James Lake - Year of call: 2005
James is a Criminal and Regulatory Law specialist who prosecutes and defends in equal measure. He has already gained a vast amount of experience for his call in both areas of law that is unparalleled on circuit.
CPS Panel Advocate Grade 3
Legal 500 2012 - “without doubt a leading light of the Junior Bar in Leeds”
Areas of Practice
James is a Criminal and Regulatory Law specialist who prosecutes and defends in equal measure. He has already gained a vast amount of experience for his call in both areas of law that is unparalleled on circuit. He has an excellent reputation amongst his peers and the judiciary for acting as a junior alone or being led in serious and complex cases. He combines a down to earth approach with clients with a steely determination in court.
James is also trained and licensed to receive instructions direct from members of the public, associations, clubs or companies, without the need for a solicitor to be instructed.
James both prosecutes and defends in all areas of criminal law. He is instructed in the full range of criminal cases from fraud, drug trafficking, sexual offences and money laundering often requiring a level of expertise and skill normally associated with somebody of more senior call.
James also travels nationwide in respect of clients charged with motoring offences who face the risk of losing their driving licence.
Cases of Interest
R v Cosford - Led by Andrew Stubbs QC representing a prison nurse working at HMP Wakefield accused of Misconduct in Public Office. This case attracted nationwide publicity due to its unique factual circumstances. It is also subject to appeal to the Supreme Court in relation to the definition of 'public officer'.
R v Driscoll - Ongoing trial being led by Simon Bickerl QC. This case is the first prosection by HMRC in relation to the new 'film tax credit' scheme. A complication VAT abd Film Tax Credit fraud relating to the feature film Eldorado.
Serious Fraud Office v Morris Properties Ltd – led by Guy Kearl QC (Now HHJ Kearl QC) in representing Leeds businessman accused of £100 million fraud. After a three-year investigation, our proactive stance in Judicial Review proceedings, police complaints and police act applications led to the client being refused charge.
Operation Greengage – defended in multi-million pound conspiracy to import drugs and firearms. Featured on a Panorama BBC1 Special. (reported case)
Operation Defluent – defended in a large-scale conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in the Leeds area. Only defendant to be acquitted.
Operation Rebellite – prosecuted 12 defendants in a Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) case, who were charged with drugs and firearms offences.
R v Mounsey – Led by G Kearl QC in multi-million pound VAT missing trader fraud.
R v Murphy, McCaffery and McCaffery. Led by C. Batty (now HHJ Batty) in prosecution of £1.2 million armed robbery. This case featured on Crimewatch and was part of Operation Captura (capturing criminals who had fled the jurisdiction). (reported case)
R v Rhodes-Clayton – defended in the acquittal of Liberal Democrat City Councillor accused of defrauding the benefits agency.
R v Burns – prosecution of man accused of multiple sex attacks in Bradford. (reported case)
Local Authority v Faisals Restaurant – complicated licensing appeal by a restaurant accused of serious criminal conduct.
James regularly receives instructions nationwide to prosecute and defend in health and safety, licensing, counterfeit goods, trading standards, Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), and environmental cases.
Cases of Interest
HSE v Poundstretcher – represented a company with a multi-million pound turnover accused of breaches of Health and Safety legislation.
Trading Standards v Ali Wholesale Limited – successful prosecution of a company accused of breaching European legislation in relation to the importation of food stuffs containing Sudan 1, a known carcinogenic.
Environmental Authority v Brotherton – defence of a family accused of breaching environmental law in relation to the running of a waste disposal site.