James Hay


Year of Call: 2012

Practice Group(s): Crime, Public & Regulatory

Portrait of James Hay

Bar Professional Training Course, Nottingham Law School ("Best Advocate" in year)
LLB (Hons), University of Exeter
Warwick School

Practice Profile:
James' practice encompasses all areas of Chambers' criminal and quasi-criminal defence work, including offences involving serious violence, firearms, drugs, sex, public order, dangerous dogs, dishonesty and Animal Welfare.

James has a particular interest in defending cases involving allegations of careless or dangerous driving, involving death, serious injury, or otherwise.

James prides himself on the service he provides to his professional and lay clients alike. He has recently received the following feedback from instructing solicitors:

"... a formidable work ethic, he has a great eye for detail; he is always meticulously prepared, he possesses a depth of knowledge of the issues in a case; provides excellent advocacy skills; is robust in the court room and maintains an excellent rapport and empathy with our clients and their families throughout."

"Each of the clients that James has represented has expressed nothing but the fullest gratitude and praise for the work he has done. Two related clients now insist that I instruct James if he is available."

"Mr Hay ... has demonstrated skilful and technical cross examination on many previous occasions which has resulted in unexpectedly positive outcomes for our clients."

James completed pupillage at Lamb Building supervised by Andrew Selby, Jennifer Gray and Daniel Darnbrough.

Prior to joining Lamb Building, James worked for an in-house firm of solicitors at a multi-national financial services corporation.

Notable Cases:

Recent cases include:


R v NA – Youth acquitted after trial of Possession of Firearm (sawn-off shotgun) with Intent (St. Albans Crown Court)

R v LRW - Possession of Firearm with Intent & Assault charges - Defendant acquitted of shooting her ex-partner (Lewes Crown Court)

R v AH - Possession of Firearm with Intent to Endanger Life - avoided mandatory life-sentence (Lewes Crown Court)

R v LN - Possession of Firearm and Ammunition & Possession with Intent to Supply Class-A Drugs (Maidstone Crown Court)

R v MR – Possession of Firearm with Intent & Assault charges involving disposal under the Mental Health Act (Lewes Crown Court)


R v ST & Ors - Led junior on an 8-week Conspiracy to Convey Listed Items into HMP Lewes (Lewes Crown Court)

R v TB & Ors - Led junior on 4-week Conspiracy to Produce Cannabis (Lewes Crown Court)

R v ZH - Supply Class A & B - 12 months' custody for 26kg skunk cannabis on 'courier' basis (Kingston-Upon-Thames Crown Court)

R v LF - National Crime Agency case involving the Supply of 98% pure Class-A Drugs (Maidstone Crown Court)

R v KD – Representing Youth in multiple counts of Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs (“County Lines” case involving human trafficking issues) (Exeter Crown Court)

R v ES & Anr - Possession with Intent to Supply Class-A Drugs (Reading Crown Court)

R v VC - Supplying Class A Drugs - Case involving test-purchase officers (Bristol Crown Court)

Sexual Offences:

R v SA - Defendant acquitted of multiple counts of Assault by Penetration, in what was described as a "possibly unique case" by the trial judge (Lewes Crown Court)

R v SK – Multiple counts of stranger-Rape (Isleworth Crown Court)

R v AM – Multiple counts of Assault by Penetration and attempted-Rape on 13-year-old complainant by a stranger (Winchester Crown Court)

R v AK – Taxi driver acquitted of Sexually Assaulting a passenger (Lewes Crown Court)


R v CAH & Ors – Junior-alone representing the only Defendant acquitted in a 4-week six-handed Conspiracy to commit Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent on an indictment containing Attempted Murder and Blackmail allegations (Lewes Crown Court)

R v JW & Ors - Multiple allegations of Grievous Bodily Harm & Throwing Corrosive Fluid with Intent to Cause Grievous Bodily Harm contrary to ss. 18 & 29 of the Offences Against the Person Act - led junior on 4-week multi-handed trial (Bournemouth Crown Court)

R v GV & Ors - Conspiracy to Rob (Kingston-Upon-Thames Crown Court)

R v DD - Armed Robbery (Woolwich Crown Court)

R v JN & Ors - Multi-handed trial involving multiple counts of Robbery, Assault and False Imprisonment (Snaresbrook Crown Court)

R v WS – Representing a Chinese Masters Student in s.18 Wounding with Intent & Controlling and Coercive Behaviour allegations (Snaresbrook Crown Court)


R v LW – Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving (Lewes Crown Court)

R v JD - Dangerous Driving involving a lengthy police chase - Guilty Plea - 9 months' detention suspended (Luton Crown Court)

R v SW - Dangerous Driving & Witness Intimidation (Lewes Crown Court)

R v SO - Represented a professional footballer in a successful Appeal against a driving conviction (Harrow Crown Court)

Public Order:

R v SA - Affray, Assault & Possession of Bladed Articles (Salisbury Crown Court)

R v CD & Ors – Violent Disorder and Assaults at the Epsom Derby (Guildford Crown Court)


R v CT & Ors – 4-week four-handed money laundering, representing the first Defendant (Lewes Crown Court)

R v RD & Ors – Multi-million-pound allegation of handling and laundering the proceeds of stolen plant machinery (Blackfriars Crown Court)

R v YA & Ors – Joint Enterprise high value Dwelling Robbery involving allegations of False Imprisonment and Blackmail (Kingston-Upon-Thames Crown Court)

R v EO - Successful representations avoiding the need for confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (Central Criminal Court)

R v KI - Conspiracy to Defraud (Aylesbury Crown Court)

R v TL - Dwelling Burglary - Secured Acquittal when Co-Defendants had pleaded Guilty on the same evidence (Snaresbrook Crown Court)

Dangerous Dogs & Animal Welfare:

R v JW - Dog Dangerously out of Control when a person is injured (Guildford Crown Court)

R v AR - Defending Trading Standards prosecution in front of Mr. Justice Fraser alleging Failure to Comply with Animal By-Product Requirements (Winchester Crown Court)

Further Professional Information:
"Best Advocate" Prize - Highest Advocacy marks in year (Nottingham Law School)
B Montagu Award Major Scholarship (The Hon. Soc. of the Middle Temple)
OUP & BPP Law School National Universities Mooting Finalist (Oxford University Press)
Law School Prize for Contributions to Mooting and Advocacy (University of Exeter)
Lyonesse Law Society Moot Prize (University of Exeter)
Ede & Ravenscroft Moot Prize (University of Exeter)

Middle Temple
Criminal Bar Association
South Eastern Circuit
Sussex Bar Mess (Chambers' Representative)
Health & Safety Lawyers Association

Away from the law, James has played hockey at county and regional level, and is an avid real tennis player. He represents both the Bar Lawn Tennis Society and the Bar of England & Wales Cricket Club in international fixtures.