James Thacker

Call: 2001

"An excellent barrister with a thorough knowledge of the law. He is tactically astute."

Chambers UK 2021

James has prosecuted and defended in several high profile, multi-handed, cases often involving Organised Criminal Networks.

He is regularly instructed as leading counsel as he has significant experience of leading a team to successful outcomes.

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

  • Financial Crime
  • Organised and Complex Crime
  • Rape and Child Abuse
  • Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Health & Safety
  • Road Traffic prosecutions involving death or serious injury
  • Inquests
  • Appeals

James is a grade 4 prosecutor, is approved to prosecute serious and organised crime, 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 and accepts instructions directly or through insurers. His expertise extends to representation before the Coroner’s Court in Inquests.


James regularly acts as leading counsel representing defendants and prosecuting agencies in major business crime cases; multi-handed, high value financial crime perpetrated against multinationals, banking institutions, government and Trusts.

He is 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.

Notable Fraud cases

Operation Sanguine, Southwark CC (2021)

Prosecuting multi defendants for defrauding Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton LLP.

R v SF, RT and AW, Canterbury CC (2020)

Leading William Dean in £2.7m Government grant aid fraud under the Countryside Productivity Scheme administered by the Rural Payments Agency at DEFRA.

Operation Veil nos.1 and 3, Snaresbrook CC (2018)

Leading Jennifer Newcomb on behalf of HMRC in combined £2.3m fraudulent evasion of duty.

Operations Amaryllis and Ensete, Wood Green CC (2018)

Leading Thom Dyke in £7½ million multiple global banking conspiracies.

James prosecutes and defends in complex cases of Serious and Organised Crime. He is a grade 4 prosecutor on the CPS General Panel and CPS Serious Crime Panel. He is regularly instructed to lead other juniors in cases of factual and legal complexity and multi-handed cases.

James is experienced and approved to prosecute rape, child abuse and other serious sexual offences.

He has significant experience and expertise in dealing with telephone and cell site data. He is knowledgeable about Encrochat enabled devices and dealt with one of the first prosecutions in which they featured. He is currently instructed by CPS London and the CCU in a number of ‘Venetic’ cases.

Notable Crime cases

Operation Edge, Woolwich CC, 2020

Leading Jennifer Newcomb and Kyah Mufti in substantial conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs by an Organised Criminal Group. All defendants convicted and sentenced to substantial terms of imprisonment.

R v WT

Croydon Crown Court, 2020: Led by Tom Little QC, Senior Treasury Counsel. Successfully prosecuted serial rapist sentenced to life imprisonment.

Operation Labootan

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.

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 defendants successfully prosecuted.

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 v AA

Snaresbrook Crown Court, 2018: Successfully prosecuted Scoutmaster who groomed and sexually abused at least 7 young cubs and scouts, aged between 9 and 13 years.

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.

R v PO

Isleworth Crown Court, 2017: Successfully prosecuted the defendant dubbed ‘Ripper of Ravenscourt’ who attacked eight women including one schoolgirl over the course of three days around the Ravenscourt Park area of London.

Recent News

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. To see my privacy notice click here.

  • LLB (Hons), Birmingham University

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit

  • Level 4 CPS General panel
  • Level 4 CPS Serious Crime Group panel
  • Level 4 CPS Fraud panel
  • CPS Rape panel
  • Level A SFO prosecution panel
  • Level B Regulatory panel
  • Pupil supervisor
  • Central London Bar Mess junior
  • Committee member of South Eastern Circuit
  • Recorder of Seniors in Hall at Gray’s Inn

"Absolutely meticulous in his preparation of cases."

Chambers UK 2021

"Detailed and focused preparation leading to a very strong grasp of all areas of the complicated case in which we were involved. Was strong in every area of the case and his advocacy was thorough, clear and persuasive. Reliable, friendly and excellent at working within a team and leading it. He is unshakeable in court."

Legal 500 2021

"A thoroughly prepared, calm, hardworking and assured criminal advocate, James is meticulous in every area of his preparation. He leaves no stone unturned and is a strong advocate and negotiates robustly with opponents."

Legal 500 2021

"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 UK 2020

"A very robust advocate who knows when to pick his fights."

Legal 500 2020

"He's an incredibly committed and diligent lawyer."

Chambers UK (Financial Crime) 2019

"He combines a good intellect and a calm approach."

Legal 500 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 UK (Financial Crime) 2018

"A clever advocate who is highly strategic and always eyeing the opportunity to trap his opponent."

Chambers UK (Financial Crime) 2017

"Fantastically well prepared, hardworking and great to deal with."

Legal 500 2017

"His reputation goes before him."

Legal 500 2016

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