Areas of Expertise

Public Law Children

James an experienced barrister who represents Local Authorities, parents, other family members and children, whether by their Children’s Guardian or separately, at all stages of proceedings, including lengthy fact-finding and disposal hearings.

James’ public law practice involve cases that are often the most serious of their type, in which he appears on his own or led by Queen’s Counsel.

Such cases include causing the death of a child, the infliction of serious injuries, including fractures, brain injuries and serious bruising, inter-generational familial sexual abuse and serious emotional harm.  In such proceedings James often represents vulnerable clients, including those who present with personality disorders or learning difficulties.

Often, James’ cases have a significant foreign element, where there are issues of immigration or where placement or adoption out of the jurisdiction is proposed.

Private Law Children

James is instructed in all areas of private law and particularly in cases of legal and factual complexity.  Such issues often involve applications seeking the international relocation of children, whether on a permanent or temporary basis to non-Hague Convention countries, disputes as to the habitual residence of children, or relocation within the jurisdiction.

James’ private law practice regularly involves intractable disputes and implacably hostile parents, where there are allegations of violence, non-accidental injury or sexual abuse and where the court is considering transferring where a child lives from one carer to another.

James regularly acts in applications for specific issue orders relating to children undergoing medical procedures, where matters of religion or schooling are in dispute, and where there are issues as to the name by which a child should be known.

In private law proceedings James represents parents, other family members and children through their rule 16.4 Guardian.

James is able to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis.

Recommendations:

Chambers & Partners 2018: “He is softly spoken but has steel running through him; he is so effective and really impressive. “Displays fantastic attention to detail and his technical drafting is excellent.”


James’ specialism is financial remedy proceedings concerning married and unmarried partners. James’ practice involves applications under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, the Civil Partnership Act 2004, the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 and applications pursuant to Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. James has appeared both at first instance and on appeal in such matters.

The financial remedy proceedings in which James is instructed frequently involve high net worth cases of substantial complexity before District, Circuit and High Court Judges. Commonly, the cases in which James is instructed include: international and jurisdictional issues, the interests of third parties, complex company structures, trust assets, large pension assets and farming matters.

James is often instructed early on to advise in anticipation of proceedings, or in an effort to resolve matters without the intervention of the court and prides himself on being able to give clear, realistic and commercial advice. James is happy to represent clients in all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, including arbitrations.

James is regularly instructed to provide lecturing and training to professional clients in respect of both current issues in matrimonial finance and advocacy in such proceedings.

Recommendations:

Chambers & Partners 2018: “He is softly spoken but has steel running through him; he is so effective and really impressive. “Displays fantastic attention to detail and his technical drafting is excellent.”


Qualifications

LLB (Hons)

Memberships

Family Law Bar Association

Appointments

James was appointed as a Recorder of the Family Court (Midland Circuit) in January 2016.

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