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James Kemp
Call 1999
Specialisms: Chancery, Mental Health, Business, Agriculture, Regulatory, Personal Injury Clinical Negligence
James Kemp CV
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Tel: 0191 232 1927


James Kemp


James is an experienced Chancery practitioner regularly appearing in the relevant courts and tribunals and acknowledged by his repeated inclusion in the Legal 500 for this area.  In addition he is also a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and also heads Trinity’s Agricultural practice group. He appears regularly in the Court of Protection with a property and affairs slant and is experienced in representing various parties at inquests.


Wills, Probate and Administration of Estates

Interpretation of wills and deeds of variation, intestacy, challenges to wills, probate actions, removal and substitution of personal representatives, issues arising out of the administration of estates, claims under the Inheritance Act and applications to the court for directions and orders.

Trusts and Settlements

The variation, rectification and termination of trusts. Interpretation of trust documentation, challenges to the validity of trusts, administration of trusts, removal of trustees, allegations of breach of trust and tracing against trustees and third parties.

Land and Real Property

Land registration issues, adverse possession and title issues; equitable interests in land, including trusts of land, co-ownership (TOLATA) and proprietary estoppel, trespass, nuisance and boundary disputes, mortgages, easements, restrictive and positive covenants, commons and village greens.

Landlord and Tenant

Commercial, residential and agricultural tenancies. Interpretation of leases, forfeiture and actions for breach of covenant, statutory regulation of tenancies including business tenancy renewals, leasehold enfranchisement and extension, service charges and commonhold.

Commercial and Business

Consumer and commercial contracts, sale of goods, company and partnership law, directors' duties and liabilities (including disqualification), professional negligence and insolvency.


Anderson v Spencer [2018] EWCA Civ 100, [2018] 2 F.C.R. 1
Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of Jackson J in that the High Court had an inherent jurisdiction to direct that DNA extracted from a sample provided by a deceased person while he was alive should be used for paternity testing after his death. The consent of the deceased's personal representative was not required.

Spencer v Anderson (Paternity Testing: Jurisdiction) [2016] EWHC 851 (Fam); [2016] Fam. 391; [2016] 3 W.L.R. 905; [2017] 2 All E.R. 846; [2017] 1 F.L.R. 1204; (2016) 151 B.M.L.R. 92; [2016] Fam. Law 808;

Phipson on Evidence 19th Ed.
Chapter: Chapter 15 - Identification
Documents: (a) - DNA evidence
White Book 2018
Chapter: Section A - Civil Procedure Rules 1998 and Practice Directions
Documents: Practice Direction 23BPD.3 Applications Under Particular Statutes

H v J et al  - High Court, Chancery Division, Newcastle District Registry
Representing successful claimant in her application for the pronouncement of a will, challenged on capacity, undue influence and want of knowledge and approval. Proceeded only on capacity in submissions the other two being dropped after cross-examination of the defendant. Will duly pronounced.

M v M – Newcastle County Court
Successful claim for rights of way across the Defendant’s land by doctrine of lost modern grant, and propriety estoppel. Damages also awarded for obstruction.

Geo A Carter v Whorlton and Westwick Parish Council  - Leeds County Court
Acting for the successful Claimant for a declaration that a right of way was for residential use over a village green in addition that the building of three new properties requiring use for the right of way would not be an excessive burden and within the original grant.

G v G – First Tier Property Tribunal
Acting for successful applicant before the Property Tribunal in determining a boundary over a communal driveway, involving interpretation of pre registration conveyances, intrinsic evidence, and boundary agreements.

Crosbie v Potto Hall Management Ltd – First Tier Property tribunal
Acting for the respondent in the first tier property tribunal in a hearing concerning leasehold enfranchisement and the inclusion of restrictive covenants within the applicant’s property and reciprocal covenants. Respondents successful in resisting the application that there be no such covenants and of those included on the applicants’ property none were deemed to be reciprocal.

Genn v Mason – Leeds County Court
Property dispute over a farm and the land attached after sale by lots at public auction. Issues encompassed, width of rights of way, access points from the right of way, boundaries, construction of grants in the subsequent transfers dealing with use of the rights of way, various trespass and interference of such rights and harassment.

Cooper v Francis – Newcastle County Court
Application of a written agreement relating to property between a cohabitating couple both pre and post separation, and variation of its terms either written or orally.

Turner v Hinton – First Tier Property Tribunal
Acting for the Respondent when the applicant attempted to remove from the registry two-car parking spaces claiming the Respondent had not had adverse possession of them.  Judge found for the Respondent


With a strong interrelation with his chancery and regulatory practice and an understanding in the particular way matters affect farmers and agricultural land, James has worked with landowners, farmers, tenants, land agents and chartered surveyors on cases such as:

  • Farm Tenancies both those under the Agricultural Holdings Act and Agricultural Tenancies Act, interpretation and application of leases and their terms 
  • Farms workers housing right
  • Succession rights, including proprietary estoppel claims
  • Partnership disputes
  • Water and drainage rights
  • Boundary disputes, easements and public and private rights of way and shooting rights
  • Environmental responsibilities
  • Animal provisions
  • Nuisance claims
  • Claims in regards to applications of chemicals to crops
  • Listed buildings


Re B
Advising a national drinks company on three leases under the AHA encompassing, continuance after fixed term expired, notices to quit, surrender of part of a lease, rent reviews and calculation of future rent and access rights by the landlord

Local authorities’ statutory duty to re house a farm worker under the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976

Re W
Validity of notices to quit under the ATA 1995

In Estate of JT
Negligence of solicitors for failing to apply to the relevant tribunal in time, succession under the AHA, surrender and re grant of a tenancy and damages

GH Trustees
Succession rights of a tenancy, assignment, surrender and re grant, variation of the tenancy

A v S
Rights of way over farm land for shooting purposes by lost modern grant, prescription, section 62

T v T
Partnerships dissolving, rights of succession, terms of unwritten tenancy

B and Others v A  and H
Claim for damages for manufacture and supply of defective fertiliser 


James has a wealth of experience in representing those across the spectrum involved in this process. He is well versed in Pre Inquest Reviews and has argued for inquests to be held with a jury and Article 2 issues.  Where the situation arises he has also successful represented parties in advancing claims as a result of the unfortunate events.

Inquest of DR
Representing the family in a six-week Article 2 inquest with a jury into the death of a care home resident as a result of a fire at the premises. Interested parties included not only the care home themselves, but also members of staff individually represented, the Fire Brigade and the Police. Successful claim for damages through mediation thereafter.

Inquest of NR
Representing the police concerning the death of woman in a volatile relationship

Inquest of LD
Representing Local Authority in a jury inquest, concerning the death of a resident in a privately run care home. No adverse conclusions against the local authority 

Inquest of MR
A jury Inquest, representing a family of an employee who died as a result of a wall walling on him; successful claim for damages thereafter.

Inquest of S
Representing the family of a gentleman who died in hospital where there was suspicion the medical staff had not exercised appropriate care. 

Inquest of MC
Representing the local authority as a responsible highway authority in the death of a woman who died as a result of being attacked by a cow on a bridleway. Hearing held with a jury, issues of obstruction and signage of the public right of way. No adverse findings for the authority.


James receives instructions in respect of Property and Affairs as well as Health and Welfare applications. He has represented protected parties, local authorities and public bodies, in cases involving removal of trustees who lack capacity, deputyships, powers of attorney, statutory wills and the application of the inherent jurisdiction in the High Court. He has also undertaken round table meetings on behalf of those he acts for.   


Representing the local authority in its application regarding the housing of an adult man into more suitable accommodation; the family objecting. The court did not find a lack of capacity, but pursuant to an alternative application by the local authority agreed that it should apply its inherent jurisdictional powers to order such relocation.

Representing the interests of P in an emergency application following questionable behaviour by a husband during his visits towards his wife whilst under a DOLS

Re W
Application to remove a trustee appointed by a will who lacked capacity

Re C
Contested application to remove appointed attorneys and replace with an appointed panel deputy 


James receives regular instructions for the police in the civil jurisdiction of Magistrates' and Crown Courts.  

  • Representation and advice on operational police law and litigation
  • Inquests
  • Civil Applications - SHPO’s, ASBO’s, Closure Orders, cash detention and forfeiture, Police Property Act and freezing orders
  • Licensing Hearings
  • Discipline – legal advisor, presentation for the police, PAT
  • Disclosure – legal professional privilege, third party applications


Chief Constable of Cleveland Police v C
Successfully argued that an application under the Police Property Act 1897 was a complaint and not just an application so costs were recoverable, despite commentary to the contrary in Stones Justices Manuel.

R on the application of Siddique and Kingston Solicitors verses Clerk to the Justices Teesside Magistrates’ Court and Chief Constable of Cleveland Police
High Court  - successfully represented the interested party in resisting an application for permission to judicially review the decision of the judge in the Magistrates’ Court in not awarding costs following the withdrawal of a cash forfeiture application.


James is instructed both for Claimants and Defendants in respect of liability and quantum issues and undertakes fast track and multi track cases. He has also advised and been successful in applications for personal injury trusts.


"James is a meticulous barrister providing advice clearly and constructively. He has a way with clients making them feel comfortable and confident in his ability to deal with the case head on. His strengths in matters concerning costs in civil proceedings and evidence to provide to the court to advance the case is very thorough" Legal 500 2021
"He has real zeal and knowledge of contentious probate matters" commercial, chancery Legal 500 2020
"Highly recommended for traditional Chancery matters" Legal 500 2019
"Very experienced in Chancery cases" Legal 500 2017
"Recommended for Chancery matters" Legal 500 2016
"Experienced in disputes arising from distributions of estates, wills and succession issues" Legal 500 2015
"A highly effective Chancery practitioner" Legal 500 2014
"James Kemp is noted for his ‘precise advice, given in a very timely and cost-effective way’" Legal 500 2013


Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)


• Contentious Probate
• Agricultural law
• Trusts of Land
• Neighbour Disputes
• Civil litigation update
• Mock Coroners Inquest
• Expert Witnesses
• Environmental Damage - Interested Parties


In the blood
DNA tests; Deceased persons; Parentage.
Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal 196 (May) 20-23

Mind the Gap?
Anderson v Spencer
May [2018] Fam Law 592

DNA extracted from deceased may be tested in paternity dispute (Anderson v Spencer)
Lexis Nexus 19/02/2018

Who Died First?
Critic of the case of Scarle v Scarle [2019] EWHC 2224
STEP Journal December 2019/January 2020 Volume 27 Issue 10


James is a qualified PADI Master Scuba Diver. His interests include travel, photography and cycling.

He is direct access qualified and thus is able to undertake suitable cases. Further information can be found here.