James qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1996. He has been a partner with Kennedys since 2008. James is based in the Birmingham office and is part of the liability division.

James has extensive experience of defending employers’, public and product liability claims involving complex liability issues, contractual issues and multiple defendants across the leisure, manufacturing, construction, healthcare and energy sectors. His clients range from local authorities, insurers and self-insured corporates.

He deals with high value losses involving brain damage, amputations of arms and legs, spinal injury, chronic pain and psychiatric injury as well as claims for occupational stress.

In addition James, specialises in defence of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecutions and inquests.

He has been closely involved with the defence of civil claims and criminal health and safety defence and in June 2015 was instructed to handle a catastrophic roller coaster crash on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers. Due to the strong connections Kennedys has with the client James was able to quickly assemble a team which was fully familiar with this insured and the insurer to support on the criminal investigation and civil claims during this unprecedented period of international media scrutiny.

His long standing experience of the often complicated claims and his knowledge of both civil and criminal matters means that he is well placed to assist clients in the wide variety of claim scenarios.

James is a member of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers and the Health and Safety Lawyers Association.


  • Qualified in England and Wales in 1996

James Shrimpton is a very good strategist, manages cases well and is good at moving the case in the right direction.

The Legal 500 UK 2020

Market recognition

  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Health and safety (West Midlands)'
    "James Shrimpton is a very good strategist, manages cases well and is good at moving the case in the right direction."
    The Legal 500 UK 2019/20
  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Health and safety (West Midlands)'
    "James Shrimpton leads the team and is 'razor sharp in this area' and 'not afraid to stand up to regulatory authorities'."
    The Legal 500 UK 2018/19
  • Recommended Lawyer for health and safety 
    The Legal 500 UK 2017
  • Praised by clients for his “ability to handle high-value defendant claims and going the extra mile to deliver”.
  • Recommended Lawyer for defendant personal injury 
    The Legal 500 UK 2017

Work highlights

  • Investigating the civil and criminal issues arising from the Alton Towers Smiler accident and handling the civil claims, including those involving two above-the-knee amputees.
  • Managing a claim by a recycling plant worker whose arm was amputated at the shoulder and is claiming damages of £4m where the co-defendant’s insurer is also attempting to avoid cover.
  • Handling a Health and Safety Executive prosecution following an employee’s traumatic below-the-knee amputation at work and the associated civil claim. The criminal proceedings were resolved with an early guilty plea and a £40,000 fine in the Magistrates Court and the claim was settled pre-issue at a joint settlement meeting for £945,000 (against a pleaded schedule of £2m).
  • Forcing a claimant, who alleged he was totally unable to use his left arm, to accept a Part 36 offer of £10,000 during the trial of a claim which was originally valued in excess of £1m. No organic cause could be found and the claim was presented as a conversion syndrome, but strong expert evidence and surveillance forced his psychiatrist to make concessions in the witness box that were fatal to his claim.
  • Advising insurers on a sledging accident in Norway where the claimant suffered an extremely severe brain injury.
Market recognition
  • Legal-500_UK_Recommended-lawyer.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 UK 2020

  • Recommended_lawyer_2019.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 UK 2019

  • 2017 - The Legal 500 - UK_recommended_lawyer (low res).png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017