James Newton-Price QC




He practises across the spectrum of criminal offences, including murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, serious violence, causing death by dangerous driving, drugs offences, money laundering and fraud.

James also frequently prosecutes and defends in sexual offences cases, including historic allegations – where he has appeared in numerous trials for cases concerning rape and child sexual abuse. The Legal 500 directory names James Newton-Price as a leading criminal barrister on the western circuit for his expertise in rape and sexual abuse cases."

In addition, James prosecutes and defends in large multi-defendant conspiracy cases involving allegations of theft, fraud and money laundering, which can include the presentation of complex mobile telephone and forensic scientific evidence.   He possesses the ability to present and explain detailed evidence in easily understandable formats.

Recent cases include:

  • Secured the acquittal of his client on charges of murder and manslaughter following a 3 week trial at Winchester Crown Court.  The case concerned issues of joint enterprise and the liability of the defendant who was alleged to have supplied the knife in the fatal stabbing of a drug dealer during an alleged robbery.
  • Successful prosecution of a troubled 15 year old schoolgirl, who was obsessed with serial killers and the Columbine high school shootings, for the attempted murder of her best friend in a school stabbing. The case attracted national publicity because of the way in the teenage defendant had planned the murder by her online research. (Click here for further information)
  • Counsel for the leading Defendant in the recent Court of Appeal case of R v Forbes which established new guidelines for sentencing sexual offenders in historic cases of sexual abuse
  • Prosecution of a police officer for the rape and sexual abuse of 12 teenage girls following a 6 week trial.  The Defendant groomed his victims via Facebook and other social media.  The Defendant was sentenced to 15 years and the case attracted national publicity. (Click here for further information)
  • Successful defence of a wealthy entrepreneur charged with a £5 million tax fraud, who had neglected to submit tax returns for 10 years
  • Leading counsel for the manager of a company that was alleged to have defrauded hundreds of customers by overcharging.  Secured his acquittal on the main charge of conspiracy of defraud after a trial that lasted for 5 months at Southampton Crown Court.
  • R v B – the successful defence of a young student charged with the rape of another student in her bed, relying on the unusual defence of automatism: “sexsomnia” or sexual intercourse during sleep.
  • R v Calloo – the successful defence of a young man charged with a serious intruder rape in a trial before the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands
  • R v Last, Loveridge & Smith – leading counsel for the Prosecution in a major six week trial of a gang of violent armed robbers, who were convicted of cash-in-transit robberies of banks and numerous other offences, stealing over £500,000. (click for press coverage)
  • R v Hancock & others – A murder in which two Londoners were hired and paid to beat up a Portsmouth man and killed him in the attack.   The case included complex issues of joint enterprise, identification by CCTV imagery and DNA evidence.R v Ward & others – This was a nine defendant conspiracy to steal which achieved national publicity following a trial lasting 3 months in 2009-2010.
  • R v Proudfoot & others –A four defendant £1.4 million “long firm fraud”.
  • R v Bicknell & others – A five defendant conspiracy to burgle over 40 properties.
  • R v Taiwo – A £1.3 million multiple identity fraud.
  • R v Holland – An organised armed (firearms) robbery of money, involving the torture of the elderly victim.
  • R v O’Dell – The successful defence of man accused of rape and indecent assault when he was a teenager in the early 1970s – the case involved three trials and several abuse of process applications.

Other Notable Cases:

  • Junior counsel in the Grobbelaar & Fashanu match – fixing trials
  • Prosecuted three self-styled “vampires” for the religious harassment of a vicar and his family

Regulatory and Disciplinary

James is developing a practice in the regulation and discipline of medical and health care professionals, having been instructed in cases involving professional misconduct by medical professionals. He now sits as a Legal Assessor to the Health & Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS), advising panels at Fitness to Practise hearings that consider the conduct and competence of health professionals.  He was recently appointed as a Legally Qualified Chair at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) which decides allegations of misconduct and deficient performance brought by the General Medical Council against doctors.

James has extensive experience in the field of compliance with money laundering regulations, confiscation and asset recovery, having been instructed in many cases of this kind in recent years.

He has taken his regulatory practice into many and diverse areas: health and safety regulation, professional discipline, breaches of maritime law, planning enforcement and animal protection. Recent cases include:


  • R v Matthews - case concerned the manslaughter by gross negligence of a casual worker, who was killed in gas cylinder explosion in a scrap metal yard. The company was also charged with health and safety offences, arising from unsafe working practices at the yard.  
  • The defence of a small company charged with health and safety offences, arising from an accident in which a worker lost his finger whilst operating cutting machinery in a factory.
  • The defence of Polish cargo ship captain who was charged with maritime regulatory offences when his ship was involved in a near collision with a large passenger ferry in the Solent.
  • The defence of an experienced luxury yacht crewman who was prosecuted by the Maritime & Coastguard agency for working without obtaining the necessary qualifications.
  • A planning enforcement case in which the householder was charged with breaches of planning regulations for the construction of a roof extension.
  • Acting for a turkey farmer and a horse owner – both of whom were prosecuted for failure to comply with animal welfare regulations.

Transport Law

James Newton-Price has extensive experience of all areas of Transport Law

  • successfully representing individuals and companies at Public Inquiry hearings before the Traffic Commissioner when their goods vehicle operator's licence is at risk

  • successful defence of clients who work in professional and managerial occupations, who are charged with road traffic offences, and who are at risk of losing their driving licence 

  • acting for high-profile individuals (including a Radio One DJ) who are charged with road traffic offences
  • experienced in cases that concern lorry drivers' hours, tachograph offences and breaches of the Construction & Use Regulations (overweight vehicles), including appeals to the Crown Court
  • familiar with cases of drink-driving or driving whilst unfit that involve the back-calculation of blood-alcohol levels or the effect of prescribed medication

James is also known for his sensitive handling of clients and witnesses in the prosecution and the defence of the offences of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving and Causing Death by Careless Driving in the Crown Court.  This includes cases that have involved the mechanical failure of vehicles, overtaking and racing, the effect of drugs and alcohol, falling asleep at the wheel and multiple deaths.



Year of call: 1992
Year of silk: 2018
  • Queen's Counsel February 2018
  • Legal Assessor at the Health & Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS)
  • Legally Qualified Chair at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS)
  • Recorder of the Crown Court
Areas of specialism:
  • Courts Martial
  • Criminal
  • Public Access and Direct Access
  • Regulatory and Disciplinary
  • Transport Law
  • BA (Honours) University of Oxford
  • Diploma in Law, City University, London
Professional associations:
  • Western Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Outside Interests:
  • James enjoys good art, fine wine, page turning fiction, time off with his family and of course Fulham FC.