Jim Duffy

 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.

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.

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.

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 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.
Contributed to


Public inquiries
Practice notes

This Practice Note provides an overview of the law relating to public inquiries. It covers both statutory and non-statutory inquiries, centring on provisions of the Inquiries Act 2005 and dealing with interaction with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Public inquiry procedure
Practice notes

This Practice Note considers practical aspects of how statutory public inquiries are run. It covers the key stages of an inquiry, the role of the chair and any members and inquiry staff. It also covers procedural matters such as evidence and disclosure during the inquiry, the costs of the inquiry and the inquiry report.

Public inquiry warning letter

This Precedent provides an outline for a warning letter under rule 13 of the Inquiry Rules 2006, which provides that there may not be any explicit or significant criticism of a person in a public inquiry report unless that person has been sent a warning letter and given a reasonable opportunity to respond.

Practice areas


  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit


  • Contributing Author


  • 2006: Diploma in Legal Practice, Glasgow Graduate School of Law
  • 2005: Law with French Language, LL.B (Hons) First Class Honours and McCormick Prize for the Most
  • 2007: Master of Laws (LL.M), University of Toronto
  • 2012: Bar Transfer Test

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