"He's measured, analytical and devastating. His overall manner, his preparation and his general ability distinguish him. He doesn't lose his calm ever."

Chambers & Partners 2020
James James

Barrister: James Thacker


Grade 4 prosecutor; CPS specialist Rape list; Grade 4 specialist Fraud prosecutor; Grade A SFO prosecution panel; Appointed to Level 4 on Serious Crime Group Panel; Panel B Regulatory list; Pupil supervisor; Central London Bar Mess junior; Committee member of South Eastern Circuit; Recorder of Seniors in Hall at Gray’s Inn

LLB (Hons), Birmingham University


James prosecutes and defends a broad spectrum of serious offences with specialisms in:

  • Financial crime
  • Rape and Child Abuse
  • Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Health & Safety
  • Appeals

He is known for his thorough preparation, calm collected approach, devastatingly good cross-examination and his natural ability to connect with juries.

James has prosecuted and defended in several high profile, multi-handed, cases. He has significant experience of leading the team to successful outcomes and appearing against Queen's Counsel.

James is briefed on a wide spectrum of fraud cases ranging from the most straightforward to major business crime perpetrated against multinationals, banking institutions and Trusts involving substantial overpayment, legal argument and factual complexities.

He is a grade 4 prosecutor, is approved to prosecute fraud, rape cases, and other serious sexual offences and has been appointed to the Regulatory List enabling him to prosecute on behalf of the HSE and the Environment Agency. James also prosecutes on behalf of executive agencies of the Department of Health such as NHS Protect and the MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulation Authority) in complex and high profile cases of fraud and regulatory offences involving leading consultants, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and pharmaceuticals.

James is knowledgeable and experienced in defending road traffic prosecutions especially where death or serious injury has occurred. He accepts instructions directly or through insurers.

What the directories say:

  • "He's measured, analytical and devastating. His overall manner, his preparation and his general ability distinguish him. He doesn't lose his calm ever." - Chambers and Partner 2020
  • "A very robust advocate who knows when to pick his fights." - Legal 500 2020
  • "He combines a good intellect and a calm approach." Legal 500 2019
  • "He's an incredibly committed and diligent lawyer." Chambers and Partners 2019
  • "James is a fantastic advocate who is particularly good at paper-heavy cases. He will always be sure to leave no stone unturned." Chambers and Partners 2018
  • "A clever advocate who is highly strategic and always eyeing the opportunity to trap his opponent." Chambers and Partners 2017
  • "Fantastically well prepared, hardworking and great to deal with." Legal 500 2017
  • "He combines a strong knowledge of fraud with a collaborative approach and a confident courtroom presence". Legal 500 2017
  • "Extremely knowledgeable, efficient and concise, and his advocacy is very measured." Chambers and Partners 2016
  • "His reputation goes before him." Legal 500 2016
  • "Very thorough, has good attention to detail and is very approachable." Chambers and Partners 2015

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James represents defendants and prosecuting agencies in major business crime cases; multi-handed, high value financial crime perpetrated against multinationals, banking institutions, government and Trusts. James regularly acts as leading counsel or junior to Queen's Counsel and is used to appearing against Queen's Counsel.

He is also experienced in highly specialised areas of fraud such as benefit fraud, NHS prosecutions and MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulation Authority) prosecutions.

He is a grade 4 specialist fraud prosecutor.


James prosecutes and defends a broad spectrum of serious offences. He is a grade 4 prosecutor and is approved to prosecute rape, child abuse and other serious sexual offences.

He is experienced in dealing with expert evidence: providing advice, leading evidence and cross examining. Examples include: dealing with evidence from a number of leading paediatricians when defending in an alleged assault upon a prematurely born baby, and dealing with chartered, management and forensic accountants in fraud cases.

James is also experienced in dealing with children (both as witnesses and defendants) and vulnerable witnesses. He has specific expertise with witnesses suffering from Asperger's syndrome, witnesses diagnosed with PTSD, witnesses with low IQs and deaf witnesses, all of which involved a number of special measures including intermediaries.

He also prosecutes cases investigated by the Metropolitan Police's Serious and Organised Crime Group (SCD7) and the Trident Gang Crime Command.

Notable Cases:


  • R v SF, RT and AW, Canterbury Crown Court, 2020: Leading William Dean in £2.7m Government grant aid fraud under the Countryside Productivity Scheme administered by the Rural Payments Agency at DEFRA. The case involved what is understood to be the first conviction under regulation 16 of the Common Agricultural Policy (Control and Enforcement, Cross-Compliance, Scrutiny of Transactions and Appeals) Regulations 2014. Case available here http://www.9goughchambers.co.uk/news/1716/
  • R (Operation Veil nos.1 and 3) v MF, AJ, DI and HC, CW, Snaresbrook Crown Court, 2018: Leading Jennifer Newcomb on behalf of HMRC in combined £2.3m fraudulent evasion of duty. Story available here
  • R (Operations Amaryllis and Ensete) v VS, US, AS, VS & SG, Wood Green Crown Court, 2018: Leading Thom Dyke in £7 ½ million multiple global banking conspiracies.
  • R v HD and GR, Isleworth Crown Court, 2017: £8million sophisticated money laundering case.
  • R v AA, CR and SJC, Wood Green Crown Court, 2017: Insider fraud at Barclays Bank plc.
  • R (Operation Dinghy, no. 2) v RF, TH, MD, KR & SJ, Southwark Crown Court, 2017: Leading Dominic Hockley in Wine Investment Fraud.
  • R (Operation Radome) v AT & 6 Others, Maidstone Crown Court, 2017: Leading Frederick Hookway in fraudulent evasion of duty by smuggling tobacco.
  • R v MC, Snaresbrook Crown Court, 2016: Prosecuted lawyer with law firms in UK, Portugal and Brazil for fraud.
  • R v SK, Woolwich Crown Court, 2016: Multi-million Education Trust fraud. National newspapers refer to the case as 'Britain's biggest Education Fraud'. £3.3million Confiscation Order made. Story available here.
  • R (Operation Anchorage) v AD, AA, DB & JM, Southwark Crown Court, 2016: Fraud and Money Laundering case perpetrated against Genesis Housing Association.
  • R v KA, Woodgreen Crown Court, 2016: Investment fraud involving multiple victims.
  • R v BB, Southwark Crown Court, 2016: £3.1million fraud perpetrated against HSBC Invoice Finance UK Limited in biggest ever loss suffered by them. News article here.
  • R (Operation Crystal) v R and 13 Others, Southwark Crown Court, 2011 - 2015: First junior to Queen's Counsel in a 14 handed conspiracy to defraud the DWP's Access to Work Scheme. 12 defendants were profoundly deaf. The case involved many thousands of documents used and unused (with Disclosure Management Protocols in existence) and was split into two trials to case manage.
  • R (Operation Exempt) v NP & Others, Maidstone Crown Court, 2014: Defended in multi-handed confidence fraud. Defendant had a very low IQ and had an Intermediary.
  • R (Operation Dee) v NB, MT, JM and THT, Central Criminal Court, 2014: Prosecuted multi-million bank fraud.
  • R (Operation Glider) v SA, RA and AO, Central Criminal Court, 2011 - 2013: Prosecuted a multi handed complex conspiracy to defraud HM Revenue and Customs arising out of a church related Gift Aid fraud.
  • R (Department for Health (NHS)) v F & M (Operation Evergreen), Aylesbury Crown Court, 2010 - 2011: Prosecuted defendants for conspiracy to defraud in an organised, large scale insider fraud by an NHS manager within a Primary Care Trust of the NHS.
  • R v JR, Southampton Crown Court, 2008 - 2010: Junior counsel to the late Philip Henry by Revenue & Customs in a high value, document heavy Tax and VAT fraud. Defendant was represented by Queen's Counsel.
  • R v JS, ML & JN, Southwark Crown Court, 2008 - 2010: Leading prosecuting counsel (leading Jennifer Newcomb from Chambers) to prosecute a £1/4 million conspiracy to defraud a brewery.

Restraint, Forfeiture & Confiscation

  • R (On the application of Mohammed Shamil Hassan Mohammed Shajan Assan) v Milton Keynes Magistrates Court and The Home Office - High Court of Justice, QBD, Admin. Court - 2013: James represented the interested party (the Home Office) in an application to judicially review the decision of the District Judge in the Magistrates' Court not to award costs.
  • R v R [2013] EWCA Crim 1105: James successfully represented the Department for Work and Pensions in a prosecution appeal against the variation of a restraint order. The Court of Appeal set out questions that the court considering a variation should ask itself and factors that it should have regard to.

Rape, Sexual Offences & Child Abuse

  • R v AA, Snaresbrook Crown Court, 2018: Prosecuted Scoutmaster who groomed and sexually abused at least 7 young cubs and scouts, aged between 9 and 13 years.  He carried out his ‘appalling and evil’ pattern of offences at campsites and at the children’s’ homes whilst their parents were present. His actions were predatory, blatant and in abuse of trust.  He also had inappropriate chats with young scouts via messaging sites and social media and requested sexually explicit photographs and had made indecent photographs of some cubs and scouts and was in possession of many more.  Sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment and made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life.
  • R v GS, Woolwich Crown Court, 2017: Successfully prosecuted non-recent inter-familial rape and child abuse (sexual, physical and physiological) case which spanned 4 decades and involved multiple complainants. Defendant sentenced to 26 years’ imprisonment.
  • R v PO, Isleworth Crown Court, 2017: Dubbed ‘Ripper of Ravenscourt’ the defendant attacked eight women including one schoolgirl over the course of three days around the Ravenscourt Park area of London.
  • R v CP, Isleworth Crown Court, 2017: Prosecuted Head of Great British Martial Arts Association and Vice-Chair of British Kick Boxing Council for historic sexual offences.
  • R v NS, Inner London Crown Court, 2016: Prosecuted 77 year old grandfather for abusing grandchildren.
  • R v JMM, Snaresbrook Crown Court, 2015: Prosecuted young defendant for inciting young complainant to engage in sexual activity.
  • R v GH, Snaresbrook Crown Court, 2011-2012: Junior Counsel to Rosina Cottage QC in multiple complainant, partially historic, inter-familial rape and child abuse case. Expert evidence included Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Forensic Computer practitioners.
  • R v KM, Woodgreen Crown Court, 2011: Successfully prosecuted defendant for attempting to abduct an 8 year old girl off the street and thereafter sexually assaulting her. Special measures used during trial and after legal arguments, defendant convicted.
  • R v AD, Guildford Crown Court, 2010 - 2011: Defended a father alleged to have assaulted his prematurely born baby. The case involved a large amount of evidence from leading paediatricians.


  • R (Op Labootan) v DB, PD, GP, GL, JH, MO and CD, Kingston Crown Court, 2018-2020: First junior to Christopher Donnellan QC in substantial (1 tonne plus) conspiracy to supply high purity cocaine (£32m wholesale) that spanned December 2016 to January 2018. The investigation resulted in over 120,000 pages of evidence including ½ million rows of telephone data and was presented in court electronically with iPads. First case prosecuted where defendants used Encrochat devices. Trial one stopped in 2018 with two further trials, each lasting three months, in 2019. Defendants sentenced to a total of 111 years’ imprisonment with principal organiser sentenced to 27 years’.
  • R (Op Packetstone) v H, A and L, Central Criminal Court, 2019: Junior to Treasury Counsel, Tom Little QC in Murder case.
  • R v HP, KM and AS, Harrow Crown Court, 2019 before Simler LJ (sitting as a judge of the High Court): Leading Jennifer Oborne in premediated and sustained assault to abort the foetus of a pregnant teenager. Complicated issues relating to the Modern Slavery Act arose. All three defendants successfully prosecuted and received combined sentences of 25 years with two defendants deemed ‘dangerous’ and sentenced to extended terms of imprisonment.
  • R v SG, Central Criminal Court, 2019: Successfully defended HGV driver accused of causing a death by dangerous driving. Proceedings stayed as an abuse of process following legal argument and after s8 disclosure requests unearthed police corruption during the investigation that tainted evidence from various eye witnesses and caused exhibits not to be retained.
  • R (Op. Tarori) v RB, Wood Green Crown Court, 2018: Leading Laura Kenyon in class A county lines case.
  • R (Op Alora) v AR, Southwark Crown Court, 2018: Attempted Murder in Walthamstow, E17 where victim was shot at close range.
  • R (Operation Digamy) v AA, MR & AK, Harrow Crown Court, 2016: Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs. Case relied upon surveillance, telephone and cell site evidence. Defendants convicted. Defendants sentenced to a total of 25 years' imprisonment.
  • R (Operation Quirba) v MN, UB & IH, Central Criminal Court, 2015-2016: Non-fatal shooting in Deptford. Case involved expert DNA and GSR evidence. Defendants convicted.
  • R v JF, CM, SF, KH, JR, Isleworth Crown Court, 2015: Prosecuted serious robbery involving youths and adults. All defendants convicted.
  • R (Operation Kirkman) v NS, AM, EC & KS, Inner London Crown Court, 2013: Junior counsel in Conspiracy to supply class A drugs by prominent members of an organised criminal gang.
  • R (Operation Duhr) v C & J, Croydon Crown Court, 2013: Prosecuted a conspiracy to possess a lethal firearm.
  • R (Operation Talcville) v F & HW, Inner London Crown Court, 2013: Prosecuted an aggravated burglary where home owners confronted by masked men welding a firearm and knives. The gun man was sentenced to 14 years 9 months.
  • R v DJN, JA, A & MH, Inner London Crown Court, 2012 - 2013: Prosecuted four 16-17 year old males who robbed a younger school boy of his mobile telephone. The victim suffers with Asperger's Syndrome and so several special measures were used during the trial.

Health & Safety

  • HSEv New Earth Solutions Group, Maidstone Crown Court, 2016: Prosecuted company for breaching Health & Safety at Work Act, which resulted in the death of an employee.
  • HSE v Mahle Powertrain Ltd, Birmingham Crown Court, 2016: Prosecuted company for significant and substantial breaches of Manual Handling at Work.

Regulatory & Disciplinary

  • GDC v NO, GDC Professional Conduct Committee, 2014: Advised GDC on appropriate charges and evidence in respect of sixteen complainants and thereafter represented the GDC in this multiple complainant, multiple expert, factually complex case. The Registrant's fitness to practice was found to be impaired by reason of his misconduct and he was sanctioned with appropriate conditions.
  • MHRA v M, Central Criminal Court, 2013: Prosecuted defendant for dealing in counterfeit Viagra products. Legal argument over Regulations and definition of '...in the course of a business...'
  • MHRA v A (Operation Nigel), Luton Crown Court, 2012: Prosecuted defendant for possessing and selling counterfeit Viagra products (over 6,000 tablets seized) and for breaches of the Trade Marks Act.

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