James Picken

Call - 2004
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Chambers and its members are regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

Dispute Resolution

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.  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 involve: international and jurisdictional issues, the interests of third parties, complex company structures, trust assets, large pension assets and farming matters.  James prides himself on being able to give clear, realistic and commercial advice.

James is instructed in all areas of private law and particularly in cases of legal and factual complexity.  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.

James was appointed as a Recorder in January 2016.  As a judge, James has determined the most complex of private law proceedings, including multi-day fact-finding hearings involving allegations of sexual and physical abuse, complicated welfare hearings, applications for relocation both inside and outside of the jurisdiction, applications regarding the religious upbringing of children and the termination of Parental Responsibility.

James also hears the full range of financial remedy proceedings and has determined applications for enforcement, including committal proceedings.


LLB (Hons)


Family Law Bar Association


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


Chambers and Partners 2021: “My barrister of choice for matrimonial matters. He is very good at keeping clients at ease with his manner, while his impressive legal knowledge makes him the perfect choice in tricky and complex financial cases.” “He provides fantastic attention to detail and his technical drafting is excellent.”

Legal 500 2021: “Extraordinarily calm and dignified, he conducts himself with composure, whilst articulating his argument with precision and flair.”

Chambers & Partners 2020: “He is well prepared and his conferences are structured and cover every aspect of the client’s case. His manner is calm and approachable. He takes the time to explain matters thoroughly to clients.” “He’s experienced in dealing with ancillary relief cases, and has a calm and thorough approach with clients.”

Chambers & Partners 2019:  “Renowned for his attention to detail in financial matters.” “A reassuringly excellent barrister. You know that the case is immaculately prepared and his understated demeanour means that he engenders trust easily.” “He grasps issues quickly and has fantastic drafting skills.”

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.”

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