Since joining New Park Court Chambers in 2012 James has earned a reputation as a highly skilled and effective criminal and regulatory lawyer.   He is known for his diligence and thorough approach and is often praised for the level of pragmatism and common sense he brings to bear on all his cases.  James is expanding his regulatory practice which includes acting on behalf of the General Medical Council in doctors’ disciplinary hearings.

Currently, James is engaged in several high-profile and complex criminal cases.  He is currently  prosecuting eight men for an incident in which a firearm was discharged, wounding two men, and an international conspiracy to produce counterfeit passports.

James has also represented a Core Participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (https://www.iicsa.org.uk) and has represented the family of a man found to have been unlawfully killed on a section of controversial ‘Smart Motorway’ (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-56069507)

James acts as the Company Secretary to New Park Court Chambers Ltd and sits on the Pupillage Committee.  He is also a Trustee of the North Eastern Circuit Charity Committee.

James is a CPS Level 4 prosecutor and is regularly instructed in cases concerning homicide, serious fraud and those involving organised crime.  He appears for both the local authority and defendants in Trading Standards cases.

Notable Cases

  • Operation Callaway – [2022]

    James is leading counsel in the prosecution of 8 defendants in a trial alleging that firearms were used by a gang to deter a rival gang from attacking a profitable cannabis growing operation.

  • Operation Cranworth – [2022]

    James is leading counsel in the prosecution of an international conspiracy to produce counterfeit Portuguese and Maltese passports which were supplied to those seeking to live and work in the UK.

  • Appeal of Peter Tredget – [2021]

    James represented the Appellant, Peter Tredget, whose case was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.  Mr Tredget was convicted in 1980 for the manslaughter of 26 people in 11 fires having made several confessions to the police and pleaded guilty at his trial.  The case was referred as there were significant concerns about the reliability of the confession statements made and his guilty pleas.  Following a 9-day hearing the Court of Appeal quashed several of the convictions but upheld the remainder.  The judgment invokes a novel legal concept which requires an Appellant, where there has been an unequivocal guilty plea, to prove his innocence in order to demonstrate the convictions are unsafe.  In Mr Tredget’s case he had demonstrated that he had not committed several of the offences to which he had pleaded guilty to, which it was unsuccessfully argued fundamentally undermined his guilty pleas to the remaining offences for which there was no other evidence against him https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2022/108.html

  • Operation Greystrike/Dalmatian – [2021]

    Part of the team, led by the Director of Public Prosecutions, which successfully applied to overturn Gary Allen’s acquittal of the murder of Samantha Class following significant new evidence.  Junior counsel for the prosecution in the resulting trial which led to Allen’s convictions for the murder of Ms Class and Alena Grlakova (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-57552189).

  • Operation Landseer [2020]

    Prosecution of defendants in a revenge-shooting murder.

  • Operation Benson [2020]

    Prosecution of organised crime group for conspiracy to cause explosions

  • Operation Ullswater [2020]

    Defence of leading defendant in a ‘County Lines’ drugs conspiracy.

  • Operation Elvington [2019]

    Prosecution of a man for the murder of eight members of the same family in 2002.  He was extradited in 2019 having evaded justice abroad for 17 years.

    (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-49192634

  • Operation Peeredge [2019]

    Prosecution of three men for the execution of a member of a rival gang.

  • R v MG [2019]

    Defence of a police officer charged with perverting the course of justice.  James’s client was the only defendant acquitted following two trials in the Crown Court.

  • R v RC [2018]

    Defence of company director charged with fraudulent trading.

  • Operation Thistle [2018]

    Prosecution of the man responsible for laundering the proceeds of ‘online scammers’ based in India.  This was only the third successful prosecution of its type.

James appeared before the Sheffield Coroner’s Court, representing the family of a man who had been killed on a section of ‘Smart Motorway’ on the M1 by the driver of a lorry who admitted to causing death by careless driving.  In recording a verdict of unlawful killing the Coroner made broader observations regarding the safety of Smart Motorways, following the acceptance of police and Highways England witnesses that the death would likely not have occurred had there been a hard shoulder.  The Coroner has recommended there be an inquiry into the policy of rolling out Smart Motorways across the road network and the deceased’s family continues to campaign for their removal.

James represented one of the Core Participants in the phase of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse which considered the institutional responses to the allegations made about the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC.

James is part of Chambers’ specialist GMC team and is a member of the ‘Fitness to Practise’ panel.  He receives instructions in cases concerning allegations of misconduct made against doctors.  These include cases which involve complex medical issues, allegations of deficient performance, and misconduct both in and out of a professional context.

James also advises in matters of police misconduct.

Notable Cases

  • GMC v Dr L [2020]

    Doctor convicted of serious offences related to child sexual abuse.

  • GMC v Dr H [2016]

    Allegation of misconduct concerning a doctor faking a heart attack to make a claim on an insurance policy.

  • GMC v Dr Q [2017]

    Disciplinary proceedings following colleague’s concerns about the doctor’s professional performance, which required in depth analysis of the correct approach to several surgical procedures.

  • GMC v Dr H [2016]

    Allegation of misconduct concerning a doctor faking a heart attack to make a claim on an insurance policy.

Practice Areas

Appointments & Memberships

  • CPS Level 4 Prosecutor

Education

  • Eastman Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn
  • BVC (Very Competent), Nottingham Law School
  • LLB (Hons), University of Newcastle upon Tyne

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