James is a founding partner of Saunders Law and a leading criminal lawyer, as noted in “The Legal 500” and “Chambers Directory”.
Described by “The Legal 500” as a ‘consummate strategist, and his judgment on the long view of cases is spot on’.
The first choice of many in important criminal defences and appeals to the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and Privy Council, James acted for Norfolk farmer Tony Martin in his self-defence appeal after shooting a burglar in his house, major fraud trials such as in Wickes PLC, and Robert Black in his infamous serial child murder trials.
James is one of The Lawyer’s ‘Hot 100’ lawyers for his pursuit of justice though a class action for the families of the 96 Liverpool FC supporters who perished in the Hillsborough disaster.
His regulatory work sees him leading the Saunders Law Regulatory Team, overseeing the Head of Legal at News International being vindicated of News of World phone hacking complicity and appearances before the Culture Media and Sport Parliamentary Select Committee and Leveson Inquiry.
James is a member of the Solicitors’ Assistance Scheme, representing lawyers before their Regulator the SRA, and finance, medical and other professionals before theirs.
He is regularly instructed in diverse Public Inquiries including that into the 2017 Grenfell Tower inferno and the current Under Cover Policing Enquiry. Advises on reputation management, privacy and related issues.
In 2019, acted for Darren Grimes in overturning his conviction by the Electoral Commission for misconduct in the EU Referendum -
James was a founder member of the first UK law centre, The North Kensington Neighbourhood Law Centre in 1970; founder of Saunders & Co in 1974; founder in 1990 and current director of Westminster Drug Project, one of the countries leading drug treatment and rehabilitation organisations.