James gained an LLB (Hons) from Sheffield University and sat his finals at the Guilford College of Law. He was admitted as a Solicitor in December 1990 and has over 25 years of experience in licensing law.
James joined Poppleston Allen as a Solicitor in September 2003 and was made a Partner in April 2006.
He has over 25 years of experience in licensing law and acts for a wide range of clients, based mainly in London, from individuals to major operators although (perhaps reflecting two of his outside interests) most of his clients are either pubs or restaurants.
In the Chambers & Partners legal guide, James is praised for his “deep understanding of the problems and issues businesses face day-to-day.”
James’ work includes advising on the licensing aspects of development work and presenting applications for major refurbishments and new licences.
A number of these have been in towns or cities where there is a cumulative impact policy in place against the grant of new licences or variations to existing licences. He has had some success with these in many areas of the country and also in the Westminster West End stress area.
He also advises clients when there are difficulties with premises, including defending reviews and other enforcement action brought by the Authorities. He has presented at a large number of hearings and is a very experienced licensing advocate.
James also lectures and trains local authority councillors and officers on licensing issues and speaks at a variety of functions.
He is in addition, a regular contributor to the licensing legal pages of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser and in 2016 was chosen to be the Chairman of PICA Service, which is the Pubs Independent Conciliation Arbitration Service.