Details of practice

James Hines practises in crime, commercial fraud and extradition, principally defending. He specialises in cases which have both criminal and commercial/civil aspects particularly those with an international element.

James has conducted numerous Serious Fraud Office trials. He was invited to join the SFO Panel of Counsel for 2017. He regularly provides strategic advice to clients during the investigation stage. He led for the Prosecution in the LIBOR trial of Barclays employees: Johnson, Mathew, Merchant, Pabon & Riech. He defended AR who was accused of international bribery and corruption in the procurement of very large oil and gas construction contracts in Russia.

James both prosecutes and defends in FCA cases, notably insider dealing cases.  He is also instructed by the Competition and Markets Authority on cartel matters.

In crime he has acted in areas including international money laundering, corruption, historic rape cases, murder, robbery, and drugs. James represented GM, the private detective at the centre of the NOTW phone hacking scandal and JS, the former features editor of NOTW.  James represented Silvio Berlusconi by live television link from London to his trial in Milan.

Chambers UK rightly describes James as “vastly experienced” in extradition. Notable cases include “The Nat West Three” and the Tollman case.

His commercial experience includes appearances before the Commercial Court and in the Court of Appeal Civil division on issues of contempt of court and self-incrimination.

He specialises in acting for third parties in respect of internal investigations, witness summons, SFO s.2 notices and international cooperation (MLA). He has experience of private prosecutions. For some years he acted as outside criminal counsel for Microsoft.

Directory recommendations

“Solicitor-friendly and client-friendly, he is just a joy to work with. Intelligent, hard-working and respected” Chambers UK 2018: Financial Crime

“Urbane, with a great charm and a commanding presence in court” The Legal 500 2018

Sought out to advise on high-stakes matters. Equally good on paper as he is an advocate, he grasps the essential points remarkably quickly and cuts through the chaff to get to the important points.’ Chambers UK 2017: Financial Crime

‘‘A wonderful advocate with a warmth that endears him to clients. ”The Legal 500 2016

Highly experienced at assisting Governments and foreign fugitives in various different CourtsChambers UK 2017:  Extradition

Education/professional qualifications

LL.B 1981
Call 1982 Gray’s Inn


Queen’s Counsel 2015
Serious Fraud Office Queen’s Counsel panel 2017

Other information

Committee appointments

Bar Council Ethics Committee Vice Chair (Crime)
Bar Council Direct Access Committee Member
Fraud Lawyers Association Committee member (FLA)


Extradition Lawyers Association (ELA)
Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum (DELF)
European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA)
European Fraud & Compliance Lawyers Association (ECFL)
Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)
Private Prosecutors Association (PPA)

Former appointments

Elected and co-opted member of the Criminal Bar Association Committee 2011 – 2018

Elected member of the Bar Council 2011 – 2016

Ethics Committee 2011 to date
International Committee 2013 – 2016
International Rule of Law group 2015
Equality & Diversity Committee 2011 – 2013

Gray’s Inn advocacy trainer

Recent speaking engagements:

Annual Bar Conference 2017 – (Ethics)
American Bar Association White Collar Conference 2017 – (Press relations)
Fraud Lawyers Association International Conference 2017 – (Deferred Prosecution Agreements)
British Academy of Forensic Scientists 2017 – (Time of Death, Entomology (blowfly & maggots))
English Cypriot Law Day 2017 – (Unexplained Wealth Orders)
Oxford University 2018 – (Ivey & Genting Dishonesty)
Fraud Lawyer Association Interlocutory Conference 2018 (Extradition, Mutual Legal Assistance)

Direct access

James Hines QC is qualified to accept instructions direct from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme. This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him. In addition, he welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.

James is a member of the Bar council Direct Access Committee

For further information please contact our Clerks.