James Cornwell

James Cornwell

James Cornwell

Practice Overview

James practises mainly in public law (including local government), education law, and information law. His work often involves overlap between these areas. James has acted for a wide range of clients, including government departments, local authorities, universities, major companies and third-sector organisations. He is recommended in the main legal directories as a leading junior for, variously, Administrative and Public law (including local government), Data Protection law and Education law. 

Since September 2016 James has been a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel (members of the A Panel are instructed on the most complex government cases and often appear against silks). Before that James was on the Attorney General’s B and C Panels for eight years.

To see more details of James’s work and recent cases in specific practice areas please click on the appropriate practice area in the “Areas of Practice” side-bar to the left.

James studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College, Oxford, before gaining an MPhil at University College London and then a DPhil at Brasenose College, Oxford, both in philosophy. After turning to the law, he was awarded a Diploma in Law at City University. He was a Queen Mother Major Scholar and Benefactors CPE Scholar of the Middle Temple.

He is a member of the Administrative Law Bar Association, the Employment Law Bar Association, and the Employment Lawyers Association. He has contributed to the looseleaf, Local Government Law (Bloomsbury) (chapter on adult social services), Tolley’s Employment Handbook (chapter on discrimination and equal opportunities enforcement), the Judicial Review title of Halsbury’s Laws of England (5th edition) and the Information Law Reports.


“Clever and very experienced” (Chambers & Partners, 2017)

“He is intellectual, hard-working and thorough, and reads every last page of the case” (Legal 500, 2017)

“Imaginative, industrious and full of sound judgement; he will go far” (Legal 500, 2017)

“He has a fantastic legal mind. He gets his head around really technical arguments, and is easy to work with” (Chambers & Partners, 2016)

“He got to grips with a very difficult project and he was very impressive… It was his great grasp of the complex issues in the case that was really impressive. He had obviously prepared diligently for the hearing and fully understood the arguments and the background” (Chambers & Partners, 2016)

“He has a first-class intellect” (Legal 500, 2016)

“Precise and to the point, he focuses on the key facts and issues” (Chambers & Partners, 2015)

“He’s calm, measured and reasonable in everything he does, and clear and precise in his language” (Chambers & Partners, 2015)

“Great attention to detail” (Legal 500, 2014)

“Very thorough” (Chambers & Partners, 2014)

“He has a wide understanding of his subject” (Chambers & Partners, 2014)

Regulatory Information

All members of Chambers are registered with the Bar Standards Board of England and Wales. For general terms and conditions on which services are provides - click here

Professional title: Barrister

Full name (as registered with Bar Standards Board of England and Wales):
James Cornwell

VAT Number: GB 872480507

Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

Professional Insurance: All members of Chambers have professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Ltd - click here for details

Territorial coverage is world-wide, subject to the terms of the Bar Mutual, which may be found here

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