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James became a tenant after undertaking a successful pupillage under the tutelage of Stephen Ainsley and Anthony Davis.

Prior to coming to the Bar, James worked at a leading criminal defence solicitors firm in North Yorkshire. This role encompassed working as a case worker in Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court matters, ranging from relatively minor road traffic matters to murder and serious sexual offences. James also provided representation to prisoners in Independent Adjudications and Parole Board hearings. Shortly after joining the firm, James successfully completed the Police Station Accreditation and began advising detained persons on all manner of alleged criminal offences. After securing a pupillage at Dere Street, James left the firm and moved to Newcastle to study the Bar Professional Training Course. Alongside his studies, James worked as a self-employed agent, providing representation to detained persons across the North East. A sample of the cases that James has advised on are:

R v S and H – Allegation of murder of vulnerable homeless man by other members of the homeless community  The deceased was found by the police approximately 48 hours after death, the cause of which was multiple stamps to the head. Issues around psychosis, voluntary intoxication and intention to kill/cause serious harm.

R v V – Causing death by dangerous driving;

R v W – Rape;

R v W – Investigation into major organised crime group operating in North Yorkshire supplying heroin and cocaine;

R v P – Allegations against a professional photographer of breaching a number of the provisions of the Air Navigation Order 2016. James prepared a written statement and the client was not prosecuted. James subsequently represented the client in an investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority and the client was ultimately successful in retaining his licence to operate drones.

Professional Qualifcations

The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple;

BA (Hons) Politics, Newcastle University (2013);

Graduate Diploma in Law with Commendation, University of Law (2014);

Bar Professional Training Course – Outstanding, Northumbria University (2018).


Certificate of Academic Excellence (Newcastle University);

Jules Thorn Scholarship (Middle Temple);

Dean’s Award (Northumbria University);

Certificate of Honour (Middle Temple);

Baron Dr Ver Heyden de Lancey Prize (Middle Temple);

Highest marks on the Bar Professional Training Course in Criminal Practice, Family Practice and Advocacy.