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 has a predominantly criminal practice, but also maintains expertise in licensing law and inquests.
James is a grade 3 CPS 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. He understands that appearing in court is often one of the most traumatic experiences a non-lawyer can go through. Where possible, he likes to meet his clients before the day of any court hearing so that decisions can be made in as unhurried an environment as possible.
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 is on the List of Assistants to Counsel for the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
James has expertise in smoke free premises legislation and has defended a number of businesses across the Midlands. He has been instructed by businesses in London and across the UK for advice on how to ensure that their premises comply with the legislation. He is happy to conduct site visits and to advise businesses or local authorities on the correct application of the law.
James has appeared for both local authorities and appellants in appeals against licensing authorities’ decisions to refuse to grant premises licences for alcohol or hot food. He has advised on appeals to the High Court by way of judicial review and case stated. He has appeared for both sides in taxi-licensing appeals in the Crown Court. He has prosecuted and defended cases where licence holders have sold alcohol to minors, counterfeit products and avoided import duties.
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 prosecutes on behalf of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. These cases involve the various Companies Acts, the Insolvency Acts and a good knowledge of forensic accountancy. Often, the desired outcome is a disqualification for the directors of the companies involved. James also defends in such cases.
James prosecutes and defends in cases involving Housing Act licences, including houses in multiple occupation, fire safety regulations and fly-tipping. He also has experience of housing and anti-social behaviour injunctions in the County Court.
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.
Appointments & Memberships
Appointed to CPS Panel of Advocates at Level 3
Appointed to the CPS Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Panel
R v Felix Gillon
Prosecuted a case of dangerous driving, involving a lorry driver watching pornography at the wheel.
R v SM
Defended a man accused of attempted murder.
R v MG
Represented a defendant accused of a campaign of historic rape offences.
R v Ikram Mohammed
Represented a defendant in confiscation proceedings where the prosecution were seeking £1M in hidden assets.
R v Dale Richmond (Operation Nabit)
Prosecuted a £1.3M confiscation for the East Midlands Complex Casework Unit.
R v Taylor and others (Operation Gazette)
Junior for the Crown in a 12 defendant, multi-million pound fraud on Virgin Media.