Specialising in white collar crime, investigations, extradition and general criminal defence, James regularly acts on behalf of corporates and individuals in cases which often carry significant media attention.
James has consistently been recommended and individually ranked as a "rising star" in the Legal 500 since 2019 for both general and corporate crime. He is frequently described by his peers as being a practical lawyer with a formidable ability in dealing with the challenging needs and expectations of clients from the widest scope of social backgrounds.
James' attention to detail, high quality standards of case preparation and general client care has over the years seen frequent referrals of complex cases from various sets of leading barristers' Chambers, other law firms and charities with whom he has developed a positive working relationship. He holds a fine track record of results and always strives to go that extra mile for clients.
James joined DWF in September 2021 from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and after having spent 9 years working at a leading criminal defence firm.
Legal 500 – 2021 Edition:
Ranked as a ‘rising star’ for crime and ‘recommended’ for regulatory investigations/ corporate crime. Described as being: “a very hardworking solicitor whose client care is second to none”; “He readily gets the client onside, no matter how difficult the case may be, and puts in all of the hard yards necessary to get a case in order and ready for trial”; “ James is someone who is proactive, rather than reactive, and it is rare that you have to ask him to do something that he has not already thought of and addressed”; and “clients facing extradition issues have benefited from associate James Peacham's expertise.”
Legal 500 – 2020 Edition:
Ranked as a ‘rising star’ for crime. Described as being: “an excellent performer”; “a hands-on practitioner who goes the extra mile for clients”; and “a first-rate associate - thorough, bright and empathetic”.
- Young Fraud Lawyers' Association ('YFLA')
- Defence Extradition Lawyers' Association ('DELF')
- Extradition Lawyers' Association ('ELA')
- London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association ('LCCSA')
- The Law Society of England & Wales
- The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
- The UK College of Mediators
Corporate Crime & Investigations:
- Assisted in the successful representation of a managing director facing allegations of bribery of a public official and conspiring to make corrupt payments in excess of $1 million. The case is known more commonly as the SFO’s sixth Deferred Prosecution Agreement ("DPA").
- Assisted in the representation of an ex corporate banker facing allegations of insider dealing. Known as Operation Tabernula, the largest FCA investigation to date.
- Assisted in the representation of an individual facing allegations of insider dealing having profited from confidential information stolen from the print rooms of two of the city’s biggest investment banks. Known as Operation Saturn, the then FSA’s flagship prosecution.
- Assisted in the representation of a senior tax solicitor facing contempt proceedings before the High Court. The contempt related to a breach of undertakings given in respect of the disappearance of $9.3 million of client funds held on account.
- Represented an individual involved in the hacking of e-Bay and Amazon trading accounts for the sale of gold bullion. The total amount of the fraudulent activity exceeded £700,000.
- Represented an individual in highly complex £4 million confiscation proceedings involving in depth tax investigations following conviction upon a 17-count money laundering indictment. James did not act during the substantive proceedings.
- Advised a number of corporates including FTSE100 companies in both internal and live criminal investigations as well as the bringing of/ defending against private prosecutions.
- Advised several private wealth companies on the potential criminal liability for investment in the cannabis industry.
- Advised a leading global accounting firm on legal privilege following a complex document review exercise.
- Advised an international audit, tax and advisory services firm in respect of FRC investigations into historic Local Authority audits.
- Conducted an AML risk assessment for a leading international law firm’s Qatar office.
- Assisted on an internal sanctions review for a US listed technology company in relation to one of its UK subsidiaries operating in the global insurance market.
- Supported an FCA skilled person in several s.166 reviews of AML systems and controls.
- Represented an individual facing extradition to Lithuania for offences of blackmail, fraud and human trafficking. The conduct was said to have occurred across the Ukraine, Russia and Moldova and concerned over 120 victims. This became the latest test case on breaches of assurances by the Lithuanian Judicial Authority and Article 3 of the ECHR.
- Represented an academic facing extradition to Greece for offences of criminal slander and extortion. The case concerned political motivation and corruption as well as non-compliance with Article 3 of the ECHR. The European Arrest Warrant was discharged at first instance.
- Acted in an appeal concerning the proper ambit of an accusation European Arrest Warrant when an individual is in fact categorised as a convicted person for the purposes of the Extradition Act 2003 (Imre -v- District Court in Szolnok, Hungary  EWHC 218 (Admin)).
- Represented a company director facing extradition to Poland for several sophisticated burglaries committed in 2001. The European Arrest Warrant was discharged at first instance with the presiding Judge commenting that the delay brought by the National Crime Agency was “excessively dilatory and inconceivable”.
- Acted on behalf of a Polish national who had been classified as a victim of human trafficking three times over. The case was one of the first to expand upon human trafficking issues internationally. The European Arrest Warrant was discharged at first instance under Article 8 of the ECHR.
Serious & General Crime:
- Advised a senior government official in respect of applications brought by the media concerning a family member's criminal proceedings.
- Successfully represented a former theatre director and charity aid worker facing multiple allegations of historical sexual abuse dating back to the 1970’s.
- Represented the former senior chaplain of an elite public school who faced multiple allegations of historical sexual abuse dating back to the 1980’s (Operation Westview).
- Represented a former tutor at an elite preparatory boarding school facing multiple allegations of historical sexual abuse dating back to the 1980’s. The case clarified law relating to joinder and severance of recent and non-recent allegations of child sexual offences (R -v- Toner  EWCA Crim 447).
- Successfully represented a professional photographer facing allegations of historical sexual assault upon four actresses during the course of his business. The case attracted media attention.
- Successfully represented a youth facing historic rape and sexual assault allegations brought by a child held in his grandmother’s care. The presiding Judge made significant criticism of Essex Police and the CPS' handling of the matter
- Successfully represented an individual facing charges of sexual assault against two minors who were ABE interviewed aged 3 to be cross examined age 5. Sensitive and pioneering expert evidence was obtained and considered. The case went on to feature in judicial training on vulnerable witnesses.
- Represented a large number of professionals who were arrested following their involvement in the Extinction Rebellion protests against climate change.
- Represented the alleged criminal mastermind behind a conspiracy to supply contraband items into the national prison estate following an intelligence led investigation. Part of an organised crime group, the sophisticated plan drew upon corrupt prison officials and a wider network to facilitate the business.
- Represented an individual previously convicted of the notorious and high profile murder of the British Army solider Lee Rigby for inflicting grievous bodily harm upon a member of his psychiatric team whilst undertaking treatment at Broadmoor Hospital.
- Successfully represented a musician facing charges of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life following a three-month trial. The firearm was said to be used for a revenge shooting following the murder the previous day.
- Represented the criminal mastermind facing charges of conspiracy to transfer firearms and ammunition from within HMP Rochester to outside gang members. The case received significant media attention.
- Represented the alleged lead gang member ‘Mr Muscle’ in an aggravated burglary concerning the Head of Law at SOAS University, London. The case received international media attention.