Jim Duffy’s practice spans clinical negligence, inquests and inquiries, personal injury, human rights and employment.

He is a member of the Attorney General’s ‘C’ Panel of Counsel and has particular experience of prison law claims, acting on both sides. He regularly advises in cases involving parole board decisions, security categorisations, and personal injury claims brought in a prison context. He is currently acting for the applicant in a case recently filed at the European Court of Human Rights relating to joint enterprise murder.

In 2013-14 Jim acted as Judicial Assistant to Lord Reed and Lord Hodge at the UK Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. He worked on cases such as Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board (consent in clinical negligence), Cheshire West (Article 5 ECHR and the mentally incapacitated), Nicklinson & Lamb (assisted suicide), and Osborn (parole board hearings, human rights and the common law). He took part in an exchange to the Supreme Court of the United States in April 2014.

Jim regularly acts for families, NHS Trusts, doctors and patients in clinical negligence claims. In July 2018, Jim was led by Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC for the appellant children in CN & GN v. Poole Borough Council. The Supreme Court considered whether and in what circumstances local authorities might owe a duty at common law to children at risk of harm.

He is an experienced inquest practitioner, regularly appearing for bereaved families, medical providers and government departments.

Jim is experienced in public inquiries and is instructed in the Undercover Policing Inquiry chaired by Sir John Mitting. He also appears in employment claims and has acted for claimants and government departments in cases relating to TUPE, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and discrimination.

Prior to transferring to the Bar, Jim spent three years working as a solicitor, first qualifying in Scotland and then in England & Wales. He represented participants in the Coalition Government’s ‘Back to Work’ schemes, Kenyan nationals accused of involvement in the 2010 Al-Shabaab ‘World Cup’ bombings in Kampala, and families unlawfully detained at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.  He also represented civilians and the families of British soldiers in claims relating to the Iraq war.

Jim graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2005 with a First in Law with French Language and the class prize. He previously spent a year at Paul Cézanne Université in Aix-en-Provence. As a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, he obtained an LL.M from the University of Toronto in 2007 and worked for the University’s International Human Rights Clinic where he was a student advocate in a Strasbourg case brought against Romania by a Roma community.

Jim went on to intern at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva before training as a solicitor at Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP. He has also spent time on secondment within Fieldfisher’s PI team.

He has carried out teaching and research in public law at the University of Glasgow and assisted the Council of Europe in relation to police brutality and the rule of law in Eastern European states. A former Editor of the UK Human Rights Blog, he continues to sit on its editorial team.

In 2016, Jim was one of four barristers in England & Wales to be selected for an exchange to the Paris Bar where he addressed the Conseil de l’Ordre des Avocats de Paris on advocates’ duties towards protected parties.

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