0113 297 1200


James Yearsley

Year of call: 2018

James is the Head of the Road Law team. He is an experienced criminal, family and police practitioner having been instructed in a wide range of serious, complex matters.

James is direct access trained and also takes privately paying clients. This includes in matters involving road traffic offences and representing students at university misconduct hearings.

Practice Summary

James regularly appears in the Crown Court, Magistrates’ Court and Youth Courts across the North-Eastern Circuit, where he both prosecutes and defends. James acts in hearings involving serious offences including violent, sexual and drugs offences.

Notable cases

R v H (May 2024) – James successfully argued ‘special reasons’ for a Defendant who faced 9 speeding offences. The case involved medical evidence and complex mental health issues.

R v P (March 2024) – This was a complex case involving a sexual allegation with a juvenile complainant. James carefully navigated questioning a young, vulnerable witness and was successful in securing an acquittal at trial.

R v C (February 2024) – Whilst defending, James successfully obtained a not guilty verdict in a fraud case where it was alleged the Defendant had helped obtain trade goods from a builder’s supplier dishonestly.

R v P (August 2023) – Whilst prosecuting, James successfully obtained a guilty verdict in a fraud case where the Defendant and his partner had fraudulently obtained and used an elderly lady’s bank cards.

R v M (May 2023) – James prosecuted a burglary case where the live identification evidence gave rise to a submission of no case to answer by the defence. James successfully opposed the submission and secured a guilty verdict. The case was appealed by the Defendant and James successfully opposed the appeal.

Practice Summary

James regularly acts for police forces from Nottingham to Newcastle in a wide range of matters.

James has acted for police forces in misconduct hearings and at inquests. He has experience both applying for DVPOs and in DVPO breach hearings. James acts for the police in POCA applications and has experience in making applications that involve international investigations, money laundering, Chinese underground banking and ‘Daigou’.

Notable cases

WYP v Downs (March 2024) – James successfully represented the police force in a misconduct hearing involving a dishonest officer. The panel found for the police force and the officer was dismissed.

EMP v Farkas (February 2024) – James represented the police in a POCA forfeiture case which involved an international investigation into the respondent’s money laundering activity. The court found fully in the police’s favour and ordered forfeiture of the entire sum.

CP v Liu (August 2023) – James represented the police force in a difficult case which involved Chinese underground banking and the practice of ‘daigou’. James was successful in securing the forfeiture of thousands of pounds that the police had said had been used in money laundering activity.

Practice Summary

James regularly acts for local authorities, parents and children’s guardians in private and public proceedings across the North East. He has experience acting in cases involving complex issues such as non-accidental injury, parental alienation and the application of international law.

Notable cases

Re EF (Abduction: Hague Convention (Slovakia)) (March 2023) – James successfully represented a mother at a final hearing in international child abduction proceedings. The case involved a mother who had left Slovakia with her child who was fleeing controlling behaviour at the hands of the Father. James was able to overcome the presumption that the child should be returned to Slovakia on the basis of habitual residence and Article 13 of the 1980 Hague Convention. The case involved significant legal argument and was considered of historic national interest. The case was reported and uploaded to the national archive: Re EF (Abduction: Hague Convention (Slovakia)) - Find case law (nationalarchives.gov.uk)

Re P & P (Jan 2023) – James represented the Children’s Guardian in a case involving parental alienation and involved the cross-examination of the psychiatric expert. James successfully argued the Guardian’s case and the Judge highlighted points from James’ cross-examination of the Mother in his judgment.

Re M & M (2022) – James represented the Mother’s former partner who was in the pool of perpetrators for non-accidental injuries caused to one of the children. He successfully argued that he did not harm the child and brought the proceedings in relation to his client to a close.

Awards and Education

  • Politics and International Relations University of Hull
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (Commendation)
  • Bar Professional Training Course (Very Competent)
  • Sir Joseph Priestly Scholarship Inner Temple
  • Major scholarship Inner Temple
  • PioneerAward

Voluntary Work

Before joining KBW, James worked on death row cases for 6 months with the Georgia Metro Capital Defenders in Atlanta, USA.

Swipe to view all

Have a request? To book a barrister or to discuss your case with one of our experienced clerks please call 0113 2971200 or...

We use cookies

This site uses Google Analytics to help us understand visitor trends. No personally identifiable information is recorded and no data is shared.

Please accept to continue on this basis or adjust your browser settings if you wish to disallow all cookies.