Since being taken on as a tenant at 7 Bedford Row in September 2010, James has appeared unled in the Queen’s Bench, Family, and Chancery Divisions of the High Court, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and the Court of Appeal. James has a multi-disciplinary practice and accepts instructions in all Chambers practice areas. He has a particular focus on and experience in criminal law (including international criminal law), employment and discrimination law, inquests and clinical negligence, and human rights law.
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 are scheduled to be heard before the Court of Appeal alongside those in Rowstock v Jessemey  IRLR 439 and Taiwo v Olaigbe  ICR 770.
James undertakes training for the solicitors’ pro-bono group LawWorks.
Inquests and civil actions:
James has particular experience representing bereaved families at inquests and in subsequent civil claims. In February 2013 he represented the twin brother of a mental health patient who took his own life following discharge from hospital. An Article 2 ECHR inquest lasted two and a half week and oral evidence was heard from over 25 witnesses. The jury returned a narrative verdict finding multiple failures on the part of the mental health trust charged with the deceased’s care.
James is currently instructed in another significant Article 2 inquest relating to mental health care, which is due to be heard over two weeks in late 2013.
He is also experienced in claims under the Human Rights Act 1998, including claims for breach of the positive obligations under Articles 3 and 4.
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:
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
Contact James Robottom
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7242 3555
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7242 2511