Since being taken on as a tenant at 7 Bedford Row in September 2010, James has appeared in the Queen’s Bench, Family, and Chancery Divisions of the High Court, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and has assisted on a criminal appeal to the Privy Council. James has a multi-disciplinary practice, with particular focus on and experience in criminal law (including international criminal law), employment and discrimination law, inquests and clinical negligence, and human rights law.
Criminal and fraud law
James has expertise in the following areas:
- Criminal litigation
- Complex fraud
- Prison law
- Public and Human rights law
- International criminal law
James is a grade 2 Prosecutor, and appears regularly on behalf of both defendants and the CPS in the crown court. He has appeared in the Administrative Court on extradition appeals, and has assisted on an appeal to the Privy Council.
After gaining tenancy James spent 8 months on secondment at Peters & Peters LLP where he gained experience and expertise in complex fraud, extradition, international sanctions, export control and corruption cases.
Before coming to the bar, James gained an MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from King’s College London (KCL), for which he gained a distinction, was top in his year, and won the KCL Directors Prize in Criminology and Criminal Justice. He is a former visiting tutor in Criminology and Criminal Justice at KCL and has published and has particular academic expertise in prisons, sentencing, parole and human rights law. In 2011 his report on prison conditions in Jamaica, with an overview by Alison McDonald and Tim Owen QC, and an afterword by Baroness Stern, was published by the Death Penalty Project. The report can be viewed here:
James regularly appears in the Employment Tribunal and advises on behalf of both claimants and respondents.
He is experienced in a wide range of tribunal claims including unfair dismissals, constructive dismissals, direct and indirect-discrimination claims, victimisation and harassment claims, equal pay, minimum wage claims, claims concerning the incorporation of collective agreements, and claims under TUPE.
James has been instructed by the Anti-Trafficking and Forced Labour Exploitation Unit on a series of Tribunal claims relating to the working conditions of migrant domestic workers. One of those claims – Onu v Akiwiu – is a leading EAT authority on two important points of law: the first relating to the existence of post-termination victimisation claims in the light of a.108 of the Equality Act 2010, the second concerning the validity of race discrimination claims in a migrant worker context. Cross appeals from the EAT in the case and in Rowstock v Jessemey  IRLR 439 and Taiwo v Olaigbe  ICR 770 were heard by the Court of Appeal in October 2010 with judgment currently awaited.
James undertakes training for the solicitors’ pro-bono group LawWorks.
Inquests and civil actions:
James has extensive experience representing bereaved families at inquests and in subsequent civil claims, including for clinical negligence and claims under the Human Rights Act 1998. His inquest experience includes:
Representing the family of Tallulah Wilson, who took her own life in October 2012 after having become involved with self-harm and suicide related blogs and websites. The case received nationwide media coverage:
Representing the brother of Patrick Whiting at the Article 2 ECHR, jury inquest into his death. Patrick hanged himself following multiple failures on the part of the mental health trust charged with his care:
Representing the family of Gwendolen Bingham, who died following a successful knee replacement revision operation, as a result of a failure to monitor and adequately care for her in hospital over during a weekend, leading to renal failure.
Onu v Akwiwu  IRLR 523
Polkowski v Poland  EWHC 3649 (Admin)
Remanded in Custody: An Analysis of Recent Trends in England and Wales, The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 49, Issue 3, pp. 231-251, July 2010 – co-author.
The Human Rights Act: the Seven Year Itch, annual Administrative Law Bar Association speech – co-authored with Keir Starmer QC.
Prison Conditions in Jamaica: A Report based on James Robottom’s visit in August 2009,The Death Penalty Project and The Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights, December 2011.
The Participation and Involvement of Children in Family Proceedings", Rachel Langdale QC and James Robottom (February 2012) http://www.familylawweek.co.uk
Tallulah Wilson Inquest: lessons to be learnt, James Robottom and Anna Louise Thwaites, The Times 30 January 2014.
Contact James Robottom
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7242 3555
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7242 2511