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MEET:

James Robottom

"James is incredibly intelligent and has fantastic tactical nous. He leaves no stone unturned in his case preparation.
As an advocate he is calm, considered and highly effective."

Legal 500, 2024
Called: 2009

James is an experienced senior junior with a multi-disciplinary, busy practice. He has particular expertise in public and human rights lawinquests and inquiries, civil litigation, equality law, and criminal and regulatory law. He has appeared in judicial review, civil and criminal proceedings at the highest level in England and Wales, unled at every level to the Court of Appeal, and led in the Supreme Court.

James is on the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel at B level.

James has a broad public and administrative and human rights law practice. He is regularly instructed in judicial review, tribunal and appellate proceedings. He has particular expertise in relation to criminal law and public law, business and human rights, and migrant rights and modern slavery. In 2019 James was invited to give evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s Inquiry into modern slavery. In 2016 he was nominated for the Bar Pro Bono award for his work on behalf of survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery.

Notable cases include:

  • R (Kaur) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWHC 1052 (Admin) – junior counsel for the Claimant in one of the first judicial reviews of the Windrush Compensation Scheme.
  • R (O3) v Secretary of State for the Home Department – nationality security human rights case on whether Home Secretary has a duty to ensure Special Advocates continue to act for a proposed deportee following the conclusion of SIAC proceedings.
  • R (Public and Commercial Services Union) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWHC 823 (Admin) – represented multiple Claimants in successful judicial review of the lawfulness of the Home Secretary’s plan to conduct pushbacks on small boats in the English Channel.
  • RN v CICA – Court of Appeal challenge to the scope of the definition of a crime of violence for the purposes of the 2012 Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme – judgment pending.
  • Royal Cayman Islands Police Association v Commissioners of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Association [2022] ICR 117 – Privy Council appeal on mandatory retirement on grounds of age and alleged discrimination under Articles 8 and 14 ECHR.
  • R (Simpson) v HM Area Coroner for Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton [2022]successful judicial review of Coroner’s decision not to hold an Article 2 ECHR compliant inquest following a murder trial in a domestic homicide case.
  • A&B v CICA [2021] UKSC 27 – junior for intervener in Supreme Court appeal regarding modern slavery survivors and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
  • Novodomskzi v Lord Chancellor – successful judicial review challenge to the requirement in Lord Chancellor’s Guidance on Civil Legal Aid that a claim be deemed unsuitable for representation on a conditional fee agreement before funding can be granted.
  • R (T) v HM Senior Coroner for West Yorkshire [2017] QB 205 – Court of Appeal authority on whether a coroner has to be satisfied on balance of probabilities that death has taken place before opening an investigation, and the granting of anonymity at inquests under Articles 3 and 8 ECHR.

James has extensive experience representing interested persons at high profile inquests, subsequent civil claims, and in judicial review proceedings. His inquest and inquiry practice covers all forms of state related Article 2 inquests, as well as deaths in mental health and general clinical care, work and health and safety deaths, and inquests arising from criminal conduct, including domestic homicides.

James is ranked as a band 3 junior in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 for his inquest and inquiry work. He is a General Editor of Lexis Nexis book Coroners’ Inquests and Investigations, published March 2020. He co-writes the APIL/Lexis Nexis online Chapters on inquests and Human Rights Act damages.

James’s practice covers a wide range of civil litigation including private law group claims, actions against the police and state, clinical negligence, fatal and abuse claims. He regularly represents claimants and defendants in relation to multi-track proceedings and high value settlements. He has particular expertise in civil proceedings that involve Human Rights Act 1998 and Equality Act 2010 claims.

James’s practice has a strong focus on claims involving mental injuries and mental health care. His mental health expertise is closely related to his inquest practice.

James is widely regarded as a leading senior junior  in cases involving modern slavery civil and criminal injuries compensation claims. He is regularly instructed in relation to modern slavery claims against perpetrators, corporate bodies, and the state. He was counsel for the claimants in the highest ever damages awards for slavery victims in England and Wales. He currently represents the victims of the Operation Fort, the UK’s largest modern slavery conspiracy, in their civil claims against their corporate employers.

James is author of the limitation chapter in the Civil Court Practice 2021 (the Green Book) and co-author of the APIL/Lexis Nexis online Chapters on inquests and Human Rights Act damages.

Notable recent cases include:

  • Balogh & Others v Hick Lane Bedding [2021] EWHC 1140 (QB) – largest ever quantum awards for modern slavery survivors.
  • Komives v Hick Lane Bedding & AM Trust Europe [2020] EWHC 3288 (QB) – authority re whether an insurer can void employers’ liability contract where insured engaged in modern slavery conspiracy (under appeal).
  • MW v SS&MS NHS Foundation Trust – represented claimant in successful £1,000,000 Fatal Accidents Act and Human Right Act claim arising from suicide in mental health care.
  • DC v ESUH NHS Trust – advised on multi-million pound clinical negligence brain injury claim arising from negligent mental health care.
  • Grenfell – currently instructed by a group of survivors of the Grenfell disaster in their civil damages claims.
  • Operation Fort – represents survivors of the UK’s largest modern slavery conspiracy against UK companies that used trafficked labour.

James regularly advises and represents individuals and organisations in equality law cases. He has represented clients in the Supreme Court, Privy Council and Court of Appeal in proceedings concerning Equality Act 2010, EU, and ECHR discrimination law. He has particular expertise in relation to services and public function challenges under Part 3 of the Equality Act, including relating to prisoners and detainees, adoption services, sports and entertainment organisations and the retail sector.

Notable cases include:

  • Royal Cayman Islands Police Association v Commissioners of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Association [2022] ICR 117 – Privy Council appeal on mandatory retirement on grounds of age and alleged discrimination under Articles 8 and 14 ECHR.
  • Mander v Windsor and Maidenhead Royal Borough Council [2019] 12 WLUK 79high profile Equality Act 2010 services claim re race discrimination against prospective adopters.
  • Counsel for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in its investigations into the provision of reasonable adjustments for disabled defendants in criminal proceedings, and by Premier League football clubs for disabled fans.
  • Taiwo v Olaigbe and Onu v Akwiwu [2016] UKSC 31 – Supreme Court appeal on whether mistreatment of domestic workers on grounds of vulnerable immigration status constitutes direct or indirect race discrimination.
  • Rowstock v Jessemey [2014] 1 WLR 3615 (CA) – Court of Appeal authority on statutory interpretation and reading post-employment victimisation into the Equality Act 2010.

James is an experienced criminal advocate. He has prosecuted and defended in the most serious Crown Court cases including murder, rape, and complex drug conspiracies, and was until recently a Grade 3 Crown Prosecutor. He has experience of High Court extradition proceedings, and criminal appeals at all levels.

James has particular expertise at the intersection of criminal and public law. His experience includes criminal appeals by victims of modern slavery, judicial reviews of police and prosecution decision making; advising the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the UK’s human rights and equality law obligations to disabled defendants; advising on the application of the ECHR to domestic criminal law and proceedings; and applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. James’s experience in modern slavery and human trafficking cases cuts across domestic criminal law, European human rights law, public international law and international criminal law.

James also has specific experience in relation to business crime and investigations. He worked on the biggest-ever private fraud prosecution brought in England and Wales, and Jersey’s first prosecution in relation to a failure to make Suspicious Activity Reports.

  • Equality & Human Rights Commission’s Panel (B)
  • Attorney General’s Panel of Civil Counsel (B)
  • INQUEST
  • AvMA
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association
  • Bar Human Rights Committee

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.

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

"James is wise beyond his years. He has fantastic tactical nous."

Legal 500, 2024, Administrative Law and Human Rights

Jim is highly intelligent in his approach to advocacy, which is very subtle and strategic. He is very selective in what questions he asks and of whom, and has a complete mastery of detail."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Civil Liberties & Human Rights

"James is incredibly intelligent and has fantastic tactical nous. He leaves no stone unturned in his case preparation. As an advocate he is calm, considered and highly effective."

Legal 500, 2024, Inquests and Inquiries

"He is considered and thoughtful about the wider landscape of law." "James is accessible and enthusiastic."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Inquests and Inquiries

"Some people work at faster speed than others, but James works four times faster than anyone else." "James is one of the easiest barristers to work with. He really feels the plight of his clients."

Chambers & Partners, 2023, Inquests & Public Inquiries

"A hardworking, astute and highly effective advocate who tirelessly fights for the bereaved family with charm and style. He is liked and held in high regard by coroners and opponents alike."

Legal 500, 2023, Inquests and Inquiries

"He's an excellent advocate with excellent client care and empathy." "He is forensic and inquisitive, and gets to the point while remaining polite and straightforward."

Chambers & Partners, 2022, Inquests & Public Inquiries

"He is hugely academic, understanding and rejoicing in the complexities of law, and this enthusiasm is infectious."

Legal 500, 2022, Clinical Negligence

"Passionate about all things-inquest related, he has a strong commitment to cases with a particular social aspect and his passion for representing the unfortunate of society is obvious. He is hugely academic understanding and rejoicing in the complexities of law and this enthusiasm is infectious."

Legal 500, 2022, Inquests and Inquiries

"He is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about what he does; a great advocate and very good with clients."

"He's committed, dedicated and very caring. He has a passion for the work he does and he's fantastic at inquest work in particular."

Chambers & Partners 2021, Inquests and Public Inquiries

"Passionate and committed to helping victims of clinical negligence and bereaved families with an emphasis on mental health and human rights."

Legal 500 2021, Clinical Negligence

"Passionate and committed to representing bereaved families, and sensitive to claimants' plights. He delivers in complex and tragic cases involving mental health issues and fatalities that often have human rights elements."

Legal 500 2021, Inquests and Inquiries

“He always goes the extra mile and is a very approachable barrister. He has a very good knowledge across the fields of inquests, human rights and public law.”

Chambers & Partners 2019

“He is realistic. He identifies the points that are worth pursuing and he is tenacious when questioning witnesses without ever alienating a jury. He is tenacious but fair, which gets him the answers he is looking for.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“He is very good at explaining things to clients and being easily accessible. He is also good on his feet and on paper too.”

“He is very impressive in complex cases, and he can do a very broad range of work which is helpful in inquests where specialisms can overlap.”

Chambers & Partners 2017
Matrix Chambers
24 HOUR ASSISTANCE
+44 (0)20 7404 3447
Called: 2009

"James is incredibly intelligent and has fantastic tactical nous. He leaves no stone unturned in his case preparation. As an advocate he is calm, considered and highly effective."

Legal 500, 2024

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights
  • Crime
  • Public Law
  • Police, Inquests and Prison
  • Private International Law

James Robottom

Contact James: jamesrobottom@matrixlaw.co.uk | +44 (0)20 7404 3447

Contact James's Practice Team (Team X): TeamX@matrixlaw.co.uk


James is an experienced senior junior with a multi-disciplinary, busy practice. He has particular expertise in public and human rights lawinquests and inquiries, civil litigation, equality law, and criminal and regulatory law. He has appeared in judicial review, civil and criminal proceedings at the highest level in England and Wales, unled at every level to the Court of Appeal, and led in the Supreme Court.

James is on the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel at B level.

Human Rights and Public Law

James has a broad public and administrative and human rights law practice. He is regularly instructed in judicial review, tribunal and appellate proceedings. He has particular expertise in relation to criminal law and public law, business and human rights, and migrant rights and modern slavery. In 2019 James was invited to give evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s Inquiry into modern slavery. In 2016 he was nominated for the Bar Pro Bono award for his work on behalf of survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery.

Notable cases include:

  • R (Kaur) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWHC 1052 (Admin) – junior counsel for the Claimant in one of the first judicial reviews of the Windrush Compensation Scheme.
  • R (O3) v Secretary of State for the Home Department – nationality security human rights case on whether Home Secretary has a duty to ensure Special Advocates continue to act for a proposed deportee following the conclusion of SIAC proceedings.
  • R (Public and Commercial Services Union) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWHC 823 (Admin) – represented multiple Claimants in successful judicial review of the lawfulness of the Home Secretary’s plan to conduct pushbacks on small boats in the English Channel.
  • RN v CICA – Court of Appeal challenge to the scope of the definition of a crime of violence for the purposes of the 2012 Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme – judgment pending.
  • Royal Cayman Islands Police Association v Commissioners of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Association [2022] ICR 117 – Privy Council appeal on mandatory retirement on grounds of age and alleged discrimination under Articles 8 and 14 ECHR.
  • R (Simpson) v HM Area Coroner for Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton [2022]successful judicial review of Coroner’s decision not to hold an Article 2 ECHR compliant inquest following a murder trial in a domestic homicide case.
  • A&B v CICA [2021] UKSC 27 – junior for intervener in Supreme Court appeal regarding modern slavery survivors and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
  • Novodomskzi v Lord Chancellor – successful judicial review challenge to the requirement in Lord Chancellor’s Guidance on Civil Legal Aid that a claim be deemed unsuitable for representation on a conditional fee agreement before funding can be granted.
  • R (T) v HM Senior Coroner for West Yorkshire [2017] QB 205 – Court of Appeal authority on whether a coroner has to be satisfied on balance of probabilities that death has taken place before opening an investigation, and the granting of anonymity at inquests under Articles 3 and 8 ECHR.

Inquests and Inquiries

James has extensive experience representing interested persons at high profile inquests, subsequent civil claims, and in judicial review proceedings. His inquest and inquiry practice covers all forms of state related Article 2 inquests, as well as deaths in mental health and general clinical care, work and health and safety deaths, and inquests arising from criminal conduct, including domestic homicides.

James is ranked as a band 3 junior in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 for his inquest and inquiry work. He is a General Editor of Lexis Nexis book Coroners’ Inquests and Investigations, published March 2020. He co-writes the APIL/Lexis Nexis online Chapters on inquests and Human Rights Act damages.

Civil Litigation

James’s practice covers a wide range of civil litigation including private law group claims, actions against the police and state, clinical negligence, fatal and abuse claims. He regularly represents claimants and defendants in relation to multi-track proceedings and high value settlements. He has particular expertise in civil proceedings that involve Human Rights Act 1998 and Equality Act 2010 claims.

James’s practice has a strong focus on claims involving mental injuries and mental health care. His mental health expertise is closely related to his inquest practice.

James is widely regarded as a leading senior junior  in cases involving modern slavery civil and criminal injuries compensation claims. He is regularly instructed in relation to modern slavery claims against perpetrators, corporate bodies, and the state. He was counsel for the claimants in the highest ever damages awards for slavery victims in England and Wales. He currently represents the victims of the Operation Fort, the UK’s largest modern slavery conspiracy, in their civil claims against their corporate employers.

James is author of the limitation chapter in the Civil Court Practice 2021 (the Green Book) and co-author of the APIL/Lexis Nexis online Chapters on inquests and Human Rights Act damages.

Notable recent cases include:

  • Balogh & Others v Hick Lane Bedding [2021] EWHC 1140 (QB) – largest ever quantum awards for modern slavery survivors.
  • Komives v Hick Lane Bedding & AM Trust Europe [2020] EWHC 3288 (QB) – authority re whether an insurer can void employers’ liability contract where insured engaged in modern slavery conspiracy (under appeal).
  • MW v SS&MS NHS Foundation Trust – represented claimant in successful £1,000,000 Fatal Accidents Act and Human Right Act claim arising from suicide in mental health care.
  • DC v ESUH NHS Trust – advised on multi-million pound clinical negligence brain injury claim arising from negligent mental health care.
  • Grenfell – currently instructed by a group of survivors of the Grenfell disaster in their civil damages claims.
  • Operation Fort – represents survivors of the UK’s largest modern slavery conspiracy against UK companies that used trafficked labour.

Equality and Discrimination Law

James regularly advises and represents individuals and organisations in equality law cases. He has represented clients in the Supreme Court, Privy Council and Court of Appeal in proceedings concerning Equality Act 2010, EU, and ECHR discrimination law. He has particular expertise in relation to services and public function challenges under Part 3 of the Equality Act, including relating to prisoners and detainees, adoption services, sports and entertainment organisations and the retail sector.

Notable cases include:

  • Royal Cayman Islands Police Association v Commissioners of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Association [2022] ICR 117 – Privy Council appeal on mandatory retirement on grounds of age and alleged discrimination under Articles 8 and 14 ECHR.
  • Mander v Windsor and Maidenhead Royal Borough Council [2019] 12 WLUK 79high profile Equality Act 2010 services claim re race discrimination against prospective adopters.
  • Counsel for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in its investigations into the provision of reasonable adjustments for disabled defendants in criminal proceedings, and by Premier League football clubs for disabled fans.
  • Taiwo v Olaigbe and Onu v Akwiwu [2016] UKSC 31 – Supreme Court appeal on whether mistreatment of domestic workers on grounds of vulnerable immigration status constitutes direct or indirect race discrimination.
  • Rowstock v Jessemey [2014] 1 WLR 3615 (CA) – Court of Appeal authority on statutory interpretation and reading post-employment victimisation into the Equality Act 2010.

Crime and Regulatory Law

James is an experienced criminal advocate. He has prosecuted and defended in the most serious Crown Court cases including murder, rape, and complex drug conspiracies, and was until recently a Grade 3 Crown Prosecutor. He has experience of High Court extradition proceedings, and criminal appeals at all levels.

James has particular expertise at the intersection of criminal and public law. His experience includes criminal appeals by victims of modern slavery, judicial reviews of police and prosecution decision making; advising the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the UK’s human rights and equality law obligations to disabled defendants; advising on the application of the ECHR to domestic criminal law and proceedings; and applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. James’s experience in modern slavery and human trafficking cases cuts across domestic criminal law, European human rights law, public international law and international criminal law.

James also has specific experience in relation to business crime and investigations. He worked on the biggest-ever private fraud prosecution brought in England and Wales, and Jersey’s first prosecution in relation to a failure to make Suspicious Activity Reports.

Appointments

  • Equality & Human Rights Commission’s Panel (B)
  • Attorney General’s Panel of Civil Counsel (B)

Memberships

  • INQUEST
  • AvMA
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association
  • Bar Human Rights Committee

James's Privacy Notice

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.


DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

"James is wise beyond his years. He has fantastic tactical nous."

Legal 500, 2024, Administrative Law and Human Rights

Jim is highly intelligent in his approach to advocacy, which is very subtle and strategic. He is very selective in what questions he asks and of whom, and has a complete mastery of detail."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Civil Liberties & Human Rights

"James is incredibly intelligent and has fantastic tactical nous. He leaves no stone unturned in his case preparation. As an advocate he is calm, considered and highly effective."

Legal 500, 2024, Inquests and Inquiries

"He is considered and thoughtful about the wider landscape of law." "James is accessible and enthusiastic."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Inquests and Inquiries

"Some people work at faster speed than others, but James works four times faster than anyone else." "James is one of the easiest barristers to work with. He really feels the plight of his clients."

Chambers & Partners, 2023, Inquests & Public Inquiries

"A hardworking, astute and highly effective advocate who tirelessly fights for the bereaved family with charm and style. He is liked and held in high regard by coroners and opponents alike."

Legal 500, 2023, Inquests and Inquiries

"He's an excellent advocate with excellent client care and empathy." "He is forensic and inquisitive, and gets to the point while remaining polite and straightforward."

Chambers & Partners, 2022, Inquests & Public Inquiries

"He is hugely academic, understanding and rejoicing in the complexities of law, and this enthusiasm is infectious."

Legal 500, 2022, Clinical Negligence

"Passionate about all things-inquest related, he has a strong commitment to cases with a particular social aspect and his passion for representing the unfortunate of society is obvious. He is hugely academic understanding and rejoicing in the complexities of law and this enthusiasm is infectious."

Legal 500, 2022, Inquests and Inquiries

"He is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about what he does; a great advocate and very good with clients."

"He's committed, dedicated and very caring. He has a passion for the work he does and he's fantastic at inquest work in particular."

Chambers & Partners 2021, Inquests and Public Inquiries

"Passionate and committed to helping victims of clinical negligence and bereaved families with an emphasis on mental health and human rights."

Legal 500 2021, Clinical Negligence

"Passionate and committed to representing bereaved families, and sensitive to claimants' plights. He delivers in complex and tragic cases involving mental health issues and fatalities that often have human rights elements."

Legal 500 2021, Inquests and Inquiries

“He always goes the extra mile and is a very approachable barrister. He has a very good knowledge across the fields of inquests, human rights and public law.”

Chambers & Partners 2019

“He is realistic. He identifies the points that are worth pursuing and he is tenacious when questioning witnesses without ever alienating a jury. He is tenacious but fair, which gets him the answers he is looking for.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“He is very good at explaining things to clients and being easily accessible. He is also good on his feet and on paper too.”

“He is very impressive in complex cases, and he can do a very broad range of work which is helpful in inquests where specialisms can overlap.”

Chambers & Partners 2017