Roderick James

Year of Call: 1999
Inn of Court: Lincoln’s Inn

Roderick James


His ability to think of solutions to problems quickly is a real strength’; ‘He is extremely hardworking, incredibly well-prepared and a forceful advocate’ – Crime and Fraud – Leading Juniors (Legal 500 – 2017)

He is a leading London junior with a strong General Crime and Fraud practice. His areas of specialism include defending clients facing allegations of serious and organised crime, homicide, serious drug-trafficking cases, multi-handed fraud, corruption and money laundering trials.

Described by instructing solicitors as “very methodical with evidence and excellent under pressure”, he is adept in making complicated issues comprehensible. Skilled in mastering large volumes of evidence and displaying clear tactical judgement he regularly conducts cases at all court levels as either leading or led counsel.

 

Significant Cases

Significant Fraud Cases

  • R v. KT [2016/2017] – Norwich Crown Court. Instructed to defend one of 3 company directors prosecuted by Trading Standards for conspiracy to defraud worth in excess of £10m relating to the deliberate mis-selling of satellite system insurance and anti-spam telephone services.
  • Operation Mulgrave [2016] – Southwark CC. Instructed to act for a former executive of a major insurance broker charged with defrauding the company of £millions by means of payments to sham introducing agents in overseas territories.
  • R v. AZ and others [2016] – Southwark Crown Court. Acting for a defendant implicated in a conspiracy to commit benefit fraud relating to multiple identities and addresses over a period of several years.
  • Operation Silenius [2015] – Isleworth Crown Court. Instructed as leading junior counsel representing an HMRC Vat Inspector charged with tax evasion and multiple charges of mortgage fraud spanning more than a decade.
  • Operation Callaghan [2014] – Southwark Crown Court. Instructed as leading junior counsel, prosecuted by Queen’s Counsel, for defendant charged with conspiracy to defraud in connection with unlawful GSM (mobile telephone) gateway provision and industrial scale usage of cloned credit cards.
  • R v. K and Others [2013] – Central Criminal Court. Instructed as leading junior counsel, prosecuted by Queen’s Counsel and junior Treasury Counsel, in the ‘Body in the Boot’ trial, arising from the murder of Carole Waugh. Defended client in respect of allegations of fraudulently stripping Ms Waugh’s estate after her murder.
  • Operation Domic [2012] Southwark Crown Court Acted as junior defence counsel in a 10-handed diversion fraud realising in excess of £10million of evaded duty and resulting confiscation proceedings.
  • R v. A & Others [2008] Southwark Crown Court. Acted as junior defence counsel in an 8-handed fraud relating to the construction contract for the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine decontamination plant at Devonport, Plymouth.
  • Operation Gnawed [2007] Nottingham Crown Court. Instructed as junior counsel for the defence in a multi-handed, £51m ‘MTIC’ fraud, Operation Gnawed. Successfully argued for the prosecution to be stayed after a week-long abuse argument.

Significant Homicide Cases

  • R v. AG [2016] – Sheffield Crown Court. Instructed as junior counsel to defend a man charged with murder in an alleged vigilante attack.
  • R v. DS [2016] – Central Criminal Court. Instructed to defend a client charged with the attempted murder of rival gang member, involving a shooting in a public restaurant.
  • R v. SW [2015] – Teesside Crown Court. Instructed as junior counsel to defend a man charged with the murder of a work colleague.
  • R v. JE [2014] – Luton Crown Court. Acted alone, at first instance and upon appeal, defending a client with mental health issues in a case of the murder of a family member.

Significant Drugs Cases

  • R v. S and others [2016] – Woolwich Crown Court. Instructed to defend a man implicated in a multi-handed conspiracy to supply class A drugs from London to Southampton.
  • R v. DL and others [2015] – Bristol Crown Court. Instructed as junior counsel to defend the central figure in a conspiracy to supply cocaine from London to Wiltshire.
  • R v. BW and others [2015] – Cambridge Crown Court. Instructed to defend a one of several family members all charged with conspiracy to supply multiple kilogram quantities of class A drugs between the north of England and Cambridgeshire.
  • R v. SO & Others [2013] – Wood Green Crown Court. Acted as leading junior counsel in a multi-handed trial encompassing numerous conspiracies to supply Class A drugs.
  • R v. MO & Others [2012] – Kingston Crown Court. Junior counsel for the principal defendant in a multi-handed prosecution involving allegations of the importation of £8.5m of Class A, B and C drugs. The matter spanned 3 trials as well as an interlocutory application to the Court of Appeal taken by the prosecution.
  • R v. HH & Others [2012] – Birmingham Crown Court. Junior counsel for a client charged with conspiracy to import 5 tonnes of cocaine, the Crown’s case being based on covert recordings of prison visit conversations.
  • R v. JO & Others [2012] – Winchester Crown Court. A multi-handed trial involving the importation and distribution of £multi-million in cocaine.
  • R v. KO & Others [2010] – Woolwich Crown Court. Instructed alone in a multi-handed trial to defend a client charged with importing £1.5m in Class A drugs.
  • R v. S & Others [2010] – Exeter Crown Court. Instructed as led junior counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy allegation involving the largest drugs investigation carried out by the Devon and Cornwall Police.
  • R v. B & Others [2008] – Nottingham Crown Court. Junior counsel instructed in a 10 week multi-handed, multi-million pound drugs and money laundering conspiracy trial.

Significant Serious Crime Cases

  • Other serious crime R v. RG and another [2016] – Northampton Crown Court. Instructed to defend one of 2 men charged with a wide-ranging car theft and ringing conspiracy.
  • R v. WB and others [2015] – Croydon Crown Court. Instructed alone to represent the central figure in a sophisticated car-ringing conspiracy.
  • R v. DS & Others [2014] – Woolwich Crown Court. Instructed to act alone, defending in a multi-handed blackmail, kidnapping and serious assault trial involving automatic firearms and multiple victims. Successfully defended client on all counts through, in part, legal argument to exclude mixed-profile DNA evidence.
  • R v. G & Others [2014] – Harrow Crown Court. Instructed for the lead defendant in a Trading Standards operation involving the importation of counterfeit goods valued in excess of £8m.
  • R v. M & Others [2012] – Wood Green Crown Court. Instructed to act alone, defending in a conspiracy to burgle encompassing many properties and resulting in loss of property valued in excess of £1m.

Significant Inquests & Inquiries

  • Re: CS [2015] – Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court. Acted for the manager of an NHS mental health assessment unit following the death of a young epileptic patient. At the conclusion of the article 2, jury inquest, the NHS Trust was heavily criticised with considerable publicity of their failings in this and other cases.
  • Re: TS [2015] – Maidstone Coroner’s Court. Acted for the night duty nurse at HMP Swaleside at the jury inquest following the death of a serving prisoner.
  • MA (Oxon), Trinity College, Oxford
  • BVC from the Inns of Court School of Law
  • Deputy Treasurer of Charter Chambers
  • Hardwicke Bursary (1998), Lincoln’s Inn
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • CyberCrime Practitioners Association

Areas of Specialism


Crime

He has been in a number of high profile cases (usually as the leading barrister or led junior) involving homicide, serious sexual and drugs offences.

Notable cases include:

  • R v. Goodridge
  • R v. Wainwright
  • R v. Kutner and Others
Fraud

He has extensive experience in high level, multi-handed white collar fraud cases (conducted as leading and lead junior).

Notable cases included:

  • R v. Thurston and others
  • Operation Mulgrave (international fraud on Insurance Company by director)
  • Operation Silenius (£multi-million) tax fraud by HMRC inspector over 15 year period
Professional Discipline & Inquests

He regularly appears for medical and other professionals in regulatory proceedings, inquests and related criminal matters.

Notable cases include the inquest of Connor Sparrowhawk and linked professional disciplinary proceedings.

Other Details


He is a Grade 3 panel advocate for the CPS (London and South East) having frequently prosecuted multi-handed trials.

In addition, he undertakes all aspects of confiscation and forfeiture proceedings, accepting instructions from either the prosecution or the defence.