James Carpenter

Partner and Head of Commercial Litigation Department

Commercial Litigation

01582 390466


I am a partner and Head of our Commercial Litigation Department. I take on cases for claimants as well as defendants across wide range of disputes including contentious probate, contract, construction, intellectual property, partnership disputes, intra company disputes, property litigation as well as professional negligence.

Resolutions through empathy and experience.  Disputes are inherently stressful and with 26 years’ experience I understand that from the outset it is critical to listen to my client; get to grips with and fully understand their problem and desired outcome; advise them candidly; set out their options clearly and to work with them in achieving the best possible outcome in all the circumstances.

I act for all types of clients, from the private individual, to sole traders, partnerships, limited companies and PLCs.

Over the years, I have built up significant experience in professional negligence claims, particularly those against solicitors; contentious probate claims whether cases involving challenges to a Will or claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975; contract claims; defamation claims and property litigation relating to both commercial and residential property rights; disputes between shareholders and employment claims concerning alleged breaches of restrictive covenants.

I began my legal career in 1996 where I gained experience in insurance litigation and professional indemnity handling a mix of defendant personal injury and product liability claims as well as claims against barristers and solicitors. Deciding that I needed broader litigation experience and that I was more likely to get the same outside of the City I joined the Commercial Litigation Department of Taylor Walton on 1 June 1999.


Away from work, and when not ferrying around my young children, I enjoy playing golf, watching football, rugby and cricket as well as cooking and drinking wine.


  1. Advising a client who was the tenant of commercial premises in the city on a Break Notice that it had been served with and identifying defects with the same. Successfully defending proceedings commenced by the Landlord for a declaration that the Break Notice was valid which enabled the client to negotiate a substantial settlement with the Landlord who required the premises to allow it to undertake a substantial redevelopment.
  2. Instructed by the beneficiary of a trust who hasn’t received any income from the same for 9 years. Discovering that the trustee was selling the trust’s asset and making an urgent application for an injunction to preserve the proceeds of sale of the trust’s asset and protect my client’s interests.
  3. Instructed by a client who acquired land with the intention of developing the same but whose former solicitor had failed to advise her that the land acquired did not have the right of way needed to access it and unlock its development potential. Submitted a claim letter and negotiated a settlement without the need for Court proceedings.
  4. Instructed by a wife whose husband of almost 40 years had died, but whose estate was subject to a claim by her husband’s daughter from a previous relationship with whom he had been estranged. Assisted the client to settle the claim through mediation before proceedings were commenced.

What our clients say

"He was so helpful and efficient, I cannot thank him enough for what he did for me."

Bridgitte Harley, The Hearing Clinic

"We know and trust James Carpenter and his team at Taylor Walton."

Peter Windatt, BRI (UK) Ltd

"I am always singing his praises."

Rachel Rees, Premier Minibus and Car Hire Ltd

Contentious Probate – Share of a parents estate

By James Carpenter | 11 January 2023

“A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.” Niccolo Machiavelli That a person can gift their estate in a Will to whomever they wish is an assumption many make and to some extent that is true.  While other countries have laws…

Is it now more acceptable to use insolvency proceedings as a method of debt collection?

By James Carpenter | 30 October 2019

It is generally understood that as Insolvency proceedings (Winding Up Petitions or Bankruptcy Petitions) are summary processes. They are appropriate for use against an insolvent debtor and are not to be used as a method of resolving disputes over debts. However, the recent case of Sell Your Car With Us Ltd v Sareen 2019 indicates…

Entire Agreement Clauses

By James Carpenter | 30 July 2019

What are Entire Agreement Clauses? Entire Agreement clauses will feature in most if not all drafted contracts.  They are often described as a boilerplate clause and rarely are they subject to much, if any, scrutiny at the drafting stage. The intention and purpose behind Entire Agreement clauses is to restrict or limit (insofar as the law allows)…