James is a Criminal and Regulatory Law specialist who prosecutes (Grade 4) and defends in equal measure at the highest level. 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. The ethos to his work is his meticulous attention to detail and the thorough preparation of each case. James uses technology to his advantage in the preparation of his cases and then in any subsequent court proceedings. James is also willing to meet with potential clients prior to formal instruction to discuss the case. James also provides advice to company directors who are subject to investigation by regulatory bodies.
James is proactive in his approach to cases, particularly when it relates to companies or individuals who are being investigated prior to any criminal charge.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
James has particular expertise in fraud and financial crime for the prosecution and defence. This includes VAT Fraud, Financial Services Fraud, Fraudulent Trading, Investment Fraud, Banking Fraud, Film Tax Credit Fraud, Phoenix Fraud and Company Investigations. He receives instructions for advice pre-charge by both the prosecution, regulatory bodies, companies and individuals in relation to Fraud and Financial Crime.
(Leeds Crown Court 2014)
Leading Junior in successful prosecution of two brothers charged with fraudulent trading arising out of property investment fraud. Ds sold off-plan holiday properties in Bulgaria and Cape Verde to 72 victims diverting £1.6 million to pay off personal debts.
Op Circus 2
Instructed by SFD to prosecute eleven Ds charged with offences of fraud through complex series of allegedly Ponzi style frauds. Due for trial (4 months) at Birmingham Crown Court in early 2020.
R v Driscoll
Acquittal on Film Tax Credit Fraud following a 9-week trial. The case was the first prosecution by HMRC in relation to the new ‘film tax credit’ scheme.
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.
Successfully prosecuted a Panamanian Land Fraud and Platform Trading Fraud. The case lasted 6 months. The defendants were Financial Advisors and Solicitors and the offences, amongst others, were contrary to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The case required complicated and detailed analysis of the legislation and all applications by the defence in relation to the operation of the legislation to the facts of the case were successfully opposed.
R v Rudd
Representing a defendant charged with multiple frauds (including Phoenix frauds) who had left the jurisdiction and was extradited after 7 years. The case involves undercover police officers and ‘probe’ evidence obtained throughlistening devices placed in the company office.
R v Mounsey
Led by G Kearl QC in multi-million-pound VAT missing trader fraud.
James regularly receives instructions nationwide to prosecute and defend in Health and Safety, Licensing, Counterfeit goods, Trading standards, Traffic Commissioner Inquiries, Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), and environmental cases. James also receives instructions from professionals charged with misconduct who then have to appear before their professional body. This has included nurses, doctors and opticians.
R v Morrison and Towers
Successfully prosecuted on behalf of Trading Standards two company directors charged with offences contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. The case was covered nationwide by the press and television.
HSE v Poundstretcher
Represented the company for over 6 years in relation to breaches of Health and Safety legislation.
Local Authority v Faisals Restaurant
Complicated licensing appeal by a restaurant accused of serious criminal conduct.
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.
James both prosecutes and defends in all areas of criminal law. He is instructed in the full range of criminal cases from fraud and financial crime, drug trafficking, sexual offences and money laundering often requiring a level of expertise and skill normally associated with somebody of more senior call.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
Provided proactive advice to the bank in relation to jurisdictional regulatory and criminal proceedings.
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’ and is a reported case.
Defended in multi-million-pound conspiracy to import drugs and firearms. Featured on a Panorama BBC1 Special. (reported case)
R v YY
Led by Andrew Stubbs QC representing a defendant charged with 2 x conspiracies to murder. The case was largely conducted in ‘camera’ due to issues regarding National Security.
The Legal 500
“He fights ferociously for his clients”
“He is an exceptional talent”
“Truly outstanding at his craft”
“His experience includes large-scale offences, such as drugs conspiracies and fraud”
“Personable and approachable”
“Recommended for high-value fraud instructions”
“Without doubt a leading light of the Junior Bar in Leeds”
“He is a real talent, who is clever, can see the route through to the result and is also extremely likable” “He undertakes an unbelievable level of preparation and is very jury-friendly”
“He has a great courtroom presence and delivers great jury speeches. Clients love him as he’s very committed” “He has a good eye for detail and is extremely dependable”
The Latest News and Cases From James Lake
Follow our blog for further information on the latest news and cases from James Lake, and all other members of our team.
The Latest News and Cases From James Lake
Follow our blog for further information on the latest news and cases from James Lake and all other members of our team.
FILTER BY EXPERTISE
Head of Chambers
Simon Bickler QC
Nigel Sangster QC
Richard Barraclough QC
Simon Myerson QC
Bryan Cox QC
Jane Bewsey QC
Sam Green QC
John Harrison QC
Andrew Haslam QC