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James Maxwell-Scott KC

Call 1995 • KC 2016

(Legal 500)

James is a specialist in Criminal Regulatory law and inquests. His practice is a roughly equal mix of representing organisations and individuals facing prosecution for safety based regulatory offences and representing organisations, families and individuals in Coroner’s Courts.

He was awarded Chambers & Partners Junior of the Year in Health & Safety in 2014.

Previous clients include: Siemens, Serco, First Group, Vinci, Persimmon Homes, the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Chatsworth House Trust, the Fat Duck, the Secretary of State for Defence, the Director General of HM Prison Service and the Chief Executive of the NHS.

He has been involved in many high-profile inquests and public inquiries over the past 20 years including the Hillsborough Inquests, the Lakanal House Fire Inquest (Lead Counsel for the Coroner), the Camber Sands drowning inquests, the HMS Tireless Inquest, the Hutton Inquiry, the Shipman Inquiry, the Mubarek Inquiry and the BSE Inquiry

In his earlier years of practice, he gained substantial experience in civil litigation as a member of the Attorney-General’s Panels of Counsel (Civil) from 1999 to 2010. He is regularly instructed to advise and represent regulatory clients in civil claims (e.g. personal injury, property damage, fire and food safety claims) arising out of incidents which are the subject of a prosecution and/or an inquest.

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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


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


“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

“He was very effective and is a good guy to work with; he really enters into the spirit of the case.”

Chambers & Partners, 2016

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

Legal 500, 2016

“He is very good technically and on the detail.”

Chambers & Partners, 2015

“He is very straightforward when explaining the issues.”

Chambers & Partners, 2015

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