Year of Call: 2003
- MSci (Hons), Physics, University of Bristol
- Post-graduate Diploma in Law, City University, London
- Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law, London
Areas of Work:
James is a Level 4 Prosecutor on the CPS Advocate Panel and is on the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences List. He specialises in the prosecution of serious violent, sexual, drugs and firearms offences as a leading junior or as a junior alone. In 2017 he gained a particular insight into the work of the CPS by completing a six-month secondment in the CPS London Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit, where as a Crown Advocate he gave pre-charge advice and acted as the reviewing lawyer on a large number of non-recent and contemporaneous allegations of rape and other serious sexual offences involving adults and children. He has acted for the Crown in the Court of Appeal and has advised the Attorney-General’s Office in relation to the unduly lenient sentencing provisions. He also conducts training sessions for police officers, CPS lawyers and caseworkers.
Having completed a degree in physics and decided that life as a scientist was not for him, James completed a law conversion course and has practised at the criminal bar ever since. His scientific background brings a forensic approach and a measured yet robust style to each case, as well as an obvious advantage in cases involving expert scientific evidence.
Whilst he now specialises in prosecution work, James has substantial previous experience of conducting defence trials in the Crown Court as well as advising on out-of-time applications for leave to appeal then appearing in the Court of Appeal where leave was granted – see some of the examples below.
Notable Crown Court Prosecutions:
Leading counsel for the Crown – five Defendants convicted of six-month conspiracy to supply wholesale multiple kilos of cocaine in Hertfordshire following a four-week trial. Involved surveillance, cell site and telephone contact evidence – Harrow Crown Court 2019.
Trial for sexual assault and assault by penetration of 16-year-old. Novel in that an alleged female accomplice was prosecuted along with the principal alleged offender – Woolwich Crown Court 2019.
Trial for wounding with intent – unprovoked stabbing to chest of Defendant’s neighbour – Wood Green Crown Court 2018.
Trial of 17-year-old boy for non-recent rape of a family member when aged 11/12 – Inner London Crown Court 2018.
Year-long conspiracy to provide false ID documents by three Defendants, estimated value £ 180,000 – Inner London Crown Court 2018.
Trial for sexual abuse of girl aged under 8, on multiple occasions 25 years ago. Successfully opposed application to stay the case as an abuse of process on account of delay. Drafted Respondent’s Notice in successful opposition to application for leave to appeal – Woolwich Crown Court 2018.
Trial for possession of a firearm, investigated by the NCA – Maidstone Crown Court 2018.
Trial for random kidnapping of a stranger. Following conviction, drafted Respondent’s notice, successfully opposing application for leave to appeal – Kingston Crown Court 2018.
Trial for alleged sexual abuse of two girls 40 years previously – Snaresbrook Crown Court 2018.
Trial on allegation that a man fired shots at a group of youths in a residential area; “victimless prosecution” as youths did not wish to cooperate – Snaresbrook Crown Court 2017.
Trial on armed robbery “cold case” – Defendant arrested 10 years after robbery with firearm. Defendant convicted after successfully opposing application to exclude new DNA evidence – Snaresbrook Crown Court 2017.
Revenue fraud involving evasion of £ 1.5 million in tobacco duties. Guilty plea shortly before trial – Inner London Crown Court 2017.
Led Junior in seven-week trial of conspiracy to supply drugs along county lines between London and Hampshire and Kent over several months. All four Defendants convicted after trial; a further nine had pleaded guilty. The case involved surveillance, undercover test-purchase officers and complex cell-site analysis. Substantial legal arguments included a successfully-opposed abuse of process argument, withdrawal of the defence of duress from the jury’s consideration and argument as to the admissibility of recordings of prison telephone calls between Defendants – Woolwich Crown Court 2015/16. (Also appeared in subsequent appeal against conviction and sentence (see below) – R v Branford and Others  EWCA Crim 1794,  4 WLR 17, http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2016/1794.html.)
GBH with intent case, involving significant local and national media interest, where a youth Defendant pleaded guilty to spraying a corrosive substance on five boys – Basildon Crown Court 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/05/essex-teenager-jailed-for-acid-attack-on-group-of-friends
Trial for ABH in a domestic context. Conviction secured despite complainant claiming in evidence that she had caused the injuries herself by falling over. Sentence 2 years 9 months – Wood Green Crown Court, 2015.
Notable cases in the higher courts:
R v Branford and Others  EWCA Crim 1794,  4 WLR 17
Appeared as junior for the Crown in an appeal against conviction (and sentence) on the basis that the judge had incorrectly withdrawn the defence of duress form the jury’s consideration as the threat had been conveyed “second-hand” to the Defendant rather than her witnessing it herself. See above for details on original trial.
R v Buddington  EWCA Crim 1127
Acted in Court of Appeal for Appellant who had pleaded guilty in the lower Court (with different representation) to an offence of possession of prohibited ammunition, which the Crown’s evidence did not in fact support. James spotted the point having been asked to advise on a different aspect of the case. Appeal allowed – conviction quashed.
R v A (2013)
Defendant accused of two counts of sexual assault on step-daughter, one of which dated back several years, represented at trial and on appeal in application involving contested fresh evidence heard live.
R v Yates  MHLR 313;  EWCA Crim 1657; Lawtel 31/7/2012
Having first advised in writing upon the prospects of an application for leave to appeal out-of-time (others having represented Appellant in the Crown Court), acted in the Court of Appeal when leave was granted. Whilst the Court rejected the submission that an IPP was an inappropriate sentence in the light of the Appellant’s psychiatric history, they did halve the minimum term to be served.
R (C) v Sevenoaks Youth Court and others  1 All ER 735,  EWHC 3088 (Admin)
Successfully defended Kent CPS in an application for judicial review of the decision to prosecute a 12- year-old boy who required an intermediary (offence: assault with intent to rob).
Other Defence Work:
Represented Defendant on trial for penetrative sexual activity with a child aged 13. Undermining material deployed in cross-examination following submissions/applications under the disclosure and bad character provisions as well as under s 41 YJCEA 1999. Acquitted – Aylesbury Crown Court 2015.
Defended on a charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life (charged originally as attempted murder), allegation of firing a shotgun at somebody through a door. Acquitted following submissions on poor quality of identification evidence, involving contamination by pre-trial publicity and breaches of PACE Codes in selection of “stooges” on the parade. The latter only emerged as an issue after James had sought disclosure of the video footage of the parade, which had not been disclosed pre-trial – Aylesbury Crown Court, 2015.
Mr James Dick is regulated by the Bar Standards Board, holds a current practising certificate and his details can be found on the BSB’s Barrister Register https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/the-barristers'-register/
Mr James Dick holds insurance cover for all legal services supplied through professional indemnity insurance with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF) The coverage is worldwide subject to their terms which are available on their website https://www.barmutual.co.uk/
Mr James Dick is registered with the Information Commissioners office under the Data Protection Act https://ico.org.uk/
If you are not satisfied with the service that Mr James Dick provides you can make a complaint to Chambers. Information on Chambers Complaints Procedure is available on Chambers website www.9kbw.com/about-us/complaints-procedure
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from Chambers you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman (This must be done within the time limits set out) The contact details can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/