3rd Edition), published by 9 Gough Square.
Of particular interest to James are accidents in foreign jurisdictions. Recently, James has been instructed to advise on quantum by a leading Claimant solicitors in respect of numerous fatal accident claims being brought as a result of the terrorist attack that killed 30 British citizens on a beach and hotel complex in Tunisia in 2015.
James is currently LexisNexis’s expert on catastrophic injuries and has drafted a range of practice notes on the subject.
Closely associated with his clinical negligence practice, James has represented various interested parties in the Coroner’s court.
Currently James is instructed by both Claimants and Defendants in a number of product liability cases, especially claims relating to medical/cosmetic products and equipment.
Recently, along with Tom Goodhead (also of Complete Counsel), James was instructed to represent a large group of claimants in respect of the ongoing Volkswagon defeat device scandal. In particular James has assisted with advice in respect to the crossover between criminal/civil actions and the tactics of how and when to apply for a group litigation order against competing claimant groups.
This is an area of his practice that James is keen to grow.
Charles Feeny is a Barrister and a Legal Analyst. He practises as a Barrister with support from Complete Counsel, an innovative digital business providing services to Barristers. His activities as a Legal Analyst are focused on the web-based project, Pro-Vide Law.
Charles began his practice as a general common law practitioner and in his early years had very extensive advocacy experience, including jury advocacy. As the trend for specialisation of the Bar developed, his practice became centered on personal injury work where it remains, in particular, in high value personal injury actions, industrial disease claims and clinical negligence litigation. There are clear similarities in the challenges faced in such areas of work involving, as they do, complex medical, technical and legal issues.
Charles has been acknowledged as a leading specialist in his practice fields for many years. He has achieved the highest ratings in legal directories, including the status of star individual in Chambers UK Directory, both in relation to clinical negligence and personal injury work. Whilst Charles is usually associated with Defendant instruction, he has a significant and developing Claimant practice, in particular in clinical negligence work.
Charles has appeared in over 50 reported cases and has been the cutting edge of litigation in his specialist fields for nearly two decades. In particular, he has appeared in,
- Briody v St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust , claim for damages for surrogacy in clinical negligence.
- Matthews v Portland Cement , part of the Fairchild litigation.
- Maguire v Harland and Wolff , leading case on date of knowledge for mesothelioma.
- Barker v Corus UK Limited , application of Fairchild principle and apportionment in mesothelioma claims.
- Shortell v Bical Construction , causation in asbestos related carcinoma of the lung.
- Sienkiewicz v Grief UK Limited , application of Fairchild principle to low level exposures.
- Williams v University of Birmingham , contemporaneous knowledge of risk in mesothelioma claims.
- McCarthy v Marks and Spencers , liability for low level exposure in mesothelioma claims.
- Reaney v University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust , approach to causation in clinical negligence where breach has exacerbated pre-existing disability.
Charles is regularly invited to lecture on legal, medical and technical issues in his specialised fields. He has published extensively, in particular, in 2013 an article by him, “The Dust Settles? Fairchild to Williams”, was published in the leading Australian academic journal, Tort Law Review.
In 2013, he ,with others ,established Pro-Vide Law to act as a focus for lecturing, training and writing activity. Pro-Vide Law operates through a website with a number of contributors and organises training events.
In 2015, Charles left Chambers and became a sole practitioner. He established Complete Counsel which operates as a digital support business for Barristers, but also with dedicated support in terms of practice development, financial management and paralegal support. Complete Counsel aims to provide an efficient, economic service for Barristers which will enable them to practise successfully in a developing and changing market for legal services.
In 2016, Complete Counsel will launch its sister company, Complete Mediation, which intends to provide, amongst other things, a specialist mediation service for the settlement of personal injury and clinical negligence disputes.