James Malam

Call 2002


"All the work James produces is very well written, he sets the arguments clearly and is a good strong advocate. He is low-key, effective, sensible, pragmatic and easy to deal with."

Chambers and Partners 2024
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James’ practice covers a wide range of both personal and corporate insolvency matters, acting for office holders (past and present) as well as bankrupts and creditors. James frequently acts in claims relating to the recovery of assets for the insolvent estate, such as TUV claims, preferences, misfeasance claims and similar.

Insolvency Cases

Cases of particular interest include:

  • Defending claim by liquidators of well-known company specialising in modifying high-end 4x4s against the former administrators/liquidators of that company. Allegations of impropriety in how the administrators came to be appointed and as to the payments made by them to the appointing charge holder. Numerous and complex allegations, made more complex by their historic nature (the alleged misconduct was 9 years old) and the state of the documentation now available.
  • Appeal to Marcus Smith J. against dismissal of application to set aside a settlement agreement on the basis of mistake of law. Raised issues as to whether it is possible to set aside compromise agreements in circumstances where the matter about which the parties were mistaken was not the subject matter of the compromise between them, but a matter on which they both held the same view, and as to what constitutes a mistake versus a misprediction. Elston v. King [2020] EWHC 55 (Ch), [2020] B.P.I.R. 501; [2017] 12 WLUK 694, [2018] B.P.I.R. 1281.
  • Whether, when a trustee in bankruptcy has disclaimed an asset which is subsequently realised such as to create a surplus, the trustee can obtain a vesting order in relation to this surplus. Mascall (Deceased), Re [2018] EWHC 3489 (Ch).
  • Representing the Defendants to an action on a guarantee which raised questions of private international law, the EU Insolvency Regulation and the impact of Irish insolvency law on the enforceability of a guarantee which was subject to English law but given over the indebtedness of an Irish company.
  • Advising an office holder on whether two documents (a loan document and a deed of trust of land) could be construed together and, if so, whether they constituted an equitable mortgage which ought to have been registered such that, not having been registered, they were void against the office holder.
  • 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.
  • Acting for the alleged debtor at first instance and on appeal seeking to set aside a statutory demand for c.£800k. Gave rise to questions of whether the guarantee demanded on was truly such or was in fact an indemnity, and the effect on the surety’s liability of the principal’s creditor agreeing to extend the principal’s time for payment.