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James Martin

“He’s eloquent, understated and extremely bright. He gets fantastic results and is always available on the end of the phone.”Chambers UK 2020

Call 2003

Practice Profile

James Martin is recommended Counsel in Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500. He is an experienced practitioner who prides himself on attention to detail and a fearless approach to defending his clients’ interests. Described by his peers as “a no nonsense advocate and a tough opponent” (The Legal 500 2017)

Mr Martin acts as leading counsel in the full range of criminal offending but in particular tends to focus on serious organised crime and fraud. He is also regularly led in homicide cases. He has particular experience in dealing with complex multi-handed cases of all types and is very adept at dealing with technical evidence such as that retrieved from 'phones, computers and associated cell site evidence.

Although a large amount of his work comes from traditional sources James Martin is also able to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis and has been permitted to conduct litigation by the Bar Standards Board.

James's Privacy Policy can be downloaded here.

Recent Cases

  • Operation Edge [Woolwich] 2020

    Multi-handed class A & B drugs conspiracy involving “Encro chat” devices

    James Martin led Phoebe Bragg in this 4 week case involving surveillance evidence and evidence of “encro chat” devices. The defendant was accused of being the head of an organised criminal network trafficking large quantities of class A & B drugs and involved expert evidence regarding the use of “encro chat” as well as significant legal argument regarding bad character evidence. 

  • R v Shariashvili & 6 Ors [Isleworth CC] 2019

    Consp to Facilitate Illegal Immigration in the UK (Trial 1)

    Mr Martin was leading Counsel for D1 with Peter Eguae as his Junior. This case (Operation MANDEBRAS) related to a Home Office Investigation into a suspected Organised Crime Group facilitating persons into the UK, through abuse of the ‘common travel area’ with the Republic of Ireland.

    Legal issues involved consideration of the underlying immigration offences relied upon by the Crown, Cross-admissibility as between the different counts and whether the Crown had fallen foul of indicting a single conspiracy when it appeared that there were multiple agreements at play.

    Following extensive legal argument at the close of the Crown’s case (and the close of all the evidence) the indictment was left with only one substantive offence against the main defendants for the Jury to consider from what had been significantly wider allegations. As a result the Jury were discharged and a retrial was ordered for that one remaining Count against the 4 defendants.

  • R v Abubakar Salim & ors [Blackfriars Crown Court] 2019

    Fraud and Money Laundering

    Mr Martin was leading Counsel for Mr Salim. The case centred around the activities of two men who worked at high street banks who assisted another in creating a significant number of sham bank account for the use in a transfer fraud. The legal issues involved the proper application of the definition of “Criminal Property” following cases such as R v GH [2015] UKSC 24 and R v Loizou [2005] 2 Cr App R 37.

  • Operation Banjax [Southwark] 2019

    £Multi-Million MTIC Fraud

    James Martin, leading Ben Holt, were instructed on behalf of Mr Aslam by Bark & Co Solicitors.

    The case was an MTIC Fraud which was part and parcel of Import Duty Diversion on Beers, Wines and Spirits. According to HMRC the OCG were accountable for significant losses to the UK Exchequer through associated large scale VAT and Excise duty frauds. The group also conducted a substantial money laundering operation in relation to the proceeds of these crimes which was believed to be in excess of £86 million.

    13 different individuals were said to be involved along with a whole host of MTIC and Buffer companies some of which sold on the BWS to end user Cash & Carries who were never investigated.

    The case was split into two trials with Mr Aslam D1 in Trial 2. As the case developed there were significant issues with the evidence and associated disclosure problems which related to material that had been withheld by HMRC and should have been disclosed far in advance of the trial itself. After considerable legal argument in Mr Aslam’s case we were able to restrict the alleged loss to HMRC to less than £7k.

    Ultimately Mr Aslam was convicted but only received a Suspended Sentence Order. ​

  • R v. NT & ors [Maidstone] 2018

    Drink & Drugs fueled Killing of Kent Man

    Jonathan Higgs QC leading James Martin for Goldkorns Solicitors. Three people were charged with Murder following the discovery of a body left in the stairwell of a block of flats in Chatham. The deceased and the three charged were known drug users and the death had occurred in a nearby flat occupied by one of the accused.

    The previous few days were carefully pieced back together by the investigatory team using a combination of CCTV footage, eye witness accounts and call records as well as some footage from mobile phones.

    There were complex issues of causation due to the post-mortem findings and in particular the neuro-pathology results. Besides the factual complications there were also issues relating to identification and also joint-enterprise.

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