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James Maxwell-Scott KC

Call 1995 • KC 2016

(Legal 500)

James is a specialist in public inquiries, inquests and criminal regulatory law. He is Vice Chair of the Health and Safety Lawyers Association.

He has been Leading Counsel representing the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in all Phases and Modules of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry since June 2017. He was previously instructed in the Hutton Inquiry, the Shipman Inquiry, the BSE Inquiry, the Mubarek Inquiry, the Billy Wright Inquiry and the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry.

He was Lead Counsel to the Inquest in the Lakanal House Fire Inquest. Other notable inquests include: the Hillsborough inquests, the Camber Sands drowning inquests and the HMS Tireless inquest.

Previous clients include: the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Chatsworth House Trust, the Fat Duck, First Group, Persimmon Homes, Serco, Siemens, Southeastern Railway, Vinci, the Chief Executive of the NHS (Shipman Inquiry), the Director General of HM Prison Service (Mubarek Inquiry), the Secretary of State for Defence (Hutton Inquiry) and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Infected Blood Inquiry).

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  • BCL, Christ Church, Oxford
  • MA (First Class), Christ’s College, Cambridge
  • Accredited Advocacy Trainer (Gray’s Inn), 2017
  • Recorder of the Crown Court, 2018
  • Bencher of Gray’s Inn, 2023


Health & Safety Lawyers Association (Vice Chair)
Personal Injury Bar Association
Professional Negligence Bar Association
London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
Administrative Law Bar Association


“James is measured and is very good at pitching his submissions exactly where they needed to be. Absolutely on top of the detail – well read, and very well prepared.”…”James has incredible attention to detail and an ability to quietly digest information and formulate a plan.”

Chambers & Partners, 224

‘A silk with great forensic skills and an analytical eye.’

Legal 500, 2024

‘He produces high-quality written advice and is able to quickly review and disseminate large amounts of information.‘

Legal 500, 2024

“He has a strategic overview of his cases and brings real gravitas to a matter.” “He is so eloquent and knows everything about a case. A very impressive individual.”

Chambers & Partners, 2022

“First-class. Understands the issues quickly and develops sound and principled arguments, which then develop into themes and key documents that reflect the approach and strategy of the client. His work on this case has been of the highest order and he has steered the team impeccably on such a high-stakes matter.”

Legal 500, 2022

“A very composed and impressive silk.”

Legal 500, 2021

“He is very professional, has good judgement and is very organised. He’s a bright lawyer and a real pleasure to work with.”; “The content of what he says in court is fantastic and his construction of arguments is brilliant. He’s very effective at what he does.”; “I have enormous respect for him, he’s very bright and his integrity shines through.”

Chambers & Partners, 2021

“Has excellent knowledge of the law, and works for high-profile clients in a lot of the important cases.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

“Excellent, informed and very helpful barrister.”

Chambers & Partners, 2018

“An excellent trial tactician, who provides reasoned and committed advice”

Legal 500, 2017

“He’s fantastically bright, has a great manner with his clients and has an excellent legal head on him.”

Chambers & Partners, 2017

“A level-headed advocate, combining intellectual ability with a lack of stuffiness.”

Legal 500, 2016

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