Barrister Profile


Year of Call: 2015

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Criminal Law
Human Rights
Personal Injury


James was called to the Bar in 2015. He is a criminal defence practitioner, appearing frequently in the Magistrates’ Courts, County Court, and Crown Court. He is also regularly instructed in extradition proceedings, criminal injury compensation appeals, immigration matters, and personal injury cases.

James has a particular interest in the legislation and regulations governing the legal aid system in Northern Ireland, and frequently provides advice and guidance to instructing solicitors in this area.

Since the passing of the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Act 2019, James has advised instructing solicitors with respect to applications to the HIA Redress Board for compensation for survivors of institutional abuse.

James is a member of the GLS ‘D’ Counsel Panel and the Attorney General’s Junior Counsel Panel.

For the past four years, James has also acted as a tutor and examiner at the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast, with respect to undergraduate modules concerning human rights, judicial review, evidence, and legal methods and skills.

James was Chair of the Young Bar Association between 2018 and 2020. He is a member of the Bar Council, and through this role also acts as Scholarship Officer for the Forum of Barristers and Advocates within the International Bar Association (IBA). He sits on the Member Services Committee and the Wellbeing Committee of the Bar Library.

James is one of the Bar Council’s representatives on the Digital Transformation of Legal Aid Project (DTLAP) Stakeholder Liaison Forum. He has significant experience training colleagues in the use of the Legal Aid Management System (LAMS) which launched in 2019.

He is also an active member of the Criminal Bar Association Committee and the Pro Bono Choir Committee.

James was called to the Bar of Ireland in 2018.

LAMS Supplier Reference No. 1000404


2014; LL.B. Law with French (First Class Honours), Queen’s University Belfast

2012-13; Erasmus Study Programme - French and European Law, Université de Toulouse 1 Capitole

2014; Certificate of Distinction in Spoken French, Queen’s University Belfast

2015; Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Legal Studies (Commendation), Institute of Professional Legal Studies

2015; Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland

2018; Appointed to the Government Civil D Panel

2018; Called to the Bar of Ireland

Professional Memberships and Awards


R v Doherty, Declan [2018] NICA 52 – acting for the appellant before the Court of Appeal in an appeal against sentence for dangerous driving causing grievous bodily injury. Original sentence of 3½ years reduced on appeal to 2¼ years. The case concerned: the distinction between English authority in R v Cooksley [2003] EWCA Crim 996 and Northern Ireland authority in AG’s References (Nos 2, 6, 7 and 8 of 2003) [2003] NICA 28; whether the standard of driving can itself be an aggravating factor; the weight to be given to historic driving convictions as a teenager in determining the culpability category into which the appellant should be placed.

OA and SA v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2019) - appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber); decision by Home Office to refuse a residence card to the first appellant (a Nigerian national) as an EEA family member; second appellant was the daughter of the first appellant and had Irish citizenship; successfully argued the refusal was unlawful on Human Rights grounds and in breach of the Immigration Rules.

R v D (2020) - Crown Court; dangerous driving by a taxi driver causing grievous bodily injuries to two vulnerable children who were passengers, immediate custody required in all but the most exceptional circumstances; successfully argued exceptional circumstances existed in this case; suspended sentence imposed.