James Couzens, Parrott and Coales
James Couzens is one of the Principals at Aylesbury based law firm Parrott and Coales.
He specialises in Commercial Dispute Resolution, Property Litigation, Trusts and Probate Litigation, Notarial Services.
James is a member of the Law Society England and Wales, the Property Litigation Association, the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists, the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners and the Notaries’ Society, and is a Past President of the Berks Bucks and Oxon Law Society. James is also a Notary Public. He is married with three children, and enjoys running and genealogy.
How would others describe you in three words?
Driven, helpful, busy (too busy)
What has been your best professional moment to date?
There have been a lot of great moments which is what makes a litigator’s job worthwhile. The best for me are when the underdog, who you are acting for, wins. A highlight must be a mediated settlement after a preliminary Court of Appeal skirmish acting for a one-man commercial agent against a German corporation to recover make or break damages for him, in relation to a spectacular deal he had managed to broker for German corporation.
What has been your worst/most embarrassing professional moment to date?
Again you can't be a litigator without having embarrassing moments. One of the most heart stopping was as an articled clerk being summoned to the presence of a Chancery Master (they were scarier in the 1980s) and being met by the statement "perjury is a very serious matter Mr Couzens" following which the Master pointed out an inconsistency in an affidavit sworn in support of an application for service out of the jurisdiction.
Tell us about one surprising thing you’ve learned since becoming a Principal?
The items that nobody thinks of that are required to run a practice, and therefore the amount of time and effort that is involved.
If you hadn’t chosen this role, what do you think you’d be doing with your life?
An engineer or an architect, although I'd probably have to go back and take different A-levels, or retake my maths A-level.
If we looked in your desk’s top drawer, what would we find?
This was the easiest question to answer - an OCD collection of coloured paper clips (among many other things).