James is an extremely experienced barrister whose practice focuses on the areas of defending allegations of commercial fraud, money laundering, counterfeiting, homicide, serious sex crime, substantial drug supply/production conspiracy, offences of human exploitation, and environmental law transgression. Other areas of expertise include: civil fraud; restraint proceedings; extradition; regulatory and disciplinary matters; and local authority prosecutions including trading standards.
James has for the last 30 years always appeared for the defendant. He is an intuitive advocate who is able to connect with juries. He believes that advocacy in essence involves storytelling and is best manifested in clear and simple exposition. James has developed a keen interest in mental health recognising that such issues increasingly form a significant element in criminal litigation.
Price-fixing, income tax, VAT carousel/missing trader, life insurance, car insurance, commercial insurance, art, long firm, boiler room, red diesel, and e-commerce frauds demonstrate the wide spectrum of fraud offences that have formed part of James' practice. James was instructed to act on behalf a director of a multi-national company charged with price-fixing. At the time that case was the largest SFO prosecution to date (R v Goldshield and others). James spent much time out of court working on the case papers over a two year period. The trial Indictment was eventually quashed.
James has specific expertise concerning all things relating to money laundering. In December 2019 at Guildford Crown Court he secured the acquittal of a well known professional poker player charged with multi-million money laundering offences. The acquittal was achieved through a close analysis of the lay client's gambling methods.
He has represented lay clients in the largest counterfeiting and cannabis production cases prosecuted in the UK. He has represented renowned individuals in the Northeast of England on environment law matters. James has been instructed in numerous murder cases including acting for a Romanian chess champion who was acquitted at the Central Criminal Court.
James is a strong battle hardened advocate. He is fearless in representing his lay client's interests. He has the ability to quickly pinpoint the essential issues around which a case will be determined, and to present a persuasive narrative to a jury or court. He is empathetic and willing to engage with the lay client to obtain a true understanding of that person's perspective of the case. James believes that respect, understanding, and an acknowledgement of the essential equality of all, should inform his professional work.
Financial Regulatory & Disciplinary
James has appeared in many Court martials in Germany acting for soldiers from Royal Regiment of Scotland.
James having represented a number of waste disposal businessmen in serious criminal proceedings has a very good knowledge of the environmental protection regime in both the criminal and civil jurisdictions. James has defended in many substantial fraud cases in the criminal courts. He has acted for defendants covering a wide range of fraudulent activity: price-fixing, revenue, VAT carousel/missing trader, insurance company, life insurance, motor insurance, e-commerce, boiler room, long firm, red diesel, art, motor trade frauds. He has also acted in fraudulent trading, trading standards, Insolvency Act 1986, and counterfeit money cases.
James has acted for lay clients in numerous multi-million pound money laundering cases and is fully conversant with the money laundering regulatory regime. He has received instructions in multi-million pound confiscation proceedings in the Crown Court. He is fully conversant with the FCA and PRA regulatory regime.
James is happy to accept instructions involving serious fraud allegations in both the criminal and civil jurisdictions.
James advises employers, companies, company directors, individuals and public bodies on all aspects of health & safety enforcement.
Public & Administrative
James has obtained considerable knowledge of mental health issues from his experience of representing vulnerable lay clients with severe mental health and associated addiction difficulties in the criminal courts. He has represented a number of young persons and women who have been trafficked and who have pleaded a section 45 defence under the Modern Day Slavery Act 2015. He therefore has a very good understanding of modern day slavery and trafficking issues and would be happy to receive instructions concerning these in the civil jurisdiction.
Planning & Environment
James has acted as a leading junior defending individuals accused of serious offences under the Environment Act 1990 and Environment Protection Regulations. A criminal trial at Teesside Crown Court lasted over 3 months. He is fully conversant with the current environmental statutory and regulatory regime.
James is working under the tutelage of Dr Ilias Bantekas of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha Qatar in relation to commercial arbitration.
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