James Vine

Year of Call: 1977

James is an experienced criminal barrister who prosecutes and defends in serious criminal cases. James is a specialist in complex and large-scale fraud and white collar crime.

Our specialist clerks can be contacted by email on clerks@5sah.co.uk or phone on 020 7332 5400. To contact our Chambers Director directly in relation to a specific members’ practice, please email dscothern@5sah.co.uk


James is an experienced criminal barrister who prosecutes and defends in serious criminal cases.

James is a specialist in complex and large-scale fraud and white collar crime.

Additional Information

Direct Public Access

  • James accepts Direct Public Access instructions.

Pro Bono Work

  • James practises at the Legal Aid Bar.

James runs a small livestock farm in the West Country.

James tweets as @jamespsvine.

Author of www.thebungblog.wordpress.com.

Criminal Prosecutions - Private & Public

James is an experienced criminal barrister and prosecutes and defends in all criminal matters.

Professional Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association.

Cases of Note


Re JT and WC

Investigation into allegation of overseas corruption in Nigerian oil industry. Issues relating to liaison with Swiss Authorities concerning disclosure of Banking Records, and co-operation, (or lack of it) with United States Justice Department.

R v H & W

Junior Counsel prosecuting Fraud and Conspiracy to pervert the course of Justice against solicitor defendants.

Re B and Anr

Instructed to advise on investigation into protracted commercial fraud involving Fraudulent Trading and offences under the Insolvency Act and the Company Directors Disqualification Act.


R v S

Identity Fraud, involving theft from bank account of £1m.

R v T

Successful defence of lorry driver with drug load, after second retrial, and interpreter issues.

R v X

Defending person accused of committing an offence whilst acting as an informant for the same prosecuting authority.

R v Angela Edgar

Defending wife of Printer of Counterfeit £20 Bank of England Notes.

R v Waithe – Leading Junior

Defence of former Olympic Judo competitor accused of acting as Minder and Enforcer for Bristol Drugs and Firearms Cartel.

VAT Tribunal

Appeal on behalf of City Livery Company claiming exemption from VAT on membership subscriptions.

R v Waris Ali

Defendant and brother accused of Conspiracy to pervert the course of Justice following collision on M4 in which another driver was killed.

R v Fajardo-Manas

Successfully defending a man accused of importing 35 kgs Cocaine.

R v Wolyniec

Successfully defending a man accused of organizing importation of 30kgs Cocaine.

R v Jules

Successful defence of lorry driver accused of importation of 15kgs Ecstasy.

R v Fitzgerald

Defendant acquitted of drug dealing, then successfully pursuing proceedings against HMRC for recovery of monies seized on arrest.

R v Djouma

Defendant accused of systematic “ringing” and exportation of Mercedes vehicles to Eastern Europe.

R v Whitehead

Defence of historical sexual abuse by stepfather.

R v McCarthy

Defending man accused of theft of helicopter, and money laundering. Special Branch Investigation, involving breaches of Air Navigation Order.

R v Crate-Lionel

Defence of brother accused of rape of half-sister.CPS instructed silk to deal with unique HRA argument.

R v Clarke

Defendant accused of being “enforcer” for Chinese debt collector.

R v Gunlu (Operation Bluesky)

VHCC case involving Turkish Immigration Facilitation Gang.

R v Emmanul Fryers

Defending former IRA member charged with conspiracy to steal concrete pump lorry from Luxembourg. Special Branch investigation.

Operation Retriever

Prosecuting as leading junior, three linked trials forCPS Casework Directorate concerning a building materials and labour fraud on Rail track.

Operation Bourne R vBrady [2004] EWCA Crim 1763

Junior Counsel to Richard Sutton Q.C. at Birmingham Crown Court, prosecuting an Inland Revenue “Phoenix” fraud. Defendants were directors of a group of companies, responsible for a series of contrived liquidations. Trial began with 11 week legal argument considering issues of admissibility of evidence secured, and investigation based on material compulsorily acquired under the Company Director’s Disqualification Act, and the Companies Act.

R v Philip Hendry

Prosecution of a Church of England Vicar on allegations of extensive fraud and theft from Parish accounts, involving in excess of £100,000, in order to finance his companion’s cocaine addiction, together with a linked allegation of attempting to pervert the course of justice

R v Avtar Singh Hundal [2004] EWCA Crim 389

Defence, as Leading Junior, of Member of International Sikh Youth Federation. Organisation banned in Britain by virtue of Terrorism Act 2000. Defendant lived in Germany where organisation legal. Arrested by Special Branch as he drove off the ferry on first ever visit to England. First ever prosecution for this offence. (Senior and Junior Treasury Counsel instructed). Issues of: 1. Admissibility of material acquired compulsorily under Schedule 2 of the Act (Post YJCEA) 2. Compatibility of the limitations on the Statutory Defence with HRA. 3. Application of Article 7 to defence where no overt act to be relied on by Prosecution within this jurisdiction to defeat statutory defence. 4. Extensive PII argument in relation to material withheld by Special Branch 5. Leave to appeal Conviction granted and reserved to LCJ.

R v Paul Martin

Prosecution of Ice Cream seller on behalf of both Inland Revenue and HM C&E. Defendant failed to pay more than a small fraction of Income Tax or VAT due for nearly a decade, on proceeds of sales from his fleet of Ice Cream vans.

Operation Buzzar

Leading Junior prosecuting Excise fraud. Container loads of cigarettes from Eastern Europe. Own Database used to Schedule large quantity of material, phone calls, observations, various events. Six Defendants. Also involves extensive use of i2 analysis software. Evidence presented at trial by computer.

R v Christopher Putka

Leading Junior successfully defending former Immigration Officer on an allegation of forgery, immigration and gang master fraud. Four month trial at Canterbury Crown Court

R v John Stanesby

Defending member of Fathers for Justice accused of endangering road users by climbing to the top of the Tamar Bridge and sitting there for a week.

R v Ronald Palumbo and ors

Prosecution as Leading Junior, of Serving Metropolitan Police Officer involved in conspiring to import four lorry loads of cannabis, whilst awaiting trial on corruption charges.