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James Martin

'A no-nonsense advocate and tough opponent'Legal 500 - 2017

Call 2003

Practice Profile

James Martin is recommended Counsel in Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500. He is an experienced practitioner who prides himself on attention to detail and a fearless approach to defending his clients’ interests. Described by his peers as “a no nonsense advocate and a tough opponent” (The Legal 500 2017)

Mr Martin acts as leading counsel in the full range of criminal offending but in particular tends to focus on serious organised crime and fraud. He is also regularly led in homicide cases. He has particular experience in dealing with complex multi-handed cases of all types and is very adept at dealing with technical evidence such as that retrieved from 'phones, computers and associated cell site evidence.

Although a large amount of his work comes from traditional sources James Martin is also able to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis and has been permitted to conduct litigation by the Bar Standards Board.

Recent Cases

  • Operation Willsbridge [Southwark] 2018

    £2.1m International Fraud upon Film Rental Equipment Companies

    James Martin represented SH in this matter who was charged with being party to a large scale International Fraud against a number of Film Rental Equipment Companies who were based across the Globe. The Fraud was organised from the UK where the Organised Crime Group assumed the identities of some legitimate businesses in the industry. They were able to dupe associated Insurance companies as well and arrange various hire contracts over a significant period that were worth £2.1m. Ultimately the Crown were persuaded that the evidence of a Global Conspiracy was not present in SH's case and the indictment was amended to a single substantive money laundering offence in his case. SH was duly acquitted by the Jury. Instructed by Bark & Co Solicitors.

  • Operation Primrose [Liverpool] 2018

    HMRC "Red Diesel" VAT Fraud

    James Martin was instructed as Leading Junior for this defendant charged with 10 others in a case that involved an huge undercover investigation by HMRC into an alleged nationwide Red Diesel laundering Fraud. There were said to be two principle laundering sites: one in Birkenhead and the other near Ashford in Kent. Following over 12 months of covert surveillance and a 3 year investigation 11 men were charged with being involved in the Conspiracy said to have involved a loss of over £500k to HMRC in unpaid VAT.

    The case was split into two trials. During the first trial it became apparent that there were a number of issues with disclosure in the case. This followed repeated requests for disclosure by the Defence teams. At the beginning of the 4th week, and after the OIC was subjected to cross-examination on the voir dir, HMRC were forced to seek an adjournment of the Trial once they realised the scale of the disclosure problems in the case.

    The application was vigorously opposed by the Defence and ultimately refused by HHJ Trevor-Jones. In his damning ruling he said that there had been “negligence to a lamentable degree” which was “indicative of a more systemic failure.” As a result of the Judge’s ruling HMRC offered no Evidence against the defendants left in the case. Instructed by The Stokoe Partnership.

  • R v JH & Ors [C.C.C.] 2017


    James Martin was led by Michael Ivers QC in this case concerning a fatal attack on Halloween 2017 where a group of young men armed with poles and knives attacked another group in a park in Selhurst, near Croydon. Allegations put on a classic Joint Enterprise basis by the Crown. Heavy reliance upon CCTV and Cell site evidence. 

  • R v. DC & ors [Birmingham] 2017

    Mortgage Frauds

    James Martin Trial and Retrial of allegations of large scale property frauds. Involved the intentional undervaluing of property in order to sell it on to others within the conspiracy at a discount. Case alleged a conspiracy between an inside man at Severn Trent Water and the other defendants. The property would be advertised and false bids were being submitted by others to enable a selling to one of the members of the conspiracy at a substantial discount. Instructed by Blackfords LLP.

  • R v WM & Ors [Isleworth] 2017

    Conspiracy to Kidnap

    James Martin acted in this case that was said to involve a gang related kidnap and blackmail that was connected to the distribution of drugs. WM was said to be the head of a gang of local drug dealers who had snatched the girlfriend of a rival drug dealer. She was then held until freed by armed officers. Crown sought to link WM to these offences by references to telephone contact, cell site and social media posts as well as undercover video footage. There was a linked undercover operation ongoing at the time connected to separate drugs supply allegations. Unanimously acquitted. Instructed by Goldkorns.

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