James Colwell


James accepts instructions in both private and public family law.

Prior to beginning pupillage, James gained invaluable practical experience working as a Designated Safeguarding Lead at an alternative provision / Pupil Referral Unit. As part of this, James successfully managed a large and challenging case load involving plans of Early Help, Child in Need, Child Protection and Looked After Children. This regularly involved liaising with the LA and senior management in seeking escalation of cases to ‘Public Law Outline’ where appropriate. James worked extensively with young people at risk of child criminal and sexual exploitation including County Lines, where his reports regularly fed into CE Risk Assessments and MACE decisions. Throughout this time, James gained invaluable insight and experience in working with adults and children who have complex needs and significant vulnerabilities. James has also previously gained advocacy experience representing individuals in the First and Upper Tier Social Security and Child Support Tribunal in appeals relating to entitlements and overpayments.

Throughout his pupillage, James has been assisting his pupil supervisor in public law proceedings of the utmost gravity, in a case which concerns the death of a young child. James has been tasked and undertaken review of voluminous police disclosure, complex medical information and reports and drafting extensive and detailed chronologies for use by leading Counsel. James has observed his supervisor and other members of chambers across a variety of cases involving the full range of seriousness in both public and private law matters. This has included proceedings involving allegations of serious sexual assaults in an inter-familiar setting, non-accidental injuries, including multiple fractures in non-mobile children, Deprivations of Liberty in the High Court, jurisdictional issues including international relocation, controlling and coercive behaviour and opposed adoptions.

James has also been responsible for drafting numerous legal documents, including Court Orders, schedules of threshold and welfare findings, case summaries and position statements, as well as assisting in the preparation of closing submissions and cross-examination for use in private law and public law hearings.


Notable Cases

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The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, November 2020






Practice Areas

Awards & Scholarships

Winner – Northumbria University / New Park Court Criminal Mitigation Competition 2019