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James was called to the bar in 2005, having been educated at Charterhouse, the University of Leicester, City University and the Inns’ of Court School of Law. He undertook a general common law pupillage. He has a predominantly criminal practice, but also maintains expertise in licensing law and inquests.
James is a grade 4 CPS RASSO prosecutor and, until its abolition, was a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of prosecuting advocates. As well as extensive experience prosecuting and defending serious cases investigated by the police, he continues to act on behalf of other government departments, including HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions, the UK Border Agency and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
James is regarded as an excellent jury advocate and is known for his clarity of thought, patience and willingness to spend as much time as is necessary to ensure that clients understand proceedings and the decisions that they need to make.
CPS Panel appointments
General Crime Level 4
RASSO Level 4
R v Mayat and others (Operation Trent) – Prosecuted a six-defendant conspiracy to supply Class A drugs with thousands of pages of evidence, including cell-site, ANPR and very lengthy Call Data Records.
R v Beeken and others (Operation Radar) – Junior for the Crown in a 3 month drugs conspiracy trial.
R v Kumar and others – Junior for the Crown in a conspiracy to transfer firearms trial.
R v TM and others – Defended in a gangland conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent.
R v Taylor and others (Operation Gazette) – Junior for the Crown in a 12 defendant, multi-million pound cyber fraud on Virgin Media. The offending involved the use of modified set top boxes to authenticate via a shadow network operated by the defendants.
Areas of expertise
James prosecutes and defends serious and substantial offences in the Crown Court, including attempted murder, arson, grievous bodily harm with intent, armed robbery, unlawful sexual activity with children, making indecent images, rape, firearms offences, drug supply and importation, kidnap, blackmail, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud, and death by dangerous driving. His practice is approximately half prosecution and half defence.
James has extensive knowledge of computing and networking technology, having worked as a Unix systems administrator prior to his career at the Bar. He has significant experience of instructing expert witnesses in cases involving extensive technical evidence and issues. He has prosecuted and defended cases under the Computer Misuse Act.
James has both prosecuted on behalf of trading Standards in the Crown Court and acted for claimant local authorities in the County Court using the Enterprise Act 2002 to help local authorities deal with rogue traders where there is not a realistic prospect of conviction. He is experienced in advising trading standards of the best legal solution, whether by way of prosecution or civil action.
James has appeared at inquests involving deaths as a result of a failure to install appropriate fire-safety equipment and road traffic collisions.
James is the supervising barrister for the University of Leicester miscarriages of justice unit, which campaigns tirelessly to free those wrongly convicted.
He appears regularly in the Court of Appeal and has successfully judicially reviewed Crown Court decisions.
James undertakes disclosure and assesses PII of social services files for Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council. He is a member of the CBA. He speaks conversational French and basic Greek.
Appointed to CPS Panel of Advocates at Level 4
Appointed to the CPS Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Panel