James practises principally in the fields of employment and discrimination law, commercial law and civil actions against the police. He also practises in the fields of media, sports, public, election and human rights law.
James was awarded the Legal 500 Employment Silk of the Year 2019 as well as 2017 and was nominated for that award and Chambers & Partners Employment Silk of the Year in 2016. Prior to becoming a Silk before he was 40, he had been ranked in the highest band of juniors in both employment law and police law in Chambers and Partners for several years, being nominated for Employment Junior of the Year in both 2010 and 2011.
James represents a range of clients including a range of trade unions, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and blue chip companies both in the United Kingdom and overseas. He is equally at ease acting for claimants and respondents/defendants.
James has very extensive experience in conducting long and complex trials. In recent years he has been involved in some of the most high-profile and challenging employment claims in England. He has a particular interest in confidentiality and privacy, whistleblowing and disability issues and is very familiar with the issues that arise in cases which have a high media interest.
James is also a very experienced appellate practitioner and has had more than 30 reported employment cases in the last decade. These reported cases illustrate the breadth of his practice, covering all forms of discrimination, whistleblowing, human rights, contract, restrictive covenants, TUPE, working time, trade unions, restrictive covenants and more.
James’s practice in commercial employment law includes all types of commercial dispute, from vanilla contractual disputes to acting for global entities in complex international arbitrations involving allegations of fraud and conspiracy.
James acts for claimants in claims of assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and allied causes of action against the police and other public bodies. He is equally at home in trial and acting on appeals, and is instructed by many of the leading solicitors in the field.
James is in demand as a speaker and broadcaster, and writes widely on topics of interest. He is the author of the chapters on harassment and discrimination in Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings and is a contributing author to the Butterworths Employment Law Guide. He is a member of the Industrial Law Society, the Employment Lawyers Association, the Police Action Lawyers Group, the Bar Pro Bono Unit and ELAAS. He speaks excellent French.
James is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to his clients, including advice and representation services, James needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes his client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which he is instructed. To read James’ privacy notice in full, please see here.
James is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards.
“He’s a very good advocate who is quick to pick up on difficult legal issues.”
Chambers and Partners 2020 (Election, Band 1)
“The ultimate tactician. He gets up to speed swiftly, analyses the issues and then plays the cards like a poker genius.”
Chambers and Partners 2020 (Employment, Band 1)
“Very, very smart.”
Chambers and Partners 2020 (Police Law: Mainly Claimant, Band 2)
“Fantastic cross-examiner particularly with tricky claimants and reads the court really well.”
Legal 500 2020 (Employment, Band 1)
“A brilliant tactician and original thinker.”
Chambers & Partners 2019 (Employment, Band 1)
“Excellent tactical advice and a fantastic manner with clients.” “A real team player who is brilliant with clients.”
Legal 500 2018 (Employment, Band 1)
“A tremendous operator who prepares meticulously and can recall information flawlessly off the top of his head.”
Legal 500 2018 (Election Law, Band 1)
“An extremely impressive trial advocate. His legal arguments are excellent, his court manner is firm and he is a tenacious fighter for his clients. An extremely hard worker.”
Legal 500 2018 (Police Law: Mainly Claimant)
“He is a brilliant cross-examiner, very impressive with clients, and gauges the mood of the Tribunal very well.”
Chambers & Partner 2017 (Employment, Band 1)
“He has a flair for advocacy and a passion for the rights of victims, and is excellent both with clients and in negotiation.” “He is a thorough and experienced trial advocate.”
Chambers & Partners 2017 (Police Law: Mainly Claimant)