Inn: Middle Temple
Degree: LLB Law (Hons)
Criminal Bar Association
James is a specialist criminal practitioner with a heavy emphasis on complex and serious defence work. He is frequently instructed on a privately funded basis with a view to providing a true cradle to grave service.
He is regularly instructed in the following areas:
• Murder and Attempted Murder;
• Manslaughter (unlawful act and gross negligence);
• Rape and Child Sex Abuse;
• High Value Fraud; and
• Serious and Organised Drugs.
James is well known for his thorough preparation and ability to get to grips with key issues swiftly in paper heavy and complicated cases.
He has been consistently recommended in Chambers & Partners since 2012 (to present).
• R v. L [2017/2018]: Currently instructed to defend as led junior an employee accused of engaging in acts of bribery and corruption in the context of his employer entering into a deferred prosecution agreement with the SFO.
• R v. Kennedy [2017/2018]: Currently instructed to defend as junior alone one of a number of defendants charged with serious firearms offences based upon the evidence of a “supergrass”.
• R v. Hawes : Instructed to defend a 76-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting his 100-year-old mother. Not guilty verdicts directed.
• R v. Waslin : Instructed to defend as junior alone a businessman alleged to have committed significant VAT fraud. Involved complex issues of forensic accounting.
• R v. Wass : Instructed to defend as junior alone a man accused of historic sexual abuse (ranging from indecent exposure to rape) of his 3 sisters over the course of 40-years. Culminated in a 4-week trial.
• R v. Walton : Instructed to defend as junior alone a leading GP in a high profile alleged complex fraud upon the NHS.
• R v. Fretwell : Instructed to defend as led junior in a domestic murder involving issues of fitness to plead.
• R v. Dunstan : Instructed to defend as led junior in a domestic murder involving issues of alcoholism and its impact upon intent.
• R v. Aga & Ors : Instructed to prosecute 15 defendants as led junior in a nationwide drugs conspiracy.
• R v. Pelkowski : Instructed to defend as junior alone a care home manager accused of neglecting a resident lacking in mental capacity. Indictment stayed following a successful abuse of process argument 4-weeks into the trial.
• R v. Hussain : Instructed to defend as junior alone one of 15 defendants accused of violent disorder during the course of which serious acts of violence were committed. Acquitted after a 10-week trial.
• R v. Amaro : Instructed to defend as led junior a nurse charged with gross negligence manslaughter following the unexpected death of a 4-year-old boy with Downs Syndrome. The trial was reported nationally and involved issues of complex expert medical evidence.
• R v. Turton : Instructed to defend as junior alone the lead defendant (out of 18 charged) in an international drugs conspiracy with links to Portugal, Spain and South America following the seizure of in excess of 1.2 tonnes of cocaine from a French airport. The case involved money laundering allegations in the tens of millions.
• R v. Shreeves : Instructed to defend as led junior in a murder of a stranger for sexual gain. Original conviction successfully overturned by the Court of Appeal.
• R v. Hussain : Instructed to defend as junior alone a man charged with significant breaches of health and safety law following a high profile building collapse.
• R v. Grant : instructed to defend as junior alone a mother accused of killing her own baby. Acquitted after a 2-week trial following extensive cross-examination of three eminent medical experts.
• R v. H : Instructed to defend as junior alone a jeweler alleged to have defrauded the public purse to the tune of almost £1.5million. Involved complex issues of forensic accounting with the court eventually accepting that the fraud was technical (rather than deliberate) in nature and limited to less than £60k.
• R v. Tryner : Instructed to defend as junior alone a man allegedly involved in a national drugs conspiracy. Acquitted after an 8-week trial.
• R v. Simpkins : Instructed to defend as junior alone an alleged Hell’s Angel accused of taking part in a bike ringing fraud worth millions over a significant number of years. Acquitted after a 10-week trial.
• R v. Lamb : Instructed to defend as led junior a retired police officer accused of committing multi-million pound revenue fraud through the illegal importation of huge quantities of cigarettes.
• R v. Pulford : Instructed to defend as led junior a man dubbed “the British Josef Fritzl” by the UK press having fathered 7 children with his 2 daughters.
• R v. Bagshaw : Instructed to defend as junior alone (VHCC) a man accused of money laundering and facilitating breaches of immigration law through his acknowledged involvement in running two brothels. Indictment stayed following an abuse of process argument lasting 4-weeks involving cross-examination of high ranking police chiefs.
In addition to jury advocacy, James has significant experience in conducting pre-trial arguments (abuse of process, etc.), complicated confiscation proceedings and resisting post-trial ancillary applications (such as criminal behaviour orders, etc.).
He has acted for individual defendants as well as company directors and corporate bodies.
Since 2012, Chambers & Partners has recommended James as a Leader in his Field for criminal work.
“Specialist criminal law barrister who has already accrued substantial experience on cases of historic sexual abuse, murder and serious violence” – Chambers & Partners 2017.
“Having recently moved to No.1 High Pavement from a leading Chambers on the North Eastern circuit, Horne brings with him his wide-ranging knowledge of the criminal field. Strengths: ‘A really excellent organised advocate. Gets on with solicitors and is easy to work with. He is a capable junior who will do great things’” – Chambers & Partners 2016.
“Nothing is too much trouble for James, and we are always happy to brief him knowing our clients will be well looked after both in and out of court” – Chambers & Partners 2015.
“A superb criminal barrister who is extremely hard working and has a real down to earth approach. He is available to consult at all times of the day and even at night” – Chambers & Partners 2014.
“Doing work much more advanced than his level of call would predict. Definitely one to watch for the future, he is someone with a buoyant defence practice” – Chambers & Partners 2013.
“A regular on the Northern and Midlands circuits. Sources speak of his ‘great relationship with clients’ and his skill in analysing evidence” – Chambers & Partners 2012.
He has lectured on accredited CPD courses on a range of subjects.
James is passionate about music and is a devoted supporter of Middlesbrough FC – through thick and thin; mainly thin.